Shipt is an on-demand grocery delivery service that was founded in 2014 in Birmingham, Alabama. It's now owned by Target and has grown to deliver in over 250 markets and 5,000 cities across the U.S, and customers can place orders from major retailers like Target, CVS, Meijer, HEB, Petco, Costco, HyVee, and more.
The way Shipt works is that customers place an order in the app, and then a Shipt shopper accepts it, shops for the order, and delivers it to the customer's home. If you're familiar with Instacart, the experience for shoppers and customers is essentially the same.
However, one major difference between Shipt and other delivery services is that Shipt is a members-only delivery service, but non-members can buy passes to use Shipt. The membership is $99/year or $10.99/month and comes with free delivery on orders over $35.
Shipt shopper requirements
Shopper requirements are one of the most important considerations if you want to know how to become a Shipt shopper — you’ve got to know if you’ll qualify in the first place. Fortunately, the shopper requirements are fairly minimal, which makes this a great part-time job for all kinds of people.
Here are the Shipt shopper requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Access to a reliable vehicle manufactured in 1997 or newer
- Have valid car insurance
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license
- Own an insulated cooler bag — Shipt does not supply these
- Be able to lift 40+ pounds
- Have a smartphone with iOS 10 or Android 5.1 or newer
- Access to a bank account to accept payment via direct deposit
You will also have to pass a background check performed by a third-party service called Checkr. Background checks are standard practice with food delivery services, and the major red flags are felony convictions, sexual offenses, DUI convictions, drug and alcohol problems, or more than three moving violations.
How much do Shipt Shoppers make?
Shipt says their delivery drivers can make up to $22/hour. It’s important to note that you’re not paid an hourly wage — you’re paid per order. The rate Shipt advertises is based on your average rate after 30 or more completed orders.
Shipt shopper reviews on Glassdoor report hourly pay at $15-$20/hour. That amount factors in that shoppers keep 100% of their tips.
Like other services, Shipt uses a complex algorithm to determine how much shoppers are paid for each order (why hourly pay varies so much). Shipt updated its pay model in the fall of 2020, and some drivers have reported slightly lower pay because the new pay model is much more complex and accounts for “dynamic variables” including drive time, total order items, time of day, and road traffic.
Shipt has not released the exact formula they use, but shoppers will still see the pay range for each order before accepting it, and the minimum is guaranteed. Below you can see the offer card for two orders with the exact same items under the updated pay model.
Because the new pay model takes factors like traffic and drive time into account, the goal is that shoppers who put in more effort are paid more. Previously, drivers were paid a flat $5 per order + 7.5% of the order amount.
Other services like DoorDash and Instacart use black box algorithms similar to Shipt’s new formula. Blackbox means the algorithm is either proprietary or too complex for humans to even comprehend. Bottom line: they don’t share the exact algorithm. And this can be frustrating for drivers because it's not transparent and can be tweaked at any time.
How to sign up as a Shipt Shopper
The sign-up process is simple, but it can take up to two weeks or so to be approved to become a Shipt shopper. Most of that time is spent waiting on the background check, but here's how the entire process works:
Step #1: Fill out an online application
You can sign up using our exclusive Shipt shopper link. You will need to enter basic information about yourself, including your name, age, driving experience, and insurance information.
Step #2: Complete a virtual interview
Shipt will reach out to you for a virtual interview, and you can submit video responses to your question. You’ll be asked questions about your availability, skills you have that will make you a good fit for Shipt, what you would do if a store was out of something, when you’ve provided exceptional customer service,e and more. The questions are fairly standard interview questions, with a focus on what you’ll be doing for Shipt.
Step #3: Sign the Shipt shopper agreement
This agreement outlines the rules for shopping, and says that you understand that you’re working as an independent contractor for Shipt.
Step #4: Get approved
As long as everything goes well, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks before you can start shopping. Shipt adds to their team on an as-needed basis, but if you have any questions about how long your application is taking, you can email their recruiting team.
You’ll get access to the Shipt Shopper Hub after you’ve been approved, and this is where you’ll get more information about how to get started. There’s an optional course you can take that explains how to use the Shipt Shopper app.
How does Shipt work?
Shipt members open the app and place an order for whatever they want – groceries from HEB, toilet paper from Costco, etc. They can select a delivery time, and the order is sent out to shoppers.
When shoppers are scheduled to work, they open the app, select the area where they’re located, and find open orders. Once a shopper selects an order, they head to the store and start shopping. If items are out of stock, the Shopper can contact the customer via the app to ask about substitutes.
Shoppers are expected to wear a Shipt shirt — this helps store employees know you’re there to work. You’re also given a Shipt debit card to pay for the order. Shipt loads money on the card so you can pay for orders — you don’t pay for anything out of pocket.
