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If making money while driving and grocery shopping sounds like the perfect gig, you can help busy families get groceries by becoming a Shipt shopper or driver.
Grocery delivery services are popping up left and right in the gig economy as the demand for convenience continues to grow. This means you have more opportunities to earn than ever. Whether you’re driving for grocery delivery service Instacart, or another competitor, you can make money on your own schedule — all you need to do is take your pick and sign up.
This article will guide you through what shopping and driving for the platform entails and how you can start working for Shipt.
- What Do Shipt Shoppers Do?
- How Much Do Shipt Shoppers Make?
- Becoming a Shipt Shopper
- More Ways to Start Working for Shipt
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Do Shipt Shoppers Do?
The people who fulfill demand on Shipt’s extensive grocery delivery network — officially known as Shipt Shoppers — are the independent contractors who fulfill every grocery delivery request that users place on the Shipt app. As requests are submitted, they’ll show up on your Shipt Shopper app for any local driver to claim and add to their schedule as much as a week in advance.
Once you’ve claimed a request, your job is to serve two major purposes:
- Shop: When you arrive at your local grocery store, you can pull up your Shipt Shopper app to view the items that your user has ordered. You’ll be responsible for locating these items and checking out with your prepaid Shipt card.
- Deliver: Shipt Shoppers double as delivery drivers who bring the purchased groceries to users’ front doors. This step should be completed within the user’s scheduled delivery window, which you’ll see before accepting a request.
A typical order takes up to an hour to complete. Most shoppers choose to maximize their time by accepting delivery requests within a close proximity, so they can complete each order as efficiently as possible.
How Much Do Shipt Shoppers Make?
Shipt states that experienced shoppers earn an average of $22 per hour, while earnings for all drivers range from $15 to $25 per hour. This means you’re guaranteed to earn more — often significantly more — than minimum wage and how much Uber drivers make.
When working as a Shipt driver and Shopper, you earn based on every trip you complete, with a commission rate of $5 plus 7.5% of the total order cost. Shipt Shoppers also receive 100% of the tips they receive from the customers they deliver to. Thanks to this pay structure, you can strategically increase your pay by accepting larger orders or completing requests faster, while also providing friendly service.
However, be aware that your pay does not include any car maintenance costs. As an independent contractor, you’re responsible for all of your own expenses and do not receive benefits like paid time off or health insurance. You’ll also have to pay self-employment taxes (15.3% of your earnings) on top of your personal income tax, since Shipt doesn’t withhold any income for your Social Security or Medicare taxes throughout the year.
Becoming a Shipt Shopper
When you’re a Shipt Shopper, you have full control over your own hours, allowing you to make extra cash when you have the time. If you want to help people save time and grocery shop straight from their phones, you’ll just have to meet a few simple requirements. To become a Shipt Shopper, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license
- Own a reliable vehicle that’s a 1997 model or newer
- Have valid car insurance under your name
- Live in the continental United States, in one of many cities where Shipt operates
- Pass a comprehensive background check
- Own an iPhone (iOS 10 or newer) or Android (5.1 or newer) smartphone
- Have insulated cooler bags and an understanding of produce selection
- Be able to lift 40 pounds
If you’re accepted, you will need to have a bank account to start getting paid via direct deposit for your deliveries.
These requirements, as you may see, are more relaxed than Uber driver requirements, which means there’s a good chance you can become a shopper if you’re confident your background check will come back clean. Meeting these easy qualifications will allow you to put more variety into your day than with rideshare, so you’re not stuck in your car for hours at a time.
If you meet the requirements listed above and want to start shopping and driving, you can apply to be a Shipt Shopper by completing this application. This application will ask you for information that includes your email address, location, and car model. You’ll also be asked if you’re available on Sundays and Mondays, which tend to be the busiest shopping days, though it isn’t an immediate disqualification if you say no.
A Shipt team member will reach out to interview you if you qualify and shoppers are needed in your city. As soon as you’re accepted as a Shipt Shopper, you’ll just need to wait up to two weeks for your Shipt starter kit to arrive. This will include your Shipt T-shirt, which is the uniform you wear while shopping and delivering, as well as your prepaid card, which is what you’ll use for every checkout.
Shopping and delivery go hand in hand on this platform, so it’s currently not possible to choose just one. If you don’t have an eligible vehicle to complete deliveries, we recommend how to become an Instacart shopper and get the option to opt out of driving.
More Ways to Start Working for Shipt
If you’re looking for more than a side hustle, Shipt is frequently on the lookout for interns and full-time talent. The company is currently looking to fill nearly 80 positions — ranging from software engineers and marketing analysts to event designers and IT interns — in its offices in San Francisco, California, and Birmingham, Alabama. Some remote positions may also be available.
You can browse through current openings and their requirements on Shipt’s job listings page.
While internships don’t come with benefits, all full-time positions do come with standard employment benefits and even free lunches every Friday.
Frequently Asked Questions
Becoming a Shipt Shopper is an easy way to make money just by checking off items on a grocery list and delivering the items that customers need throughout your city. If you have any further questions, take a look at our answers to common questions that potential Shoppers often still have:
Will I get reimbursed for gas when driving for Shipt?
Unfortunately, no. Because you are an independent contractor, you are responsible for all maintenance costs, including gas. However, you can track your mileage on the job through an app like Stride to get tax deductions each year.
Can I shop for Shipt full-time instead of as a part-time job?
Yes. Shipt allows shoppers to sign up for as many (or as few) shifts as desired. However, if you choose to become a Shipt shopper for a living, be aware that you’re not guaranteed 40 hours in shifts, as other shoppers can claim requests before you and some locations may not have high demand. Becoming a full-time driver also doesn’t offer any benefits, since you’re still considered an independent contractor.
Do I need a Shipt membership to become a Shipt driver?
No, you are not required to become a Shipt member to start earning as a Shipt driver. Your new account will be for the Shipt Shopper app, which only requires that you’ve been officially accepted as a driver. This way, you won’t have to worry about paying for a $99 per year or $14 per month membership just to make money. In fact, you’ll actually receive a free Shipt membership when you become a Shipt shopper.
What happens if a customer’s order ends up being more expensive than what was estimated by the app?
No need to worry. Shipt’s prepaid card will always include a little extra on top of the estimated cost of the purchase, due to the possibility of this exact situation. If the total ends up being any higher, which should be extremely rare, make sure to save your receipt and contact Shipt’s support team by calling (205) 502-2500, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or tapping the live chat icon at the bottom right corner of Shipt.com.
Shop and Deliver When You Want
If you’ve always wanted to be your own boss, Shipt can help you achieve your flexible schedule dreams by shopping for and delivering groceries for a living. As long as you have access to your own vehicle, a smartphone, and insulated cooler bags, you have almost all you need to apply and get started.
Or, if you’d prefer to work in-office and put your degree to good use, Shipt has plenty of job and internship openings, too. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.