January 7


Is Instacart A Scam? SHOCKING Review!

By Chris M

January 7, 2018

Is Instacart a scam? 

So you're looking for another way to make money, so you finally break down and start looking for another job.

The problem is, jobs require time. This is time away from your family and time away from doing other things that you rather do.

But you desperately need more income.

So you find a service such as Instacart.

Instacart pays you to do something that you actually enjoy doing... shopping!

What does Instacart worth your time, money, and effort?

In this Instacart reviews, we will dive deep into whether or not Instacart is worth your efforts or if it is just another waste of time opportunity.

More in the Instacart reviews below!

Name: Instacart
Website: Instacart.com
Price: FREE, but includes wear on car
Overall Rank:  Revealed at the end!

Spoiler Alert: Not a Scam... but get ready to WORK!

Sorry to interrupt, but before I get into the review... If you want to make money the EXACT same way that I am able to make a full-time income online and not have to leave my HOUSE, then you may want to check out my no. 1 recommendation right here. Just take a quick look if you think you would like to do this, too. Did it mention it is 100% Free? Well it is!

Anyways, I just wanted to give you the same opportunity I had because I know quite a bit of people would appreciate it!

Update 4/25/2018:

Instacart recently updated their app so that you are no longer able to see the destination that you are going to PRIOR to bagging the groceries. This has caused major interruption in the service itself by the shoppers (including me). 

It is a major safety concern to not know where you are going prior to accepting a batch. 

Instacart has gone on record to say that the reason for this is to help mitigate the "cherry-picking" of batches based on the delivery location and some BS about protecting customer addresses based on the delivery location. (which makes no sense because you need the address eventually to deliver... duhhh)

Update 5/4/2018:

In this press release, Instacart has agreed to roll back the update that would not allow shoppers to see a delivery location prior to starting a batch. 

The backlash was so great, that it prompted strikes around the country.

If anything, this is a good indication that Instacart does listen to it's shoppers. 

Regardless, be careful at all times. All jobs carry a measure of risk, but never do anything that you are not comfortable doing, it is not worth it. 

Is Instacart Legit?: Quick Overview

The concept of Instacart is rather simple, but most people only look at it as to how they can purchase the groceries themselves. In this review, we are going to look specifically and how you can make money using Instacart.

As a quick overview, Instacart allows you the opportunity to grocery shop for people who may not have time to (or simply cannot) grocery shop for themselves. You pick up hours and are "on-call" as you receive "batches" or orders from customers. You are paid an hourly wage minimum if you do not get any jobs while you are on-call. You then are paid based on the batches you get and how many items there are in the batch.

Received Mass request you go to the grocery store, pick up the items, scan them into the app, pay for the items, and bring them to the customer's doorstep.

Sounds simple enough, right?

Well, that is because it is.

However, there are quite a few nuances involved with this job that must be taken into account before diving in full force. 

Instacart Scam? What to Expect Before Joining!


Registration with Instacart takes a long time.

We are talking nearly three weeks worth of waiting after you have filled out the initial information either within the app or on the website. The website also requires you to take a picture of your Social Security card your license and a picture of yourself to send to them for verification.

You have to remember, that this is a real job making real money. So they will need some type of verification that you are a United States resident and are eligible to work in the United States.

In my experience, I was a little hesitant to send all of the information to a company that I had just met on the internet. But I took a leap of faith and did it anyway.

Because the company took so long to get back to me, I was a little nervous. But all my fears were laid to rest once I received the Instacart credit card.

What You Receive

After waiting forever and the day, you do eventually receive an Instacart credit card.

Now don't get excited, this credit card is not any ordinary credit card, so don't get any bright ideas.

But what it is is a temporary holding place for customers to put their money so that you don't have to spend your own when picking up their items.

Inside, just aspect of the service is what makes the service so much better to use and use safely. So you never have to worry about exchanging cash with the customer, or even having to worry for the customer to reimburse you for charges. It is very similar to Uber.

It is safe because you never have to worry about carrying around cash.

The Zones

The zones... ah, yes... the zones.

Through the use of GPS on your phone the Instacart app can keep track of where you are at all times. One of the places that you have to stay in its what is called your Zone. The Zone typically includes the county or Parish in which you would be responsible.

If you were to ever leave your Zone, you would receive an alert from Instacart requesting as you go back to your Zone. This is good because it allows you to be close in case you get a batch.

What I ended up doing, was staying at friends houses while I was on shift, but waiting for a batch.

I hear of a lot of people saying that they just stay in their cars waiting in an empty parking lot for them to receive a batch. This could be a negative because you are stuck in that one place waiting to receive a batch... a batch that may never come.

