Exploring Side Gigs 101: Is Instacart a Good Side Hustle?
Whether Instacart makes for a good side hustle depends on your circumstances, goals, and preferences.
It offers several advantages for independent contractors, including a flexible schedule, the potential for decent earnings, and minimal startup costs. But the pressing question remains: Is it actually a profitable side hustle?
If you're curious about the world of side hustles and intrigued by Instacart's promises, join us as we uncover the truth and weigh the pros and cons of incorporating Instacart into your financial journey.
How Does Instacart Work?
Instacart offers a reliable and easy way to deliver groceries. With Instacart, people can explore an array of top-notch national and regional retailers and grocery stores like Albertsons, ALDI, Costco, CVS, Kroger, Loblaw, Publix, Sam's Club, Sprouts, and Wegmans, totaling over 900 trusted options.
Instacart, like other gig jobs, presents a distinct platform that lets you be part of a dynamic shopping experience. But what sets it apart is the nuances that make it truly one-of-a-kind.
This platform offers two main ways to become a shopper:
In-store shoppers: As an in-store shopper, you're stationed within a single store. Your mission? Crafting the perfect shopping list for the customer. While you don't handle the delivery, your precision and care shine as you prepare the orders for pick-up or curbside pick-up, depending on the store's offerings. Your role is all about creating the foundation for a seamless customer experience.
Full-service shoppers: As a full-service shopper, you embody efficiency. When an order pops up, you travel to the specified store, wielding your shopping prowess to pick, bag, and pay for the items. And here's the exciting part: You become the bridge between the store and the customer. Armed with your charisma, you take on the final leg, delivering the order to the customer's doorstep.
Requirements to Join Instacart
Joining this dynamic community is a breeze, and here's what you need:
Transportation: Depending on your role, access to a reliable vehicle and a valid driver's license might be required for full-service shoppers.
Smartphone: Your trusty device becomes your shopping companion through the Instacart app.
Age and Eligibility: Be 18 years of age or older and eligible to work in your region.
What's also required? Reading comprehension that's top-notch, a keen sense of store layouts, and a sprightly agility that ensures you move through the store with finesse.
You're not just shopping; you're crafting an experience that showcases the essence of Instacart's mission—making grocery shopping an effortless delight for Instacart customers.
Pros of Instacart as a Side Hustle
Embrace the versatility of Instacart as your side hustle, where your time is respected, your earnings are rewarding, and your journey requires nothing more than your passion and a smartphone.
Here's why it's a fantastic choice:
Life doesn't come with a one-size-fits-all schedule, nor should your side hustle. Instacart allows you to create a work schedule that perfectly complements your life.
Need to run errands in the morning and work in the afternoon? No problem. Balancing your own schedule between family time, hobbies, and work has never been so seamless.
High hourly pay on average
When you invest your time, you want to see meaningful returns. Instacart pays shoppers a good amount of money, and that's why their average hourly pay is the talk of the town.
Your effort translates into earnings that make a difference, proving that your side hustle isn't just pocket change; it boosts your financial goals.
No special skills required
Some side hustles demand a long list of qualifications, but Instacart is refreshingly different. Bring your enthusiasm, your love for shopping, and your friendly demeanor.
Instacart welcomes individuals from various walks of life, valuing passion over past experiences. Your secret ingredient is your knack for navigating aisles and selecting the perfect avocados in local stores.
Minimal startup costs
Venturing into a side hustle shouldn't break the bank. With Instacart, the barriers to entry are delightfully low. All you need is a smartphone—a device most of us carry anyway—and a determination to succeed.
Gone are the days of heavy initial investments; Instacart's pathway to extra money is accessible and budget-friendly for most shoppers.
Cons of Instacart as a Side Hustle
While Instacart offers many benefits, admitting these potential cons helps you make an informed decision. It's about balancing the advantages and challenges and understanding that every side hustle has complexities.
Troubles with the Instacart Shopper App
While technology has revolutionized the way we work, it's not immune to inconveniences. Instacart's app, like any other grocery delivery service app, is your gateway to orders, customer communication, and seamless transactions.
However, occasional technical glitches or connectivity issues can temporarily disrupt your flow. Patience and adaptability are your allies in navigating these challenges.
As with any gig-based work, not all orders are created equal. Some orders come with earnings that don't quite match your expectations. These lower-paying orders can be frustrating, especially when investing time and effort.
Balancing between high-earning and low-earning orders requires strategy and a keen understanding of your goals.
It can be physically demanding
Navigating through stores, picking items, and bagging them can be physically demanding, particularly during busy hours or if you're handling larger orders. This aspect of the job might leave you a bit weary after a particularly active day.
It's essential to manage your energy levels and find ways to balance physical demands with self-care.
Gas and vehicle maintenance
For full-service shoppers, your vehicle becomes a crucial tool in the Instacart journey. Regular travel to stores and deliveries can increase gas expenses and wear and tear on your car.
Factoring in these costs is essential to ensuring your earnings remain financially viable and sustainable.
How Much Can You Realistically Make with Instacart?
The earnings potential with Instacart is promising and diverse, influenced by factors such as location, order volume, customer tips, delivery fees, and personal efficiency. While it's challenging to pinpoint an exact figure, there are real-world insights that shed light on what you could earn.
According to some Instacart shopper reviews, on average, many Instacart shoppers make from $10 to $20 per hour, considering factors like the type of orders and your location. This estimate is in line with insights from the workers themselves.
According to an article from The Motley Fool, one Instacart shopper reported earning around $15 per hour on average. However, it's important to note that some experienced Instacart shoppers have reported earning even more substantial amounts.
For instance, in a review on The College Investor, a shopper shared that they earned an impressive $25 per hour as a full-time job while accounting for tips.
Anecdotes from individuals who have worked as Instacart shoppers provide valuable context. One Instacart shopper review quoted earnings of $750 over a week in a CNBC article, illustrating the potential for part-time work to contribute significantly to one's income.
Other Side Hustle Ideas to Maximize Your Income
Consider completing paid surveys online—a popular and convenient way to earn extra income. Unlike Instacart's physical errands, paid surveys let you share your opinions and insights from your computer.
Ready to turn your spare time into cash? Join Forthright and kickstart your survey journey today!
Sell your browsing data
Selling your browsing data could be an intriguing option. It involves sharing your online activities with third-party firms for targeted ads and market research. While this might sound outlandish, platforms like Survey Savvy or The National Internet Observatory are stepping into the spotlight.
As a browsing extension, it collects data to unravel online behaviors and platform dynamics. The twist? It's backed by Northeastern University and supported by a National Science Foundation grant. This isn't your typical data sale; it's a scientific pursuit that safeguards your privacy and data integrity.
Money is Calling Your Name!
The call of money isn't just a ring in the distance; it's a melody that can shape your future. Let's continue this journey together and venture on a path to financial well-being that's uniquely yours. Give Instacart a chance and share your experience with us.
You can also follow our blog and discover how to turn your dreams into dollars!