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Reply to "Instacart"

I’ve worked Lyft, Uber, Postmates, Uber Eats, a food delivery service called Caviar (similar to Eat24 and Grubhub), and yes, Instacart. In evaluating them, I compared the average money I made (including tips) to the time spent actually working for it (not just time spent using the apps, which can be misleading). It came out to: Lyft, $26/hr; Uber, $25/hr; Postmates, $17/hr; Caviar & Uber Eats, $15/hr; and Instacart, $12/hr.

Those numbers can be a little misleading, because they don’t tell how many actual “work hours” are really available. For example, you can make money 24/7, 365 with Lyft and Uber in any serious metropolitan area. All of the other apps rely on businesses (restaurants and grocery stores) being open, so actual work hours are limited. Some might argue that fast food drive-throughs and some grocers are open 24 hours, but that’s more exception than rule, at least here in the Puget Sound area. And how many MacDonalds or Taco Bell drive-throughs, or grocery stores in the midst of restocking do you want to hang out in after midnight? Right.

I think there may be regional variations on these sort of results, but if I had to work a share industry shopping app for extra money again, I would do Postmates. There’s more work usually, around here anyway, because Postmates delivers just about anything local stores sell, from office supplies to groceries to restaurant food. Their app/card combo is easy to use, the dispatch has gotten much more efficient, and the pick-ups/drop-offs tend to be quick and easy.

And that is the big difference: how your time is spent. With Instacart, you spend so much time in grocery stores running around trying to find specific products, negotiating with customers when the store is out of their favorite product, navigating a sometimes confusing app, and after that’s all done, getting the groceries through traffic to the customer...

Instacart’s dispatch has probably improved since I used it last a couple years ago, but it was the key issue that caused me to drop the service. I would be called to pick up groceries at stores that were completely on the other side of Seattle, sometimes during rush hour. Un-fun, on many levels, and not worth my time or the wear on my vehicle. There’s my 2 & 1/2 cents...

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