However, a ninja-like trick you can employ is going to stores and hangout, or find a friends house to hang out at while you are awaiting a batch. Just always be aware that if you are called to receive a bath she had 5 minutes to acknowledge it, and you are off to pick up the groceries.

So you do have to be ready at a moment's notice.

You are pretty big, however sometimes the stores and wish you were asked to go to or not always within the zone. So this will require a little more time and planning on your part.

Getting the Right Items and Replacements

Now here is a bit of a tricky part.

Getting the correct items.

Unfortunately, Instacart does not have a list of inventory for each grocery store in the which send you. So there is always a possibility that you can arrive at a store and they not have the item in the customer has requested.

When this happens, you are then required to either find a replacement for that item or refund the customer for the item itself. When you do this, however, you are alerting the customer to each action that you make. The customer will then step in and maybe try to add something else to the list or give you a different replacement that they would rather then what you have chosen.

It sometimes gets annoying because when you were grocery shopping for yourself, you can make these decisions on your own. However, due to the nature of this service, the choices that you would typically make are now needing to be made by the customer. So now you have to contact them anytime there's even the smallest question.

The Pros:

  1. Customer is alerted of every item picked up. 
  2. You can Call customer if item is not available
  3. Easy To Do.
  4. Company Rounds Up for at least $11/hour

The payment structure is interesting, but great if you do not get any batches, but sucks if you do not. 

Allow me to explain. 


So you are promised at least $11/hour.

What this means is that when you pick up hours, if you were to not get a batch at all in your time, they will round you up to $11 average per hour. 

This is a good and a bad thing. If you were to get batches, you get $10.50-$11.00 per batch (this slightly varies depending on where you live, e.g. New York City pays $17 per batch). 

But here is the trick...

When you work what Instacart calls 'peak hours', than you can get $11 per batch, and $0.40 per item picked up. 

If you get a batch with 50 or 60 items you can get an extra $20-$25. Plus there are tips! If you are so fortunate to get a tip with your batch delivery, than you can stand to make potentially $50+ dollars for one batch. 

But when you get the lull period when you do not get any batches than your average will go back down. 

So sometimes, it is worth your time to NOT pick up hours to keep your average up. You would make less money, but make more per hour on average. That would make your time more valuable. 

The Cons:

  • Grocery stores included are few (at least in my area)
  • Having to Scan each Item
  • Customer Interaction vs Timliness
  • Customer Service Is Unhelpful Unless You Are On The Clock

One of the biggest cons that I had to deal with when it came to Instacart was the fact that the places that I was sent to rarely made sense. 

For example, if I am living at Point a and a grocery store is only 3 miles away, and the customer's home is 7 miles away from it why would they send me to an entirely different grocery store that's 10 miles away which then causes me to double-back almost 20 miles.

This often occurred when there are many grocery stores of the same name that is closer, yet I am being asked to go to a grocery store that's twice as far away.

This could be because of some hard during issues, and we have had with it stores individually. Or it could even be a matter of Instacart assigning these tasks and not knowing logistically the layout of the area itself.

Whatever it is, it is a bit of a frustration because a job that would usually take maybe 35 to 40 minutes to complete now takes about an hour and a half. That is not efficient and a waste of time. I could be doing other batches!

Another gripe that I have with regards to the Instacart service from a delivers standpoint is the timeliness that is given versus what the customer expects when their grocery item(s) is not available.

However, before I jump into this Con, I want to make clear that answer card does give you ample amount of time to complete your patches for the most part. When there are times when what the customer wants is not available in store, when that occurs it is up to me on the spot to make a replacement item.

Whenever an item is replaced the customer is alerted via the Instacart app.

And if they do not like your replacement they will let you know. In many cases, they will try to and other items to the list or prompt you to ask management to see if the item that they want is not just in the storage area of the store. These things within themselves are not bad things to do; in fact, it is excellent customer service, HOWEVER, because of the time restraint, you do not have time to wait to contact customers. 

Who is Instacart For?

Instacart is an extremely versatile job.

Because of its versatility, it makes it very easy for people who stay at home during the day to make extra money. It is also perfect for stay-at-home moms that may want to work in the evenings after their husbands come back home.

It is important to realize, however, that you will not get rich using this service. If you're looking for a hassle-free job, this job is perfect.

Pick up hours when you want, or do not work for a month. You are your own self-contractor.

The great part about it is that you do not need any money to start using the service. 

Instacart Tools & Training

There is no real training in tools that are available to people when they try to use Instacart. They do have a pretty good robust frequently asked questions guide on their website, but if you hate reading, you're probably not going to go over this. My wife trained under someone that used the service for a few months.

If you are not so lucky, you will have to depend on trial and error to figure out most of your shoes. Granted, the customer service is available to answer I tell them questions.

