How to Become an Instacart Shopper

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Comprehensive guide to Instacart delivery jobs

become an instacart shopper

The coronavirus pandemic has hit rideshare companies and accelerated the growth of online food delivery apps including grocery delivery services like Instacart. If you are looking for a part time job or a full time side gig or for a temporary job, in this guide you will learn everything you need to know about Instacart delivery jobs and how to become an Instacart driver.

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1. What is Instacart

Instacart is a grocery delivery service app that enables consumers who seek personal shopping and delivery services from retailers in their area to be matched with third party providers interested in providing those services. The delivery hours start as early as 9am and run as late as midnight, depending on local store hours.

2. Is Working for Instacart Worth it?

is instacart worth it

Flexibility

Working for Instacart is not a stressfull job. You make money working when is more comvenient for you.

is instacart worth it

No Complex Requirements

There are minimum driver and vehicle requirements.

postmates tips

Instant Payout

You get paid weekly by Friday but you can cash out your earnings daily

3. Instacart Requirements

The basic requirements for becoming a Instacart Shopper are being at least 18 years of age, having a valid driver’s license, and passing a background check.

Safety is really important for Instacart. This means that all the independent contractors must be covered by auto insurance and also authorize and undergo a background check when signing up.

In connection with your application, Instacart will request a background check from a consumer reporting agency. You can be disqualified from employment if you have a felony or other serious convictions.

The background check may contain information about your character, employment, education, mode of living and criminal background history.

It is a final step taken by Instacart to help ensure a sound hiring decision and protect the company from a number of potential risks.

To summarize, here are the general Instacart requirements:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Eligibility to work in the U.S. or Canada
  • A smartphone with Android 5.0 or later, iOS 9 or later with a data plan for the Shopper app
  • Can lift 30+ pounds
  • Social Security Number
  • Must have a checking account to receive direct deposit payments

4. Where Can I Work as an Instacart Driver?

Instacart has grocery delivery jobs available in cities all across the United States and Canada. Here are just a few of the many places you can find Instacart job opportunities:

  • AZ – Phoenix
  • CA – Inland Empire, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Orange County, San Diego
  • CO – Denver/Boulder
  • DC – Washington, D.C.
  • FL – Miami
  • GA – Atlanta
  • IL – Bloomington, Champaign, Chicago, Rockford
  • IN – Indianapolis, South Bend
  • KS – Kansas City
  • KY – Lexington, Louisville
  • MD – Baltimore
  • MA – Boston
  • MI – Detroit
  • MN – Minneapolis
  • NM - Albuquerque
  • NE – Omaha
  • NC – Charlotte, Raleigh
  • NJ – New Jersey
  • NV – Las Vegas, Reno
  • NY – Long Island, New York City, Westchester
  • OH – Akron, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland
  • OK – Oklahoma City
  • OR – Portland
  • PA – Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
  • TN – Nashville
  • TX – Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio
  • UT – Salt Lake City
  • VA – Richmond
  • WA – Seattle
  • WI – Milwaukee

To view a full list of cities where Instacart delivers, you can take a look at Instacart website.

5. Instacart Delivery Jobs

instacart in store shopper vs full service

There are two role available for independent contractors with Instacart:

  1. In-Store Shopper
  2. Full Service Shopper

The first important step is to understand the differences between the two roles.

Instacart In Store Shopper

In-store shoppers are part-time Instacart employees that work with scheduled shifts, up to 29 hours per week. The main task for in-store shoppers is to shop and stage orders in one store.

In store Shopper Jobs Requirements

In addition of the requirement above, there are three main requirements needed of you in order to become an in-store shopper:

  • Be able to work in team and receive support from leaders
  • Available to work Sundays or Mondays
  • Be able to work at least 15-20 hours per week
  • You do not need a car

This role is not always available, sometimes you need to join the Instacart waiting list.

Instacart Full Service Shopper

Shoppers are not Instacart employees but independent contractors, they are not entitled to the minimum wage. The independent contractor agreement outlines the relationship between you and Instacart.

Delivering groceries for Instacart is not complicated. If you want to know What is to be an Instacart Shopper, here is a job description with the essential activities, qualifications and skills for this role.

