What Are Demo Orders on Instacart? (Full Guide)

Becoming an Instacart shopper is a flexible way to earn some money on your own schedule, and some shoppers even earn enough to use it as their primary source of income.

But what if you’ve never used Instacart as a customer before, let alone as a shopper? Perhaps you’ll consider a demo order. But what are demo orders on Instacart? If you’d like to find out, keep reading!

What Are Demo Orders on Instacart In [currentyear]?

Demo orders on Instacart are a training feature in the Instacart app in[currentyear]. The company simulates live orders to help new shoppers grow accustomed to and learn their way around the Instacart app. Demo orders are not real, nor are they paid, and shoppers don’t have to report to any store to complete them.

Let’s take a deeper dive into Instacart demo orders, and I’ll answer questions about whether they’re real, how to access them in the app, and whether or not they’re mandatory for training, so keep reading!

Are Instacart Demo Orders Real?

Instacart demo orders aren’t real, and are simulations in the Instacart app to help prepare new shoppers for their first real experience.

As well, they can be used by new shoppers to practice in between real orders.

Shoppers are not interacting with real people on the other end, and the orders are not rated like real, live orders are.

Do You Have to Be at the Store for Instacart Demo Orders?

Because they aren’t real, you don’t have to report at a store to shop an Instacart demo order.

Unfortunately, the location aspect of demo orders have caused some confusion among new hires.

Take u/Bergman147 from Reddit, who commented, “…I went to the club and started grabbing the items and it eventually took me OFF the demo order.”

He went on, “…so I ended up having to put all the items back.”

u/Jbanderson92 chimed in, “when I looked at [mine] it wanted me to shop in Cali. I’m like first off I live in GA.”

This is apparently an issue a lot of new shoppers face, because on another thread,someone else actually went to the store.

Even worse than the first person I mentioned, this user then tried to check out with their Instacart Shopper card (which had nothing on it, so the order was rejected).

Apparently, the truly confusing thing about the demo order was that, like a real order, it asked for a barcode for items (which you can skip and manually mark the items as shopped)

Everything about the demo orders – including and especially the location given for your simulated order – is not real, so do not go to the store listed.

It definitely appears that Instacart needs to do a better job of explaining this feature to its new shoppers.

How Do You Do Demo Orders on Instacart?

How Do You Do Demo Orders on Instacart?

Accessing demo orders is very simple and straightforward in the Instacart Shopper app.

Per ThisOnlineWorld.com, you can find the feature from the Menu icon. You might have to scroll down to see Demo orders listed, nearer to the bottom.

You’ll see a variety of demo orders you can try at different stores.

Pick one and you’ll see the same information you would if you were shopping for a real order, like the (fake) customer, how far away the store is, and the number of items.

You’ll also see how much you would earn accepting the order, including what Instacart pays you and how much the customer has set for the tip.

You can click on Accept and begin the simulation (with the reassuring “Demo Mode” phrase in the upper-middle part of the screen throughout).

Next, you’ll see the demo order set up just like a real one, and you can use this to explore the app and all the functions, as well as practice using the app in a live situation.

There’s an excellent video here that touches on demo orders and shows you what the feature looks like; skip ahead to about 8:15 for the content.

Do You Have to Do Instacart Demo Orders?

Contrary to what you might think, you’re not required to do demo orders before you start shopping with Instacart.

It’s highly recommended, though, because it gives you a low/no-pressure way of learning your way around the app.

However, if you feel confident that you can figure things out as you go, then demo orders are not mandatory.

This was a question that the Reddit user mentioned earlier had posed. He thought he had to get “past” demo orders in order to start working real batches.

However, that is not the case at all.

Rather, as another commentersaid, “…if you’re not seeing batches it’s because your area either has a low amount of orders or too many shoppers.”

Do You Get Paid for Demo Orders on Instacart?

Because Instacart demo orders aren’t real – they are simulations only – you don’t get paid to complete them.

They are not a form of paid training, because, as we covered, you don’t actually go to the store and shop.

However, the trade-off for not getting paid to do demo orders is that you can complete the simulations from the comfort of your own home.

To know more, you can also read our posts on Instacart refund, Instacart waitlist, and if Target is available on Instacart.


Instacart demo orders are simulations of real-life orders, designed to help new shoppers learn their way around the app, and familiarize themselves with the shopping process.

Unfortunately, while they are 100 percent not real, new shoppers have ended up confused and treated them as real orders. Don’t do this- stay home and practice!

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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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