If you’re like me, you are always on the hunt for more income streams. However, since not every income stream can be passive, I’ve also looked for active jobs I would love. For instance, I’ve found lucrative and enjoyable personal shopper apps, aka grocery shoppers.
If you like grocery shopping and don’t mind delivering the food to your customers’ doorsteps, you can make a decent income as a personal shopper.
The following will describe how personal shopper apps work, some generalities about the job, and the best personal shopper apps currently out there.
What are personal shopper apps?
By now, you’ve likely heard of personal shopper apps like Instacart or Shipt to order groceries, but what if you could be the grocery shopper and get paid for it?
That’s what I’ll focus on here, how you can use shopping apps to make a decent side income. Like most other side gig apps, you work when you want. You don’t have to have a set schedule, and the only boss you have is yourself.
Of course, like most services today, your tips and ability to secure consistent work will largely depend on the reviews customers leave you, so it’s in your best interest to provide fantastic service.
How do personal shopper apps work?
No two personal shopper apps work the same. However, there are some generalities, and thus this next section will give you an overview of what to expect from most services to choose the best shopper app for you.
Most grocery shopper apps work exclusively in the app. You mark yourself as available, and you start receiving the option to accept orders. Many apps allow you to see order details, including the total, so you can determine if it’s worth taking. Typically, you can accept or deny orders based on what you want to take.
All communication between you and the customer is done through the app. You receive the customer’s list along with any allowed substitutions. You can also text the customer if you have questions before heading to the store or while shopping. This is a great way to get good customer service ratings too.
Each app has different methods for paying for groceries, but the money never comes out of your pocket. Once you checkout, you deliver the groceries to the customer’s house and complete the order. The customer can also increase their tip if you provide stellar service.
If you don’t want to deliver groceries or can’t because you don’t have a car, some services allow shoppers to shop inside the store for customers doing curbside pickup.
The best personal shopper apps
There used to be only a couple of personal shopper apps when the craze first started, but today there are many. The following is a list of the best apps to consider if you want to be a personal shopper. I’ve included the basics of each and the pros and cons.
Top pick: Instacart
Instacart is the grocery shopping app most people are familiar with because it’s been around the longest. You can be a full-service shopper (shop and delivery) or an in-store shopper catering to curbside pickup customers.
To work for Instacart, you must be 18 years old, have a smartphone, proof you can work in the United States, and 2-year driving history (if you’ll be a full-service shopper).
Shipt is becoming increasingly popular too. Just like Instacart, it’s an on-demand grocery delivery service, except they only hire full-service shoppers, so you will need a car or a way to get around quickly if you want to work for them.
Like Instacart, you can work as much or as little as you want. Shipt is a little more restrictive about who they hire, though. They do a thorough background check, require you to have a vehicle that’s less than 15 years old, and you must be able to lift 25+ pounds.
Favor is for drivers that will deliver anything, not just groceries. Favor drivers are personal assistants who deliver things like alcohol, fast food, dry cleaning, groceries, or anything else customers want.
It’s easy to qualify as a Favor driver too. You must be 18 years old, have reliable transportation, and have a working smartphone.
Burpy is a grocery store delivery service in Texas. It’s a relatively new company founded by mechanical engineering students at the University of Texas at Austin. Like most personal shopper apps, you can choose your hours, and they claim you make up to $25 per hour.
Burpy conducts a background check, and you must also go through an interview. Thus, Burpy is a bit more intense than what you’d experience with Instacart or Shipt.
TaskRabbit is another personal shopper app that offers more than just grocery shopping services. You can provide services in over 50 categories, including personal shopper services.
TaskRabbit differs slightly from other grocery shopping apps like Instacart and Shipt. You set your rates and keep 100% of the earnings plus tips. However, Taskrabbit charges a 15% service fee, which they take from your earnings.
How do you get personal shopper jobs?
It’s easy to get personal shopper jobs since they fall under freelance work rather than being hired by a company. However, some companies have stricter requirements, including a background check or even an interview.
Overall, if you have a decent car, no criminal history, and are at least 18 years old, you can get hired by most companies.
How much can you make as a personal shopper?
The money you’ll make as a personal shopper will vary depending on the platform, the hours you work, and tips. Each of the personal shopper apps pays a different base pay, but to maximize your earnings, consider these tips:
- Work peak hours — Each company and area has different peak hours. Inquire about the peak hours in your area and try to work them. You may get a higher hourly wage, and you’ll get more business, which means you’ll earn more money.
- Work as much as you can — Of course, the more you work, the more you’ll earn. The more availability you have, the more orders you’ll be able to accept.
- Provide great customer service — Most personal shopper apps let you keep the tips earned. The better service you provide, the more you’ll make. Customers love it when you introduce yourself, keep in contact while you shop, and let them know when you’re headed to their home.
Pros and cons of personal shopper apps
Like all side gigs, personal shopper apps have their pros and cons. Here’s what to consider before becoming a personal shopper.
The final word
Personal shopper apps can be a great way to make money on the side. I find it fun spending someone else’s money shopping and knowing that I’m making a decent side income at the same time.
However, before you sign up for a personal grocery shopper app, make sure you meet the requirements, know the demand in your area, and understand the costs involved, including both personal expenses and your tax liability.