15 Things To Know Before Becoming An Instacart Shopper

The gig economy is here to stay and it is only a matter of time before this trend continues to gain momentum.
In the future, you will be able to turn to digital platforms like Uber or Freelancer to make extra money or even create your own gig.

Instacart is one of the most popular gigs out there, with hundreds of thousands of shoppers all over North America. It’s easy to get started, but going into it cold can be surprising.

Forbes: I’m also assuming, as an Instacart shopper, you have a certain amount of time available to you to complete a delivery route.

 You should know. Here are 15 things to think before becoming an Instacart shopper. When you become a shopper, you will be asked to pay a small processing fee of  2.5% of the payment for the order.

15 Things To Know Before Becoming An Instacart Shopper In 2022

1. There Are Two Types Of Instacart Shoppers

The first thing you should be aware of before becoming an Instacart shopper is that they are more of the freelancer type.

The full-service shopper shops and delivers.

* The word “shopper” can be used as a verb. I’ve seen it used that way.
The verb form is the more common usage.

They are not independent contractors and are instead employees, though they are not employees of the city and are not directly employed by the state.

The worker can withdraw money once in two weeks and also is able to pay their wages from their own bank account.

In the same manner, the in-store shoppers just select the food items and bags them. Then they put the items in their appropriate areas.

They are considered independent contractors, not employees, and are not making hourly wages; they are paid weekly; they do not have access to the Instant Cashout feature.

We do think that we still have a good customer base because of the other products we have that appeal to the in-store shopper.

Instacart has created shop only batches which means they are moving toward making shopper roles go away.

2. You Must Be 18 Before Becoming An Instacart Shopper

Instacart doesn’t require a degree, so there are a lot of jobs available. However, Instacart wants them to be 18 and up.

The age minimum for some kinds of work is 18, but that doesn’t mean that you should take it as a rule that people between the ages of 16 and 18 are going to be forced into working as a gig or getting a GED to get by.

It’s recommended that you be over the age of 19+ and have a valid identification before shopping for groceries.

3. Instacart Shoppers Need Special Car Insurance

Buying Instacart groceries should only cost you about 10% of your current car insurance premium, and that’s really a bargain.

It is not illegal to use your car for transportation purposes without having the specific coverage for it. However, any claim could be entirely denied; meaning you are obligated financially.

If you are not currently insured there is a high possibility that you will be denied.

And now that you know if your driver goes above and beyond the call of a driver you will report it to be sure you are fully compensated.

4. You Will Most Likely Not Be An Employee As An Instacart Shopper

Most of the shoppers are independent contractors and they provide all the service. They do not work directly for Instacart and they’re responsible for generating their own sales.

After Instacart cut almost all grocery-store positions, it is expected that their full-service positions could also be cut.

This means that you’ll have to learn how to manage your time and finances as a gig worker and not a company employee.

5. Instacart Shopper Hours Are Flexible

It seems to me like Instacart is mostly for rich people.

Instacart is a website that lets you sign up and get paid to shop at grocery, retail and convenience store stores like Wal-Mart, CVS, Ralphs, Costco, Target, Publix, Safeway, Kohl’s, Kohl’s, etc.

You can register and login at any time and sign in and out as much as you like.

Shopping is not the primary purpose and so I have not been able to commit to shopping as such.

6. Keep Track Of Your Instacart Shopper Earnings For Taxes

One of the most important differences between Instacart shoppers and full-service workers is that shoppers are only paid when a customer selects a product and makes a purchase. If a shopper selects a product but the customer does not go on to make a purchase, they do not receive payment. This is similar to the freelance model.

A fully-employed citizen gets their full salaries and benefits, plus a company-provided pension. However, a tax-paying contract worker rarely gets to keep 100% of their money, but instead gets to keep a small portion of their salary and benefits. Also, contract workers do not usually get their own company-provided pension.

It is very unfortunate that the gig economy is not being treated equally by the government and by employers, even though it is not a traditional employer-employee relationship.

I think you really need to sit down with your advisor early on in the first semester and have a conversation about these things. I think that you’ll be surprised about how much, and how quickly, it all adds up!

If you don’t keep track and don’t pay taxes, you might end up with a shocking tax bill in the thousands of dollars if you were a successful shopper.

7. You Don’t Really Have A Uniform As An Instacart Shopper

I get to dress however I want on Instacart, which is very liberating. I can be very casual, or very formal. I try to make sure I’m comfortable, and that I’m not wearing my work uniform.

Some of you received a t-shirt during onboarding, and some did not. More reliably, Instacart welcomes new hires with a branded lanyard.

