How Much Can You Make With Instacart As A Shopper?

How to Make Money as an Instacart Shopper

If you’re considering Instacart as a full-time job or a way to supplement your income with this side hustle, we’ll provide a detailed look at how much you can make with Instacart.

Guide to Earning Money with Instacart

Shopping for groceries is no longer just a chore, it’s become a way to earn money. Instacart offers an opportunity for individuals to make money through grocery delivery.

With various options for part-time Instacart income or full-time Instacart pay, many are curious about the earning potential with Instacart.

The flexibility of the gig, coupled with the opportunity to earn through tips, bonuses, and incentives, makes it an attractive prospect for many.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore all aspects of Instacart shopper salary, weekly pay, hourly wage, and more.

From understanding the shopper requirements to customer service and even how to sign up, we’ll provide a detailed look at how you can make money with Instacart.

How Much do Instacart Shoppers Make?

The pay you receive from Instacart varies based on several factors, such as your role as a shopper. If you’re an In-Store Shopper, you earn an hourly wage stated in your contract.

For Full-Service Shoppers, the payment is not fixed. Completing a full-service order guarantees you a minimum batch payment of $7 to $10, depending on your location. If you only deliver an order, the minimum payment is $5.

On top of that, certain orders might qualify for a “peak boost” bonus or a “quality bonus,” given when you earn a five-star review. Additionally, you keep 100% of customer tips, which average around $5.

Your hourly earnings could average $20 or more. However, this figure is highly dependent on factors such as the market you serve, how many batches you complete, whether customers tip, and bonuses.

How do Instacart Shoppers get Paid?

Payments are made weekly via direct deposit to your bank account.

Instant Cashout is a feature for full-service shoppers. It lets you have payday right away. You only need at least $5 in earnings. This option brings money to your pocket fast. It’s a great way to manage your finances in this role.

How to Become an Instacart Shopper

Joining Instacart as a shopper is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started:

1. Visit Instacart’s Website or Download the App

You can start online or with the mobile app. Either way, Instacart makes it easy to sign up.

2. Fill Out the Application

Provide basic information. This includes your name, address, and contact details. You’ll also choose between being a full-service or in-store shopper.

3. Provide Required Documents

Instacart will need proof of your eligibility. This includes a valid driver’s license if you’ll be delivering.

4. Pass a Background Check

Safety is important. Instacart conducts a background check on all applicants.

5. Attend an Orientation (If Required)

Some locations may require an orientation. It’s a chance to learn more about the role and ask questions.

6. Download the Instacart Shopper App

You’ll need the app to receive orders and communicate with customers. It’s a vital tool for managing your Instacart job income.

7. Get Shopping!

Once approved, you can start shopping. Set your hours and begin earning.

How does Being a Shopper for Instacart Work?

Full-Service Shoppers

Full-Service Shoppers take care of selecting and bagging grocery items, and delivering orders to customers. They operate as independent contractors.

Setting your work schedule is flexible. You can select hours on a first-come, first-serve basis every week. Instacart even offers “on-demand” work opportunities. Shoppers can claim orders in real-time in specific markets, helping to boost their income.

When you start your shift, the Shopper app sends you an available order. The app gives you crucial information about the order like:

  • Your location and the delivery address
  • Estimated earnings and potential tips
  • Number of items in the order
  • Total driving distance
  • Heavy lifting requirement

From there, you head to the store and start shopping. The app guides you through the whole process, from selecting items to checkout. You use an Instacart-issued credit card to pay. The final step is to deliver the order to the customer.

So, working with Instacart comes with benefits like flexible working hours, getting paid within an hour, and the option to just shop or to shop and deliver.

In-Store Shoppers

In-Store Shoppers are part-time employees of Instacart. Their role involves shopping for items and preparing orders for pick-up in the store. The customer or a separate Instacart shopper picks up these orders. However, this role is only available in certain zones and at specific store locations.

As an In-Store Shopper, you work for a maximum of 29 hours a week. You must commit to at least 15 to 16 hours each week, but this is not guaranteed. Upon application, you can specify your preferred work days and hours. The app tells you when to start and end your shift and when to take breaks.

