In the time of the gig economy, Instacart has become a popular grocery shopping app for users and a good money maker for individual shoppers. The real question is, can you make money doing Instacart?
You can make money with Instacart in two ways. You can become a Full-Service Shopper as an independent contractor or become an In-Store Shopper as a part-time employee.
During these chaotic times, more people than ever have been using the Instacart app for groceries. In this post, I will outline the ways in which you can make money as an Instacart shopper.
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Our Own Experience as Instacart Users
We have used Instacart as customers for quite some time now and enjoy the service.
It makes it easy to shop for groceries right from the app. You can even communicate with your shopper through the app when there is a need for replacing an item that is no longer available.
The app will even notify you when your shopper is finished and on their way to deliver your groceries. You can track them on a map. The app makes it easy to leave a tip, edit your tip, and leave a review for your shopper.
We have only encountered one issue with a shopper in that they mixed up our groceries with another customer. However, the other instances went smoothly and has not deterred us from using the service.
Can You Make Money Doing Instacart? – What To Know Before You Start
Making money with Instacart works in two ways. You can either become an independent contractor (Full-Service Shopper) which requires access to a car or you can become a part-time employee (In-Store Shopper) which does not require a car.
Both options require:
- Being at least 18 years old
- Eligible to work in the United States
- Consistent access to and be able to effectively use a recent smartphone (iPhone 5 / Android 4.4 or newer)
- Ability to lift 50 lbs with or without accommodation
As a full-service shopper, you are working as an independent contractor. Your job is to shop for groceries as well as deliver them. All of this is handled through the Instacart Shoppers app.
You can shop on your schedule by checking what orders come through on the app.
Being an in-store shopper does not require a vehicle. Unlike a full-service shopper, you are a part-time employee of Instacart. You can work 15 to 20 hours per week.
Your job will require receiving orders through the app, shopping for the customer, and staging the groceries in-store.
Getting Started as an Instacart Shopper
The first thing you’ll need to do is download the Instacart Shopper app to your smartphone. Fill out your basic information and consent to having a background check conducted.
If you are applying for an in-store shopper position, you will be required to attend an in-person orientation. Next, you will sign necessary paperwork such as a W-9 for independent contractors and a W-4 for part-time employees.
Finally, you will register your Instacart payment card. These cards are used for checking out a customer’s order.
Start Accepting Gigs
When you are a full-service shopper, you can set your own schedule. You can pick up gigs in two ways. You can set your schedule within the shopper app and be notified of open gigs before your availability starts.
Or you can accept on-demand gigs which are sent to you as they are available.
If you are an in-store shopper, you will be assigned shifts to work each week. It is not as flexible as being a full-service shopper.
How Much Can You Earn with Instacart?
Now let’s get down to the business of income. You will need a checking and savings account as Instacart pays out via direct deposit.
As far as earnings go, an in-store shopper is paid a fixed hourly wage which varies based on where you’re working.
Full-service shoppers can earn at least $5 for a delivery-only order and between $7 and $10 for shopping and delivery. However, your pay will vary depending on the size of the order, driving distance, number of items, etc.
Keep in mind that full-service shoppers may also earn tips that are also paid through the app. As an independent contractor, you may have to make estimated tax payments as well.
An Alternative To Gig Jobs
Gig jobs are great for anyone that wants to supplement their income or simply needs extra money fast.
You can install an app, get a background check, and begin shopping and delivering groceries. The same goes for other gig jobs such as delivering packages, or being an Uber or Lyft driver.
However, gig jobs don’t work well for the long-term. Some people can manage to pull it off but it is not a long-term career strategy.
If you want a way out of gig jobs and want to make income with a lot less effort, consider affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting another company’s products in exchange for a commission when a sale is made.
It is done online and it is something that I do to make consistent income online using a blog. I create niche websites (blogs) and promote affiliate products.
Many companies have their own affiliate program. Amazon.com is one example but there are many more such as eBay, PetCo, various CBD companies, and the list can go on and on.
What is a Niche Website
A niche website or niche blog is a website that focuses on one topic. Let’s say for example that you are passionate about barbeque. You take any opportunity to cook on outdoors on the grill.
You could create a niche blog about BBQ cooking and sign up for the BBQ Guys affiliate program. Once approved, you would have access to special tracking links called affiliate links.
Within your blog content, you could link to specific items on the BBQ Guys website using your affiliate links. When a visitor to your blog clicks on one of your links and buys from the merchant’s website, you make a commission from the sale.
How Soon Can a Niche Website Make Money?
A niche website will not make money as quickly as a gig job. However, if you create your website now and work on it in your free time, it is possible for a new niche website to begin making money within 6 to 12 months time.
I explain this timeframe more in my post about getting a blog to $500 per month. It requires consistent effort on your part in terms of creating content in the form of new blog posts.
It also requires patience. Blogging relies on SEO (search engine optimization). Once a website starts receiving web traffic, it has the potential to make money.
What Does It Take To Start a Niche Website?
You may be surprised to learn that a niche website is one of the lowest-cost online businesses that you can start. All that you need is a domain name, web hosting, and WordPress.
Any commercial web hosting provider can set you up with everything that you need. For instance, I use WPX Hosting for most of my niche websites.
I choose them for their speed, reliability, and excellent customer support. If all of that seems overly technical to you, don’t worry. You can get step-by-step help by following the same training program I used when I got started.
Closing Thought On Making Money Doing Instacart
I hope this post has helped when it comes to answering the question, “can you make money doing Instacart?” The service is great for both users and full-service shoppers.
If you are needing to make some fast cash, gig jobs are the way to go. I prefer a long-term strategy in the form of an online business.
Niche websites are how I able to make consistent income online with affiliate marketing.
If you want to level up your income, consider following the same step-by-step training program I used.
I use the same training platform to help others one-on-one with starting their own niche websites.