We do not recommend purchasing a keychain wallet, it is not user friendly and it is super expensive (we highly recommend a Shopper card wallet).

8. But Instacart Shoppers Do Need Insulated Bags

They are a must-have when shopping on Instacart for one reason. When you’re shopping on Instacart, you have to use your own bag. You can use a reusable bag. Sometimes, you can use a bag. You can use something with a handle (if you have it). But you have to use your own bag. If you’re not comfortable with this, I can understand. However, I have been using Instacart for so long that I’m used to this, and I enjoy it.

You can also shop from Target and get free same-day shipping, and collect payment at the store.

When you hit $30 in earnings, the company then withdraws the money from your account to pay for the bags.

If you have an insulated bag you can use it. It is also a good idea to buy extra bags to leave there, and you’ll be able to use them to pack sandwiches, drinks, or other items in grocery bags. If you don’t have bags like these, you can buy some from Amazon.

9. Instacart Shoppers Get To Skip The Lines

You don’t need to worry about rushing to the market, and ordering your delivery on time, because this app can bring you the best dishes at all times. It has all the food that you want in one place, and it’s just a click away.

Shoppers can actually save money due to the way the delivery orders are made, so they don’t have to spend as much time waiting in line.

While some stores have their own dedicated checkout lanes, others let shoppers check out as little as five minutes beforehand. Even some stores let customers come in as late as they want.

10. Your Instacart Shopper Rating Is Super Important For Success

At the end of every Instacart delivery, there’s a ratings and review section where the shopper is able to review the delivery itself.

Shopping can be a pretty stressful experience, but there are ways to make it a little less stressful.

I don’t know. I am too tired to think about it right now.

You get a higher rating, you get first access to higher batches when they go live.

Better rated shoppers are picking the other products. That’s why you don’t see the product you’re interested in as an option.

There’s a long way to go until we get a fully functional, self-driving car, but it’s not too early to start thinking about how it can and will change our lives.

Good customer service, then, is an absolute must when shopping with Instacart. You have two main ways to improve your rating on Instacart.

11. Opening With An Instacart Shopper Greeting Is A Plus

It is always nice to have a simple greeting when you go shopping for your grocery list.

In the Amazon Seller Central, you can upload your product photos, description and images. You can also upload detailed product information that might not be available on the merchant’s website. As a Merchant, you can choose to provide these details only for your product listings, or you can provide the same information for all your products.

It’s important to let your customers know you’re happy to help and let them know how the project went. You don’t want to start a new project if the first one didn’t go well.

If they don’t respond, it’s not a big deal; they’re not interested. But if you let them know you are there for them, then their mind is more open to you. The important thing is that you reached out.

12. Instacart Shoppers Can See Tips Before Accepting Batches

You don’t have to listen to every single person who works for you, but you can make decisions based on the feedback you receive.

The tips you’ve sent in will determine the likelihood that you’ll be on the next round.

If you’d like, you can see your earnings before accepting an order, for that item.

13. You Can Reset Your Instacart Shopper Location As Needed

Instacart’s apps give shoppers and customers the option of shopping in any of its stores at any time.

With the free online store on Amazon, you can add items and buy items from different sellers.

Some batches might have been delayed due to traffic issues in your area, while other batches may not have even been produced yet.

The location information on the product is fully independent from location. You are free to change any location to any other, even if there is no inventory for that location.

14. Instacart Shoppers Should Never Give Out Personal Info To Customers

The Instacart Shopper app lets you send voice, text and location messages to shoppers without giving out your personal information.

Make sure you keep your phone number private and limit your app’s access only to your Shopper app; this prevents scammers from getting into your Shopper account.

A customer contacting you about an issue that you don’t have a record of is a clue that you’re not getting enough business.

15. Leave Your Partners, Friends and Kids At Home As An Instacart Shopper

One of its main reasons for not allowing its shoppers to have helpers is because it knows that, even if the person helping out wasn’t officially your friend, they’d still be paying you like one.

Yes, but if you’re putting it out there to the entire world then I would venture to say that if you are an engineer and you design this thing that you’re going to have to be held to a higher standard.

The potential lawsuits could hurt the company from a legal aspect, as well as the possibility of someone getting seriously hurt.

You can also read our post on whether or not Instacart delivers to apartments. To know more, you can also read our posts on if Instacart hires felons and if Instacart background check is required.


Becoming an Instacart shopper means committing a lot of information to memory to help you make better and faster decisions.

If you learn how to shop and quickly become a regular shopper for Instacart, you could possibly get paid every single time that you login.

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About the author

I have always been a shopaholic. A lot of times my questions went unanswered when it came to retail questions, so I started Talk Radio News. - Caitlyn Johnson

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