For people who can’t get out of the house but need essentials from stores like Target, Shipt shoppers are true heroes. They deliver the goods with a smile. And if you love to shop at those same stores and need extra cash, working with Shipt could be a dream job.
The best side hustles allow you to create your own schedule, so you can squeeze in part-time hours outside of your regular job or build a full-time schedule that works for you. Shipt fits the bill; as a Shipt shopper, you can be your own boss and work any time. But it’s also unique in that your independence doesn’t mean you’re isolated. You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with other Shipt shoppers at community launch parties if you choose.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend side job, a temporary gig, or a full-time opportunity, Shipt gives you the chance to learn how to make money just by fulfilling shopping lists for Shipt members. But it’s neither the only option for earning extra money nor is it the right choice for everyone. Read our full Shipt review to find out whether becoming a Shipt shopper is right for you.
What is Shipt?
Launched in the summer of 2014 in Birmingham, Alabama, Shipt is a member-based online marketplace that connects users with shoppers to fulfill orders for groceries and essentials. It is available in more than 260 cities and growing.
Shipt partners with local retailers which vary from city to city, but Shipt shoppers can typically pick up orders from stores like Target, Office Depot, Petco, CVS, and local grocery stores. Subscribers can pay $99 for an annual membership to get unlimited deliveries with the service. They can also opt to pay $14 for a monthly membership instead of an annual Shipt membership fee. Orders under $35 have a $7 delivery fee.
Shipt is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. And shoppers have good things to say about working for Shipt on Glassdoor. Shipt is a legitimate business that provides members with a valuable same-day delivery service and gives shoppers a fun way to earn cash. The company also works with organizations such as Feeding America and the Cam Newton Foundation to give back to the community.
How does Shipt work?
To place an order, Shipt customers browse the aisles of their favorite stores on the Shipt app or website. They can place orders for delivery as soon as one hour away. Once that’s scheduled, you’ll see offers for orders in the app with an estimated payment, which you can choose to accept. From there, you’ll visit the store and select the items from the order. Shipt partners with local grocery stores in addition to popular retailers like Target, Walmart, Meijer, H-E-B, Petco, CVS, Costco, Publix, and more.
While shopping, you’ll communicate with the member to provide updates on the shopping process; for instance, if items are out of stock. The member can make special requests for items they need this way as well. You’ll pay for the order at checkout with a prepaid card provided by Shipt. Next, you’ll deliver the order directly to the member’s door.
Who can earn with Shipt?
Shipt vets its personal shoppers by asking them to answer simple questions and submit video responses. In order to be eligible for the interview process, you must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license and current auto insurance policy
- Have a reliable vehicle (1997 or newer)
- Have basic knowledge of produce selection
- Be able to lift 40 pounds
- Have a smartphone (iPhone iOS 10 or newer or Android 5.1 or newer)
Ship delivery drivers also need to complete a background check. Because the Shipt onboarding process is a bit more comprehensive than some other gigs, it’s best for people who are comfortable investing a little extra time. You should also be a people person and understand how to provide superior customer service, and it helps if you enjoy shopping.
How much do Shipt shoppers make?
Shipt notes that experienced personal shoppers can earn anywhere from $16 to $22 per hour, but actual earnings will vary based on your location and how efficiently you shop. Shoppers who have shopped more than 100 orders can make up to $24 per hour. When you shop with Shipt, you also have access to perks through Benefitfocus, which can help you save money. These include subsidized auto insurance, savings on phone plans, and more.
As an independent contractor, you’ll be paid per Shipt order and keep 100% of your tips. Payments are made through direct deposit, so you’ll automatically get money in your bank account every Friday for any orders you completed the previous Monday through Sunday.
Maximizing your earnings with Shipt
Although a typical order takes about an hour and earns you up to $22, there are some ways to earn more and keep more of your earnings.
- Take the optional educational courses. Shipt offers free learning materials and FAQs designed to help you become a more efficient shopper. With these resources, you may be able to increase your hourly rate.
- Grab as many orders as you can. If you stay consistent during the hours you set aside to work, you’ll snag more income.
- Drive a fuel-efficient car. Fuel and maintenance costs are one of the drawbacks of a gig that requires driving. If you drive a fuel-efficient vehicle, you’ll have lower costs associated with your job.
- Take advantage of the benefits and perks. Shipt may be able to save you money on essentials like car insurance. Sometimes, using your car for business purposes can raise your premium, but the subsidy Shipt provides may offset this cost.
- Focus on earning tips. Shipt shoppers keep 100% of their tips. If you provide friendly service, you’ll be more likely to take home extra money.