But there is one thing that customer service does that really gets on my nerves...

They only answer and tolerate your phone calls when you are on your shift. If you are not on your shift and you call customer service for an issue, you can get the cold shoulder if you were to call after your shift is done. 

Not sure if that is by design, or just a massive coincidence. 

Instacart Complaints

When it comes to complaints, Instacar is not immune from getting a negative review here or there.

However, Instacart has done an excellent job at taking the lead and getting a B- Better Business Bureau report.

A B- rating does a great job at adding legitimacy to the Instacart program.

Feel free to go ahead and read some of the complaints Instacart gives all over the Internet.

But as a synopsis, most of the negative reviews that I saw are not about money but rather the malfunctioning app.

There was one time when my wife was offered a batch and before she was able to acknowledge it the app crashed. After the app came back up, it was revealed that we had "missed our batch."

Which is extremely unfair.

So once they get the app fixed this could be a really good service for someone to make a decent amount of money relatively quickly.

Now this does not mean that the app doesn't work at all. It is just that we have missed a batch or two due to the app not functioning properly. 

You do get penalized for that, but they expire after 30 days. As the customer services rep explained to us, just do not get more than 4 or 5 and it will not affect anything. 

Instacart Price

A great thing about Instacart it said that it cost absolutely nothing to get started.

But there is one thing that you need to watch out for before signing up with Instacart.

You have to consider your gas and wear-and-tear on your car.

You will be driving a lot, and you do not get reimbursement for gas. However, since you are an independent contractor, you are self-employed. Being self-employed allows you to take certain deductions on your taxes that not everyone can take. The most significant reduction that you will benefit from, if you were to start using Instacart, is mileage.

So a pro tip when using Instacart, you must record your mileage. When you do your taxes at the end of the year, you'll be able to write off all of your miles and reduce your taxable income.

Monitor your car and make sure that it can run well so you do not get stuck any places holding on to someone else's groceries. 

Is Instacart A Scam?: My Final Opinion

Instacart is definitely NOT  scam. 

You can make money with the service. It does require you to be out and about rain or shine, but as long as you do not pick up hours during times of inclement weather, than you can avoid that anyways. 

Feel free to use me as a referral right here! Doing so will come with a few perks to the job! So enjoy!

You can pick up hours at anytime as long as they are available. But if you ever want to drop hours that you have already picked up, you will have to do that 6 hours before the shift starts. 

So the flexibility of creating your own schedule is worth its money in gold with this service. 

The downside is that if there are no hours available, than you cannot work at all. So if you happen to live in a busy area with a lot of shoppers, you can miss out on some cash quite regularly. 

Overall, Instacart is really fun to do and you can make a few bucks with it. Provided you like grocery shopping. 

What Should You Do Now?

So now that you have the nitty gritty about Instacart I have a way to make money that you can do from the comfort of your own home. No need to pack up the kids or wear out your car going to strange houses. 

It is fairly a simple concept, you write about something you enjoy, then profit from it. 

Sound crazy? 

Well, it is not. Check it out right here

It is free to try and if you stick with it, it can make you a passive income where you do not have to actively do anything to earn cash. 

I've been using it for a few years now and make a full-time income! 

Plus I will help you with it once you are inside. 

See ya there!

Instacart Overall Scam Rank: 80 out of 100


If you want to make money online the same way I was able to, you MUST check out my #1 Recommendation by Clicking Here


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Chris M

About the author

I am just a father that became a "stay at home dad" by launching an online business! Click Here Now to follow the same training that I used to do it! My mission is to deliver high-quality scam avoidance information and other online marketing information. Please comment below to ask about anything I missed, provide further insights or request new topics for me to cover. Benji and I Thank You! We look forward to being your one stop shop for all things related to the online marketing niche.

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  1. Hi. You have no clue what you are talking about. Instacart is a scam for customers and shoppers. Shoppers get cheated out of pay every week by so called “app errors” that doesn’t allow them to accept batches. When this occurs the acceptance rating goes down and this disqualifies them from getting the hourly guarantee. I worked for them. I talked to so many upset shoppers who didn’t get the pay they deserve. These shoppers are getting less than minimum wage. They only get a long distance bump if it is a single order. They make sure to send the longer distances in double orders so that they don’t have to pay distance. When a shopper has questions about pay they have to e mail in and have to wait weeks for answers. Not sure how you see it but I see this as a scam.

    1. Working for Instacart was not an amazing experience for me, but it wasn’t as bad as you make it seem. I think a lot of this is based on perspective. Thanks for your honest comment!

