Instacart is a great side hustle for some extra cash, but many people choose to work full-time — a viable option so long as you understand how Instacart releases batches and the best times to log into the app.
So, what time do Instacart batches start?
We have all the details you need below to determine when you should work to maximize your earnings.
Table Of Contents
- How Do Instacart Batches Work?
- What Are Instacart’s Regular Hours?
- What Time Does Instacart Release Batches in the Morning?
- What Time Do Instacart Batches Start?
- What Time Do Orders Start On Instacart?
- What Time Is Instacart Most Active?
- Best Time To Take On Instacart Batches
- How Does Instacart Decide Who Gets Batches?
- Final Notes
How Do Instacart Batches Work?
After a customer places an order with Instacart, shoppers can accept orders or batches.
You can see the estimated payment in the order details.
Earnings will vary depending on your area and the size and total of the order.
There are two types of shoppers for Instacart: full-service and in-store.
Full-service shoppers do just as the name suggests.
After accepting an order or batch, you will receive directions to the store.
When you’re inside the store, you need to click “Start shopping” in the app to open up the list of items.
Complete the order by scanning barcodes as you find each item; you will need to weigh deli and product items and enter the information into the app.
Once you have collected and scanned all items on the list (or replaced/refunded the ones out of stock), you need to head to the register and follow the instructions in the app to check out.
The last step is to load the groceries into your car and follow the steps in the app to deliver them to the customer.
In-store shoppers do everything a full-service shopper does except deliver groceries to the customer.
This role is part-time, and you shop in-store for batch items and stage them by bagging or labeling.
This role is preferable for those who aren’t able to or don’t want to deliver directly to customers.
In-store shopping is also good for those who don’t have a vehicle or don’t wish to use their vehicle for work.
Not every area employs in-store shoppers, though.
You’ll need to sign up on the Instacart website to see if your area offers this position.
What Are Instacart’s Regular Hours?
You can begin accepting batches as soon as the stores in your area open, and you can work until they close.
Hours will vary based on your location, but typical availability is 7 AM to 11 PM.
Instacart partners with 24/7 stores like Walgreens, CVS, 7-Eleven, and more, so there may be options for batches outside of that timeframe.
Does Instacart Deliver 24/7?
Yes, Instacart is “open” 24/7.
However, late night/early morning and holiday deliveries depend on store availability and hours of operation in your area.
What Time Does Instacart Release Batches in the Morning?
Shoppers can begin accepting batches as early as 6:30 or 7 AM, depending on location.
Occasionally, Instacart will release orders just before stores open (like early Costco orders).
What Time Do Instacart Batches Start?
Instacart is technically a 24/7 service, but batch start time depends on your area and when most stores open — it could be as early as 6 AM or as late as 9 or 10 AM.
What Time Do Orders Start On Instacart?
Typically, you’ll start to see available batches around 7 AM.
If your area has stores that open earlier or are 24/7, you may be able to accept batches before that.
What Time Is Instacart Most Active?
Though hours vary depending on the area, some peak times are typical of most locations.
It’s helpful to think about active hours in terms of the working day.
You can assume most people work 9–5 jobs, so they’ll likely want delivery before or after those times or on the weekends.
Based on this, Instacart is liable to be the most active during the evenings on weekdays and weekends.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, however, many people work remotely and might opt for delivery during their workday since they are at home — so there are exceptions to this rule.
Best Time To Take On Instacart Batches
Planning your work day/week when Instacart is the busiest will optimize your earning potential.
If you work Instacart full-time, then you likely have the ability to rearrange your schedule to take advantage of the busy times.
For those who use Instacart as supplemental income, the weekends will be your best bet.
The best times to take on Instacart batches include evenings during the week (4 PM to 8 PM), and all day on weekends.
Sunday is consistently the busiest day of the week so if you like to work weekends, you can maximize your earnings on this day.
On the Instacart shopper app, there’s a tool you can access in your settings called “Best times to shop.”
It provides tables for each day of the week detailing the estimated busiest times.
You can see almost a week out to better plan your work schedule.
How Does Instacart Decide Who Gets Batches?
Active Instacart shoppers can log into their app and go online to see nearby batches at any time, but Instacart gives priority to top shoppers for the best and highest-paying batches.
In the past, shoppers with the highest ratings could see the best batches in their area.
After delivering an order, customers were encouraged to rate their shopper with a 5-star system, and Instacart determines your average from your last 100 orders.
Recently, though, Instacart changed how rating works, and shoppers gain access to the best batches.
A new rating system exists where shoppers must maintain a 4.7 rating to maintain priority access to batches.
The advantage of this new rating system is that Instacart will drop ratings from the customers who gave fewer than five stars on their last three orders.
Luckily, Instacart is a 24/7 service.
Full-service shoppers can decide when they want to work and set their schedules to maximize earnings.
Many people work for Instacart to supplement their income, while others work solely for Instacart.
Whatever you decide to do, now you know what time Instacart batches start, so you make the most of this side (or full-time) gig.