What is Instacart?
Instacart is a grocery shopping and delivery service where customers can place orders online for delivery from local stores. When you work with Instacart, your responsibility is to shop and deliver.
Signing up with Instacart is very easy – you simply go to the Instacart Shopper App, download it and begin the signup process.
- Must be 18 years old
- Pass a background check
- Be able to life 40+ pounds
- Have a smartphone
Why Work For Instacart?
There are so many reasons but ultimately you want to make money. The benefits of working for Instacart include:
- Making a little extra cash
- Making alot of extra cash
- Choose your own hours
- Choose the distance you will travel
- Meet all sorts of fun people
- Learn about all the locations you would not have otherwise known
- Introduction to so many new foods that you may never have heard of
- You have a desire to help people
Why People Shop With Instacart?
I love working with Instacart because I see so many people that I would not normally meet in my “sheltered” life. But the reasons I have seen so far that people shop with Instacart are such as:
- They work for themselves as entrepreneurs, farmers etc… and their time is much better spent tending to their own business
- Working parents who have no time to shop because they need to care for your children
- Families who are busy running children to all sorts of activities – and no way to shop for themselves
- Elderly or others who are not as mobile as they’d like to be
- People who don’t want to go out in poor weather
- People who live in cities and just don’t have access to anything except public transportation
How Much Will I Make?
Instacart doesn’t advertise their pay algorithm as much as we would all like but I can tell you that pay varies based on the following:
- Distance expected to travel
- Heavy weight deliveries (such as 50 pound bags of dog food, kitty litter etc…)
- Number of items
- Cost of items
- Peak times
- Difficulty in finding someone to accept a batch
They advertise you can make up to $25 per hour but the “norm” is actually between $9-$22 per hour. So far I seem to be averaging about $17 to $20 per hour but as I learn where products can be found that I am not familiar with, my speed will increase dramatically. They calculate how much you can earn per hour based on your actual shopping time – from the moment you click the “start shopping” button until you click “head to checkout”. They don’t include your drive time to the store; your time walking into the store; waiting in line at the cash register; if Aldis – bagging up the groceries; walking to your car; driving to the person’s home; and dropping off the groceries. The “real” time is actually about twice the shopping time in some cases.
You are not an employee of Instacart. As such, you get to deduct expenses that are appropriate for your work. Primarily you need a vehicle so you can deduct a portion of car payments, maintenance, fuel, insurance, property taxes, registration and fees, and a portion of your smartphone. I simply log my miles and “write off” the mileage x the IRS mileage rate. At the time of this post the per mile business rate is $.58. The IRS develops this rate to take into account all costs associated with business travel. You can either itemize OR claim the per mile rate. I am not a tax specialist! Do your research and consult a tax specialist with any questions.
At the end of the year you will receive a 1099 from the IRS and will be required to pay taxes. Plan accordingly so you don’t have to pay a huge amount at once. Put money aside with every pay date you have and you will be all set at tax time.