When you sign up for Instacart, you pick the grocery store you want to work in. At the start of your shift, you launch the Shopper app. Unlike Full-Service Shoppers, who choose which orders to accept, Instacart assigns yours.

Once you receive the batch information, you will see a list of items to shop for. This list includes the quantity of each item and the aisle it’s in. While the aisle information may not always be accurate, it helps you find the items in the store.

Instacart sets a time limit for completing each batch, depending on its size. In this time, you shop, queue at checkout, pay for the batch, bag the items, and stage them for pick-up.

After the customer receives their order, Instacart asks for their feedback. They can rate the quality of items selected, replacements made, and your communication. If an order involved more than one shopper, each shopper receives separate feedback.

Maximize Your Earnings with Instacart

Boosting your earnings as an Instacart shopper can be achieved with a few strategic moves. Here are some tips to help you maximize your income:

• Claim busy hours: Hours with enough shoppers quickly become unavailable. So, set phone alerts to grab as many work hours as you can before they’re taken.

• Drive a fuel-efficient car: Using a fuel-efficient vehicle can help ensure your earnings aren’t depleted by fuel costs.

• Review the shopping list: Avoid wasting time revisiting aisles. Continually scroll through the entire batch order to plan your route and pick items efficiently.

• Know your store: Familiarize yourself with the layout and product locations in your store, especially if you’re an In-Store Shopper. Use any downtime to walk the aisles and get to know the store.

• Work quickly and safely: Speed is key. It allows you to complete more batches and can boost your Instacart score. Be safe though; watch your step while scanning items on the move.

• Be decisive with replacements: The Shopper app suggests replacement options. Choose one and move on, unless you think it’s necessary to consult the customer.

• Park wisely: Choose the first parking spot you find to speed up your in-store time. Don’t waste time looking for a closer spot. However, if the parking lot is empty, choose a spot near the entrance and cart return area to exit quickly after shopping.

Pros and Cons

Like any job, being an Instacart Shopper has its ups and downs. Let’s dive into the details.


  1. Flexible Timings: Working on your terms is a dream. With Instacart, you choose the hours that fit your routine, making changes as needed. This flexibility applies to both full-service and in-store shoppers.
  2. No Special Skills: We all shop for groceries. This means no extra training is needed to start! Just ensure you can follow customer instructions and deliver on time.
  3. Easy Start: With Instacart, all you need is to fill out a few forms online. If you opt to be an in-store shopper, an in-person orientation is required. The rest is at your fingertips, right from home!


  1. Low Pay Orders: Not all orders fetch a good income. You might get a request for just two items from someone 20 miles away. It’s not profitable, but declining too many such offers might lead to Instacart logging you off.
  2. Difficult Customers: Keep in mind, it’s a service job. You’ll run into customers who aren’t gracious, despite your best efforts.
  3. App Issues: Tech isn’t perfect. Sometimes the Instacart app allows two shoppers to accept one order. This could lead to you buying and delivering groceries, only to find someone beat you to it. The bright spot? You get to keep the groceries!

Frequently Asked Questions

Instacart shoppers, or those considering the role, often have questions. Here are answers to some common queries:

Q: How often do Instacart shoppers get paid?

A: Shoppers receive weekly pay through direct deposit. It’s a convenient way to manage earnings.

Q: Can I work part-time or full-time with Instacart?

A: Yes, Instacart offers flexibility. You can choose part-time or full-time hours to suit your needs.

Q: Are there opportunities for bonuses or incentives?

A: Instacart often offers special bonuses and incentives. These can enhance earnings, especially during peak times.

Q: How do I handle expenses like gas and maintenance?

A: Managing expenses is vital. Tracking costs and budgeting helps in understanding true earnings.

Q: How does Instacart’s pay compare to competitors?

A: Instacart offers competitive pay. It may vary with location and role. Comparing to competitors helps in finding the best fit.

Q: How can I maximize my earnings with Instacart?

A: Maximizing earnings involves working during high-demand times, providing excellent service, managing expenses, and utilizing bonuses and incentives.

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