Instacart (Shopper) - - Gig Review & Referral Code

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Instacart is an Internet-based grocery delivery business started in San Francisco, California by a former Amazon employee by the name of Apoorva Mehta. In May of 2015 Instacart had a valuation of $2 Billion dollars, probably even more now. With this, all said Instacart is currently the leader of grocery delivery.

As an Instacart Shopper, your main job is to pick up groceries from a specific store and deliver it to a specific customer. You are getting paid essentially to be a delivery person who is great at picking out specific groceries. The better you are the better a rating you get, the more tips you make and the more money that is in your pocket.

Continue reading below for my full Instacart review including detailed information on pay, hours and pros & cons. If you are in a rush Click here to skip to the bottom and check out my review summary.

Review Index

    1. Instacart Sign-Up Bonus
    2. Requirements
    3. Earnings/Income Breakdown
      -Company Claims
      -Glassdoor Claims
      -WerkQuik Review Pay
    4. Detailed Pay Information
    5. Getting Paid With Instacart (The Process)
    6. Additional Opportunities With Instacart
      – Income Opportunities With Instacart
      – Savings Opportunities With Instacart
    7. Expenses
      -Recommended Items For Instacart (Top 5)
      -On The Job Expenses
    8. Hours
    9. Pros & Cons
    10. On The Job Experience
    11. Review Summary
    12. Rating
    13. Related WerkQuik Gigs

1. Instacart Sign Up Bonus

Instacart Referral Code:
“Sign up now with our code to start making money on your schedule.

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Instacart Customer Promo Code

If you have never tried getting grocieries delivered via Instacart try it.

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2. Instacart Requirements

      1. Be 18 or over
      2. Be eligible to work in the United States
      3. Have consistent access to a vehicle
        – This is unique as most services require that you own the vehicle you are driving. This says you only need to have access to the vehicle so it could be a family member’s, loved one’s or even a rental vehicle (as long as it is okay under your rental agreement).
      4. Have consistent access to and be able to effectively use a recent smartphone (iPhone 5 / Android 4.4 or newer)
      5. Be able to lift between 30-40 lbs with or without an accommodation Selection.

        Not Requirements But Will Help

        These are not requirements set by Instacart but here are some skills or things to have that will be helpful on the job.

        1. US Drivers License
          – If you are driving for Instacart you should probably be able to do it legally. 
        2. Valid Driver’s Insurance
          – Make sure you are insured on this vehicle you have consistent access to. With Instacart you could be doing quite a bit of driving which increases your chance of getting in an accident quite a bit.
        3. A reliable vehicle, something that doesn’t break down
          – You don’t want to worry about your vehicle breaking down during a grocery delivery.
        4. Knowledge of Produce Selection.
          -You are going to want to know how to do this as the better a job you do the better tips you will receive.
        5. Insulated Cooler Bags.
          -You are going to want these to keep cold/frozen items cold/frozen. In addition, customers will most likely tip more seeing you attempt to take care of their groceries with these bags.

3. Earnings/Income Breakdown

Earnings Potential (Hourly)

Company claims:  N/A
Glassdoor Average: $13 (source)
WerkQuik Review Earnings: 10-hour average

WerkQuik Earnings Chart. Display Earnings form 10 hours of work.

Company Claims

Instacart surprisingly makes absolutely no claim about your pay on the platform just that you will get paid. This would most likely be for two reasons…

      1. They Might Not Need Extra Workers
        Having a desirable wage can be one of the best motivators for applicants to get them to apply. Not putting a wage forth suggests there is no need to motivate people to apply for the Delivery Driver position because they are at capacity. This is hard to believe because you always need new workers in the gig economy because of high turnover.
      2. They Might Have Gotten In Trouble For Wage Claims In The Past
        This could be true as often in the gig economy if people don’t know how to do the job right or are working at certain hours they can make below minimum wage. Whatever the reason though Instacart does not provide a reasoning. The above explanations are just guesses. Do not assume they are the reasons. Check out Instacart yourself to see if they are true or watch my video review of Instacart when it is released.

Glassdoor Average (source)

Instacart has a pretty good amount of reviews on Glassdoor at the time of this review (August 26th, 2018), about 11. The average pay as noted above and on the website is $13/hr.  The minimum pay noted was $4/hr and the maximum was $25/hr.

WerkQuik 10 Hour Earnings

This section is still in progress.

4. Detailed Pay Information

As an Instacart Delivery Driver/Shopper, you are a third party contractor. With this said pay can vary greatly between customer to customer sometimes based on skill and knowledge and sometimes based on luck and just being in the right place at the right time. Just a tip but

With Instacart you are going to get your pay in two different ways.

4-1. Deliveries(Base rate)

Deliveries are your primary way to get paid with Instacart. You will get paid one of two ways according to the contract.

