Want to know how much Shipt shoppers make?
The on-demand grocery delivery service Shipt has exploded in the past couple of years, and that’s great news if you want to make extra money with a flexible side hustle. Customers love the ease and same-day delivery, and shoppers appreciate the opportunity to make some extra cash.
But not all side hustles are created equal, and this Shipt shopper pay guide will help you decide if Shipt is the right one for you. You’re going to learn how much Shipt shoppers make, about the new Shipt pay structure, driver requirements, and more.
What is Shipt?
Shipt is a same-day grocery delivery service that launched back in 2014. It was acquired by Target in 2017, and it’s since grown to service over 5,000 cities throughout the U.S. with over 300,000 shoppers nationwide.
It’s main competitor is Instacart, but Shipt has been growing since the Target acquisition. Shipt also got rid of their membership-only structure to appeal to new customers — you can still purchase a membership and save on orders, but customers can now purchase passes if they’re not ready to commit to a membership.
How much do Shipt shoppers make?
While Shipt advertises that shoppers roughly $22/hour, the reality is that most Shipt shoppers earn an average of $12-$20/hour.
The reason for that range is because Shipt shoppers are independent contractors and don’t earn a flat hourly wage. They use a commission-based pay model that varies by order, and the more difficult the order, the higher the per-order pay.
Shipt shopper pay structure
Until 2020, Shipt paid shoppers based on a pay structure that was a minimum of $5 per order + 7.5% commission. For example, if the order was $100, you’d be paid $5 + $7.50 = $12.50.
Earning $12.50 for what could take an hour between driving and shopping doesn’t sound like a lot, but remember you keep 100% of your tips. Add $5 or $10 on top, and you’re looking at $17.50 to $22.50 for one order.
However, since the new Shipt pay model was launched in 2020 — it’s a “black box” algorithm called V2 — some drivers have been reporting lower pay. Shipt hasn’t been very transparent about exactly how the algorithm calculates pay.
Shipt says “Orders will be offered with an estimated pay based on the effort it takes to complete the order.”
What we do know about the new Shipt shopper pay formula is that you still earn $5 base pay and keep 100% of your tips. There’s an additional unspecified amount added to that.
So, your Shipt shopper pay for each order includes:
- Base pay
- Effort factor
That kind of opaque pay model isn’t uncommon among food delivery services, and the reality is these algorithms look at lots of different factors to calculate pay. We can assume “effor” accounts for factors like order size, market demand, types of items ordered, and distance.
Despite the change in Shipt shopper pay, USA Today reported that one man in Michigan earned a little over $100,000 working as a Shipt shopper in 2020.
That’s unusually high pay, and in his interview with USA Today, he said shopping for multiple orders at a time and being organized helped him succeed. He also said that people were more generous at the beginning of the pandemic and thanked him for his work with larger than average tips.
Working as an independent contractor
Shipt shoppers, like many other gig employees, are considered independent contractors. There’s a lot of flexibility in working for yourself, but there are two things you’ll want to want to understand because they can eat into your take-home pay.
Shipt doesn’t withhold taxes from your pay, meaning you’re responsible for reporting and paying those taxes come tax time. Shipt shoppers who yearn over $400/year will also need to pay self-employment tax, which is 15.3%.
Whether you’re shopping for Shipt or another food delivery service, you are responsible for any expenses related to your side hustle. This includes fuel, vehicle maintenance and repairs, overall wear and tear, ride share insurance, cell phone, insulated bags, and so on.
While driver expenses can really add up, you can take a mileage deduction at tax time, and you can also write off any additional expenses related to shopping for Shipt.
Just remember to keep track of your mileage and expenses!
How Shipt pays shoppers
Shipt pays shoppers via direct deposit every Friday for the work completed the previous Monday through Sunday. It includes pay for every order plus any tips you’ve earned throughout the week.
You can expect money to hit your bank account 1-3 business days after Shipt initiates direct deposit.
If you’re looking for a job that pays weekly, Shipt could be a good option for you. But if you’re looking for something that pays more often, Shipt does not have an instant cash out option like DoorDash or Instacart offer.
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How Shipt works for shoppers
The Shipt app is where all of the magic happens for shoppers. It starts when a customer places an order at a grocery or convenience store.
