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!
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!
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)
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... 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.
- Customer is alerted of every item picked up.
- You can Call customer if item is not available
- Easy To Do.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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
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