Per Item + A Delivery Fee

“For a Delivery Opportunity that involves both personal shopping and delivery, you will be provided a payment for each delivery, plus a per item payment, and any applicable bump payment. Available payment rates are posted in the Shopper App, and you can review the applicable rate schedule prior to accepting or rejecting a Delivery Opportunity.” (Source) (Section  3.2)

Only A Delivery Fee

“For a Delivery Opportunity that involves delivery only, you will be provided a payment for each delivery. Available payment rates are posted in the Shopper App, and you can review the applicable rate schedule prior to accepting or rejecting a Delivery Opportunity.” (Source) (Section  3.3)I guesstimate you will typically get paid the first of these two and will only get paid only a delivery fee in typically busy locations or markets. Based off Quora forum answers this Delivery fee will typically be $3 – $5 or more based off your area.  The per item pay in the forum above is mentioned as $0.40 per item. The typical  American spends about $50 per grocery visit. If we assume the average item in that is $5 then per shop you are looking at about $7-$9 per delivery. If you do multiple at once this could get you a pretty good pay.

4-2. Tips

If I were to write this section of the review just four months earlier I would have told you getting a tip on Instacart was as likely as getting snow in Arizona. However, I am pleased to say this has changed for the better.

Recently Instacart finally added the option to tip your driver back and set the default tip to 5%. This comes after two really bad years for tips and being an Instacart driver.

Instacart - Tips Screen

This started in September 2016 when Instacart added a 10% service fee to help pay for Delivery Drivers much to the drivers’ chagrin. Recode covered this service fee when it was implemented and showed how much it looked like a mandatory tip. This especially since 10% seems like a typical tip for standard service for American businesses.

The Old Tipping System - Instacart
Recode then demonstrated that this tip section was extremely difficult to find. Note as well this Service charge was 100% kept by Instacart. In addition, note that the old tip area used to say “additional” tip.

Old Tipping Instacart Difficult
I’ve noted all this past history to say that tips may not be the best on Instacart especially since customers have not been taught to tip. They haven’t in the past seen it as a social norm. We will see if with this new change that mindset changes.

5. Getting Paid With Instacart (The Process)

Instacart has very traditional payment options. You get paid once a week for your work done last week Monday through Sunday. Your pay will typically come in every Wednesday according to this Quora post I found.

Regarding Instacart’s instant payment option, they don’t have one.

6. Additional Opportunities With Instacart

With Instacart there are a few opportunities to make a few extra bucks and save a few extra bucks and they are below.

Income Opportunities With Instacart

Opportunities to earn extra passive income with grocery delivery are rather limited however below are a few we have found.

Wrapify –
Car Wrap Advertising

Wrapify is a company that will pay you for a partial or full car wrap. Pay is $84 – $452 per month depending on the amount of your car you would like to wrap, your location and the demand for car wrap advertising.

Carvertise –
Car Wrap Advertising

Carvertise is a company that will pay you for a partial or full car wrap.  Carvertise described their payment model as the following “Our standard payment rate is $100/month. Sometimes there are more specialized campaigns that can pay up to $200 / month but this is not common. We also offer drivers the ability to make additional passive income through parking their cars in certain places at certain times. Our going pay rate for this is typically $30/hour.”

Saving Opportunities With Instacart

The more money you save is the more money you can consider profit, meaning the more money you make. Here are a few ways to save some cash while doing Lime.

MileIQ – Save On Taxes

When driving for a business purpose you can deduct your mileage for a pretty good amount, a little over $0.50 per mile. But keeping track of that mileage can be very hard. But there is a solution.

Get MileIQ so you can track exactly how much you could be missing on Mileage and I am absolutely certain you will get at least triple your investment in tax savings. Best of all you won’t be funding the government to waste your money.

Get $10 off & Unlimted Miles With MilesIQ Now!

7. Expenses

One of the biggest disadvantages of Uber is the personal expense. However, you gotta spend money to make money. Like a lot of portions of our rideshare reviews, this is very similar to some sections of our other reviews.

Vehicle Wear & Tear

Vehicle Wear & Tear is the cost of using your car. That includes maintenance, tire replacements and such. This number includes fuel. AAA puts this number at 60.8 cents for an average size sedan and 46.4 cents for a small sedan (like my Mazda 3). This obviously means the more mileage you put on your car the more it will cost you. The nice this about mileage is you can write it off! In 2018 according to MileIQ, you can write off 54.5 cents per mile. This can be big tax savings.

It is all really based on the value of your car, make, model and a variety of factors. Even where you live can play a part in it. For example, if you live in Toledo, Ohio (The pothole capital of Ohio) like myself then your wear & tear will likely be higher then that of a city that elects semi-competent leaders that can fill holes in the road.


Gas is one of the biggest out front expenses with most any job in the gig economy. Repair & Maintenance is bad but at the same time the cost can be reduced by taking better care of your care or it can be put off. Gas is a cost you cannot get around. According to the same AAA article above gas can cost 3.68 cents per mile (electric cars) to 13.8 cents per mile (Pick-up trucks) depending on your vehicle.

NOTE: Tracking Mileage

Tracking mileage can be very difficult. Your job as an Instacart Shopper is to deliver groceries. Not to track where you’ve been. I highly suggest using MileIQ, if you use my affiliate link below you get 20% off an annual membership and help fund This is a savings of $10.00 and this program will help you save even more than that in the long run!

