The Remote Blog

Evan's Quarantine Job Reviews

Week 2: Shipt

Hello all, we would like to welcome you back to The Remote’s blog! In case you missed it, last week Evan discussed his experience with Instacart in the hopes that one (or more!) of our readers would find the information insightful and maybe start earning some money on the side. Well this week he’s back and going to discuss his experience with Shipt over the past week and a half! 

For those of you who haven’t heard of Shipt, it’s a full-service shopping app where customers place orders and shoppers (such as Evan) complete the shopping and deliver the groceries to the customer’s front door. Shipt and Instacart are competitors, while Shipt has an exclusive contract with Target, where a majority of their orders originate from. 


Ease of getting set up 

The registration process is simple and took me about 20 minutes to apply, and the background check was completed within 24 hours. One disadvantage about Shipt is that to begin shopping, you must use a debit card from Shipt. It took 4 business days for me to receive the card, as well as a Shipt shirt. From registration to ready to shop was approximately one week, significantly longer than Instacart. Shipt does not offer an Apply Pay option, so shoppers must use the debit card for each purchase. Overall, it was easy to get set up, but took longer than I anticipated. 
 

Shopping + Delivery 

Shipt customers begin by placing their order at a specific store (primarily Target) in their area. These orders are then placed under a metro area, such as the Twin Cities, with individual tabs for each suburb. Shoppers can view their metro area and suburbs in a list, with orders for each area under. Similar to Instacart, within the list of orders it will show you the number of items, estimated earnings (excludes tip, only accounts for base pay), any applicable promos, which store to shop at, the delivery distance, and a preview of the items. Where Shipt differs regarding the user interface is that it shows the time frame the order must be delivered in, if the order is prepaid, and a time estimate for the order. 

Shoppers may also use the schedule function of the app. This allows for shoppers to select which times they will be working, and which zones (or suburbs) they want to deliver to. When a shopper puts themselves on the schedule, Shipt will then send you orders from the zones you have previously selected, instead of having to manually search for orders to select. While I have heard positive reviews regarding the scheduling function, I prefer to manually select which orders I complete. One aspect of Shipt’s available orders function that I really like is the ability to pick where you want to shop, even if it’s across town. With Instacart, you are limited to deliveries within your specific area.

When it comes to shopping for Shipt and Instacart, they both have similar challenges relating to substitutions for items that are not available. Shipt shoppers are encouraged to converse with the customer about replacements, whereas Instacart allows you to make the change with the customer having the ability to decline the replacement. 

 


Safety

From my experience, Shipt offers greater safety support versus Instacart. While Instacart recently offered free safety kits for shoppers, Shipt did this weeks before Instacart did. The Target Corporation recently mandated that all Shipt shoppers must wear a facemask in their stores. One thing that I appreciate about Shipt is that in a partnership with Target, Shipt shoppers are provided with a set of gloves and a facemask each day. As someone who is working as a Shipt shopper to help those in need and make money, I really appreciate Target and Shipt giving shoppers free personal protective equipment. Shipt also offers up to 2 weeks of financial assistance for shoppers who are diagnosed with Coronavirus or have been mandated to individually quarantine by a public health authority. Under a worst case scenario, I feel comfortable putting myself at higher risk in public with a policy like this from Shipt. 

Compensation 

Once again, I’m saving the best for last. Disclaimer: this information is based on my experience with Shipt and the area that I work in (eastern suburbs of the Twin Cities). Similar to Instacart, Shipt shoppers see an estimated earnings for that order, but this only includes the base pay rate. If there is a promo, this will be displayed above the estimated earnings. While the delivery distance is not displayed in miles, a map is available so you can see the general area that the order needs to be delivered at. Shipt does not reimburse shoppers for gas mileage, but make sure to keep track of this as the miles driven can be written off on your taxes! 

This estimated earnings is based on Shipt’s formula, which is $5 + 7.5% of the order total, a higher base pay rate than Instacart. Shipt also offers promos for orders that are about to expire, which range from $5-$15. The most promos occur on Sunday and Monday’s as Shipt receives more orders on these days. Shoppers receive their payments via direct deposit each Friday. 

Through two days of working for Shipt and completing 10 orders, I received around $205 for about 9 hours of work. This comes out to be around $22-$23 per hour, and drops to about $20 an hour after factoring gas expenses. While I am a person who does not expect a tip, a majority of customers will tip their delivery driver. In my experience so far, about 60% of orders tip within a day of receiving their order, but this may take up to a week or two as customers tend to tip the next time they open the app. With that being said, four of my 10 orders currently have a pending tip, which may further increase my pay per hour. 

