11/12/2019 2 Comments
Instacart is all over the news these days. The company has come under fire from employees and shoppers alike! Shortly after a workers strike the company decided to cut their pay in the form of deleting a quality bonus! Co-incidence? Maybe, Maybe not. Either way, there is definitely a lot going on with Instacart these days!
So, whats the big deal and how does this gig work? We spent a week as an Instacart shopper in order to answer these questions! Here's the rundown.
As with most of this Gig's you need to sign up first and wait for materials in the mail before you can begin. We signed up and had our package a few days later. In the mail you receive a debit card to pay for the groceries and a lanyard with an Instacart logo on it. Once we got these we received a message requesting we buy insulated bags in order to deliver the groceries or provide photos of bags if we had them already. Luckily from of last gig review of DoorDash we had the bag they gave us. We sent in the picture and we were approved for work!
As we found out there are 2 types ways to make money. First, you can sign up for hours, go to the local store and work till your alotted time is up. Second, orders will pop up sporadically on the app. When this happens you can accept it and complete the order. Orders are either delivery only or full service.
1. Full service- this is when you go to the store, purchase the items needed, then deliver.
2. Delivery only- this is when the in-store shopper (an employee of Instacart who completes the orders and places on racks in the front of the store) does the shopping and you just go to pick up the bags, scan, and deliver.
We did both! For these orders we did not sign up for a time slot and just accepted them as they came up on the app.
The delivery only was very easy. After accepting the order we went to the store. In the front right corner was a rack and a cooler where the bags were held. We scanned our 4 bags and off we went. This delivery was a bit of a hike, 19 miles, but we were going that way anyway! We dropped off the bags on the porch as instructed, scanned them again and went on our way. What did we get for our efforts? The payout for that order was 28$, not bad considering the process took about 45 mins.
A few days later we picked up a full service order. This was fairly easy as well. The groceries are pictured on the Instacart App. You shop for the items, scanning each as you go, then you pay and head out to deliver. If there is an issue with a product that's not available the customer will sometimes leave instructions for a replacement item or you can text them and ask what they would like instead. This seems to not be a frequent occurrence.
We got our order completed and headed out. As we were just arriving to our location ( 4 miles) we received a text from the customer asking to leave groceries on the porch and knock on the door. So that's what we did. Overall, not a bad experience! Until it came to getting paid! The order we accepted was for 14$ ( took us 50 mins to complete) but we only received 12$. We reached out to customer service and they stated that the pay shown when you accept the gig has a tip included. However, the customer can delete that tip up to 72 hours after delivery without providing any reason. That's what happened here. We received less than expected even though the delivery was accurate and timely. Not cool to think your getting paid one amount and end up with less!
What about signing up for hours? How does that work? We found that out also!
sWe signed up for a two hour block from 11am-1pm on a Sunday. Heres what happened. In our area there are 2 store that do Instacart. While they are in the same region as far as Instacart is concerned they are 45 minutes away from each other. We had received a message stating we would be told where to go before our shift started. This did not occur, so we guessed and drove to the store we thought would be the busiest. Once there we waited for the shift to start. As soon as 11 hit, the app came on and told us that we should go to the other store ( that area was red which means it's more likely top be busy). Bummer!!!
Since that store was so far away it would take half our shift to get there! We decided to hang tight and hope for the best! Let's just say the results were not stellar. In the 2 hours only one order came in and it was for the store we were not near so we did not accept it. This order came in with only 15 minutes left is our shift! We didn't want to waste anymore time! So while we did only try this once we would suggest you stay away from signing up for hours. This gets into more of a job mentality than a gig anyway.The whole point of a gig is to work when you want, not to sign up for a time block so you have to sit at the store. You should be on an hourly wage if that's the case!
Would we recommend this gig? Yes and No!
When you treat this like a gig then it can be worth it. The pay is decent if you pick the right orders. If you need a few extra bucks then signup, download the app and take an order here or there when they pop up. DO NOT however count on orders coming, treat these as a bonus source of income, not a reliable one.
DO NOT try to treat this like a job, it's not. No Gigs are meant to be a job or else the would be called jobs! Don't sign up to work hours that you wont get paid for, that's crazy! Your time is valuable, treat it as such!
SO, INSTACART IS A VIABLE GIG, BUT CAN BECOME AN INSTA-SCAM IF YOU TREAT IT LIKE A JOB.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about our experience, we would be happy to share! We hope you found this information useful! Please pass on to anyone who would benefit form reading!
A little bit about me! I'm a family man with a lovely wife and three awesome boys. I have a bit of an entrepreneur bug. I started and sold my own company twice ( small businesses but the experience was valuable), I've dabbled in real estate, been an Ebay reseller, and also spent many years in management roles which is my current stream of income ( plus a few side streams I've put together). I'd say all in all I'm your typical guy trying to make a better life for his Family.