Your address will show here +12 34 56 78
instacart, On-Demand

Here’s a glimpse into how much Shoppers at Instacart are earning, as well as insights into the delivery rates for the week of November 20, 2017.


For the week of November 6-12, the average Shopper across our sample earned $13.99 per hour, before deducting expenses. Shoppers worked an average of 29 hours per week, with a maximum of 81 hours. 


There is a wide pay range depending on the city and zone that a Shopper works. Expenses can reduce Shoppers’ earnings significantly. Most Instacart Shoppers are designated as independent contractors and are responsible for paying for their gas, car wear-and-tear, auto and health insurance, and workers’ compensation, as well as incidentals such as parking and tickets.



Share Instacart Earnings and Rates in My City!




Total Earnings per Hour Before Expenses (National Average)

Total earnings per hour includes delivery commissions, bumps, and tips.


*Average earnings/hour is calculated before Instacart Shoppers pay for expenses such as gas, wear-and-tear on their vehicles, or insurance, which Shoppers are required to pay themselves. The 2017 standard IRS deductions is $0.53 per mile. 



Hours Worked per Week (National Average)


The Low Down on Tips

Tips made up on approximately 18% of a Shoppers pay or $2.77 per hour for the average Shopper. Tips vary significantly across our sample size, from as little as  38¢ per hour to as a high as $8.49 per hour.




Tips as a % of Earnings

Deliver Rates by Instacart Zones

For the week of November 20, 2017, here is a sample of various Instacart Zones. Mondays are one of the highest paid days of the week and average $8.36 for full-service shopping and delivering an order.


For delivery-only (i.e. orders that were already prepared at the store), Shoppers receive $5.13 on average for each delivery they make.  The upcoming rates that Instacart pays Shoppers varies significantly based on region and day of the week.


Full-Service Rates


Delivery-Only Rates

Full Service Rates by City/Zone


Delivery-Only Rates by City/Zone

Track Instacart Rates In Your City

To have access to the most up-to-date reports and insights, add your earnings and delivery rates for Instacart in your city.

Share My Earnings and Rates for Instacart Now!




Commission Details, instacart, On-Demand

We polled Instacart Shoppers for details on their commission rates for the week starting on November 5, 2017. As each day has different payout amounts, we asked Shoppers to share the commission details provided for their city on Monday and Tuesday, which are typically on the high and low ends of the payout scales respectively.

We had over 160 responses from Instacart Shoppers across the US. Many cities/markets contain multiple zones, each with their own specific commission payouts. For these cities, we took the average of all the different inputs. The number of respondents is included at the end of the city name. Here’s the data and some of our initial observations.

There is a wide range of variability for delivery rates between different markets.


All markets have different commission rates between Monday and Tuesday, however, some markets have greater differences than others.

There can also be wide ranges of delivery commission rates within different zones in a single market.


Help Bring Transparency to Instacart in Your City



Share My Earnings and Rates for Instacart! 




instacart, On-Demand

Instacart, an on-demand grocery delivery service, recruits new shoppers with images of a single shopping bag and flowers being delivered to a residence. The customer is portrayed as a new parent that needs last minute items before cooking dinner. However, the reality of what’s being delivered and who it’s being delivered to is often a very different story.

Online communities for Instacart Shoppers are filled with discussions and pictures of bulk deliveries that Instacart demands their shoppers deliver. In many cases, the customer is not a parent getting ready to cook dinner, but rather, local and national businesses.   These commercial customers use Instacart to stock up on supplies they need to run their business. These supplies can be large and heavy bulk items and are often in large quantities.




There are many challenges with these large bulk orders

Weight and Lifting

When shoppers sign up to work for Instacart, they are required to check a box stating that they can lift 30-40 pounds. Many of these orders, however, include items that exceed 50 pounds such as bags of sugar, salt, and other items.   Often, there are multiple units of these heavy items, increasing total weight to hundreds of pounds. Instacart Shoppers are not provided training for heavy lifting or provided heavy lifting equipment such as dollies, weight belts, or cargo vans. Instead, shoppers are equipped with a shopping cart and their personal car. Many orders also require long hauls up many flights of stairs to deliver to the end customer. There have been numerous, documented instances of Instacart Shoppers being hurt on the job. As independent contractors, however, they don’t receive any help from the company. Worse yet, shoppers are punished with reliability incidents from Instacart for not accepting the next order after an injury. And during recovery time, injured shoppers lose Early Access eligibility, which hinders their ability to pick up new shifts after they heal.


Wear and Tear on Shoppers’ Cars

Working for Instacart requires a vehicle. Nowhere in the Instacart vehicle requirement, however, is any specification for the size of the vehicle or whether it can fit these large orders into the car safely. To complete their orders, shoppers often have to fill their car to the brim with these heavy and large items, creating unsafe driving conditions and adding wear and tear on the shoppers’ vehicle.

