Whenever anything goes digital, the possibility for hacking or other malicious digital attacks arises.
With Instacart, that involves the rise of bots, which make it harder for legitimate shoppers to get the good batches and earn the good money.
Does Instacart have bots and what do they do? How are they making life difficult for the hardworking shoppers who take such good care of us? Here’s what you need to know.
Does Instacart Have Bots In 2023?
Some Instacart shoppers do indeed turn to bots to give them an advantage when it comes to batches. Some Instacart bots only alert shoppers of new batches, while others are more advanced and can actually grab batches as soon as they become available. Use of bots is strictly forbidden via Instacart shopper guidelines.
To learn more about what Instacart bots are and how they operate, how you can fight back against them (it’s an uphill battle) and even some ways to improve yourself and your edge over the bots, read on!
What Is An Instacart Bot?
Instacart bots are the bane of any honest Instacart shoppers’ existence.
The bots are actually third-party apps that Instacart shoppers download, connect with the Shopper app and then use alongside it.
Some are less innocuous, and simply alert you to new batches when they become available, so you don’t have to keep the app open at all.
However, others are much more malicious and cause considerable damage to the earnings of other shoppers in their area.
That’s because they’re what’s known as “batch-grabbers”; they don’t just notify of new batches, they snatch them up before anyone else.
Furthermore, in the Instacart Shopper Application Terms and Conditions, under Section 3.2, f. it states:
“You may not use or promote the use of any form of modifications, exploits, or other unauthorized means to interfere with, or gain undue advantage in your use of the Instacart Platform.”
So Instacart is very clear – use of bots is a violation of the conditions of use and if caught, your account will be deactivated (and I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up banned).
Honest shoppers absolutely despise the bots and despair of getting the good-paying batches that bump up their earnings.
It’s an incredibly unfair situation.
Instacart claims that they battle the bots aggressively, but the point is that it’s the individual shoppers who are losing money, not the company, valued at over $39 billion.
How Do You Beat Bots On Instacart?
Bots are notoriously difficult to beat, because not only do they reappear when shut down, it’s tricky to monitor for them and other shoppers can’t do anything in the app (such as report them).
Still, one creator on YouTube has a suggestion for angry shoppers: Flag their accounts on Instagram.
That’s right, the bot creators have become so brazen that they will actually advertise their apps on social media apps like Instagram.
Reporting them and then blocking them (as you can see him do in the video) helps keep them out of other shoppers’ feeds.
There is little else shoppers can do. But what about what Instacart could do?
Instacart has reported that they are cracking down on the bots, monitoring accounts with suspiciously quick batch activity and deactivating the users’ accounts.
And a new measure that allows shoppers to view a batch for 30 seconds before deciding to accept it has been part of the effort, too.
Actual shoppers are clamoring for more, though; some have suggested two-factor authentication or captcha images before accepting a batch.
That would at least ensure that there was an actual person sitting there on the phone, not a third-party app running the show.
How Do You Get High Paying Batches On Instacart?
If someone is using a bot to grab batches, then they might not be the best shopper in the world to start with.
That would give you the opportunity to get ahead of them by ensuring you have the best possible rating.
Shoppers with better ratings, after all, get earlier access to batches.
If someone has a middling rating and they’re using a bot, the app can’t grab the batches if they never make it to them.
So improve your rating!
Practice amazing customer service and go that extra mile for your customers.
Be as communicative as they want (let their actions be your guide after an initial hello message) and pick items as if you were shopping for your own family.
Instacart bots are unauthorized third-party apps that can grab batches as soon as they appear, making impossible for other shoppers to have access.
They might work in the short term, but before long, Instacart is likely to get wind of the irregular behavior and you could find your account gone.