After paying for the order, you’ll use the app to get directions for delivery. After fulfilling the order, you can mark it delivered and go back out for more deliveries.
How do Shipt shoppers get paid?
Shipt holds on to your commission and tips — you can see your earnings in the app — and pays out every Friday via direct deposit. Most shoppers receive their previous week’s pay by Wednesday.
Shoppers can now access their pay daily using Stripe, but it's once per day compared to services like Instacart and DoorDash that allow drivers to cash out whenever they want for a small fee.
Here's more about Shipt's instant pay feature:
- Must agree to the Stripe Connect terms
- Must have completed at least one successful weekly payment from Shipt
- Stripe charges shoppers a 1% fee to use the feature
Shipt tips to make more than average
With Shipt’s new pay model, it’s important to know what you, as a shopper, can be doing to increase your pay. Fortunately, we've compiled these tips from real Shipt shopper reviews to help you increase your pay:
- Plan your workweek. You can schedule your work week in advance. This ensures that you will get on the calendar and be able to take deliveries. The busiest days are Sunday, Monday, and Saturday, and the busiest hours are between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Making yourself available during those times is the best way to approach scheduling according to drivers.
- Manage your time. You don’t need to rush around the store, but you don’t want to waste your time. The longer it takes you to fill orders, the fewer orders you’ll be able to take. Pay attention to the way stores are laid out so you can shop efficiently.
- Set a financial goal. You can do this in the Shipt app, and it will tell you approximately how many orders you’ll need to take to meet your goal. For example, you can set a goal of making $1000 a week.
- Avoid small orders. Larger orders typically pay better, but don’t avoid small altogether orders because it opens you up to accepting multiple orders from the same store.
- Review the order before you go to the store. You’ll know in advance exactly where you’ll need to go when you get to the store, and you also want to double-check the order before delivering it to the customer. That second one is super important if you’re only doing drop-off orders and not the shopping too.
- Build relationships with your customers. We're talking about high-quality service and excellent communication. Not only does this lead to higher tips, customers can request to have you shop and deliver if they see you’re on the app and scheduled while they’re placing their order.
- Track your miles. Shipt doesn’t pay you for your mileage, but you can take a mileage deduction on your taxes. We recommend Everlance for mileage and expense tracking so you can take the best deduction at tax time.
- Get certified. Shipt has certification opportunities in some cities for shoppers who want to deliver prescriptions and alcohol. That’s more delivery opportunities = more money.
One thing you’ll hear from many Shipt driver reviews is that it gets better over time. You get more comfortable with the app, more confident talking to customers, know where things are in the store, etc. That doesn’t necessarily equate to higher pay, but it definitely can.
Shipt pros and cons
Overall, most Shipt shopper reviews are really positive, but let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of being a Shipt shopper:
Who is Shipt best for?
Shipt is a solid side hustle app that's a great fit for all kinds of people, like:
- Teachers who are looking for a part-time job during the summer or throughout the school year
- College students who want a low-commitment job
- Parents who have a couple of hours in the evening and want to get out of the house
- Anyone wanting to supplement their income
Many delivery drivers work for multiple services because it helps you find more hours and orders. What’s nice is that most services function the same way — open the app, find and accept orders, shop, and deliver. The apps are all intuitive and easy for drivers, so there’s not a steep learning curve between apps.
Here are some of the top picks for other services to drive for or alternative if you’re not feeling Shipt:
Over 7,000 cities across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Japan
Over 5,500 cities across the U.S. and Canada
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.
The final word: Is working for Shipt worth it?
If you're looking for a flexible and fun way to make extra money if you like grocery shopping or want a flexible, low-commitment side hustle, Shipt is a solid option.
You can sign up for Shipt here and start making $15-$20/hour.
Despite changes to the pay model, there are still ways to boost your pay. The best tips are to keep track of your expenses for tax purposes and make yourself available during busy hours to make the most money.
Yes, Shipt is a 100% legit side hustle. Shoppers get paid $15-$20/hour on average and can schedule their hours in advance using the shopper app.
Shipt makes most of their money on membership fees, but they also make money on the flat rate fee they charge members who place orders of $35 or less. Plus, customers pay in-app pricing for the items they order, and it’s slightly higher than in-store pricing.
Many Shipt Shopper reviews are very positive, stating that Shipt treats their employees well and that the company is responsive to Shopper issues. Shipt also has a nationwide Facebook group for Shoppers and more local groups to build a sense of community among Shoppers.
There are also more tangible perks of working for Shipt:
Access to Shipt Shopper Perks – a program that offers discounts for insurance, prescriptions, and more
Rewards for Shopper milestones, like swag gift cards and travel opportunities
A free Shipt membership