Instacart Shopper vs. Shipt Shopper: Which is Better for Drivers?

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Who wins when comparing Instacart Shopper vs. Shipt Shopper as a driver? We compare pay, requirements, and schedule to see which app is better for drivers.

I love to earn extra money, especially when I can do it on a flexible schedule. Additional income is something many people want, particularly in our current climate. One excellent way to make money is to work for on-demand delivery services. You may look at popular options like Instacart Shopper vs. Shipt Shopper and wonder which service is best to make money.

Both platforms are well-known grocery delivery services. Those who are busy or simply don’t want to leave the house to purchase groceries use the service to have items delivered to their home.

The on-demand space is booming. You can deliver meals through services like Postmates, or help meet the grocery shopping needs of people in your area.

There is a lot to consider when considering working for a food delivery service like Shipt Shopper or Instacart Shopper. The better option often depends on your area and the features that you prefer.

In this comparison review, we break down the similarities and differences between the two apps so you can start earning money immediately. Both services claim you can earn $20+ per hour!

Instacart Shopper vs. Shipt Shopper: Which is Better for Drivers?


Jobs like Instacart Shopper and Shipt Shopper allow customers to order groceries and have you do their shopping for them.

As customers enter their orders, they become available for you to claim, do the shopping, and deliver to their homes.

As such, both platforms operate in many similar ways.

Despite the similarities, there are also plenty of differences between working for either service. It’s often not as simple as delivering groceries to customers and getting paid.

You want to consider numerous things when working for either service, such as:

  • Pay
  • Bonus structure
  • Tips
  • Driver support
  • How the app works

This review of Instacart Shopper vs. Shipt Shopper covers those topics so you can decide which of the delivery app jobs is best for your needs.

Shopper Requirements and Availability


Instacart Shopper and Shipt Shopper are a flexible income option for independent contractors who don’t mind acting as a personal grocery shopper.

Instacart Shopper

The application process is simple, and you can apply for either service online.

Shipt Shopper hosts its onboarding process and optional training online or via the app. Instacart Shopper, however, offers an in-person orientation for new shoppers.

Instacart Shopper hires both part-time shoppers in local grocery stores and independent contractors who shop and deliver groceries in their own vehicles.

If you are applying for the shopper and delivery role with Instacart, you can get by without having to do an in-person orientation.

The best way to find out if Instacart Shopper or Shipt Shopper is available in your area is by visiting their websites and entering your zip code.

Instacart Shopper has significantly more coverage throughout the country. The service is available in over 5,000 cities, as well as throughout Canada.

Alternatively, Shipt Shopper is available in roughly 300 cities. The service is also not available in Alaska or West Virginia, but it is growing quickly.

Shipt Shopper

Requirements to work for both apps are similar. If you meet the qualifications for one, it’s likely you will for the other.

Shipt Shopper requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a reliable 1997 or newer vehicle
  • iPhone (iOS 10 or newer) or Android (5.1 or newer) smartphone
  • Capable of lifting 40 pounds
  • Eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Valid U.S. driver’s license and auto insurance

Instacart Driver requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Access to a recent smartphone (iPhone 5/Android 4.4 or newer)
  • Eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Capable of lifting 40 pounds
  • Access to a reliable vehicle
  • Valid driver’s license and auto insurance

Learn more about how to become an Instacart Shopper and how to become a Shipt Shopper by reading our respective reviews.

Shipt Shopper Pay vs. Instacart Shopper Pay


Both platforms pay shoppers a minimum order fee often based on the size of the order.

Shipt claims drivers can earn between $16-$22 per hour on the platform, inclusive of tips. The more orders you take, the more you can earn.

Once shoppers complete their 100th trip, they can earn up to $24 per hour.

Shipt also offers optional education courses to help you become the best possible shopper.

Shipt and Instacart both allow shoppers to keep 100 percent of the tips received from customers. Since the pay depends on how much you shop, you decide when you want to work.

You can work part-time or full-time for either grocery delivery service. It’s up to you as you create your own schedule.

Instacart also claims its shoppers can earn $20+ per hour. If you put in the work, you can easily earn $100 per day with Instacart.

While both services claim earnings of $20+ per hour, reports indicate it’s closer to $15 per hour.

You can increase earnings by accepting more orders or working during peak hours. Additionally, both services pay weekly.

One thing to consider about Instacart Shopper pay or Shipt Shopper pay is that contractors are responsible for their own gas and auto maintenance.

Another critical factor is that as an independent contractor, these platforms do not deduct taxes from your weekly payments. You’ll have to be prepared to pay taxes at the end of the year.

These are just expenses to keep in mind when determining how much money you’ll earn.