When a Shipt shopper is active in the app, they’ll see the order pop up and can learn more about it before accepting it. You won’t see exactly what’s in the order unti you claim it, but you’ll get a sense of how difficult the order will be to fulfill.
Once you click the “claim” button, the order is yours. The Shipt app tells you where the nearest store is and offers GPS driving directions there. You can accept multiple orders for the same store, and this is a good way to increase your hourly pay because you can shop for two or more orders at once.
The app tells you exactly what the customer wants you to buy, and customers can recommend substitutions and leave special instructions. Follow your customer’s order exactly. We cannot stress that enough because it’s how you’ll boost your Shipt driver pay with tips.
If you’re ever unclear or confused about something, you can and should communicate with the customer through the app. Good communication is key!
Shipt shoppers have a preloaded card to pay for orders, and the app provides you with GPS driving instructions to your customer’s home. The app also tells you any special delivery instructions, like key code for the gate or a requests for contactless delivery.
Customers can rate you after you’ve completed the order, and many wait until they’ve unpacked the order to see if it’s correct.
Shipt pays you once the order is completed, and then they transfer funds via direct deposit at the end of the week.
Shipt shopper requirements
Shipt’s requirements for shoppers are pretty straighforward, and they are nearly identical to other food delivery services.
Here are Shipt’s requirements:
- At least 18 years old
- Valid mailing address
- Valid U.S. driver’s license and auto insurance
- A reliable vehicle, 1997 or newer
- Knowledge of produce selection
- Ability to lift 40 pounds
- iPhone (iOS 10 or newer) or Android (5.1 or newer) smartphone
“Knowledge of produce selection” means that you can easily find the produce customers are looking for and know if things are too ripe or not ripe enough.
How to become a Shipt shopper
Applying to become a Shipt shopper is a quick and painless process. You can use my Shipt referral link to get things started, and here’s what you’ll need next:
- Basic personal information: Provide your legal first and last name, email address, phone number, and zip code.
- Availability: Shipt wants to know when you’re available to shop. Shoppers deliver between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., 7 days a week, and you can schedule anytime within those hours. The busiest days on Shipt are Sundays and Mondays, and they really like to hire drivers who can work those days.
- Answers to short interview questions: You’ll be asked to submit a few short answers to simple questions about your problem-solving abilities, communication, and decision-making skills.
- Video responses: Shipt asks that applications submit a short video component of answers to similar interview questions. The goal is to see how well you communicate and familiarity with the app.
- Paperwork: There’s a little bit of paperwork involved, including your signature on the Shipt shopper agreement, a background check consent form, and a W-9 form.
You can expect it to take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to hear back from Shipt. It depends on how many new shoppers are applying and what the market need is.
Pros and cons
Is Shipt worth it for shoppers? The final word
Whether or not Shipt is a good side hustle for you depends on what your goals are. Shoppers earn around $12-$22/hour, and you can also expect driver expense to cut into your bottom line pay. This is pretty consistent with what other food delivery drivers earn hourly.
If that’s what you need to meet your financial goals, then Shipt is worth checking out. There’s no harm in applying if you’re interested in giving it a try.
Customer service and communication go a long way with this side hustle, so make sure you’re prepared for that before you sign up. It’s how you’ll earn the most money— that and accepting multiple orders at once (but give your chance to familiarize yourself with the app before trying this).
And if Shipt isn’t the right gig for you, there are dozens of other great side hustles ideas out there if you want to earn $1,000/month or more.
Shipt shoppers get a prepaid card to pay for orders, so you never need to pay for groceries out of pocket. If there’s ever an issue with your card, you can contact Shipt via the app for support.
You can apply for Shipt here. The application process takes about 30 minutes or less. Shipt says you’ll hear whether or not you’ve been approved to drive in few days to a few weeks depending on market demand.
Shipt is available in over 5,000 cities across the U.S. so there’s a good chance it’s available in your area. You can go to Shipt.com to check for sure.
Drivers average $12-$20/hour. So it’s realistic to earn an extra $1,000/month or more shopping for Shipt.
Shipt shoppers are paid per order. This includes a base amount, plus additional commission based on effort, and 100% of customer tips.
While Shipt advertises that shoppers earn roughly $22/hour, shoppers realistically earn in the $12-$22/hour range. When you factor in driver expenses and self-employment taxes, pay can be closer to $9-$15/hour.
Shipt drivers make money by shopping and delivering groceries for customers.