Instacart is one of the most popular grocery delivery platforms out there, operating in over 5,000 cities across the United States and Canada.
And, in terms of gig economy jobs, Instacart also lets shoppers earn upwards of $25 per hour (or even more, if you get lucky) for delivering groceries to people in their city.
But, if you’re currently working as an Instacart shopper and find that you aren’t getting enough batches, you might feel somewhat frustrated.
So, why is it that some Instacart shoppers can make over $1,000 a week, whereas others struggle to get consistent batches?
Well, part of it has to do with picking the best Instacart shopper hours so there’s a higher chance you get regular batches.
So, if you want to know the best times to do Instacart, this is the post for you!
Let’s get to it.
Looking for other lucrative gig jobs in your area? Checkout:
- DoorDash – Make money delivering food via bike, scooter, or car in your city with DoorDash!
- Steady – Find local, high-paying gig jobs with the free Steady app!
Why Picking The Best Instacart Hours Matters
For a lot of gig jobs, you can start working whenever you want.
For example, with Uber Eats, drivers can simply open the app and begin accepting delivery requests as they come in.
Instacart used to be different. In the past, you had to schedule shifts you wanted to work, and Instacart did this to help manage how many shoppers were out there at a given time.
Now, things are different.
Instacart shoppers can now open the app and begin working whenever they want. Furthermore, batch requests go to the highest-rated shoppers first.
According to Instacart: “In several regions across the country, batches will be offered to shoppers directly rather than selecting from the list view, and they will be given time to review without other shoppers being able to accept the batch.”
So, this ultimately means you’re competing with more shoppers and your shopper rating matters a ton!
You can learn more about how to improve your shopper rating in our post on Instacart tips and tricks, but the point stands: delivering at the right time is important to increase the chances you get orders.
Instacart Best Hours To Work – What Instacart Says
Instacart wants shoppers to get orders so they make more money and stick with shopping.
However, they don’t give much information on their website in terms of advice for shoppers.
This is different from DoorDash actually outlines the best times to DoorDash to help beginner couriers make more money.
On the bright side, if you check your Instacart shopper app, you’ll see a “best times to shop” button under the available batches:
If you tap this button, it actually shows you location-specific data for the best times to deliver for Instacart in your area.
This can be a bit buggy once in a while and not display data, but normally, it should outline some suggestions for when Instacart is the busiest.
And, again, if the app sounds like it’s giving bogus recommendations, like to do all of your deliveries at 9pm, take it with a grain of salt.
The Best Times To Do Instacart According To Couriers
Listening to Instacart’s app recommendation is one thing, but, what are the best times to do Instacart according to couriers?
Well, a lot of this question has to do with securing Instacart peak pay, which is a bonus paid on batches during busy periods.
See, Instacart charges customers with busy pricing, so if you can get batches during the busiest Instacart times, there’s a higher chance you score peak pay.
So, what are Instacart peak hours?
Typically, peak hours include:
- Weekdays: From around 4:00pm to 9:00pm as people order groceries when they get home from work and don’t want to go shop themselves
- Weekends: Essentially any time on the weekend since this is when people traditionally shop for groceries themselves and are home to accept orders
Now, on weekends, a lot of batches get claimed early in the morning, so I’d suggest trying to work earlier on the weekend if that’s when you have time.
It’s also worth noting that with more people working remotely now, you can probably get some earlier grocery orders during the week.
However, from what shoppers say, it looks like early on the weekend and later during the week are the best times to do Instacart:
As you can see, one shopper still does 9am to 3pm during the week, five days a week, but most shoppers stick to around 2pm to 10pm for their weekday window.
If we look at other Instacart shopper reviews on Indeed, you also see similar info:
However, as one shopper notes, it’s also important to test your market to see what works best.
Depending on the competiton with other shoppers, it might be optimal to work slightly off-peak hours just so you have more access to batches.
Extra Reading – Instacart Vs Shipt For Making Money.
What Are The Best Days To Work For Instacart?
If you’re trying to maximize your earnings, it can also help to work for Instacart on certain days, at least according to some shoppers.
As mentioned above, Sunday and Monday seem to be the best days for shoppers.
This also makes sense; people come back from out-of-town trips on Sunday and need groceries. Similarly, Monday is a catch-up day for people if they put off errands on the weekend.
According to shoppers on Reddit, it also seems like the weekend and Monday are the best for getting regular batches:
However, it’s still important to test what works in your market and to just use these times and days as a rough starting point.
When Do Instacart Hours Become Available?
If you want to work at off-peak hours, you might be thinking: hey, I’ll just work at 7am or midnight to score some easy batches.
But, Instacart actually only lets customers schedule deliveries depending on partner store schedules.
According to Instacart: “Delivery windows start as early as 9am and run as late as midnight. Check local store hours. Delivery hours are subject to store operating hours, which includes holidays.”
Extra Reading – The Best Apps That Pay You To Drive.
Ultimately, it’s tough to pin down Instacarts best hours to work because, as we see from a bunch of shoppers, every market is different.
However, I think a common trend is that weekends are your friend and that you shouldn’t be afriad of later deliveries during the week.
As long as you learn to shop fast and keep testing your market, you can use Instacart to boost your monthly income.
Just remember to have patience, track your earnings and expenses, and you can find success in the gig economy!
If you know the best Instacart shopper hours for your market, definitely leave a comment down below with your advice!
Catch you guys in the next one.
Not making money with Instacart yet? Sign up to become an Instacart Shopper today!
You an also checkout our post on the best jobs like Instacart!
Looking for other ways to make money on the side? Checkout:
Tom is a 23 year old recent college graduate from Canada with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and marketing. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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