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How To Deliver For Instacart: Everything You Need to Know

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If you’re looking for a way to make some extra money, delivering for Instacart may be the perfect opportunity for you.

This article will discuss how to deliver for Instacart, who is eligible, how much money you can make, and how to get started.

If you’re interested in becoming an Instacart Shopper, keep reading.

Who Can Deliver for Instacart?

It’s not difficult to qualify as a shopper on the Instacart platform.

So let’s take a look at what the company requires.

Instacart Shopper Requirements

To become an Instacart Shopper, you must meet the following requirements.

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Have a valid driver’s license and insurance
  • Have access to a vehicle that can fit at least two grocery bags

You will also need to pass a background check.

Once Instacart approves your application, you can start shopping for customers in your area.

The background check looks for any criminal convictions in the last seven years.

It also checks for driving offenses.

In addition, it is helpful if you are familiar with the area in which you will be shopping and delivering.

Available Areas

Instacart delivery is available in many areas across North America.

Since there are thousands of areas where you can drive for Instacart, it’s best to check the Instacart website.

You shouldn’t run into much trouble.

Instacart is available in almost every area of the United States.

Example cities include the following.

  • San Francisco
  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Orlando

Is It Worth It To Deliver for Instacart?

There are many other grocery shopping delivery apps available.

You might wonder why you should choose Instacart over other options.

vector graphic showing how to delivery for instacart - a driver dropping off an order to a customer

Delivering for Instacart vs Other Grocery Delivery Services

Instacart competes against other delivery companies like DoorDash, Amazon Fresh, Shipt, Uber Eats, Gopuff, and Walmart Delivery.

Let’s review how driving for Instacart stacks up against these other potential options.

Instacart vs DoorDash:

DoorDash is a food delivery service that partners with restaurants.

They deliver anything from fast food to fine dining.

Instacart, on the other hand, only delivers groceries.

Instacart vs Amazon Fresh:

Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery and pickup service offered by Amazon.

It’s available in select areas of the United States.

However, you must be an Amazon Prime member to use it.

Instacart does not have this requirement.

Instacart vs Shipt:

Shipt is a grocery delivery service that partners with stores like Rite Aid, Target, CVS, and Petco.

They offer same-day delivery in select areas.

Instacart is a grocery delivery and pickup service that partners with stores like Costco, Kroger, Safeway, and Wegmans.

Instacart vs Uber Eats:

Like DoorDash, UberEats partners with restaurants.

They offer fast and reliable delivery in select areas.

Again, you won’t go to restaurants when delivering for Instacart.

Instacart vs Gopuff:

Gopuff is an app that delivers convenience store items like snacks, drinks, and cigarettes.

They operate in select areas and deliver 24/7.

Instacart only delivers groceries and operates during grocery store hours.

Instacart vs Walmart Delivery:

Walmart offers grocery delivery and pickup services in select markets across the United States.

You must have a Walmart account to use it.


Flexible hours:

One of the best things about being an Instacart Shopper is the flexibility in terms of your hours.

You can work whenever you want as long as you meet the minimum hour requirement.

No experience needed:

Another great thing about being an Instacart Shopper is that you don’t need any experience.

Instacart will provide you with all the training you need to be successful.

Additional income:

Being an Instacart Shopper allows you to make extra money.

If you have some free time and are looking for a way to make some extra cash, consider delivering for Instacart.

Good pay: It’s a decent additional income, too.

You can make up to $25/hour, and sometimes more if you’re working during peak hours.

Plus, you also get tips from customers.

Over time, those tips will add up to a significant amount.

No set schedule:

You don’t have to commit to a set schedule as an Instacart Shopper.

You can work as much or as little as you want.

It’s flexible enough to change your availability if something important comes up.

Meet new people:

You’ll get to meet new people working this gig.

You can meet other shoppers, as well as customers.

It’s a great way to socialize and make new friends.

Get some exercise:

One final pro of being an Instacart Shopper is that it’s an excellent way to get some exercise.

You’ll walk and move around a lot, which is great for your health.

You can even listen to music or podcasts while you work to make the time go by faster.


Demanding hours:

One of the biggest cons of being an Instacart Shopper is the demanding hours.

You’re expected to be available for a minimum of 20 hours per week.

You could end up working more than you expected to if there’s a lot of demand.

No benefits:

Instacart doesn’t provide its shoppers with any benefits.

You’re not eligible for health insurance, paid time off, or any other benefits that come with a traditional job.


There’s a potential for injuries.

You could hurt yourself while carrying heavy groceries or walking long distances.

Limited areas to work in:

Although Instacart is available in most areas, you may live in a small town.

There may not be enough work to make it worth your while.

Or, you might need to drive a long way into a nearby city to find the work that does make it worth the time and effort.

It’s hard work:

Being an Instacart Shopper is hard work.

