Business, Finance

How Much Do Instacart Shoppers Make?

Instacart has been around in the US since 2012 and it currently boasts of having 500,000+ shoppers today. 

It is one of the perfect gigs for people that love grocery shopping and also know how to drive.

Shoppers in Canada are not the highest paid but they sure make a decent income from the platform very often.

And the best part about Instacart shopping is that you get to be your boss. Isn’t that something everyone desires?

A large number of experienced Instacart shoppers have reported that they make good money on the platform. 

Unfortunately, the reverse is the case with some uninformed individuals that tried out Instacart for the fun of it.

This often makes it very confusing when trying to find out exactly how much Instacart shoppers make.

But I am here for the rescue. In this article, I will give you an in-depth answer to the question of how much Instacart shoppers make. You will also get to know the pros and cons of doing Instacart shopping.

So let’s get started!

How Much Money Do Instacart Shoppers Make?

Let me start by saying that no job in the world can make you rich overnight.

Yes, I need to say this because people sometimes have unrealistic expectations when getting into a gig like shopping. 

When I did some background research, I realized that a lot of factors can affect how much an individual shopper makes.  

On average, the majority of shoppers across the US and Canada make the following:

  • $500 to $750 every week
  • $100 to $150 every day
  • $15 to $20 per hour
  • $7 to $10 per shopping batch and delivery
  • $5 per delivery made

What Determines Your Pay as a Shopper?

Factors like location, role, the number of completed orders and speed of completion determine how much you can make as an shopper.

Let me explain each of these factors separately so that you can understand things better.

  • Location: This is probably the number one factor that determines how much money you can make as a shopper. If the demand in your location is very high, you will always get the chance to do more deliveries and thereby make more money. As of today, the shopping service is available in 5,500 Canadian and US cities.
  • Role: Typically, they offers two ways by which you can make money on the platform. First, you can serve as an In-Store shopper who delivers batches and gets paid per hour. Also, you can take up the role of a Full-service shopper who performs the shopping and delivery altogether. This option lets you keep 100% of the customer tips while you still get paid per order and per week.
  • The number of completed orders: It doesn’t matter whether you are an In-store or full-service Instacart shopper, the number of orders you complete or deliver will determine the overall amount you earn.
  • Speed of completion: This is more like a secret “trick” that experienced shoppers have discovered over the years. It is said that you will get to see more demands if your record shows that you are very fast at completing orders.
  • Referral bonuses: There is a referral program that helps shoppers to make more money. Upon registration, each shopper gets a unique referral code assigned to them. When other people use your code to register, you will be given a referral bonus. This also serves as another means of making more money as a shopper.

How Do I Get Paid as an Instacart Shopper?

All Instacart shoppers get paid every week via direct bank deposits.

The Instant Cashout option is available to Full-service Instacart shoppers that have completed at least 5 shopping batches.

As a matter of fact, full-service shoppers can subsequently cash out their earnings five times per day with the Instant cash option. This applies only when the earnings balance is over $5.

Meanwhile, the maximum amount of money you can withdraw from Instacart in a day is $3,000 with the Instant cashout option.

The Pros and Cons of Instacart Shopping

Just like every other job out there, Instacart shopping also comes with its pros and cons.

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of becoming an Instacart shopper so that you can decide whether it is the right gig for you:

The Pros of Instacart Shopping

  • You get to be your Boss (i.e., you set your work hours)
  • You get to stay active by moving around
  • Referral bonus
  • You can quit the job at any time
  • Payment comes in every week (plus it’s easy and fast)
  • You always see new products at stores before other people
  • It’s a good way to discover the outdoors

The Cons of Instacart Shopping

  • It is purely physical labour
  • Occasional encounters with difficult customers
  • You pay for car maintenance with your earnings
  • It’s more like a side hustle
  • You don’t control when orders come up
  • Staying focused on the job is hard
  • You are restricted to certain working areas

Is Instacart Safe?

Instacart is a popular grocery delivery service that has gained a lot of traction in recent years. 

But with the rise of online shopping, some customers may be wondering if it is safe. 

This is a question on the minds of many people who are looking for a convenient grocery app to deliver for. 

The short answer to this question is yes. Instacart is a safe and secure platform for both customers and shoppers. 

As a matter of fact, the company uses advanced encryption to protect your information and complies with all federal and provincial laws. 

In addition, they offers worker’s compensation insurance for in-store shoppers. 

This coverage protects you against work-related hazards and gives you peace of mind while using the platform.

Whether you’re a customer or a shopper, you can rest assured that Instacart is a safe place to do business.

Instacart Requirements for shoppers

Now that you know how much shoppers make and can now decide whether Instacart is safe, let’s look at the requirements of becoming an shopper.

To be an shopper in Canada, ensure that you meet the following requirement:

  • Be above 18 years old
  • Reside in a Canadian province (excluding the territories)
  • Be fit enough to lift 25kg of groceries
  • Have easy access to a car (preferably your vehicle)
  • Be eligible to work or take up a job in Canada
  • Have direct access to a smartphone with an updated IOS or Android OS
  • Be ready to accept the Terms and Conditions

How to Become an Instacart Shopper

Now that you have gone through the requirements of becoming an shopper, it is time to know how you can become one.

