How Much Do Instacart Shoppers Make? (All You Need to Know)

The gig economy is in full force, with more and more individuals picking up side hustles or relying solely on gig work to pay the bills.

Instacart is one of the most popular companies to work for, with so many applicants that it occasionally has to waitlist people.

It’s not easy money, but you can do very well. So how much do Instacart shoppers make? If you’d like to find out, keep reading!

How Much Do Instacart Shoppers Make In [currentyear]?

Full-service Instacart shoppers can make, on average, the equivalent of $16 per hour up to $20+ per hour in [currentyear]. Shoppers are paid by the batch (shopping + delivery) and keep 100 percent of their tips. Some of the most efficient and experienced Instacart shoppers can make upwards of $45 per hour.

If you’d like to learn more about how much Instacart pays per delivery, how much you can make in a day, if Instacart pays for gas, and even if you can bring someone along with you while working, keep reading for more useful facts!

How Much Does Instacart Pay Per Delivery?

On average, a single batch (shopping plus delivery) nets most full-service shoppers about $10 from Instacart, but there is definitely possibility for more.

After all, what Instacart pays you per batch depends on how big the customer’s order is.

You also have to factor in the tip, which is unfortunately an unpredictable science.

However, most full-service shoppers make an average of -20 per batch.

How Much Can You Make Per Day with Instacart?

First off, the amount a full-service shopper makes in a day with Instacart depends on how many hours they want to work.

That said, insists that shoppers can “easily earn” $20+ per hour in most cities, so multiply that by how many hours you’re willing to work.

From there, you can also begin to predict how much you can make per week and per month, though the earnings can be somewhat inconsistent.

Do Instacart Shoppers See Tips?

You will see how much you can expect for a tip with each batch that comes in, but shopper beware: there is a new scam called tip-baiting.

Tip-baiting is when customers say they’re going to leave a very generous tip- $10, $20, and so on, but after their order is delivered, they change it.

Indeed, Instacart allows for tip modification, which makes sense if a shopper just throws bags onto a porch or leaves them under dripping water.

However, dishonest customers can use this post-delivery feature to then strip the tip down to $1 or $2 or worse- no tip at all.

Instacart is aware of this practice and asks customers to give a reason for their tip change.

The company will also flag customers who do it too much, keeping an eye on them for further dishonest behavior.

Does Instacart Pay for Gas?

Instacart does not pay the gas for its drivers.

Full-service Instacart shoppers actually aren’t full-blown employees of the company (though in-store shoppers actually are).

Instead, they are contract workers, so any costs associated with maintaining their vehicles- fuel, maintenance, etc.- are entirely the responsibility of the shopper.

How Can You Make the Most Money with Instacart?

How Can You Make the Most Money with Instacart?

So now you know there is good money to be made with Instacart, but the questions is: How do you maximize those earnings?

First, you need to figure out how to become a fast shopper and deliverer.

Does your regular grocery store operate on Instacart? If you already know the layout like the back of your hand, you’re going to be super quick at finding items.

Don’t habitually take batches where the store is a 20-minute drive, and then the delivery is another 15-minute drive.

If you have to drive a bit for the store, then only take the batch if the delivery address is nearby.

Next, don’t be afraid to try different areas.

If your town is pretty quiet, but you live within 30 minutes of a huge city, you could make up for the initial drive to where all the customers live within just a few batches.

Third, be available during peak grocery shopping times.

Of course, you’d rather be sleeping in on a Saturday morning, but there are plenty of customers out there who will pay you to get their groceries so they can have a lazy weekend.

Finally, maintain a friendly, professional demeanor at all times, and don’t be afraid to go the extra mile for customers.

Not only should you take pride in your work in general, customers rate you after the fact, and the better your rating, the better your access to desirable batches.

Overall, be the kind of shopper you would want yourself, and you’ll receive an influx of regular work.

Does Instacart Have Bonuses?

Instacart has given out thank-you bonuses in the past, with some shoppers receiving as much as $500 (and as little as $50).

The 2020 bonus was a response from the company to its employees for working hard as essential service workers.

Since then, however, Instacart hasn’t issued any further bonuses, but it’s good to know that the company rewards the hard work of its shoppers through unprecedented times.

Can You Bring Your Child with You During an Instacart Delivery?

Officially, Instacart does not allow anyone, especially minors, to accompany full-service shoppers while they are working due to safety reasons.

That said, there are some individuals who have done so successfully, without it hindering their work, though it’s a risky move.

In this CNN article, a man actually got reported by one of the in-store shoppers for having an “unauthorized person” (his child) with him.

It’s very difficult to find childcare when you are already trying to make ends meet, but the potential loss of income might not be worth the risk.

Does Instacart Pay More Than DoorDash?

The Grocery Store Guy actually found that DoorDash pays more than Instacart (and DoorDash doesn’t have any rules about having someone in the car with you while delivering).

The site also reports that while the per-delivery rate is about the same, DoorDash pulls ahead when it comes to its tipping structure.

However, despite beating out Instacart, DoorDash actually isn’t the top-paying food delivery service. That title goes to Shipt, Target’s grocery delivery service.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether or not Instacart takes PayPal, why is Instacart so expensive, and what is Instacart Express.


Instacart offers full-service shoppers a wealth of opportunity to earn as much as $20 per hour. Shoppers should keep in mind, though, that as contract workers, they alone are responsible for their vehicle’s upkeep and fueling, which can eat into earnings.

Further, as contract workers, Instacart shoppers must also keep track of their earnings so they can report them accurately come tax filing season.

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Cara Suppa

Cara Suppa has been freelance writing for over a decade and holds a BA in English and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. Outside of work, she is an avid cook, gardener, and discount shopper.

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