How does Instacart's earning structure work?
Instacart pays out via direct deposit every week. Full-service shoppers can access an Instant Cashout option for immediate payment when funds pop up in the account. You can use this option for the first time only after completing five orders. After that you can access it whenever, as long as you have a balance over $5 in the app.
Let’s cover the similar (but slightly different) processes involved in getting paid as an in-store shopper and a full service shopper, respectively.
For full-service shoppers the amount of money you earn is largely up to you and how much time you want to dedicate to the gig. You will get paid per batch of groceries that you deliver. Similarly to DoorDash, you will be able to see the total value of the grocery order, any special fee, and tip before choosing to accept and take on the order. The price of any given batch is affected by the distance you’ll be traveling, the size of the order, type of items ordered, and any special circumstances that might make the trip more challenging. You will be guaranteed earnings of $5 per pick-up order, and $7-$10 for every full service (shop and deliver). Glassdoor claims that the average hourly wage is $12 before tip for typical full-service shoppers.
There are also Instacart offers, similar to Uber’s Surge, where you can earn a few more dollars during busy rushes. Sundays and holidays are consistently busy, and you can get back to back orders for hours at a time. You get to keep 100% of the tips that are listed in an order.
In-store shoppers are actual Instacart employees, as highlighted above. Therefore, you will make at least the minimum wage mandated in your state. The details will be laid out in your offer letter. You will earn at an hourly rate up to a weekly limit of 29 hours. If the minimum wage is $12, say, and you work 25 hours a week you could expect to earn $300 per week. Not exactly riches, but not pocket change either. Keep in mind that in-store shoppers don’t qualify for tips through the platform.
Depending on your lifestyle and ambition it might make more sense to be a full-service shopper because you get the added incentive of tips. But you will also have more expenses and wear and tear on your vehicle. So look at both options rationally. Some people love the drive of earning more depending on their performance and speed, while others like the comfort of a consistent hourly rate. When it comes to Instacart, know thyself.