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Is Instacart a Good Full or Part Time Job?

Are you considering making some side money? Or you might be looking for a full-time job that doesn't require a college degree or some insane skill level. In that case, Instacart might be a viable option for you. With Instacart, you can earn through shopping and delivering other people’s groceries. So, Is Instacart a good full or part-time job?

Instacart is good for both full and part-time jobs. Both types of jobs at Instacart have decent pay rates. Working as a part-time in-store shopper will allow you to earn 14 USD per hour. On the other hand, full-service shoppers get paid an average of 14-17 USD per hour plus many job perks. But you will need a functioning car to become a full-time employee of Instacart.

Through this article, I am going to tell you all should know about earning opportunities with Instacart, how much money you can expect to make, and what benefits you can get being an Instacart employee. So, let’s begin!

What are the Instacart Jobs?

Instacart is an online grocery delivery service in the United States and Canada that forms partnerships with local grocery stores and does the grocery shopping for their customers and delivers them right at the customer’s doorstep.

Instacart is one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States. Currently, they are operating in more than 5500 cities across Canada and the United States. Their locations range from smaller communities like Nevada, Wisconsin to large urban areas like New York or San Francisco. And Instacart is continuously expanding to new locations.

Customers can order groceries through the Instacart application, choose a delivery time frame, and get them delivered-often the same day and possibly within hours of ordering. Instacart hires people either as a part-time in-store shopper and full-time independent non-employee contractors to fulfill and deliver customers’ orders.

Full-Service Shopper

Full-time independent contractors are also known as full-time shoppers use the Instacart platform to shop groceries and deliver them to their customers. Their job is to go through a list of available batches, pick the batch they would like to shop; then go to the grocery store, pick the customer's items, pack them, and deliver them to the customer's doorsteps.

There is no limit on how many batches full-time shoppers can fulfill. On top of that, they can also do as much as they want for unlimited hours and this position is available in every location Instacart operates. But to become a full-service shopper, you need to have a car.

In-Store Shopper

Employees of Instacart whose job is to just pick and pack groceries that customers order are called in-store shoppers. They don't deliver groceries to the client's home. These part-time shoppers can choose their own working schedule and work about twenty nine hours every week. No car is required for the job.

What are the Requirements to Become an Instacart Shopper?

Before you become an Instacart employee, there are some basic requirements that you should be aware of. They are given below:

  • 18 years of age or older: To become an Instacart employee, you have to be eighteen years of age or older. Sometimes a customer might order alcohol, which can result in you receiving a bigger tip. But for that your age has to be 21 years at least or older in some state.
  • Have a smartphone (Android or iPhone): In case you own an iPhone, it must be equipped with iOS 9 or later. For Android smartphones, it must be running on Android version 5.0 or later.
  • Can lift 30+ pounds: To become an Instacart worker, you should be strong enough to lift 30 pounds of weight at least.
  • Have a savings account: All Instacart employees are paid via direct deposit. So, if you want to work as an Instacart shopper, you will need a bank account to collect your paychecks.
  • Pass Instacart’s background check: You have to go through Instacart’s background check process before you can start making money with Instacart. In most cases, Instacart clears payment within ten business days. But according to location this may vary.
  • Access to a car and have a valid driver’s license: To become a full-service shopper, you need to have a driver’s license and a registered, functioning car for delivery purposes. You will also need to have insurance coverage for your vehicle that complies with state requirements.
  • Insulated bags: For delivering groceries to customers’ homes without damaging them, you will need bags that are thermally insulated for proper and damage free delivery. At least, four grocery bags (Standard Size) should find the bag. Also, to deliver products like ice cream, you will need to have coolers.

What is the Typical Schedule for Full-Time vs. Part-Time Shoppers?

Instacart offers their full-service shopper the opportunity to choose their own working schedule and may work as little or as much they wish. However, Instacart always encourages its shoppers to work at peak hours. These peak hours are mainly weekday evenings and all day on weekends. But that doesn't mean that shoppers must work during that time.

Full-service shoppers can choose whether they want to accept an order or not. If they see that an offer that is not worth their time and effort, they can decline that offer. They will not get penalized for that.

However, if a full-service shopper declines multiple consecutive orders, the Instacart app will assume that he or she is done for the day and log him or her out of the application. If he or she doesn't log back in within 30 minutes, he or she is forced to quit for the day.

