Need an easy way to get your groceries? Looking for alternatives to Instacart? This Shipt review gives you the low down on this growing, on-demand delivery service.
Founded in 2014, Shipt is a grocery delivery service that works with a network of shoppers and partner stores throughout the U.S. to give you fast, safe, and convenient shopping options.
And Shipt has recently made changes to their pricing so it’s no longer just for members only.
Shipt is a popular option for side hustlers who want to make some extra cash shopping for Shipt in their spare time, but you can also look at Shipt as a way to save money and time so you can focus on your side hustle or other important things in your life.
Here’s what I mean: think about what your time is worth… is the hour or two you’d save letting Shipt handle your groceries worth $15, $20, or $25? Can you make that back and more through your side hustle? What if it also helped you stick to your grocery list and avoid impulse purchases?
Keep those questions in mind as you read through my Shipt review. I’m going to explain how it works, how much it costs, how to save money with Shipt, and more.
Shipt Review | Is Shipt Grocery Delivery Worth the Money?
How Shipt works
Shipt is an on-demand grocery delivery service, and until very recently, it was solely a membership-based service. You can still buy a membership (more on that further down in my Shipt review), but now anyone can order groceries with Shipt.
Using Shipt is very easy – you simply head to Shipt.com, login, select your store, add items to your cart, submit your order, and then a Shipt Shopper shops for you. Depending on the store, you can choose to pick your groceries up at the store or have them delivered.
Shipt, like other food delivery services, charges you a fee to shop and deliver your groceries. It’s actually a decent side hustle for Shipt shoppers, and it’s a convenient way to get your groceries.
You can find more than groceries through Shipt too. They deliver for drugstores, pet stores, even office supply stores.
The Shipt app notifies you about what’s going on with your order the entire time, from when your order is accepted by a shopper to when it’s on the way to your house.
Orders can be placed day-of, or you can place them a few days in advance.
How Shipt pricing works
How much Shipt costs is based on your delivery fee, in-app grocery fees, and the tip. Let’s walk through each of these.
Shipt delivery fee
Like I said at the beginning of this Shipt review, Shipt no longer requires that customers purchase a membership, but as you’ll see in a second, it's highly encouraged.
You have two options without a Shipt membership:
- Pay a $10 delivery fee for each order you place
- Purchase Shipt Passes and save on delivery fees – 3 Shipt Passes are $9/delivery or 5 Shipt Passes are $8 for delivery
Or, you can pay $99 for Shipt Everyday. This is a year-long membership that gives you free deliveries on orders over $35. It’s $7 per delivery if your orders are under $35.
In-app grocery costs
Items in the Shipt app are typically a little more expensive than what you find in the store. The extra costs are baked in to cover paying your Shipt Shopper and processing fees.
Shipt says, “Our members can expect to pay about $5 more using Shipt than they would on a $35 order purchased in the store themselves.”
Tipping on Shipt
Shipt does not require that you leave a tip for your shopper, but you still should. Shoppers receive 100% of their tips and tips can account for a decent amount of their take-home pay.
Where is Shipt available?
Shipt was purchased by Target in 2017, and since then it’s expanded to over 270 markets across the U.S. That means there is a good chance Shipt grocery delivery is available in your area, but you can check by going to Shipt.com and entering your zip code.
What is the store selection like with Shipt?
Shipt has never been a go-to option for me because they don’t deliver for as many stores as Instacart does. I’m a sucker for Aldi, and they haven’t partnered with Shipt.
There are a few nationwide Shipt partners: CVS, OfficeMax/Office Depot, PetCo, Target, and Sur La Table. So if those stores are your area, you can expect that Shipt delivers for them.
To give you an idea of the kinds of more local options, here’s a rundown for several medium to large markets across the U.S.:
- Louis, MO: Dierbergs, Fresh Thyme, Gordon Food Service Store
- Houston, TX: Food Town, HEB, Joe V’s Smart Shop, Kroger
- Chicago, IL: Fresh Thyme and Jewel-Osco
- Seattle, WA: Fred Meyer, QFC, Safeway, Smart Food Service
- Denver, CO: King Soopers and Safeway
- Atlanta, GA: Costco, Kroger, Lidl, Publix
- Pittsburg, PA: Gordon Food Service Store
The good news is that if Shipt isn’t available in your area, there are plenty of other options. Instacart probably has the widest range of choices for groceries, but services like Doordash,and Postmates deliver some food and essential items.
Read more at: DoorDash vs. Postmates: Which is a Better Side Hustle?
How to use Shipt
Step 1: Download the Shipt app or go to Shipt.com
Email address, name, and secure password. You can also log in through Facebook or Google. You’ll be asked for your address so Shipt can show you which stores are available in your area.
Step 2: Select the store you want to shop at
Look through the list of available Shipt stores in your area and pick the one you want. Below you can see that I’ve chosen Target.
Step 3: Start shopping
Once you’ve chosen a store, you can browse categories like produce, deli, bakery, snacks & candy, dairy, beverages, and more. The app is well organized, and it’s really easy to use the search function to find what you need. You can type in things like “organic milk,” “Haas avocados,” and “sourdough bread.”
You can also scan barcodes of things you have at home, and Shipt stores your past orders so you can easily re-order any staples.
