I do some shopping for them off and on. Honestly, I have only done it two times but I have had a decent experience each time. You get paid more if you sign up to do both the shopping and the delivery but you also have the option of doing one or the other.

Out of the two orders I got, one was just pick up and deliver and the other one was shop and deliver.

Both times went smoothly and I had no issues.

You won't make a killing with Instacart, but it is a great way to earn some cash on the side.

@Elaine Dalton for the "shopping" part, it will have to be with a store that is partnered with Instacart. I know in my area, the Walmart's are not but if the Walmart near you is, then it should work. The shopper only part is more like a job in that they pay you by the hour.

If Walmart is not a partner, I have noticed that a lot of smaller more local grocery stores tend to partner with them so that might ultimately be where you would have to go although that would only work if there was one near you.

@rtms77 They pay by direct deposit into your linked bank account, or you can cash out instantly for a small fee directly to a debit card.

As far as I am aware, they do not provide any type of insurance. What type of insurance you need would probably be a question for your auto insurance company.

You are responsible for your own taxes with Instacart. Because you are considered a sub-contractor, you get paid the full amount and then have to pay your own taxes.

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...

So I did Instacart for about 3 1/2 years and this is my review. It’s an easy way to make extra money on your own schedule similar to other gigs such as Postmates, Uber/Lyft, etc.

As others have mentioned don’t expect to get rich on this job. My first two years I was making an extra $500-$1000+/month but it’s slowed down since then dramatically. I slowed down over the past year. This is due in part to the pay going way down due to saturation of too many shoppers on the platform/fluctuations in payouts etc. 

I've been doing Instacart for about two years. My honest review:

+ Schedule flexibility. + No people (just groceries) in my car. + Most people tip well, especially on rainy days. + DEFINITELY rounds out the budget - cash-flowed a trip to Disneyland two years ago and I've paid down $8000 in debt over the last year.  + I commute over an hour to my primary job, so picking up a batch or two on my way home makes my commute (gas and tolls) tax deductible. + I make enough from my primary job to not need to withhold.  + I now know where to find *everything* in *every* local store, most parking lot- accessible wifi, and back road alternative routes to everything in 7 zones around my region.

- App can be buggy, but has stabilized a bit since moving to the App Store.  - Shopping speed metrics directly conflict with good customer service; you can shop at a rate of 50 seconds an item OR confer with your customer about their preferred replacement - you can't do both.

Overall, more pluses than minuses for my purposes.  

Very interesting reviews. I use Instacart to have my groceries shopped and delivered, and have thought about working with them when I get a car, but I thought more seriously about it... NOT!! I don't do my own grocery shopping!!  LOL  

I like having the groceries delivered, but my shoppers/drivers tend to shop neighborhood stores. Normally, I would not. Some are very inexperienced as shoppers and what you get may not be exactly what you ordered. Food prices are too expensive (can't take advantage of all the store specials); extra charges make it difficult for poor, disabled and senior folks to get their food home. I tip all my shoppers/drivers, and they seem to be some of the nicest people ever who always have a minute to chat if need be. 

Anyway, just wanted to add my two cents.    Gotta go get ready to watch Daniel (my youngest grandson) play JV football, on his team that may have made one touchdown this semester (last game is 11/5). Daniel, at 14, stands about 6'1", weighs 230, and wears a size 13 shoe!! Handsome young man who is also in his school's Navy JROTC, as well as his 16 y/o sister who is a Commander!! and just got accepted into a high school/college dual program!! Wow!! There is nothing like family!! 

Continue having a Thoughtful and Thankful Thursday!! 

Since I started delivering for Instacart some time ago, they have implemented something in their app that allows you to pick up any extra orders that people scheduled to work can't do.

Since then, I have never scheduled myself for shifts but rather just picked up any orders that I had time to do.

I really like the flexibility this allows and it means you can choose to do delivery only orders or do orders that include having to shop for the items.

This way, if the distance for delivery is too far, you can just reject the order and it doesn't affect your stats at all.

I don't know if this feature is available everywhere, but it is in the Fargo, ND market and I really like it.

ON A CONTINUING BASIS, YOU SHALL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR, AND TO THE EXTENT REQUIRED BY LAW:

A. SECURING AND PAYING FOR WORKER'S COMPENSATION INSURANCE;

B. SECURING AND PAYING DISABILITY INSURANCE, HEALTH INSURANCE, AND/OR OTHER SIMILAR INSURANCE;

C. SECURING AND PAYING UNEMPLOYMENT OR OTHER SIMILAR INSURANCE CONTRIBUTIONS;

D. SECURING AND PAYING ALL NECESSARY LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR YOU AND ANY PERSONNEL;

E. SECURING AND PAYING FOR AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE IN COVERAGE AMOUNTS CONSISTENT WITH LEGAL REQUIREMENTS, INCLUDING ANY REQUIRED NO FAULT AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE OR COMMERCIAL LIABILITY INSURANCE; AND

F. WITHHOLDING INCOME AND REPORTING WAGES, OTHER SIMILAR TAXES, OR SOCIAL SECURITY, ON BEHALF OF YOURSELF AND ANY PERSONNEL AS LEVIED AND/OR REQUIRED BY ANY FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL, OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY.

YOU UNDERSTAND THAT INSTACART DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY INSURANCE LISTED ABOVE AND THAT YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO RECEIVE SUCH INSURANCE COVERAGE FROM INSTACART. YOU FURTHER UNDERSTAND THAT ITEMS LISTED IN THIS SECTION (FOR EXAMPLE, COMMERCIAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE) MAY BE REQUIRED IN YOUR JURISDICTION, AND YOU AGREE THAT IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DETERMINE IF ANY OF THE ABOVE IS REQUIRED. YOU AGREE TO ABIDE WITH ALL APPLICABLE LAWS, STATUTES, AND REGULATIONS AS THEY RELATE TO THIS SECTION.

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