Does Instacart Pay Hourly – Shopper Pay (Best Tips – Explained!)

Does Instacart Pay Hourly

Do you know if Instacart pays hourly? this is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.

The popularity of services such as Instacart has rocketed during the pandemic, and it’s no wonder because fewer people wanted to be heading to the shops.

If you are thinking of signing up as an Instacart worker, you might be wondering how it pays its staff.

So, does Instacart pay hourly? Yes, Instacart pays hourly. In-store shoppers are paid on an hourly basis and count as part-time employees. They get a wage (calculated when they sign up, based on area and demand), which ensures steady pay. However, they don’t benefit from tips.

Does Instacart Pay Hourly?

If you are an in-store shopper, you can expect an hourly wage, yes. Your wage will be explained to you in your offer of employment letter, and it does vary by area.

Many people appreciate the steady income and guaranteed hours, and in-store shoppers are given up to 29 hours each week.

This is great if you have a family to support or you require a fixed amount of income each week. In-store shoppers know what their take-home pay will be and get the benefit of being a steady employee.

However, they are not the only kind of shopper that Instacart employs, and that’s why the payment structure for this company can be a bit complicated because other kinds of employees do not get an hourly wage but are paid based on many other factors.

What Other Kinds Of Shoppers Does Instacart Employ?

Apart from in-store shoppers, Instacart employs people as full-service shoppers. These people are independent of Instacart, rather than part-time employees, and they can work whenever they choose to.

They require a driver’s license and special insulated bags to store the food because they are responsible for deliveries as well as shopping in the store.

What Payment Do Full-service Shoppers Receive?

Initially, full-service shoppers were paid a flat fee for delivery, but now, Instacart shoppers receive a varied fee that depends upon the size and complexity of the order.

Orders with heavy items may be better paid than light, simple orders.

There is no fixed amount that Instacart suggests full-shoppers can make in an hour (and attempts to advertise an amount have majorly backfired in the past).

Instead, it is up to the shoppers to choose which orders to take and when.

Driving during peak times and events such as the Superbowl can massively increase the amount that drivers can earn, and Instacart has also implemented a system whereby customers must opt-out of tips actively, and a suggested minimum tip is automatically added to the order (although it can be removed).

Drivers are given a hundred percent of these tips, and customers are informed of this, increasing the chance that customers will tip well.

Some estimates suggest that full-service shoppers can make over $13 per hour before tips, and Instacart did at one stage suggest that its drivers might make $25 per hour during busy periods.

Read also: Does Instacart Do Background Checks

The major disadvantage of this kind of work is that there are no guarantees on the earnings, and you might find that there are no batches available for you to take – meaning no earnings.

Unlike an in-store shopper, full-service shoppers can find themselves without work at times, because they are independent contractors.

This does mean that they set their own hours, however, and they can choose when to work.

If you live in a busy city, you are more likely to get steady batches available, while quieter areas may see drivers struggling to get enough work.

Can In-store Shoppers Benefit From Tips?

If you are an in-store shopper, you might be wondering whether your customers can tip you if they are pleased with the service that you have provided.

Unfortunately, there is currently no way for customers to tip in-store shoppers; the tip is only linked to the delivery service.

That means in-store shoppers are losing out on customer goodwill, but it does reflect industry standards to a degree.

In general, delivery drivers are more likely to get tips than people who work within a store. Whether this is fair or not, it is the standard.

What About Referral Bonuses?

Instacart in-store shoppers can get bonuses for referring friends and family. They will be given a unique referral code that allows them to do this.

The code being used will result in a bonus being paid to the referrer, although this varies depending on the area.

Read also: Does Instacart Accept EBT Cards (Grocery delivery or Pickup)


Only Instacart’s in-store shoppers get paid on an hourly basis; full-service shoppers are paid based on delivery charges and tips.

In-store shoppers are classed as part-time employees, working up to 29 hours each week, and they receive benefits, including 401(k) savings.

By contrast, full-service shoppers are independent contractors. They can set their own hours and drive as much as they choose to, but they won’t enjoy the same benefits or guaranteed hours.

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Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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