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11 Ways to Make More Money as an Instacart Shopper

11 Ways to Make More Money as an Instacart Shopper

Working as an Instacart shopper can be very lucrative! We’ve found several ways that you can maximize your earnings through this grocery delivery service.

What is an Instacart Shopper?

Instacart allows customers to shop at local grocery stores via their app. Instacart uses independent contractors to be personal Shoppers who fill those orders at a nearby store selected by the customer.

What are the benefits of being an worker for Instacart?

Shopping for Instacart offers a lot of flexibility. You can earn extra money shopping, but you don’t have to work any set hours. Work when you want, and don’t work when you don’t want.

You can choose between being a full-service shopper who shops and delivers orders, or being an in-store shopper that does not handle deliveries. Either way, you have access to a flexible schedule!

One of the coolest features about working for Instacart is their Instant Cashout feature. You can cash out your earnings as soon as 24 hours after delivery, which makes this a great way to earn money at the last minute for an urgent need.

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How do I become a Instacart Shopper?

Becoming an Instacart Shopper is easy! Just click here and enter your information to get started.

How can you make more money as an Instacart shopper?

Obviously, you can make money with this service. However, we’ve identified several tips and strategies you can use to maximize your earnings on that platform.

Maintain a high rating.

Customers have the ability to rate shoppers, and those ratings have a huge impact on your bottom line. Shoppers with the highest ratings have priority access to orders, which means they can earn more money. It’s critically important to understand your rating and keep it high.

You can find your average star rating on the “How Am I Doing?” page. This page will show your average rating over your last 100 orders. It will also include tips and feedback to help you improve your scores.

Be prepared for a great shopping experience.

Before you decide to pick up a batch, make sure that you are ready for a great shopping experience. Make sure that you aren’t personally hungry, angry, lonely or tired as those things can have a detrimental impact on your mental health and performance. Make sure that your phone is charged, your vehicle has gas and you’re ready to go.

Once you select an order, scan the entire list before you start. That will help you plan an efficient route around the store, so that you don’t waste valuable time doubling back for items that you’ve missed.

Communicate with the customer.

When you pick up the order, introduce yourself through a text message in the Shopper app. Be friendly and professional. For example, “Hi there! It’s Amanda, your Instacart Shopper. I’m looking forward to serving you today!”

If there’s a problem, present a solution.

Once the conversation is open, it’s easy to follow up with questions about replacements or out-of-stock items. When a product is out of stock, have a friendly tone and present a reasonable solution. For example, “There’s no peach yogurt in stock today, but I can get strawberry instead. Is that okay?”

Include a sample if you’re prompted to do so.

Customers love samples! Instacart partners with many brands, who can choose to provide a sample product, insert, or both. In-store shoppers are required to fulfill all samples, but Full Service Shoppers can mark them as “not found” when prompted to add them. However, if you do add a sample, you may find that it has a positive impact on your customer rating!

Pay attention to customer feedback.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Instacart implemented a new feature requiring customers to leave feedback for any review under five stars. This is intended to give you specific insight into why you are recieving lower scores and what you can do to fix it.

Dispute low ratings if it was beyond your control.

If you receive a low rating because of something outside of your control, bring it to the attention of Instacart immediately. According to their recent Instacart Shopper news, Instacart will not penalize you for lower reviews caused by something out of your control (such as a lack of store inventory).

Focus on areas with a high amount of batches.

The Instacart platform will also allow you to see nearby areas that may be busier than your area. If there is a space nearby with a higher amount of available batches, you may want to start serving batches in that area instead.

Use your Shopper Community Perks.

Instacart Shoppers have access to a plethora of community perks. As Instacart partners with more retailers, more and more perks become available!

As of this writing, most of of the perks are hidden behind a shopper login screen. However, some of the Instacart perks we were able to identify include:

  • 25% off Sprint Unlimited Plans, plus up to $650 per line to cover switching fees. You’ll also get free access to Hulu, Tidal, Lookout mobile security and Amazon Prime through this plan.
  • 50% discount to Good Sam Roadside Assistance, which offers 24/7 towing, flat tire services, jumpstarts and more.
  • Perkspot gives Instacart shoppers access to discounts on everything from entertainment to pet supplies to electronics!

Be careful about parking.

If you get a parking ticket, you may end up losing more money than you earn. It’s important to be careful as you plan for parking, especially in difficult downtown areas.

In order to find safe parking options, consider these tips from experienced Instacart Shoppers:

  • Call the customer and ask if they know any safe parking spaces.
  • Chat with other Shoppers in advance about hard-to-park places in your city.
  • Invest in equipment that can help you move the order with ease. A portable wagon or other load-bearing device can make a huge difference when you can’t find nearby parking.
  • ParkWhiz and SpotHero can help you find the nearest and cheapest paid parking options… but paying for parking will cut into your revenue, so use this as a last resort if no other safe parking is available.

Get supplies that will help you maximize efficiency.

Many Instacart Shoppers have found that having certain equipment on hand can make the process much faster and help them fill batches more efficiently.

Some of these items include:

  • Phone lanyards, which free up your hands and help you scan products easily. You also don’t have to worry about leaving your phone somewhere in the store (or dropping it and breaking the screen)! Just make sure you choose one that gives you access to your camera, preferably at the bottom of the lanyard so you don’t have to wrestle with the cord.
  • Card lanyards make checkout easier because you don’t have to dig through a purse or wallet to find your payment card. One with a retractable holder works best. You can punch a hole in the card anywhere that is not attached to the holographic images or magnetic strip.
  • Carabiner clips can help you attach water bottles to your cart and help you carry large amounts of groceries at one time.
  • Wireless headphones can empower you to talk to customers or even customer support without needing to use your phone. That way, you can keep shopping and see the order information while you’re talking.
  • Personal chargers, so you don’t have to worry about your phone battery while you shop.
  • Comfy shoes, so you can shop in comfort.
  • Hand sanitizer, to keep you safe from germs.

Ready to become an Instacart Shopper?

If you’re ready to make money as an Instacart Shopper, you can get started here!

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Nicole is the owner and lead researcher for Low Income Relief. She has over 20 years of professional research and writing experience, and she has been solely dedicated to investigating low income topics for the last 10 years. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more. Her work has also been featured by Google for Publishers and other leading industry publications.


Sunday 5th of December 2021

There is NO way to view why I got a low rating AND no way for me to give feedback about low ratings.


Monday 13th of December 2021

I'm sorry to hear that, you could try to chat with Lira, she might be able to help!


Thursday 15th of October 2020

Instacart has not followed through with the comments on ratings below 5 star so we will get a two star and have no idea why.

Hannah Benge

Friday 16th of October 2020

That's got to be very frustrating! We are sorry to hear this - Hannah