Get 20% off >>> Unlimted Miles With MilesIQ Now!


This is additional expenses you may spend like on snacks, coffee or such. Honestly, this could be your own groceries or something you see and want to buy while in the grocery store. Those end caps can be tempting… just remember to obviously use your own money/card.

7-1. Recommended Items (Top 5)

These items are not necessary for you to get but ones I highly recommend. These should be useful for you to do your job and to make more money while working for Instacart. Below is a quick list (only my top 5 recommendations), I highly recommend looking over our complete Instacart Recommended Item List for the complete list.

Reusable Bags That Don’t Break

I’m not a hippie or anything but in case you or a customer is these bags could be very helpful for gaining extra tips. In addition, these bags can handle up to 50lbs so aren’t likely to break on you.

Thermal Bags For Keeping Food Cold

These bags will help you keep food cold or hot and are not branded by Instacart so you can use them for various other food delivery gigs like Shipt, DoorDash or Postmates.

Car Charger & Charger Cables

One thing you want to make sure about is your phone doesn’t die while doing Instacart so you can call the customer if need be, look over lists and such. Having a car charger and cords will help you make sure your phone doesn’t die.

In addition, car chargers are super important for other gig economy jobs as well so it’s a good investment. Below are the charger and three types of cords, USB, USB type C & iPhone cords. Plus a super-cord with all the outlets in one!

USB C cable

This is for newer android phone and ironically newer Apple laptops too.

iPhone cable

This is for newer Apple iPhones

USB cable

This for older android phones and many common older Bluetooth headphones.

Supercord – All Outlets

This can be very helpful for having all outlets however your Cargo vending machine does have other charging cords in it so it could cut into sales.

Aux Cord

Many new phones do not have aux ports (looking at you iPhones) but many do and if I had to rely strictly on the radio for entertainment I’d go mad. Below are some items for entertainment you should consider when doing Lyft.

Aux Cord For iPhone

Obviously this is not a cord, however, this will act like an aux cord so people with iPhones can listen to music in older cars without Bluetooth integration.

Keep Track Of What Happens On The Road

In sales, we call it CYOA (Cover Your Own Ass), make sure you are not at fault and that’s what a dash cam is good for. With a Dashcam, you will have video evidence of a crash to prove your innocence. The model below is an entry level Dashcam. The ones in our list can be a little more expensive but come with more features.

Learn to select Vegetables & Fruit

This book is a quick guide to help you choose ripe veggies and fruit so you can get a higher tip. Also, it probably makes for a good toilet read lol.

7-2. On The Job Expenses

Still in progress.

8. Hours

If you enjoy not having a schedule then you are like most in the gig economy however that might mean Instacart is not for you.

With Instacart you must pick up hours and shifts like a typical job. I am not yet sure your liability for not going to a shift but I sure it would be banishment from the platform or pretty much being fired. With this said picking up hours depending on your market can apparently be hard according to one Reddit poster. With that said many on Glassdoor have mentioned the Flexible Schedule as a plus with Instacart. I assume this is because a lot of people are willing to pick up shifts.

Operating hours for Instacart most likely depends on your market but from online posts, I am seeing most markets are between 8am-11pm.

9. Pros & Cons

Here is a quick list of what we liked about Instacart and didn’t so much or about what we read online. As for all gig economy jobs wages can be below minimum wage given the worst circumstances because this being a universal “con” we do not list it on any reviews.


Great Mixture Of Driving & Moving
You Can Do Multiple Shops At Once
-Make more money with less driving.
If You Have A Bad Driving Record You Can Still Do This
-If you don’t qualify for Uber/Lyft you probably still do with Instacart


Wear & Tear On Your Car
Shops Can Be Limited Especially During Prime Working Hours
Items Can Often Be Out Of Stock Leading To Time Delays.
Gas Expense Is Not Reimbursable 
Deliveries Can Sometimes Be Far Drives (30 min+)
Have To Wear A Pretty Lame Looking Company Shirt While Shopping
Don’t Know What Is In An Order
-could be picking up 20 case of heavy soda for $40
Keeping A Work Schedule
Hours Sometimes Being Limited
Downloading The App Is Far Too Complex
-Look I’ve written pretty much all these articles on this site as well as done the Website design. If I think the downloading process is a little too complex then it probably is. JUST PUT IT IN THE APP STORE!!!
-Instacart literally have a guide to downloading the app!

10. On The Job Experience

11. Review Summary

12. Rating

13. Related WerkQuik Gigs

Do you like the idea of being an Instacart Driver or are currently an Instacart Driver and want to see similar gigs? Here are a few that you may be interested in with great sign-up bonus offers.

Lyft – Rideshare that you can do once you drop off someone’s groceries or while waiting for shops.

Lime – Lime is busy when Instacart is closed. Would be a good way to end your night.

Postmates – Like Instacart but instead of delivering groceries you are delivering food.

Lyft - - Gig Review & Referral Code
Lime Gig Review Template -
Postmates - - Gig Review & Referral Code