You should already know by now that Instacart is a platform that lets you make money by shopping and delivering groceries for other people.

To get started, all you have to do is download the Instacart app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

After downloading the app, the next thing is to sign-up. To do this, you will have to provide the necessary information.

If you are planning on becoming a full-service shopper, you will need to provide a valid driver’s license.

After you provide all the necessary information, a background check will be conducted by Instacart.

Once your registration is fully completed, you will then have the option to earn money as a full-service or In-store shopper on the Instacart platform.

Bear in mind that the role you choose to play will determine how much money you make.

Instacart Shoppers Earnings Vs Other Grocery Delivery Companies

The table below shows a comparison of the hourly earnings of shoppers to that of other grocery delivery companies.

Delivery CompanyAverage Pay Per Hour
Instacart$15 – $20
Costco CanadaC$18.03
Cornershop$13 – $16
Doordash$2 – $10+
Grocery Gateway$19 – $21
Amazon Whole foods$15 – $19

It is clear from the above table that shoppers are earning a similar amount as the staff of other grocery delivery companies.

However, I feel like you should also consider the following factors before choosing which company to work for.

  • Insurance coverage
  • Earning opportunities
  • Eligibility
  • Customer tips possession
  • Payment Schedule


Final Thoughts

Instacart is a great way to make some extra money. You can work whenever you want, and sometimes you get to choose the orders you want to fulfill. 

However, there are no guarantees when it comes to how much you’ll make per hour as an Instacart shopper. 

In general, shoppers can make around $15-$20 per hour. However, this can vary based on several factors, such as the location you’re working in and the number of deliveries you complete. 

So if you’re looking to make some extra cash by shopping for other people, Instacart is worth considering. 

Hopefully, this article has helped you to understand how you can make money on Instacart and how much you can make as an Instacart shopper.

How Much Do Shoppers Make?: FAQs 

How much does Instacart pay per hour?

This is generally the first question that everyone asks when introduced to Instacart.

On average, the typical pay of Instacart shoppers is $15 to $20 per hour in Canada.

What documents do I need to sign up?

You will mostly need to have the following:

  • Valid driver’s licence
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Banking information (to set up direct deposit for getting paid)

How long is my background check going to take on Instacart?

Normally, an Instacart background check shouldn’t take more than 10 business days.

However, random issues like temporary court closures and high volume can sometimes cause unprecedented delays.

Do I pay for groceries myself on Instacart?

No, you do not pay with your own money. Instacart has a customized payment card that is given to all of its shoppers after signup. This is the card you will be using at all times to pay for groceries.

Can I take my kid with me to do Instacart?

That is totally against the Instacart policy and you can get deactivated for doing so.

You are not allowed to bring anyone (including kids) with you whenever you are doing Instacart shopping.

Does Instacart pay for gas?

No, Instacart will not pay for your gas. Each shopper works as an independent contractor.

This means you will have to pay for your gas and car maintenance by yourself.

Can you get fired for inactivity?

Of course, your account will get deactivated or removed if you have been inactive for so long.

You have to understand that Instacart has 600,000+ active shoppers and the last thing they would want to keep is a “dormant” account.

Can you make $1000 a week with Instacart?

Yes, you can make that much in a week. If you are willing to put in the extra effort, you can earn up to $1,000 a week or even more.

Does Instacart punish you for not accepting batches?

Unconfirmed sources claim that Instacart often penalizes shoppers for rejecting batches.

It is said that Instacart might not send you batch requests for 20-30 minutes after you reject an active batch request.

What can get you deactivated from Instacart?

There are dozens of situations that can lead to your deactivation on Instacart. Check them out below.

  • Low customer ratings
  • Incorrect alcohol delivery (in legally permissible areas)
  • Too many cancellations of active orders
  • Giving customers paper receipts
  • Being rude to customers (being unprofessional)
  • Using an Instacart batch grabber app
  • Persistent lateness in the completion of orders
  • Failed background check
  • Not having up-to-date car insurance
  • Breaking the law while doing Instacart shopping
  • Having multiple shopper accounts
  • Incorrect prescription deliveries (or leaving prescription orders unattended)
  • Tampering with food or jeopardizing its safety
  • Bringing people with you while shopping
  • Marking orders as completed when they are not

Do Instacart shoppers make a lot of money?

Well, it depends on your idea of “Big” money. In the highest-paying US cities, Instacart shoppers make an average of $13.88 per hour. 

And also in Canada, Instacart shoppers make around $700+ every week doing 8-hour shifts per day.

The most important thing to know is that your total earnings depend on the number of orders or delivery you get to complete.

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About John Adebisi

John Adebisi is a CPA, FCCA and MBA holder with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting & Finance. He has over a decade of experience in writing personal and business finance content for audiences across North America, Europe, the UK and Africa. In addition to his writing experience, he also has a strong background in financial research and analysis, giving him a unique perspective of the financial markets. John derives pleasure in helping people make smart financial decisions, and he believes that knowledge and experience can be valuable resources for anyone who wants to learn how to manage their money.

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