Shipt Shopper Review – How Much You Can Make & More
Shipt is a growing on-demand grocery delivery service that delivers for top retailers like Target, Costco, HEB, Meijer, and more. Overall, most Shipt shopper reviews are very positive — drivers genuinely seem to enjoy the culture, pick their hours, and making extra money shopping for Shipt. Shipt recently changed their pay formula which has been affecting driver pay, but there are ways you can make more than average.
At a Glance
What we like
- Very easy sign-up process
- Flexible working hours
- Comes with a free Shipt membership
- Keep 100% of your tips
What Needs Work
- New pay model isn’t transparent
- Can’t see the whole delivery order in advance
- No instant payouts
- Side hustlers
- People who want a flexible way to make money
- Anyone already doing on-demand delivery
Opportunities for extra cash
Use of delivery app
I’ve been reading Shipt Shopper reviews online, and I’ve been surprised at how many positive reviews there are. Shoppers love the flexibility and claim the company is great to work for. Those kinds of reviews make this side hustle worth exploring.
Shipt is one of many on-demand delivery services that make it easy for customers to order groceries from the convenience of their home. Shoppers take orders in the app, shop, and then get paid. It’s a pretty simple system.
These services are so appealing for side hustlers because there’s an incredibly low commitment. Need money? Log on and take orders in the app. You’re not starting and running a side business, but you’re earning a little extra cash when you need it.
I’m about to give you an in-depth explanation of how Shipt works, how much you can expect to make, and what working for Shipt is really like.
Shipt is an on-demand grocery delivery service that was founded in 2014 in Birmingham, Alabama. In 2017, Shipt was acquired by Target, and it’s since grown to deliver in over 250 markets and 5,000 cities across the U.S.
The company delivers for Target, CVS, Meijer, HEB, Petco, Costco and a many other well-known retailers and grocery stores.
Shipt used to be a members-only delivery service, but now anyone can order from Shipt. This opens the service up to more customers — this is great for Shipt shoppers because it means more orders to go around.
There still is a membership customers can sign up for. It’s $99/year, and customers get free delivery on orders over $35. Or, customers can buy passes in advance at a discounted rate.
Like other popular food delivery services, Shipt shoppers must complete an online application, be approved to start shopping, and you’ll need to download the app. I will explain that entire process below and much more.
This is one of the most important things to go over if you’re thinking about becoming a Shipt shopper — you’ve got to know if you’ll qualify in the first place. The requirements to work for Shipt are similar to services like Postmates or Instacart, so if you’re already delivering for one of them, you should have no problem.
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. Again, these are all very standard requirements among food delivery and rideshare services.
What you can expect working for Shipt
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 Shipt Shoppers.
Shipt Shoppers open their 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 much does Shipt pay?
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.
Most Shipt shopper reviews from actual drivers find that they earn closer to $15-$17/hour. Some Shipt shoppers make well over that amount by earning above-average tips — you keep 100% of your tips.
Shipt updated their pay model in the fall of 2020, 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 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, Instacart, and Lyft all use blackbox algorithms similar to Shipt’s new formula. Blackbox means the algorithm used 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 they’re not transparent and can be tweaked at any time.
How to make more than average driving for Shipt
With Shipt’s new pay model, it’s important to know what you, as a driver, can be doing to increase your pay. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do:
- Plan your workweek. You can schedule your workweek 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Avoid small orders. Larger orders typically pay better. But don’t avoid all small 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. This is 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.
- 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.
How do Shipt shoppers get paid?
Shipt holds on to your commission and tips — you’ll be able to see where you’re at in the app — and pays out every Friday via direct deposit. Most Shoppers receive their previous week’s pay by Wednesday.
Shipt, unfortunately, doesn’t offer an instant payout option. Delivery services like Instacart and DoorDash give drivers the opportunity to cash out whenever they want. It does cost a couple of bucks, but this is helpful for some drivers.
How to sign up as a Shipt Shopper
The process is super simple to sign up, and it may take up to a few weeks to go from signing up to working for Shipt. Here’s how you do it:
Step #1: Fill out an online application
You can sign up using my exclusive Shipt shopper link. You will need to enter some 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 services, 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 hired on, 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.
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.
Avg Hourly Pay
Earnings vary greatly depending on location and how many deliveries completed
Use promotions to
Peak hours and challenges to
Is it worth it working for Shipt? The final word
Working as a Shipt Shopper is an incredibly flexible way to make extra money in your spare time, and with more and more people choosing to stay home and have their groceries delivered, there is a lot of room out there for new Shoppers.
They claim drivers can make up to $22/hour, which is pretty good money for such a flexible side hustle. And even after changing the driver pay model, there are still ways to boost your pay.
But if you want to look at alternative side hustles, including one that pay even better than driving for Shipt, check out 40 Best 2020 Side Hustle Ideas (Make $1,000+ Per Month).
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.
Shipt Shoppers are considered independent contractors meaning you are responsible for withholding your own taxes.
If you earn over $600 from Shipt over the course of the year, they will send you a 1099 form which is what you use when filing your taxes. Even if you don’t make that much with Shipt, you are still responsible for reporting your earnings.
Here’s a good article to understand how taxes work for side hustlers: How to Handle Taxes for Your Side Hustle.
Many Shipt Shopper reviews are very positive, stating that Shipt treats their employees well and that the company is responsive to Shopper issues. Shipt also has a nationwide Facebook group for Shoppers and more local groups to build a sense of community among Shoppers.
There are also more tangible perks of working for Shipt:
- Access to Shipt Shopper Perks – a program that offers discounts for insurance, prescriptions, and more
- Rewards for Shopper milestones, like swag gift cards and travel opportunities
- A free Shipt membership
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Posted in: Side Hustles
About Ariel Gardner
Ariel Gardner is the editor-in-chief of M$M, an elder millennial, and really wants to keep her lattes. She’s seen both ends of the financial spectrum, from trust funds to a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle, and uses that experience to empathize and connect with a wide range of readers. She has been editing and writing professionally for personal finance websites since 2015.