Is Instacart a Good Full-time Job?


Lots of people love the so-called gig economy because unlike working for a traditional employer, you get to work as much or as little as you want, and it’s more on your terms. But since Instacart is one of the leading companies hiring this way, a lot of people wonder is Instacart a good full-time job?

Here’s what I know from talking to several Instacart employees (what they call Shoppers):

Instacart hires both in-store shoppers and independent contractors. Both earn approximately $28,000 per year on average, and the company rates a 3.4 with a 60% approval rating. So while some love the flexibility of being an independent contractor, working for Instacart also has its minuses.

But that’s just a quick snapshot, and not everyone shares that opinion based on their experience with Instacart.

So in this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the world of working for Instacart. We’ll get some real-world examples, look at reviews, and the overall pay and benefits structure of the company.

Let’s get started.

Not sure about working for Instacart? Consider DoorDash!

DoorDash is a great alternative to working for Instacart.

See how much you could be earning. Available in over 4,000 cities in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. All you need is a mode of transportation and a smartphone to start making money.

CLICK HERE to learn more about working for DoorDash!

 

Can Instacart be a full-time job?

Instacart has both employees who earn an hourly wage to do in-store shopping up to 29 hours per week. But they also hire independent contractors for shopping and delivery. These contracted employees as often or as little as they want for varying pay plus 100% of their tips.

So really, it’s a question of whether you want stability and security of working for a set wage, but only up to 29 hours per week, or the flexibility of being an independent contractor.

Either way, Instacart also has a referral bonus program where you get paid a bonus if you refer a friend who gets hired. The requirements vary a lot from region to region, but once you get hired, check the details in your area in the app.

One thing you might be thinking about is how on earth would shoppers be able to shop and deliver on time.

Do they have to wait in cashier lines like regular folks? Not to worry, that’s what I covered in a recent article of mine. I explain how the system works, and even what happens if you get asked to shop at Costco and you don’t have a Costco membership yourself.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Ready to apply with Instacart and see how much you could make?

CLICK HERE to fill out your application now on the Instacart website!

Can you make good money with Instacart?

Instacart In-Store shoppers make an average of $13 per hour in addition to small tips and bonuses, working up to 29 hours per week for an annual average of $28,000. Contracted Instacart Shoppers average slightly less getting larger tips but a smaller base pay. But can also work as many hours as they wish to.

So no one is retiring in Manhattan working for Instacart.

But if you’re fresh out of high school and not sure where life is taking you, or you already do a few other gig-economy jobs like Lyft or Uber, it can be a great job to add to your roster.

Another thing that’s great about working for Instacart as an independent contractor is freedom.

It’s not like you’ve got to clock in and clock out and sit in a cubicle all day. In a sense, you are your own boss. Right from the gate, you decide the kind of shopper you’ll like to be.

You could choose to work as an in-store shopper or a full-service shopper.

Naturally, that would affect how much you can make. Full-service shoppers select and deliver groceries, while in-store shoppers work in specific stores to choose and stage groceries in-store.

In-store shoppers don’t deliver groceries.

They have a flexible schedule and are like part-time employees, and they don’t need to have a car. To be a full-service shopper, you’ll need a car, and you choose your own hours.

There are some smart and hardworking folks who earn about $3,000 a month.

And, if you’re wondering how your unemployment benefits might be affected if you start working for Instacart after being laid off elsewhere, I’ve got you covered.

I wrote about it in a recent article of mine. Just click the link to read the article on my site.

Does Instacart pay for gas?

Instacart does not pay for gas, and Instacart drivers are responsible for all repairs and maintenance of their vehicles. However, as an independent contractor, you may be able to write off some of these expenses as business expenses on your taxes.

If you decide to be a full-service shopper for Instacart, you’ll need to have your own car with proper insurance coverage. But, you’re not an employee of Instacart. You are actually an independent contractor.

Contractors take care of their own expenses.

It’s understandable if you’re a bit concerned about this expense. Don’t worry; the solution is simple. Try and match your income and expenses by planning your trips so that you don’t have to go too far, especially if you won’t be making much on the order.