You can start by accepting a batch that you will receive with a job alert in your phone, you drive to local stores that partner with Instacart (HEB, Cotsco, Berkeley Bowl...), you shop or pick up customers' orders and then deliver the order to the customer’s location.

Once you qualify, you can pick your hours and schedule yourself for deliveries. Scheduling allows you to create a flexible schedule to earn when you want without interrupting life. Learn how to set hours with Instacart to make more money.

Providing excellent customer service is one of the greatest keys to success for shoppers. As an Instacart provider you must deliver the items from the store in a safe and timely manner and in accordance with the delivery window chosen by the customer.

Full Service Shopper Requirements

In addition of the basic requirements above here is the detailed list of all the requirements for a Full-Service Shopper:

  • Have a vehicle (no vehicle inspection is required)
  • Have a valid auto insurance

As a full Service Shopper you can receive two types of orders:

  1. Delivery only. The order is pre-shopped, you only have to deliver it to the customer
  2. Full service. You have to shop and deliver the order to the customer.

Now you know all the differences between the two jobs. We hope that our instacart in store shopper vs full service face-off will help you figure out which kind of job is right for you.

Finally, working as a Shopper isn’t the only job opportunity available with Instacart. The company has job openings in the following departments:

  • Engineering
  • Marketing
  • Business strategy

To get job information for all the current openings with the grocery delivery service, you can take a look at the Instacart careers page.

6. Instacart Shopper Pay

instacart shopper pay

Instacart’s payment structure varies depending on which city you’re working in across the United States and the role you will choose.

Instacart Full Service Shopper Pay

As a Full Service Shopper delivery driver, you get paid for each batch you accept and successfully complete.

Before accepting a batch, you can preview the details and additional information including an earnings estimate and a map with the store and customer locations. At this point it is really important to understand how your earnings are calculated and the pay structure.

In 2018, after the tips controversy, Instacart publicly announced that it had redesigned its "shopper experience for more choice and clarity," adding that it aimed to "provide clearer and more consistent earnings."

Here is a breakdown of the full service shoppers pay:

  • Number of items: The more items there are in an order, the more you’ll be paid. This rate is usually around $0.40 per item and varies from city to city.
  • Per mile rate: You get paid for the distance you drive between the store and drop-off locations. The per-mile rates vary by city and it is usually around $0.60 per mile driven x 10 miles = $6.00
  • Peak boosts: These are incentives that Instacart offers to shoppers for working during peak hours, busy times and in busy locations. Bonuses become available when the demand for shoppers is high
  • Customer tips: Providing friendly and fast service it is important. Shoppers get 100% of tips.

To understand what you’ll be earning and whether or not driving for Instacart is worth it, there are some expenses you’ll need to factor into your earnings.

Here are the expenses you’ll need to consider as a Shopper:

  • Wear and tear of your car.
  • Insurance, and this isn’t normal insurance.
  • Gas.

Finally, if your question is does Instacart take out taxes, the answer is no. You will pay taxes a little differently than employees do. As a self-employed individual, you are responsible for paying income taxes and self-employment taxes.

How much do Instacart in store shoppers make?

Here are the basic of the pay for in store shoppers:

  • You are paid hourly
  • You are not eligible for tips
  • You are allowed to work a maximum of 29hrs per week.
  • Finally, according to Glassdoor the Instacart in store shopper pay is an average hourly pay of $13.

Instacart In Store Shopper vs Full Service

Instacart is looking for Shoppers. Currently there are two roles available: in-store Shoppers and full-service Shoppers. With this video you will learn the differences and the requirements to become a...

7. How to Apply For Instacart?

Instacart application is online. To get started you only need to:

  • Install the instacart shopper app
  • Complete some paperworks and sign up the independent contractor agreement
  • Activate the Instacart payment card

We suggest you take a look at our step by step application process.

Start Shopping and Delivering Now

Becoming an Instacart Shopper is a great opportunity to make extra cash with a flexible side hustle. Finally, being a grocery delivery driver for Instacart can be a great addition to your income to make a couple extra hundred or thousand dollars a month.

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