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Instacart Waitlist: What Does It Mean For Your Driver Application?

Last updated: August 19, 2021
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vector graphic showing instacart waitlist shoppers outside a grocery store waiting in a line to be approved to shop

Whether you have a passion for shopping or you’re simply looking for a new side hustle, Instacart is a great way to earn a little extra cash.

But after you send in your application, you may run into a problem — the waitlist.

What does this waitlist mean for your application process?

Should you move on to different grocery delivery services, or will some patience be worth it?

Let’s take a closer look.

What Is The Instacart Waitlist?

Once you apply to work for Instacart, you will probably end up joining a waitlist.

This is a queue where you will wait for the next available position.

At this point, you will not be able to pick up a shift just yet.

You will need to wait for the app to notify you when a spot opens.

It may be tempting to cancel your application and move on to a different app.

However, keep in mind that this waitlist is not exclusive to Instacart.

Just about every rideshare or grocery delivery app will have a waitlist, especially when there is a high demand for jobs.

Not everyone who applies for Instacart will deal with the waitlist, though.

If you live in the right area or complete your signup process at the right time, you may be able to start picking up shifts right away.

Why Is There An Instacart Waitlist?

Instacart has a waitlist because there are more drivers in your area than their customer base needs.

If there aren’t enough people in your area using the Instacart app, there simply won’t be enough shifts to go around.

Remember, being on the waitlist doesn’t mean you did anything wrong.

It’s merely a result of circumstances that you can’t really control.

How Long Is The Instacart Waitlist?

In most cases, you won’t be in the queue for more than a few days.

However, some Instacart employees will wait months until their first shift.

There is unfortunately no guaranteed time limit you’ll have to wait.

The uncertainty of this wait can be pretty frustrating for people who are eager to earn some income.

Why is the Instacart Waitlist So Long?

Many people throughout the United States have lost their jobs since the Covid 19 pandemic began.

As a result, more people than ever are seeking out jobs delivering groceries.

Compared to other jobs, people to meet fairly minimum basic requirements to become Instacart shoppers.

All you need to do is have your own car and a recent smartphone, submit an application and pass a background check.

In addition, you can pick up shifts at your own discretion.

So it’s no surprise that Instacart often has more than enough workers.

How To Check Your Instacart Waitlist Status

There is currently no way to check your precise Instacart waitlist status.

You shouldn’t bother calling Instacart customer service, either.

They will not have any additional information about your status.

The longer you’ve been on the list, the more likely it is that you’ll get a shift soon.

So if you’ve been waiting for quite some time, keep an eye on your device for notifications!

How To Get Off The Instacart Waitlist

Instacart will remove you from the waitlist as soon as there is a position available.

Unfortunately, there is no way to speed up this process.

Once you’re on the waitlist, all you can do is wait for Instacart to send you a notification that a position is open.

If you decide that the waitlist is not worth it, you can cancel your Instacart application at any time.

There is a chance other grocery delivery or rideshare apps in your area might have more opportunities.

Can You Skip The Instacart Waitlist?

While you can’t exactly skip the Instacart waitlist, there is a way you can open up more opportunities for shifts.

First, find a zip code that’s nearby.

Try to choose something that’s less than an hour away.

Then, change the zip code in your application.

There is a good chance that a nearby zip code may have more opportunities available.

Feel free to try this method with multiple zip codes.

Just don’t enter the one that you won’t realistically be able to drive to every day.

Is The Instacart Waitlist Worth It?

So, is the wait to become an Instacart store shopper worth your time?

That can vary depending on a few factors.

If you don’t plan for Instacart to be your main source of income, it can be great as a side hustle.

If you already have a primary source of income, the waitlist will be a lot less stressful, too.

And once you start getting shifts, you’ll earn a good amount of money for each delivery.

But how much do Instacart Shoppers make?

The average hourly rate for full-service drivers is over 12 dollars per hour.

However, if the waitlist in your area is especially long, you may not receive a lot of shifts even once you reach your turn in the queue.

Many people find this rather disappointing.

When it comes to Instacart, even the longest waitlist timelines can be worth it — and long as you have an additional source of income and a lot of patience.

Wrapping Up

Instacart is a great way to earn a little extra money on your own schedule.

While it can be discouraging to apply for a job and immediately see that there’s a waitlist, don’t give up hope!

There are ways to increase your chances of getting shifts.

You just might need a little patience and some extra gas in your car.

Also, Instacart’s customer base grows more every day.

Grocery delivery apps as a whole have experienced a surge in demand since the Covid 19 pandemic began.

So even if there are currently more drivers than your area’s customer base needs, that’s likely to change as time goes on.

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