    2. I think Instacart definitely IS a scam. As a customer, I have never been cheated and lied to by a company as much as I have by Instacart. I think each person who has experienced dishonest behavior from Instacart should report them to the Attorney General, FTC and more. BBB is worth a try, but that is rather meaningless. I also have wondered about a class action lawsuit against Instagram for cheating customers and employees.

    3. What you are saying does not surprise me at all, Twila. I have heard so many similar scams Instacart is pulling on shoppers. And I know first hand that they use similar tricks on shoppers. They literally cheated me like any crook would do. I am surprised they have not been shut down by the government.

    Me and my fiance or school supplies and early engagement gift thought it good to take on some odd jobs. INSTACARt being one. We recently found it a hassle when it came to payments or honoring of its agreement or payments to fulfill it’s “Business Goal” to save it money.

    On the dash it owed my fiance for her hours and commitment to all it’s deliveries over $400. It found it reasonable , even after complaint not to pay her .01cent. STRANGE! She has been breaking her back to make batches and good deliveries. I at the otherhand haven’t done one or have i been that committed, yet received almost $200 according to the same written policy or agreement sent out from instacart and i was not looking to get paid. SHE WAS LOOKING TO SEE THE BENEFITS OF HER HARDWORK AND HER MONEY WAS TAKEN< COMPLAINTS OVERLOOKED.

    After reviewing instacart, I noticed a segment of messages sent out to workers to end ship early. If you're not getting paid why ask such a question when i can keep you suspended in my time to fulfill a last minute order etc. Instacart to me has already failed to uphold it's word or obligation to it;s affiliates. BE AWARE IF YOU'RE WORKING FOR THEM AND LOOKING TO GET PAID YOU MIGHT NOT (TO SAVE THEM MONEY)

    1. Thanks for the detailed comments! This is some really serious stuff that people need to watch out for if they are considering instacart, thanks for the info.

  3. the price of gas, wear and tear on vehicle, crazy people out there you are going to their house, waiting for calls but you are out of your house just hanging around waiting……..someone could mistake you for a gangstalker. its just not a safe thing to be doing in this day and age. I would rather stay close and put ad in my community news blog that ill shop for shut in’s. ill go to their house after talking to them first on the phone and get their list and money. this way I’m totally in control of who I am interacting with. this is very important and you don’t know whos behind a shopping request. shop then drive to their house and get hit on by some horny dude who doesn’t want me to leave. no thank you. and what call the cops? iT SEEMS THERES SO MANY LONELY PEOPLE OUT THERE AND I FEEL FOR THEM BUT…………( & yes older women get bugged too even at our age) I don’t need to put myself in harms way. when I was younger I was not thinking like that and every time I was making money and just doing my own thing something lame like that happened and it just is such negative crap that people should avoid. its not healthy. and I cant imagine that since then its some how gotten better. then there’s the mistakes in pay. I don’t need to wonder if I’m the only one getting ripped off having to wait three weeks for resolve. If I’m doing this I probably need money now. There’s people who need this I guess and the concept is excellent. In a perfect world this is awesome service for shut in’s and those who like to help plus make a couple dollars. but you probably do just as well volunteering with elderly services and doing shopping in that environment. the tips would be pretty good and you’d make some great friends and connections too.. MY TIME IS VALUABLE BEING I’m 58 YEARS YOUNG. I ONLY HAVE SO MUCH LONGER TIL I WONT BE ENJOYING MY PHYSICAL FREEDOM AS I DO TODAY. SO SITTING AROUND WAITING IS NOT FOR ME PLUS I’m not going to drive 10 miles outta my way and be gone 2 hours for 11 bucks,a 2 dollar tip and more wear and tear on my car. Good luck to you all and I hope you do make money at this as there are people out there who need you to shop for them. And they aren’t perverts! Please be safe, and don’t take anyones crap ever!

  4. I was an Instacart Shopper for a year and a half.
    I had excellent ratings, and I loved it. It is a great service, for all to use, BUT. If you are a customer, of course, there is an up charge, that is just how it works.
    I noticed they route orders, just to run up the
    miles, and or the charge. Seems like nothing, but it is not, those pennys add up to dollars. But the area of my concern, is tips, when you give a tip for the driver, you do so, to Thank Them for a job well done.I noticed a pattern on large orders and or big tips. More than once, what it said, when I accepted, your order, and what I was paid, were, two entirely different things. Please, give em cash. Then ya know they got it.

  5. I am an Instacart shopper and find that it’s a great way to supplement my income. I have always been paid on time. I’ve never experienced issues with being able to receive batches. I am getting higher pay than anything else that I could do with my skills as I have almost always been a stay at home wife. I am able to be at home doing other things that I enjoy while waiting to batches to come in. I would strongly recommend it.

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