Category Archives: Jobs

What is it like to be an Instacart Shopper?

Welcome!  Today, dear reader, I will share my experiences about being an Instacart Shopper in San Francisco, CA.



As an active participant in the “Gig economy” using my 13 year old Hyundai Accent to make some spare change, I am a postmates delivery driver and an instacart shopper.   Sadly I have not yet been an uber driver or lyft driver due to not owning a qualifying car.  If you would care to lend me yours, I will do a write up on that!  I will make sure to give you a shout out!

On to Instacart.  What is Instacart?

Instacart is a service where customers can get groceries from local groceries delivered to their house.  Straight from Instacart: “Get groceries delivered to your door in 1 hour. Shop online from stores like Whole Foods and Costco. Your first delivery over $10 is free. Try it today!”

I live in San Francisco, which also happens to be where Instacart started and is headquartered.  The San Francisco Market is ripe for new apps and technology services to solve unique problems.  So to speak.  If you have the money and don’t want to hit up dirty old safeway, have someone get your groceries for you!

I was an instacart shopper one year ago and I did three deliveries and then one day I signed up to work and I had zero batches.  I was on shift for two hours on a Monday night which is supposed to be a busy time according to the instacart managers and I did not get one order. Zilch. Nada. Zero.    I was at the grocery store and had no work.  So I stopped doing work.  But one year later after being reinvigorated by my contact by a Canadian radio broadcaster,  I signed up  again.  at 12:15pm on Saturday  Was immediately available to get a training slot at 2:30pm that day.  I had to physically go back to do the orientation as my account

How to be a shopper.

Pretty simple.  Fill out an application at:

After you sign up online, you will have to go to training.  Learn about the process and the app.  You go through a test drive of the app at training.  Schedule yourself and then start picking up groceries.  Fun!!

Brief Instacart vs Postmates:
I thought the Instacart process was a bit better more streamlined than the postmates process. Sure you have to fill out all the paperwork but it feels like less time spent. At least I get to do it at home on my own leisure. Instacart does have better scheduling than Postmates. You can schedule Instacart shift within the app where you have to use online site for Postmates. With Postmates you have to send an e-mail for cash reimbursements if you have to make a cash purchase; Instacart there no hassle ever on a cash purchase as you will not have to deal with cash purchases.  PEX card only.   The instacart app is a lot better.  Both aesthetically and functionally.    Ultimately the end goal is to get stuff delivered. Both do it.

An hour training session at the instacart offices in San Francisco off Bryant Street is required.

Training Class is in Session

The worst part of Insatacart
Finding the actual items.  Seriously.  Not the most brain activity is needed to do the job. However, the hardest part is finding the stuff.  I am a failry simple man.  I enjoy bacon & eggs, peanut butter and trader joe’s orange chicken as stapels of my diet.  I don’t eat vegtables and am ok with that.  But people order weird things.    What the hell is swiss chard?  Is it like Swiss cheese?  And Ginger.  Aren’t those people that  Cartman from south park makes fun of?

Can’t you organize the store any better?   Where the hell are the canned peppers? Why are they at the end of the aisle by the bacon?  I would put them in the mayonnaise aisle.  Morons.  It is my personal opinion that all grocery stores of the same chain should be set up the same way.  Like all safeways need to be set up the same.  Produce on the right.  Liqour and booze on the left.  Th Potrero safeway is completley fliped from the Marina location; it is freaking ridiculous.  Now I wander around like a cynical old man with dementia.  Yelling at the staff and myself.  Non-uniform stores create unhappy shoppers. And I am still unhappy writing about this now so in the sake of my sanity will move on.

Who eats this stuff?
Who eats this stuff?


The App Screenshot. Get to work!!

 The Pay.

As a shopper you are guaranteed $10/hr for your first 20 jobs.  That is higher for shoppers in San Francisco and is $15/hr.  I worked two jobs my first shift back and made $30.  $10 for the first and a $10 tip.  $10 even for the second one (women still don’t tip 🙂 see my thoughts here.  So total of $30 for a two hour shift.  No true up needed by Instacart.

So there you go. $15/hr average for instacart.  Which is about what I was getting with Postmates.  Is it worth it?  I don’t know.  But you are welcome to give it a go.  If you have more hustle than I do, you can get two orders at a time, bumping your pay up to $30/hr!

The Pay Model
The Pay Model


Unlike Postmates, Instacart is very strict on the alcohol policy and have a full video (albeit only 8 minutes long) about alcohol laws and regulations along with requirements to check id when making deliveries.  There is also a part of the deliver on the app to take a photo and scan the barcode of the person’s id and also have them sign. Way more strict than Postmates, which is just drop the stuff off.

If I was underage and really wanted to get alcohol, just have Postmates deliver it for you.  I never checked ID when I was working for postmates.  But with Instacart you have to scan the customer’s id.   But then again I live in SF and you can have marijuana delivered to you as well with eazeup.

Anyway.  All those wonderful perks of ‘flexibility’ and setting your own schedule with the gig economy gets you $15 per hours Welcome to the part time economy folks. But I did get about 50 instacart logo’ed bags my first time signing up. Which at the going rate of 5 cents credit at whole foods means I have $2.50 sitting in the trunk of my car. Yeah!

Happy Shopping!!