You probably heard that Instacart partners with Costco, and you’re curious to know how this affects Instacart shoppers.

That’s what I explored in a recent article of mine.

In it, I shared what they’ll need to enter Costco, how grocery stores are laid out, an alternative to working for Instacart, and other interesting info.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

How do I make the most money with Instacart?

To maximize earnings working for Instacart, apply to be a full-service Shopper who is an independent contractor. This allows you to work as much or as little as you want to. Work hard, look professional, be friendly, and deliver on-time, and you’ll also get great tips.

The first tip may sound super obvious, but it’s effective: work hard and smart.

After all, we reap what we sow. So, don’t just see it as a side hustle. Treat it like a real job and prepare to give it your best.

Aim to make at least $3000 each month.

Why? Life’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe you can, you’ll regularly attract ideas and people who will help you achieve it.

So why do I recommend the full-service option?

Because it gives you more control over your income since you’ll be doing two things, and you can accept or reject orders (but I’ll be careful of rejecting too many orders if I were you).

Sure, focus on the “big” orders, but the small ones could be worthwhile too, especially if they’re not far and you won’t have to spend a lot on gas. Don’t reject more than 15% of the orders.

Third, it goes without saying that it makes sense to focus on zones with high demand, right?

The shopper app will show you the level of batch availability in different locations, and you can move to areas with higher demand.

Lastly, you want to have excellent customer ratings because that’ll enable you to be among those that’ll first have access to view and accept orders.

You want to avoid a situation (as long as it’s within your power) where customers give you low ratings. An added benefit of being courteous and excellent is that you could get tips.

They could be small, but there are times you could get as much as $20.

Ready to apply with Instacart and see how much you could make?

CLICK HERE to fill out your application now on the Instacart website!

Is Instacart a good company to work for?

Yes, Instacart is a good company to work for with an average rating of 3.4 in most reviews and an almost 60% overall approval rating. Employees tend to love the flexibility, but dislike how much the number of orders varies from day to day.

By comparison, DoorDash, arguably Instacart’s top competitor, although more focused on restaurant than grocery), rates a 4.0 and 76% approval rating. And Uber, the original gig-economy provider, rates a 4.0 with a 79% approval rating.

So, Instacart is good, but arguably not great. And, of course, there are some bad reviews.

This is to be expected, too. Generally, most workers have nice things to say. Some “outliers” average $3,000 each month, especially these days when a lot of people would rather stay-at-home.

You’re not compelled to accept deliveries.

You choose what you want to work on, and you can ignore some customers if you find them troublesome. Is there an official customer rating system? No. I am sure you want to know more about this facet.

Can a customer complain about you? Are there tips? In a recent article of mine, I shed light on these and similar issues.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

If you work in the corporate office, there are the usual benefits. But, if you’re a full-service shopper, you have benefits such as shopper injury protection, free access to care.com, health and financial tools, and even help with paying down student loan debt.

Did I cover all you wanted to know about Instacart and whether it’s a good full-time job?

In this article, we’ve explored whether you could work full-time for Instacart.

We also looked at the average you could make, the strategies for maximizing your income, and if the company covers the cost of gas. 

Lastly, we looked at whether it’s a good company or not.

Not sure about working for Instacart? Consider DoorDash!

DoorDash is a great alternative to working for Instacart.

See how much you could be earning. Available in over 4,000 cities in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. All you need is a mode of transportation and a smartphone to start making money.

CLICK HERE to learn more about working for DoorDash!


Data sources: https://www.glassdoor.com/ and https://instacartonboarding.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360027180271-Shopper-pay-and-earnings

 

Jeff Campbell

Hi! I'm Jeff Campbell. I was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades. I worked in 9 stores in 4 states, not counting the hundred-plus stores I've assisted in other ways. I was a Global All-Star, a Gold Pen Winner, and won Top-10 Store (company-wide) 3 times in addition to Best New Store (company-wide).

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