Like their full-service employees, Instacart also allows their in-store shoppers the opportunity to choose their own hours, which is very rare among other grocery delivery companies. This makes it a perfect job for someone who is looking for a part-time job to make some money and at the same time focus on other things like studies and their families.

Although in-store employees choose their own hours, they can earn more money working in peak hours like on weekends and holidays when order volume is high.

How Much Money Instacart Shoppers Earn?

The money that you can make as a full-service shopper depends on several factors like how many hours you worked, the number of orders you completed, and the type of items you delivered. Shoppers get notified about orders from customers via the Instacart app. They can see the items customers ordered, store location, and estimated earnings before accepting any order.

Full-service shoppers make at about 5 USD for every delivery they make and between 7 - 10 USD for a full-service job which includes picking up the products from the store and delivering them at the customer's doorstep.

If the items in a customer’s order weigh more, you are likely going to get paid more money. For example, an order for a case of big bags of wheat or dog food should pay you more compared to a light-weight order.

It is not easy to estimate the earnings of a full-service shopper as how much he or she is going to make depends on various factors. However, according to Glassdoor, the average earning of a full-service shopper is around 14 to 17 USD per hour. The earnings can be much higher during peak hours. As high as 25 USD per hour.

On the other hand, in-store shoppers are paid on an hourly basis. The pay rate can vary depending on the location. According to Glassdoor, the average earnings of an in-store shopper is 14 USD per hour.

Full-service shoppers also earn from customer’s tips. In fact, most of the money they make is from customers' tips. Customers can tip their full-service shopper via the Instacart application during the time of order or after delivery. They can also adjust the tip amount for three days after the delivery is completed. In-store shoppers are not entitled to customer’s tips.

How are Employees Paid?

Both full service and in-store shoppers get paid by direct deposit to a savings or checking account. Full-service shoppers are able to immediately transfer their earnings to a debit card via Instant Cashout. To unlock this feature, you have to successfully complete five batches.

Once you unlock it, you can use this feature whenever you want, if you have at least 5 USD in earnings. You can transfer a maximum of 3000 USD per day via Instant Cashout.

Full-service shoppers work as independent contractors. So, making tax payments might be necessary. On the other hand, Instacart withholds taxes from the earnings of their in-store shoppers.

Benefits Of Full-Time and Part-Time Shoppers At Instacart

Like other corporate jobs, Instacart also offers their full-service shoppers the following perks:

  • Health & Dental Insurance: Instacart provides all their full-service employees a customized, robust dental and health insurance. Their complete insurance coverage includes disability payment, up to one million USD to cover any sort of medical expenses, and survivor’s benefits for those eligible.
  • Access to All full-service shoppers complete access to the platform free of charge that provides support for housekeeping, tutor, children, senior, pet, and special needs care.
  • Student Loan Assistance: Instacart offers its workers who are students professional help with paying off their student debt.

On top of the perks mentioned above, the company also provides all their shoppers (full-service and in-store shoppers) with sick pay, which is paid time off when an employee fails to attend work due to some sort of injury or illness.

According to the Affordable Care Act, employers must provide health insurance to employees who work more than 30 hours per week in the United States. This is why Instacart does not allow their in-store shoppers to work more than 29 hours per week. So, in-store shoppers are not entitled to Instacart’s health insurance.

Full time or Part Time - Which Is Best for You?

Well, this depends on what you want to do. If you want a longer-term career with more opportunities for advancement, then a job as a full-service shopper might be perfect for you. It has better pay, better job perks, and you can earn as much as 3000 USD per month if you work hard.

On the other hand, working as an in-store shopper might be perfect for when you are in school and need to be available during the day. If you have other responsibilities like taking care of elderly parents, this is also a great way to earn some money and at the same time focusing on your family.

Both in-store and full-service shoppers’ jobs have decent pay and come with many job perks. Part-time in-store shopper or full-time full-service shopper, no matter what job you pick both provides excellent earning opportunity. So, the choice ultimately depends on you. I sincerely hope that through this article "Is Instacart a good full or part-time job?”, I was of some help to you. Thank you for going through the entire article. Have a nice day!

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Author Ferdi
Written by Ferdi Vol
Ferdi Vol has been working for a grocery store for the last few years and he knows all the ins and outs of running a grocery store. He's also got great tips about what you need to know as a customer, from getting the most out of your money to knowing where everything is in the store! Ferdi loves sharing his passion with others via his blog on how to have an awesome shopping experience at your local grocery store.
About Ferdi Vol
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