Instacart is the leading grocery delivery service in North America, and it’s available in thousands of cities.
As a side hustle, Instacart provides an effective way to make extra cash quickly. It’s also flexible, so you can deliver during the hours that work for you.
And for customers, it’s one of the most comprehensive grocery delivery services out there. You don’t need a membership to use its services either.
However, side hustlers and customers alike sometimes say Instacart sucks. So we’re here to examine the common complaints and, more importantly, to provide some solutions to these annoyances.
Instacart can be an excellent way to increase your income or enjoy speedy grocery delivery. Let’s find out how to make this dream a reality!
Looking for other high-paying side hustles? Checkout:
- DoorDash – Make money with the leading food delivery app in North America!
- Uber Eats – Another high-paying delivery gig with a flexible schedule.
Common Reasons People Say Instacart Sucks (& Solutions)
Time to examine some common complaints about Instacart and what you can do as a Shopper or customer to improve your experience.
1. You Don’t Get Enough Batches
One of the most common reasons Shoppers say Instacart sucks is that they don’t get more Instacart batches. This is understandably very frustrating since a lack of batches means less money in your pocket.
The Solution: There are a few ways to get more batches, but the most important factor is to improve your Instacart Shopper rating. Higher-rated shoppers get priority access to batches, so work on your customer service skills to try and get five star ratings.
Waiting at nearby grocery stores can also increase the number of batches you get offered. And small things like completing Instacart’s alcohol certification course or getting your cooler bags certified can help as well. You can also get certified to deliver prescriptions, which can open up even more batches.
But customer service is definitely the most important. So, send a custom Instacart message, be friendly, and communicate with your customer about replacements and substitutions or any delays so you get a good rating.
2. Batches Aren’t Worth It
The second most common complaint people have about making money with Instacart is that many batches don’t pay enough. This is honestly true sometimes, and if you have to drive 10+ miles and deliver 40+ items for $10, it can feel like a ripoff.
The Solution: First things first, your Instacart acceptance rate doesn’t matter. So never feel like you’re being forced into taking low-paying batches if you don’t think they’re worth it.
Instacart is worth it if you make enough money to cover expenses and for your time to be worth the money. But don’t be afraid to deny batches that aren’t worth your time.
Batches to look for include ones with heavy pay or stacked batches since these tend to pay more. You can also wait in Instacart hot spots (areas with many grocery stores) so you potentially get more orders to choose from.
3. Gas Is Too Expensive
Out of all the driving gigs that pay, Instacart is one of the better ones on gas since you spend so much time in-store shopping. However, gas is still very expensive these days. And since you’re an independent contractor, Instacart doesn’t pay for gas or vehicle expenses which eats into your profits.
The Solution: The most obvious solution is to drive a more fuel-efficient vehicle. However, that can be easier said than done.
One of my favorite Instacart Shopper tricks is to use reward apps like GetUpside that pay you cash back when you refuel. GetUpside can save up to $0.25 per gallon, and that really adds up if you consistently deliver throughout the week.
Recently, Instacart released a new rewards program called Cart Star Rewards that can also help you save money on gas. You need to maintain a 4.7 star rating or higher, but you get perks like cash back from GetUpside, oil change discounts, and even priority access to batches if you reach Diamond Cart tier.
Try out GetUpside for Android or iOS to save on gas!
4. It’s Slow In Your Market
One other common reason people say Instacart sucks is that it’s slow in many markets. And if you’re relying on Instacart as a side hustle, the last thing you want to do is wait for hours in your car with barely any batches to complete.
The Solution: If you’re finding Instacart is slow, the first solution is to deliver at the best Instacart times. In most markets, peak days are Saturday and Sunday. Monday is also a good Instacart day, but the middle of the week can be slow.
It’s also important to beat other Shoppers to the first batches. Instacart batches start as early as 7am in many markets, so try logging into the app earlier to claim these morning batches if you find it’s always slow.
5. Hourly Pay Isn’t Guaranteed
One additional reason people often say Instacart sucks is that your hourly pay isn’t guaranteed. This is the nature of gig economy jobs, and your hourly pay can be all over the map some weeks.
The Solution: The most common solution to stabilize your hourly pay in the gig economy is to multi-app. This is because working for multiple gig apps increases the number of orders you get per hour. And if one app is slow, you can switch to another one that’s busier that day.
Some popular gig jobs you can multi-app with include:
- DoorDash: The leading food delivery service in North America and a much busier app than Instacart generally.
- Uber Eats: Another popular food delivery job like DoorDash.
- Amazon Flex: Lets you earn $18 to $25 per hour by delivering packages for Amazon.
- Cornershop: A grocery delivery service that’s almost identical to Instacart that’s owned by Uber.
DoorDash and Uber Eats are two of the more popular options for multi-apping since you can pause your delivery shifts and also go online anytime if it’s busy.
But in any case, don’t be afraid to experiment with a few apps so you get as many orders as possible when Instacart is slow.
6. People Use Bots To Get Batches
In recent years, some people have been using Instacart batch grabbers, which are bots that automatically claim open batches before human shoppers have a chance to.
This gives some shoppers a very unfair advantage. And it can be tempting to use batch grabbers yourself to try and level the playing field.
The Solution: In my opinion, there isn’t really a solution here other than to wait it out. Instacart can and will ban people for using batch grabbers, and I don’t think it’s worth the risk of getting banned for a temporary boost in batches.
And with the new Cart Star Rewards program, you can get priority access to batches if you reach Diamond tier, which helps offset some of the unfair advantages batch grabbing users have.
7. Your Orders Take Forever To Deliver (As A Customer)
A frequent reason Instacart customers say it sucks is that their orders take forever to get accepted and delivered.
This is inevitable with many gig apps like Instacart, and if you’re ordering a small number of items and live in the middle of nowhere, it’s not really surprising that it’s taking a long time for someone to accept your order.
The Solution: In my opinion, the best solution to get better customer service from your shoppers and faster delivery times is to just tip. Instacart Shoppers work hard, and if you have a large order or live far away, a tip can make a massive difference to them. It also increases the odds a shopper accepts your order quickly and gets to work.
Like any other service, people can get frustrated and think Instacart sucks. This is the nature of any gig job or app, and it’s understandable that people do get annoyed sometimes.
But as a side hustle, Instacart offers a lot of opportunities. And if you know how to shop effectively and get around some of the hiccups, it can be an excellent source of additional income.
Hopefully, this guide provides some actionable steps you can take to have the best Instacart experience possible.
Looking for more money-making ideas? Checkout:
DoorDash Disclaimer: Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. 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!
If you’re interested in freelance writing services or want to partner with This Online World, please use our contact page to get in touch!
Leave a Reply