This website promises to get your groceries delivered within as little as 1 hour, allowing you to order them from home to save time. But there is also the opportunity to sign up with them as a shopper to earn extra cash as well.
Can you really make money with Instacart.com? This is what I was determined to find out after first hearing about them.
Making Money With Instacart.com
Before we get into Instacart.com itself, let's talk about the underlying process for a bit. There are some services that people just need—and grocery shopping is one of them.
Maybe someone just doesn’t have time to go shopping themselves—or perhaps they don’t get around very well and need someone to do it for them. Or, they might just need a little extra help on an especially busy day.
Whatever the case may be, building up this side-hustle on your own can be a little bit challenging.
So I have been looking into websites that may make it easier—and that is when I found Instacart.com (it is one of a variety of food delivery side hustles).
The website lets you type in your zip code to order groceries locally (though there seem to be a few geographic restrictions). This also means that they need to hire shoppers to fill the orders—and that is where the side-hustle comes in!
So let’s take a closer look.
What Exactly Is Instacart.com?
Instacart.com is basically a website that will let you enter your location and shop at local grocery stores online. The service is pretty easy to figure out. When you sign up for Instacart Express, you get free delivery on all orders over $35, a free trial of the service for 2 weeks, and the ability to sign up for just $99 a year after that.
But what about the other side of it? How do you make money as a shopper on this website?
To do this, you have to scroll down to the footer. There, you will find a button that says this…
“Interested in a great way to make money? Become a shopper.”
Once you click on it, you will be taken to this page.
As you can see, signing up is pretty simple. You just provide your first and last name, email address, cell phone number, zip code, and referral code if you have one.
At this point, it seemed like a pretty simple gig. You get paid weekly to shop for other people. You can work whenever you want, but obviously working in the daytime is better to maximize your earnings. You can also work a flexible schedule and take time off whenever you want, which is pretty awesome.
I also noticed that there were two different types of positions available in this side-hustle. You could either become a full-service shopper, or an in-store shopper.
The main difference between the two is that you need a vehicle to be a full-service shopper, as that position requires you to deliver… while an in-store shopper position doesn’t require you to. I was a lot more interested in the full-service shopper position, so that is what I decided to look into first.
Requirements For Becoming A Shopper On Instacart.com
The basic requirements for becoming a full-service shopper on Instacart.com are pretty simple.
- You must be 18 or over
- You must be eligible to work in the United States
- You must have consistent access to a vehicle
- You must have consistent access to a smart phone, and also be able to use one effectively (iPhone 5 or Android 4.4 or newer)
- You must be able to lift up to 40 pounds by yourself
To me, this all seemed pretty straightforward. I also feel like these requirements are pretty common-sense. You need to be able to download and use the app, of course—and lifting heavy groceries may end up being part of the gig at any time.
The requirements for being an in-store shopper are the same—except that no vehicle is required. This is because the groceries would end up being picked up by the customer or delivered by someone else… so it is a little bit different.
How Much Can You Earn Working For Instacart.com?
I did some research online, and ended up finding out that you can earn anywhere from $7 to $20 per hour with Instacart. Users reported earning an average of $11 an hour, which is not too bad for a side-hustle, really!
I guess that, in the past, it was said somewhere that you could expect to get paid up to $25 an hour doing this… but online users seem to say that $20 per hour is about the most realistic maximum you can expect.
They also say, though, that tips are a big part of making money and driving that maximum earning number up. So finding ways to maximize your chances of receiving tips is a big part of Instacart.
This is kind of a downside for me, as tips are never guaranteed. But at the same time, including tips in the app as a built-in feature is awesome… because it gives you an extra opportunity if you wish to try to pursue it.
How Much Does It Cost To Use Instacart.com?
Instacart.com doesn’t cost delivery people anything to use. But there are some monetary costs associated with it.
For the most part, these include the costs associated with driving your car, including gas, a car payment, insurance, vehicle registration and fees, etc. Obviously, if you already own and drive a car anyway, this is only going to add a small bit to the amount you would normally be paying—especially if you are not driving too far for deliveries.
But, the extra gas could still play a role in making this side hustle more or less worth your time. It would almost depend on how much gas was selling for currently where you live.
Are There Any Non-Monetary Costs?
The only non-monetary costs that I could see incurring while using this site is that of the time you put into it. It would take a little bit of time to get used to the website/app, and it would also take some time to get started finding gigs.
You would also need to spend the time to actually shop and deliver the items you buy for clients. But beyond this, there aren't any significant non-monetary costs.
My Personal Feelings About Instacart.com
Personally, I really liked the idea of using Instacart.com to earn some extra cash. This isn’t the first app/website of its kind that I have looked at, but it is certainly just as good as any others in its niche that I’ve spent time studying.
The best thing about this potential side-hustle gig is the fact that it is everything a proper side-hustle should be. It is profitable, it is flexible, and it looks like it would be consistent as well… at least for the most part.
The main downside that I can see with it, though, is that it is probably only really viable in areas where there are a lot of people. So, busy metropolitan areas. Of course, if people can’t afford groceries, they can’t afford to pay to have them delivered either—so obviously, you need to be in a city where there is money to be made.
I feel like side-hustles like this offer a lot of great opportunities for people who are trying to strike out on their own. Even if you already have a full-time job, a gig like this can give you something to do on the weekends or at night to further your own financial situation.
This could help you to save up for a new apartment, new clothes, a new computer to get started with more side-hustles, equipment to start your own business, etc. You could even use extra money like this to pay down credit card debt or other less fun financial obligations!
At the end of the day, the important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as free money. You need to build up some momentum and spend focused, disciplined time to earn side-hustle cash.
This is also why it is so important to work on a side-hustle that is worth the time… because spending too much time working for the wrong side-hustle could obviously waste your effort and energy.
So you need to be calculated, efficient, and productive to make any side hustle effort work.
Do I feel like Instacart.com is a good side-hustle overall?
Honestly, if you have a nice car to drive, I feel like Uber or Lyft might be better options. But at the same time, you could do this in conjunction with those as well.
When you get an order on Instacart, you could turn off your Uber… and vice-versa. At the end of the day, you have to be adaptable and earn. That’s the whole idea of a side-hustle.
If you’re not earning, you must be focused on the wrong side-hustle idea.
Our Final Opinion About Instacart.com
Should you sign up and become a shopper to earn some extra money?
There are a lot of ways to make money online. Some are good, some not, but ALL of them are still just trading hours for dollars.
Starting your own affiliate website really is the holy grail of "making money while you sleep" and earning income from anywhere in the world. Your website is online 24/7/365 and can be accessed from any computer or smartphone.
Running a successful affiliate site isn't easy, but it's a little easier with the help and step by step lessons from this program.