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Instacart Shop Only Orders: What They Are and How They Work

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Instacart has quickly become a beloved company to both consumers and employees alike.

The opportunity to hire out your grocery shopping, or be the one to do the grocery shopping as a side hustle is an opportunity that is hard to pass up.

Like all great companies, Instacart continues to roll out new policies and services.

One of which is the shop-only order option.

This article will dive into the specifics of shop-only orders and what they mean for customers and Instacart employees.

What Are Instacart Shop Only Orders?

The shop-only orders on Instacart are orders you pick up at the store rather than having them delivered to your house.

Many stores offer curbside pickup for these orders.

For employees, shop-only orders aren’t the same as pickup orders because shop-only orders get paid separately and processed individually by Instacart.

More specifically, when a shop-only order is complete, the shopper pays for the groceries in-store with an Instacart card.

How Do Instacart Shop Only Orders Work?

Instacart shop-only orders are specifically labeled with “Shop-Only.”

This label is selected by the customer and lets the shopper know that delivery isn’t required for this order.

Shop-only orders are fulfilled by full-service shoppers and are similar to pick-up orders fulfilled by in-store shoppers.

These shoppers must inform the cashier that the order will be left in the store until the customer comes to retrieve it.

Instacart Shop-Only Orders vs. Full-Service

Full-service orders are what many know as the traditional Instacart service: the customer orders the groceries online, an Instacart shopper selects and purchases the groceries at the store, and then delivers them to the customer’s house.

Whereas shop-only orders omit the delivery service, and the customer picks the groceries up at the store instead.

Similarities Between the Types

Here are the similarities between Instacart shop-only orders and full-service:

  • You shop for customers.
  • You can choose the days you want to work.

Differences Between the Types

Here are the differences between Instacart shop-only orders and full-service:

  • Full-service shoppers must have a vehicle to deliver orders.
  • Full-service shoppers are independent contractors.
  • The checkout process is different for the employee.

Takeaway: Which Type is Better?

Choosing the best option for you should be based on your accommodations.

For example, being a full-service shopper might be best for you if you have a reliable car and don’t mind driving back and forth.

How Do You Get Instacart Shop Only Orders?

You can get Instacart shop-only orders by accepting them on the app.

Then, when the batches are released, you can accept or reject a batch that comes your way.

Be an In-Store Shopper

In-store shoppers are Instacart employees and are paid an hourly rate.

As an in-store shopper, you can only work up to 29 hours per week.

This position is different from Instacart full-service shoppers, who are independent contractors who get paid by the batch.

Open For Batches

Shop-only batches have shoppers that are automatically assigned.

Remember to consider the number of items in a batch before accepting it.

How Much Do Instacart Shop-Only Orders Cost?

Instacart shop-only orders are free when you join Instacart.

The app is free on any mobile device, so you only need to pay for your groceries.

However, Instacart+ is the newest addition to the company.

This is an optional subscription that gives you unlimited free deliveries.

The rate for Instacart+ is $99 per year upfront or $9.99 per month.

If you’re someone who does the shop-only orders option, then there’s no need for you to spend the money on Instacart+.

Fees for Shop Only Orders

Instacart gives free pick for orders over $35.

You aren’t slammed with delivery fees.

However, a service fee of 5% gets added to your total.

Instacart shop-only orders are done by shoppers who provide a service for you.

The service fee goes toward the employees who need compensation for that service.

Do You Tip on Instacart Shop Only Orders?

You’re unable to tip on Instacart shop-only orders.

On Instacart, delivery drivers and full-service shoppers are the only ones who receive tips for their work.

How Much Money Can You Make From Instacart Shop Only Orders?

You can make as much money as you want from Instacart shop-only orders, even though orders are usually small.

This depends on how many orders you complete.

Instacart includes multiple factors, including the types of items and quantity, to determine how much money shoppers make.

Base Rate

Instacart pays its shoppers weekly.

The hourly wage given to in-store shoppers is given to you in your offer letter.

Unfortunately, Instacart doesn’t offer official data about their pay rates.

However, in general, an in-store shopper will make minimum wage and receive time off.

According to, Instacart shop-only orders are completed by shoppers that are paid $17 per hour.


Tips aren’t included with shop-only orders because delivery isn’t included with Instacart shop-only purchases.

In-store shoppers aren’t eligible to receive tips because they get an hourly rate.

In addition, customers can’t add a tip at the end of their order if they choose the shop-only option.

How to Order a Shop Only Instacart Order

Here is a step-by-step guide to ordering a shop-only Instacart order:

  1. Choose your preferred store from the list of stores on the app.
  2. Click on the pickup icon.
  3. Do all your shopping on the app.
  4. Sit back and let the shoppers do the rest.

How To Do an Instacart Shop Only Order

When you choose a shop-only order on the app, you’ll see specific shopping instructions after you accept the order.

These instructions remind you that there’s no delivery required and that you leave the groceries in a designated area.

Once you find the foods on the list, you scan the barcodes to remove them from your list.

The app will remind you how many items remain on the list.

After finding everything on the list, you can review any necessary changes made by the customer.

If there are no changes, then you can go to checkout.

At the checkout line, you tell the cashier that this is a curbside pickup order.

The Instacart app gives you checkout instructions to ensure everything is separated and placed on the correct shelves.

Instacart shop-only orders are played with either card or apply pay.

Remember to keep the receipt.

Don’t place the receipt in the bags because the customer receives an electronic receipt on the app.

Next, go to the scanner and print labels for each bag.

The staging area is located at a specific entrance of the grocery store.

The Instacart app asks you to type how many labels you used.

Then, you enter the bag locations.

The shelves, refrigerators, and freezers are numbered.

Finally, take a photo of where you place the bags so the customer can see where they need to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to the top frequently asked questions about shop-only orders for Instacart:

Can you pick your Instacart shopper?

As of 2023, you cannot block specific Instacart shoppers from accepting your order.

Many people have fantastic experiences with their shoppers and want to use them again.

However, it’s not possible to choose your shopper.

Does Publix offer shop-only orders?

Yes, they do.

After you’ve finished your shop-only order at Publix, you place the paper bags in the designated area.

Publix has refrigerator and freezer sections to keep everything at the needed temperature.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, Instacart shop-only ordering is a new pickup service for your grocery shopping.

If you’re like me, you hate walking down the aisles trying to find everything you need on your list.

Instacart shop only orders gives you the grocery store at your fingertips, and you don’t have to do anything other than pick up the order.

As for shoppers, shop-only orders give you the chance to complete batches and earn money for each completed order.

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