Conclusion 

While I do not consider myself an expert at either Instacart of Shipt, I do have the experience of working for both. I do not think I am in a position to say that one is better than the other, as I have had good experiences working for both. When I decide that I want to work, I will look over both Instacart and Shipt and review the available orders. If I see a high paying order on Instacart I will take it, otherwise I revert back to Shipt for a more consistent selection of orders. If you’re looking to be strategic and plan your day with orders, I suggest working for Shipt as the consistency of orders allows for high paying days. If you’re looking for a quick one and done order, I recommend Instacart as it shows you the closest orders and new shoppers tend to have easier access to higher paying orders. Both of these are options for those who are seeking to make some money on the side right now. But I suggest doing so ASAP, as we are beginning to hear rumors of a return-to-normal plan, and you should capitalize on the increase of orders during this pandemic. 

Once again, I would like to offer my personal email if anyone has any questions, please reach out to me at dahls101@umn.edu and I would be happy to help!

Evan's Quarantine Job Reviews

Week 1: Instacart

Evan Dahlseide, one of The Remote’s writers, has been working for Instacart over the last two weeks to bring you firsthand experience of jobs that are currently hiring.

For those of you who are unaware of Instacart, it’s a full-service grocery shopping app where customers place their orders and shoppers (such as Evan) complete the shopping and deliver the groceries to the customer’s front door.

Ease of getting set up

Registration was simple and took me around 20 minutes to complete, and it took an additional 2 hours for them to complete my background check. There are a handful of modules that are about 10 minutes each, which educate shoppers on food safety handling, alcohol, and prescription orders. Total time was around 3 hours from start to finish, which I was pleasantly surprised about. Instacart will send you a debit card that can be used to purchase the groceries, but I opted for Apple Pay as I could begin shopping immediately. Shoppers are not required to work at any time and can choose when, where, and for how long they want to work.

Shopping + Delivery

Instacart customers begin by placing an order at a specific grocery store in their area. These orders are available to shoppers in the specific area, and are claimed on a first come, first served basis. Each order has estimated earnings for that trip, a preview of items needed, and the delivery distance for the order. Once you have arrived at the store, you begin shopping for the specific items. Shopping is simplified for the shoppers as it has a picture of the item needed, as well as the aisle that it is located in. The most difficult part of shopping, and Instacart in general, is the lack of necessary household items and food. For example, 12 ct paper towels are sold out at virtually every store, so the shopper must find a smaller option or mark the item as unavailable. Shoppers must use best judgement when selecting replacement items for the customer, but most customers understand the situation and are willing to accept most replacements. 

Safety

Instacart has seen a significant increase in the number of orders since the stay at home order went into effect as those who are at higher risk to COVID-19 opt to have their groceries delivered. Instacart has a training module on the app for shoppers to educate themselves on how to stay protected against COVID-19. Outside of the training module, Instacart takes no additional measures for shopper safety and leaves it up to the shopper to source their own protective equipment. My go to method for protecting myself consists of wearing nitrile gloves while in the store and wearing a home-made face mask. Although Instacart lacks the adequate safety measures for their shoppers, shoppers should invest in their own protective equipment.

Compensation

Now it’s time for the most important part, how much you can get paid. Disclaimer: this information is based on my experience with Instacart and the area that I work in (eastern suburbs of the Twin Cities). When previewing orders, shoppers can see the estimated earnings for that trip, which include the payment from Instacart, any applicable promos, and the customer’s tip. It also has a map showing the best available delivery route and a preview of the area you will be delivering to. I am a big fan of this process as it allows shoppers to understand their duty and pay before accepting an order. One negative for the drivers when it comes to compensation is that the shoppers are not reimbursed for gas, so make sure to keep track of your mileage because you can write it off on your taxes!

 

The pay for each order is calculated on the number of items (and units), and delivery distance. Each order is different, but a 30 item (30 different items) and 40 unit (40 total units) with a delivery distance of 2-5 miles averages $15-25 total. These are orders that I target as I can usually complete the entire order in an hour or less. Be cautious of higher item/unit orders (60-70+), as the higher pay is an incentive for the shoppers, but these typically take much longer and can get stressful if there are a high number of replacements. Instacart offers promos when shoppers are needed most, with the highest promos coming on Saturday and Sunday mornings through early afternoon as Instacart receives the most orders during these times.

Through three days of working for Instacart and completing 11 orders, I received around $250 for 13 hours of work, or around $19.50 an hour, with an even split between Instacart payments and customer tips. When factoring in expenses such as gas and nitrile gloves, my hourly rate drops to about $17 an hour. Considering that it took 3 hours to apply and be accepted, and that I have the ability to pick when and where I work, I suggest this opportunity for people looking to make some extra money in their free time. As mentioned above, payments are split into Instacart payments and customer tips. Instacart payments can be withdrawn at any time and take 1-3 business days to transfer, or immediate transfer is available for a $0.50 fee. Customer payments are deposited weekly and take 1-3 business days to transfer.

Conclusion

Overall, I would recommend Instacart to those who want to make additional money in their free time. The registration process is quick and easy and can allow the individual to begin shopping that day. As with any delivery service, your experience may be impacted by the community (such as grocery stores) and the customers, although I’ve never had a problem with either. Below I’ve included a short pros and cons list that highlight the most important factors of the job. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me personally at dahls101@umn.edu and I would be happy to help! 

 

The Remote