How to get good reviews on Shipt
Good reviews and good tips are linked, so it’s in your best interest to provide the best possible customer service experience to members. Here are some tips.
- Communicate well and often. Update members about your shopping trip and reply to their requests.
- Ask about replacements. If you’re not sure whether an item should be replaced, ask the customer. It can be frustrating to receive the wrong items, but if you communicate any issues upfront, the customer will most likely be satisfied with your service.
- Pay attention to the delivery window. Be mindful of delivery time frames. Don’t take breaks in your car during an order. Deliver your orders as soon as they are ready to increase customer satisfaction.
- Go the extra mile. Don’t just drop the groceries on the curb. Ask customers if they need help bringing items inside.
- Request feedback. Ask if there’s anything you can do better next time. Not only will this help you improve your service, but it will also show customers you’re dedicated to doing a good job.
How to stay safe with Shipt
Shipt is safer than many gig economy jobs because you won’t need to invite customers into your vehicle. In most cases, you won’t even enter their homes; you’ll never be required to go into someone’s house if you’re not comfortable. Still, you should take certain steps to stay safe, during the pandemic and beyond.
- Wear your personal protective equipment. In partnership with Target, Shipt is providing shoppers with a set of gloves and a mask each day. Make sure to wear your equipment to help protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19.
- Keep your distance while remaining friendly. If requested, drop the order off at the customer’s door and take a few steps back until you are at least 6 feet away. Be sure to wave and wish the customer well before you leave.
- Keep your phone with you at all times. Shipt provides 24/7 assistance to shoppers, but you’ll need access to your phone to call for help. You should also dial 911 if you feel you are in danger.
- Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, call someone, and don’t enter the customer’s home.
Common questions about Shipt
Is working for Shipt worth it?
Compared to other side hustles, Shipt is a relatively high-paying gig. It’s also flexible, allowing you to set your own hours and take breaks when needed. And many Shipt shoppers become friendly with cashiers at local stores, get to know members, feel satisfied with providing a needed service, and interact with other shoppers at exclusive events. If Shipt seems like a fun opportunity to you, it’ll be well worth it if you're exploring how to make money on the side.
Is Shipt better than Instacart for drivers?
Instacart full-service shoppers have reported earning anywhere from $10 to $15 per hour on Glassdoor, but actual hourly rates can vary significantly. Working for Instacart is similar to working for Shipt in that you can make your own hours, accept deliveries with pay estimates in the app, and shop and deliver orders to customers.
What’s different about Shipt is it’s membership-based, so you’re delivering to loyal customers. And although pay can vary by location and shopper efficiency, Shipt does seem to offer better rates for shoppers than some of its competitors.
You can compare Shipt vs. Instacart side-by-side and see which is a better fit for your situation.
Does Shipt pay mileage?
Shipt does not reimburse shoppers for mileage, so you’ll need to factor the cost into your total take-home pay. However, you can deduct the expense from your taxable income when you file your tax return.
How much does Shipt pay its shoppers?
According to Shipt, seasoned personal shoppers can earn anywhere from $16 to $22 hourly, but actual earnings will vary based on your location and the time it takes you to fulfill orders. Once you complete over 100 orders, you can earn up to $24 per hour as a Shipt shopper.
How to sign up for Shipt
- Visit the Shipt shopper application.
- Enter your name, email address, and phone number. Click “Apply now.”
- Answer a few questions to showcase your decision-making, problem-solving, and communication skills.
- Submit video responses to additional questions.
- Read and sign the Shipt shopper agreement.
- Wait to be approved.
- Download the app and shop your first order.
Other side hustles to consider
Shipt is one of the best side hustles for anyone who enjoys shopping to earn extra income, but it’s not the only option out there. You may not be eligible to work for Shipt, or grocery shopping may not be your speed. If you don’t have a vehicle but still want to shop orders, Instacart is a grocery delivery service offering part-time opportunities for in-store shoppers that don’t require any driving.
Or, you might decide that you spend enough time grocery shopping for yourself each week, and you’d rather spend your free time hanging out with dogs and cats. You can offer pet-sitting and dog-walking services at your own rates and on your own schedule with Rover. Your clients (the furry ones) will be thrilled to see you, and you can help alleviate some of the burden for pet parents.
No matter which side hustle you choose, picking up a gig can be a great way to meet your financial goals. Whether you’re saving money for a major purchase, trying to pay down debt, or just seeking temporary employment after being furloughed or laid off, we commend you for recognizing your financial needs. Here’s hoping you can find a fun opportunity that won’t feel like work.