How Each App Works


Shoppers for both on-demand gigs use the app to accept orders, view items on a customer’s list, and receive the delivery destination.

With Instacart Shopper, you use the app to scan grocery items and cross them off the list.

Instacart lets you know all the orders that are ready for pickup in the “available batches” part of the app.

You’ll see everything you need to know about the order by looking in this section.

  • If it’s a full-service order
  • How many items
  • Location of the store
  • Estimated pay
  • Estimate mileage
  • Drop-off location

Once you arrive at the store, make sure to use the app to mark that you have arrived and are starting to shop. Another way you may use the app is to pay.

For the Online Pay orders, you don’t use the Instacart pay card, but you’d scan the barcode on the app instead.

You also use the app to chat with customers, scan items, request substitutions, and track the weight and quantity of produce.

The Shipt Shopper app works similarly, allowing you to see items to purchase, communicate with customers, and expected pay.

However, Shipt is a little different as you can set your delivery radius straight from the app.

This can help you avoid having to deliver 20 minutes from a store, but also limit how many orders you get overall.

You can use the “available orders” tab in the Shipt shopper app when you are ready to start taking orders. Shoppers can also look for promo orders that are worth a little more than regular ones.

Finally, when working for Shipt, the service provides you a prepaid cash card for each order. It will cover all the items you must buy, with a little extra in case a customer requests additional items.



Instacart Shopper hours typically begin between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Most grocery stores open around 9:00 a.m., but there are also 24-hour stores that will receive orders at various times throughout the day.

If you aren’t a morning person, you can also choose shifts in the afternoon, or up until the stores close in your area.

You are in charge of when you work and can select your shifts through the app. Orders come through, and you decide if you would like to accept them.

Customers are allowed to leave notes in the app, letting you know of any substitutions that may arise while shopping.

Having those notes already in there can help limit the times you have to check in with the customer while shopping for their groceries.

With Shipt Shopper, you choose your schedule in advance. Select the hours that best fit your schedule, and you’ll receive orders only during that period.

You can select multiple shops at once but pick realistic ones that you think you can complete. You want to be strategic when scheduling these out.

You’ll know before you accept how big the order is. If you feel an order might not be worth it, you can decline it, but that will affect your acceptance percentage.

Keep an eye on that percentage because if it falls too low, that can affect how many orders the Shipt Shopper app sends you.

The platform not only lets you accept orders, but that is also how you scan grocery items.

Shopper Support


Driver support is essential when working for a grocery delivery service. You never know if there will be a problem with an order, or you will have a question about earnings.

Both the Instacart Shopper app and Shipt Shopper app offer various forms of support. Following are the methods of support available through each service:

Both platforms offer 24/7 support by phone, though neither guarantees contact via email or social media.

Shipt Shopper does differentiate itself a bit as it offers a 24/7 live chat option through the app.

This lets you reach a support representative, and receive immediate assistance, without having to wait on hold.

Pros and Cons for Both


Instacart Shopper and Shipt Shopper offer similar services. Both offer personal grocery shopping and delivery throughout the country to people.

Here’s what to keep in mind by working for Instacart Shopper:


  • Flexible Hours
  • Get paid weekly
  • Keep 100 percent of tips
  • Know your delivery destination before getting to the store
  • Only need a reliable car
  • Wide availability throughout the country


  • Don’t get paid hourly
  • Can cause heavy wear on vehicle

Here’s what to keep in mind by working for Shipt Shopper:


  • Puts drivers through training
  • Get paid weekly
  • Keep 100 percent of tips
  • Only need a reliable car


  • Some areas have limited order availability
  • Vehicle wear and tear

There aren’t many significant differences between either service. If you have a flexible schedule and a reliable car, both offer a legitimate way to run errands for money.

Who wins when comparing Instacart Shopper vs. Shipt Shopper as a driver? We compare pay, requirements, and schedule to see which app is better for drivers.Summary


To determine which app wins in the Instacart Shopper vs. Shipt Shopper debate, it depends on how each app does in your area.

In the Midwest, where I live, Instacart is the more popular app, especially for smaller cities. However, I’ve talked to over people who do well with Shipt in other states.

Find out which app is more popular in your area and decide which one has the best features to meet your needs. Shipt has more potential to pay a higher rate, but you won’t know for sure until you give it a try.

You can make a decent income with either platform. Sign up for one or both of the apps so you can earn extra cash during your spare time.


What is your favorite way to make money on the side? What else is important when considering Shipt or Instacart as a driver? How important to you is a set schedule when attempting to earn extra money?

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Choncé is a freelance writer who’s obsessed with frugality and passionate about helping others increase their savings rate, eliminate debt, and work toward financial stability. She chronicles her journey with balancing motherhood, work, and finances on her blog, MyDebt

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