Is Instacart Worth It? Pros, Cons, and How Much You Make

Is Instacart worth it? Learn the pros, cons, earnings, and alternatives as an Instacart shopper to make an informed decision!

Final Verdict: Is Instacart Worth It?

Determining if Instacart is worth it depends on several factors.

If you’re seeking a job with flexibility and you enjoy grocery shopping and staying active, Instacart shopping can be a rewarding choice. It’s a suitable option for earning additional income, especially if you have spare hours to devote.

However, it’s important to have realistic expectations about the earnings, as it won’t lead to substantial income overnight. Consider your available time, the demand in your area, and whether the nature of the job aligns with your interests.

In short, if these aspects match your goals, Instacart shopping can be a worthwhile endeavor for making extra money.

The Instacart Shopper Role: What Do you Do

The role of an Instacart shopper involves several key responsibilities, including selecting, purchasing, and delivering grocery orders for customers.

There are primarily two categories of Instacart workers: full-service shoppers and in-store shoppers.

  • Full-Service Shoppers: These shoppers use the Instacart app to choose orders they wish to handle and are responsible for both shopping and delivering groceries to the customer.
  • In-Store Shoppers: Differing from full-service shoppers, in-store shoppers are scheduled to work specific shifts with Instacart. Their main task is to pick out groceries for customer orders within the store.

How Much Do Instacart Shoppers Make?

The amount you make as an Instacart shopper will depend on the number of hours you work and the type of order you complete.

The average earnings of an Instacart shopper are $24 an hour, with an upper end of approximately $36. This translates to approximately $7-10 for a full order for a full-service shopper and $14 – $18 an hour for in-store shoppers.

What is the Process Like to Become an Instacart Shopper?

Becoming an Instacart shopper is quite straightforward and can be done in a few simple steps.

The process includes applying through their website or app, confirming eligibility (like being 18 or older and eligible to work in the U.S. or Canada), and passing a background check.

Full-service shoppers need a functioning vehicle and insurance, while in-store shoppers do not. The background check, conducted by a third party, typically completes within 10 days.

Once approved, which also depends on the demand in your area, you can start shopping. The flexibility and different shopper options (shop and deliver, or shop only) make it an accessible opportunity for many.

The Advantages of Working for Instacart

In order to decide whether Instacart is worth it, let’s look at some of the clear advantages of the job.

1. Flexibility

One of the main advantages of Instacart is that it allows for a high degree of flexibility.

If you’re a full-service shopper, you are free to pick and choose which orders you would like to fulfill. This means working whatever hours you wish.

Additionally, as an in-store shopper you are free to work shifts of your own choosing — meaning the job can work alongside your existing schedule!

2. Earning Potential

If you choose to become an Instacart shopper, you can potentially earn a decent amount of extra income!

This is especially the case if you choose orders with higher earnings or work at peak times.

Customers are more likely to shop during the weekend, so if you are willing to work during this time you are likely to receive more orders.

3. Staying Active

An additional benefit of Instacart shopping is that it’s a great way to stay active! Walking around the supermarket means you’re also getting your daily steps in.

4. Instant Cash-Out Option

Instacart also offers an instant cash-out option, which transfers your earnings straight to your bank account with a wait time of only two hours.

The Disadvantages of Working for Instacart

Now let’s take a look at some of the potentially less attractive things about becoming an Instacart shopper.

1. Inconsistent Income

One downside of Instacart shopping is that earnings may be inconsistent due to many different factors influencing earnings.

This can include the season, your location, the time and day, and the app algorithm.

2. Wear and Tear on Personal Vehicle

In addition, if you are delivering groceries this means you are using your own vehicle, which may add up to a significant amount of wear and tear over time.

Instacart doesn’t provide shoppers with vehicles, so this is an important point to keep in mind when signing up.

3. Competition

There may also be a large number of other Instacart shoppers, so you may be in competition with other shoppers for orders depending on where you live.

4. Potential Customer Issues

Lastly, another downside to the job is that an Instacart shopper may have to solve customer issues such as product substitution when the desired product is not available.

Other things To Consider When Applying With Instacart

When applying to be an Instacart shopper, it’s crucial to consider the financial responsibilities that come with it. As a full-service shopper, you’ll be an independent contractor, not an employee. This status requires you to handle your own taxes, which can be a significant aspect of your financial planning.

In addition, keep in mind that all expenses related to your vehicle, including fuel and maintenance, are your responsibility. These expenses should be factored into your calculations of net earnings from your work with Instacart.

Other Jobs Like Instacart

So, what are some other jobs that are similar to Instacart?

Doordash, Amazon Flex, and Uber are some other food delivery services that are worth looking into if Instacart isn’t quite right for you.

These alternatives also require less walking around, if that is a limiting factor for you.