There’s also a sale section, but the app doesn’t always honor in-store sales. These are usually deals worked out through the manufacturer or special Shipt offers.
Step 4: Review your order
Click on the cart icon in the top right corner of the app, and you can look through everything that’s in your cart. Did you leave something off your list? Does your total look good?
Here’s where you can also make suggestions for substitutions. I highly recommend spending a little time here. You can leave product notes, tell your shopper not to substitute, and if you’re okay with substitutes, you can search for and approve a backup.
Step 5: Checkout
Next, you’ll pick a delivery window. The earliest window in my area was two hours from when I ordered. You’ll also be asked if it’s okay for a shopper to deliver early.
You can leave special delivery instructions for your Shipt Shopper, like the code for a gate or an option to tell them to leave your order on the front porch.
You have another opportunity here to leave instructions for making substitutions. If you have already left instructions for specific items, they’ll look for those first, and if you haven’t left instructions for certain items, you can tell them to contact you, choose for you, or skip the item entirely.
This is where you leave your shopper a tip, too. Remember 100% of tips go to the shopper, and you can adjust the tip up to 2 hours after your order has been delivered. For example, if you had a really positive experience, you can change your tip to add more.
Just click the green “Place Order” button and Shipt will process your payment, and you will receive a notification that it’s gone through.
Step 6: Wait for your delivery
After your order has been placed it goes into Shipt’s system so a shopper can claim it and start shopping. You will receive a notification when a shopper accepts your order and starts shopping for it.
If your Shipt shopper has to make any substitutions, you’ll get a notification. You should stick close to your phone if you told the shopper to contact you about substitutions. Remember, you have the option to give them ideas, but they can’t read your mind, so be available to approve substitutions or okay with what they select.
You also get a notification when your order has been paid for and when it’s on the way to your house. And after it’s been delivered, you have two hours to adjust the tip.
Ways to save money with Shipt
On-demand delivery services inherently cost more, but you can still find ways to save money with these services.
- Refer your friends: If you like using Shipt and think your friends and family will also like it, you can earn a $10 credit every time you refer a friend. Your friend gets $10 off Shipt Everyday.
- Add your store’s rewards program: You can add a store's rewards program in the Shipt app. You click on your account, go to “Rewards Programs,” and find the stores in your area that support this option.
- Shop the sales and deals: Shipt regularly has sale prices on selected items. There are also deals where you can earn credits for spending so much on certain items. For example, as I’m writing this Shipt review, I can earn a $6 credit if I spend $18 on “ooey, gooey, cheesy dinners.” This is stuff like boxed macaroni and cheese, pizza rolls, pizza bagels, and boxed cheesy casserole mixes.
- Pay for Shipt Everyday: For anyone who uses Shipt regularly, you can easily make your money back – and then some – with Shipt Everyday. It’s $99 for the year, and you get free delivery for orders over $35.
- Avoid small orders: If you’re not a member of Shipt Everyday, you pay a $10 delivery fee no matter the size of the order. That’s $10 for a $20 order and $100 orders. Placing larger orders once a week or every other week can help you save on delivery.
- Know that you won’t be tempted by impulse purchases: It’s much easier to stick to your grocery list when you aren’t shopping in the store and tempted by popsicles, chips, or other things that weren’t on your list.
- Put in the time to make substitutions: Instead of letting a Shipt shopper substitute with something more expensive, give them an approved list of substitutions.
- Do pick-up if you can: Not every Shipt partner has the pick-up option, but you eliminate the delivery fee if you pick your order up. A Shipt shopper has already shopped for your things, and you just let them know when you’re there, and they load your order in the car.
- Shipt saves you time, and time = money: Use the hour or so you’re saving to work on your side hustle, to start meal prepping, etc. For some people, the convenience is well worth the cost.
Shipt review: My experience with Shipt grocery delivery
I had avoided Shipt for a while because I didn’t think I would use it enough to pay for the membership – I’m one of those weird people who enjoys grocery shopping. After they moved away from being a membership-only service, I was excited to give Shipt a try.
The shoppers have always been very attentive, on-time with deliveries, followed order instructions, and are just genuinely nice people. Delivery times are usually available within 2 hours of ordering in the app, but they can take a little longer on busy days like Sundays or early evening hours during the workweek.
I brought this up earlier in my Shipt Review, but Shipt isn’t available at the places I normally shop. So for me, it’s not really worth it to pay the $99 for Shipt Everyday.
This is kind of a bummer because I like the flat pricing model that Shipt uses – no additional service fees, just one price. It’s not as transparent, but it’s easier to budget for and can be less expensive on larger orders.
Pros and Cons of Using Shipt
Shipt Review final word – Is Shipt worth it?
Let’s go back to where we started… think about what your time is worth. What are the things you can do to use your time more effectively? Some people try meal prepping, others create organizational systems, some batch similar tasks together, etc.
These kinds of strategies help you work smarter not harder. This idea means you’re making the best use of your time.
So maybe spending your time on your side hustle is better than standing around at the grocery store. That’s something you need to decide for yourself.
But if you think outsourcing groceries is worth it to you, then Shipt is definitely worth checking out, especially if it partners with stores in your area.