You’ll be on your feet for long periods and lifting heavy boxes.

It’s not an easy gig, but it is rewarding.

Slow times:

One final con is that the pay can be low during slow times.

You might only make $15/hour or less during these periods.

Plus, you don’t get tips when there are no orders.


Being an Instacart Shopper is a decent side gig.

It gives you a flexible way to make more money each month.

While not for everyone, it should work well for you if you don’t need a full-time income.

How Much Money Do You Make Delivering for Instacart?

The amount of money you make depends on how many hours you work and how fast you can complete each delivery.

vector graphic showing an instacart shopper checking out groceries for the post how do instacart shoppers pay for groceries

Typical Rates

The average Instacart Shopper makes $15 – $25 per hour.

If you work during peak hours, you could make up to $30 per hour.

A few factors can affect how much money you make as an Instacart Shopper.

These include the following.

  • The number of hours you work
  • How fast you can complete each delivery
  • The tips you receive from customers

The number of hours worked: The more hours you work, the more money you make.

So if you can only work a few hours per week, you won’t make as much money as someone who can work 20 or more hours per week.

How fast you can complete each delivery: If you can complete each delivery quickly, you will complete more deliveries and earn more money.

Typical Tips

The tips you receive from customers: Customers have the option to leave a tip for you as their Instacart Shopper.

The average tip is $0.50-$0.75 per delivery.

Of course, some customers may leave a larger tip if they’re happy with the service.

Here are some ways to improve your ability to get tips.

  • Be polite and professional with customers
  • Finish each delivery quickly
  • Pack each customer’s order with quality
  • Make sure the customer is happy with the order before you leave

Customers will be more likely to leave a tip if they feel like you were polite and professional.

If you can get groceries to customers as fast as possible, you’ll make them happy campers.

It should result in higher tip amounts.

Customers appreciate it if you take care in packing their orders.

The process includes ensuring that the items don’t get damaged.

Secure all items, deliver them safely, and expect generous tips.

Overall, tips will increase if you simply focus on leaving each customer satisfied with their experience.

Double-check that you found all items and that customers feel good about your service.

You should earn a decent wage as an Instacart Shopper by following these steps.

You can make even more money if you can work during peak hours and focus on higher tips from customers.

How To Deliver for Instacart

Let’s now help you understand how to get started as an Instacart Shopper.

We’ll cover your responsibilities, how to apply and how to earn the most money.

vector graphic showing how to delivery for instacart - a driver dropping off an order to a customer


As an Instacart Shopper, you’re responsible for picking up and delivering groceries to customers’ homes.

You will use the Instacart Shopper app to receive orders, select items from the store, and deliver them to the customer’s door.

Other responsibilities include the following.

  • Picking up items from the store within the designated time frame
  • Checking for accuracy of items against the customer’s order
  • Bagging items securely for transport
  • Transporting items to the customer’s home
  • Delivering groceries in a professional and courteous manner

What You Need To Get Started

To become an Instacart Shopper, you must be 18 years old and have a reliable vehicle.

You will also need to pass a background check.

How to Apply

Are you interested in applying to become an Instacart driver?

Visit the company website and fill out the online application.

It will ask you to provide your personal information, contact details, and availability.

Once you submit your application, you will hear back from Instacart within a few days.

How To Manage Your Schedule

You have the flexibility to choose when you want to work.

You can log into the app and view available orders in your area.

Once you accept an Instacart order, you will have two hours to complete it.

How To Make the Most Earnings

The following tips will help you maximize your earnings and manage your schedule.

Try to shop during peak hours.

Peak times give you the chance to choose from the most orders.

You will earn the most money by getting order after order.

It’s better to do this than wait for orders in your car during slow times.

Join a batch.

Batching is when Instacart will group multiple orders together inside the Instacart app.

You can complete these orders during the same shopping trip.

Doing this allows you to make more money per hour.

Helpful Tips

Plan your route before you start.

Doing so will help you save time and ensure you deliver the orders in the most efficient way possible.

Map out the store.

Know where everything is so you can quickly grab the items on the customer’s list.

If you stay in the same location day after day, you’ll start to learn the local store’s layout.

Try to shop at the same stores, so you don’t waste time in unfamiliar stores.

Remain courteous and professional with customers.

Your customers will rate you on your performance.

Always focus on staying friendly and helpful.

You may run into challenges sometimes.

For example, is an item out of stock?

Does the customer want to cancel their order?

Contact the customer service team in these cases.

You can do this by clicking on the “Help” button in the app.

They will assist you and provide a solution.

Wrapping Up

Now you know how to deliver for Instacart.

If you are looking for a gig that allows you to work on your own time, this could become the perfect job.

Becoming an Instacart personal Shopperis a nice way to make money on your schedule.

Get started today by applying with Instacart.

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