Compensation for Large, Batch Orders Needs to Change

To add insult to injury, Instacart doesn’t pay shoppers based on quantity, weight, or any other measure of effort. Instead, Instacart generally pays shoppers 40 cents per item type. For example, 198 units of 1-gallon waters weighing 1700 pounds counts as one item type. An Instacart shopper would receive 40 cents for this water delivery, the same amount they’d receive for delivering a single Snickers candy bar. This is something that Instacart should fix.

No way for Instacart Shoppers to Decline Large Orders without Repercussions

Most importantly, there is no easy way for shoppers to decline these large, bulk orders without negative consequences. Doing so can result in a Reliability Incident, which is Instacart’s form of a black mark on a shopper’s account. When a shopper receives 5 Reliability Incidents they lose the ability to schedule hours more than a day in advance. This in turn can cause the shopper to lose the majority of their income because available hours (i.e. shifts) are typically claimed much earlier than the day before.  It can take weeks, if not months for a shopper to earn back the ability to pick up hours in advance (Early Access).

In a recent incident, one Instacart Shopper in Las Vegas called Shopper Happiness, Instacart’s shopper support call center, to inform them that she was uncomfortable delivering twelve 50 pound bags of sugar. Even after telling them that the bags exceeded the 40-pound requirement that she signed up for, she was told she risked her account being deactivated if she didn’t complete the order. Since Instacart is the primary income for many shoppers, they are forced to accept these orders or face losing their livelihood.

If Instacart is going to continue to pursue these types of orders, they need to make improvements in two key areas:

  1. Don’t require shoppers to accept orders with heavy items, or large quantities that don’t fit into their vehicles. This should be an easy opt-out process and should not impact their ratings, reliability incident counts, or ability to pick up future batches.

  2. Compensate shoppers fairly for these types of orders. At a minimum, this should include larger commissions for heavy items, which should be per unit, and not by item type.

To see what other issues Instacart Shoppers would like to see changed, or to share your own ideas, click here:



Lyft, On-Demand, Uber

On-demand ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft recruit drivers with guarantees about covering them with car insurance. This allows the driver the option of using their own car to transport customers during their shifts, which can range from a few times a week to everyday and may add up to hundreds of miles.

These policies are an effort to provide incentives for these on-demand drivers to use their own cars more frequently without worrying about the additional risk that comes along with being on the road significantly more.

The Lyft insurance policy that is advertised on the driver section of the Lyft website states:

“Lyft provides additional insurance policies, at no cost to the driver. We worked with leading insurance carriers to provide various coverages including: commercial auto liability insurance up to $1M per occurrence, contingent collision insurance for drivers who carry collision coverage on their personal auto policy, and coverage for bodily injury caused by uninsured/underinsured motorists when you are engaged in a ride.”

However, some Lyft drivers believe the insurance guarantees are unclear and unfair, which causes some drivers to shoulder the costs of accidents and vehicle maintenance. According to this San Francisco Lyft driver,

“I got my car dented while working on the job and thought that my car was insured by Lyft but they now say we are only insured if it is a passenger that does the damage not a third party.”

Does your on-demand job have clear insurance policies? Share your experiences and insights with us at


Lyft, On-Demand, Uber

On-demand service companies like Uber, Lyft and Instacart promote themselves as employers that provide flexible schedules by letting employees choose when and where they want to work. This can enable them to set schedules after work, class, during a commute, etc. to make extra money.

Uber recruit’s employees based on the claim, “You can drive with Uber anytime, day or night, 365 days a year. When you drive is always up to you, so it never interferes with the important things in your life.”

Unfortunately, Uber drivers on dumpling have explained the realities of on-demand driving, which is that drivers experience anything but free schedules. One Uber driver in San Francisco, CA wrote,

“I only ever drive if I’m on my way somewhere, so I use the destination feature. It consistently takes me out of my way or the opposite direction and makes my trip way longer. If it’s not on the way don’t give me the ride.”

Instacart, an on-demand service where employees shop for and deliver groceries to customers, promotes that employees can “schedule work around your own life.” However, some locations take the driver miles outside of their preferred driving locations. An Instacart employee from San Francisco stated,

“you must work a minimum amount of 40 hours to get the areas that you want the most.”

Another issue that prevents flexible schedules at on-demand jobs is surge pricing, which changes according to supply and demand from customers. Driving outside of surge times can lead to wasting gas on dead hours, when there are no customers. This means that in order to turn a profit, on-demand employees must follow the demand of surge times that occur infrequently and not during their desired work times.

According to CityLab, an online media site, this forces on-demand employees to only work during surge times because fairs at certain times are too low and they have a hard time finding customers.

Has your experience working for on-demand service jobs allowed you more flexibility with work scheduling? Share and post your opinions at dumpling: