This is really one of the most basic Instacart shopper trick, but it’s vital for protecting your hourly wage! Now, there isn’t a consensus here between shoppers for what Instacart batches you should accept, but two factors worth considering are order distance and how many items are in the batch. Some shoppers only accept batches with 30 items or more, while others aren’t so selective. However, whatever your style, there’s probably no point in driving 20 minutes out of the way to complete a small batch…the base pay and tip just won’t be there to make it worth your while. Ultimately, this is a skill you learn over time, so I’d start by accepting most batches until you figure out which ones aren’t worth your time.
Another simple Instacart shopper hack is to look for peak pay bonuses when on the job. According to Instacart, “occasionally, shoppers may be offered additional pay during hours when the need for shoppers is high.” Additionally, you can see peak pay bonuses before selecting an order, so it’s an easy way to snag a higher-paying batch or two. As you can see in this example, there’s a $3 Peak Boost on the order, making the batch more enticing overall.
When a customer receives their Instacart order, they get an email receipt of everything they paid for. In this sense, you don’t really have to keep your receipts. However, it’s good practice to hold onto your shopper receipts for at least a week or so until Instacart pays you. You never know when there could be a crazy customer who insists they didn’t get a particular item, or there’s a question about an order, so better safe than sorry on this front! Plus, as we’re about to find out, keeping your shopping receipts can also help you score some free money.
One sneaky Instacart shopper trick is to scan your shopper receipts with a variety of reward apps. You see, there are numerous apps out there that pay you with PayPal cash or free gift cards in exchange for buying products from partner brands and uploading receipts as proof of purchase. However, Instacart receipts are eligible for these apps, and since you’re not paying for the items, it’s completely free cash back. Anyway, some useful receipt scanning apps you can try include:
Another useful tip for Instacart shoppers to keep in mind is to always stay in communication with the customer. This provides better service overall, makes your life easier, and ultimately increases the chances you get a nice tip. Here are some good times to get in touch with the customer:
Agonizing over product replacements is where many beginner shoppers can hurt their hourly earnings. The bottom line is that for most products, you should be able to find a simple, acceptable replacement very quickly…just use common sense! Also remember to check notes in the Instacart app since many customers leave specifications about replacement products. But again, it’s all about using your brain…Instacart’s recommended replacement suggestions are often buggy and poor choices anyway, so just go with your gut and make the right choice!
One way to improve quality of service is to bring an insulated food bag to keep hot and cold products at the right temperature. This is even more critical if you’re delivering somewhere with extreme heat or freezing temperatures. No customer wants melted ice cream or a cold entree, so investing in a cheap insulated food bag is a smart move. You can also find cheap freezer bags at places like Walmart or Costco!
Alright, if you’re really looking for some pro shopper tips to work more efficiently, these speed tips are what you need:
If talking to a store associate to find a specific product or replacement saves you time, always talk to them. Asking a question can save you valuable minutes of searching for products yourself, so don’t be shy! My only tip here is to only do this when absolutely necessary since it can still take time for the employee to answer you and track down what you’re looking for.
Quality customer service is a recurring theme here, but for good reason: a generous tip can completely transform how much money you make with Instacart. Frequent communication, being on-time, and picking smart replacements are part of this. However, don’t throw away all of your hard PR work by showing up with a frown, looking like delivering groceries is the last thing you want to be doing. Smile, be polite, and don’t be afraid to ask the customer where they’d like their groceries left or if they need assistance with anything (especially if they’re old and you’re delivering heavy items, like 24-packs of water or pop). Extra Reading – 12 Best Jobs Like Instacart.