Shipt is a grocery delivery service that’s rapidly expanding its team of independent contractors.
If you’re interested in earning extra money in the sharing economy, Shipt could be a great way for you to make good money (about $25 per hour) on your own schedule.
Of course, like all sharing economy gigs, it’s possible to earn below minimum wage if you aren’t smart with your time. With Shipt expanding nationwide, it could be a good fit for you. Before you apply, here’s what you need to know.
- Earn extra money grocery shopping and delivering
- You get paid as a commission of the order amount
- Lot of flexibility but focus on peak times
How Shipt Shopping Works
My knowledge of Shipt started as a busy working parent. I looked up options for grocery delivery, and found that Shipt fit the bill perfectly. I pay just $99 annually for unlimited grocery delivery (from the major grocers in my area).
I have a saved grocery list in the app, that I edit each week based on sales and my meal plan. Once my order is ready, I submit the order, and wait for a Shipt shopper to claim it.
If you become a shopper, that’s where you come in.
As a shopper, you “put yourself” on the shopping schedule up to five days in advance. Putting yourself on the schedule means you’re available to shop certain orders in your area.
Shipt shoppers can limit their shopping to a single zone (a few mile area with at least one grocer), or you can choose to shop in multiple zones.
Once you’re on the schedule, you’ll start to see shops coming through. Within the shopper app, you can see the size of the order, the store where you’ll shop, and the final destination.
You don’t have to accept (claim) every order in your zone, but Shipt measures acceptance rate. If you reject too many orders, you may lose your ability to contract with Shipt.
When you accept an order, you drive to the grocery store, select items from the store, pay at the register using the app, and you deliver the food to the customer. You may shop multiple orders at one time.
Every order you deliver will pay you a commission.
How Shipt Shoppers Get Paid
The most important way shoppers get paid is through a commission. Currently, the commission is $5 plus 7.5% of the order amount. So completing a $100 will yield a $12.50 commission. An order that large could take about an hour to complete.
At that rate, shopping for Shipt seems like a joke (especially considering that you have to drive your own car to deliver).
However, shoppers also earn tips. This is where the real money comes in. Many Shipt customers are either disabled people or busy parents with kids.
They are delighted by the convenience of Shipt, and they are happy to tip shoppers. That’s especially true if you take a few extra minutes to walk the groceries into the kitchen and place them on the countertop.
According to most Shipt shoppers, tips bring your average salary up to $15+ per hour. When you complete several shops, you can start claiming multiple orders at the same time.
As long as you complete these shops on time, you can start earning $25 per hour or a bit more.
Tips For Maximizing Bang For Your Buck
As with all gig economy work, the key to earning decent money with Shipt is taking advantage of insider tips and tricks. These are a few tips that will help you maximize your earning potential
Offer Amazing Customer Service
Tipping is a huge part of your compensation, so be sure to offer amazing customer service.
One way to do this is to text your customers when you reach the store. Say, “My name is _______, and I’m shopping for you today. Do you have anything extra you want to add to the order?” This boosts your commission, but it also is a huge benefit to scatterbrained customers.
Many orders include substitutions. You can use your best judgement, but you can also text pictures of substituted items to the customers to be sure they are okay with the substitution.
Finally, greet your customers when you arrive at their home, and bring groceries inside and set them onto the countertop.
Prioritize Sundays and Mondays
Sundays and Mondays are huge days for Shipt. Make a point to schedule yourself on these days, so you can maximize your ability to claim orders. When you have the ability to claim multiple orders, be sure to claim several orders at once.
Don’t overlook small orders
Small orders may only offer $6-$7 in commissions, but the tips on these orders can add up. The small orders also make it easy to shop for multiple orders at a time. More orders spells more cash.
Check for bounties when you have time
If you’re not on the Shipt schedule, you may still want to log into the app from time to time. Sometimes orders in an area go unclaimed, so Shipt offers “bounties” on these orders.
The closer you are to delivery time, the greater the size of the bounty. Go ahead and log in to see if you can earn some big cash in your free time.
Pair Shipt with other side hustles
Interestingly, Shipt pairs nicely with other side hustles like UberEats, DoorDash or even driving for Uber and Lyft. If you’re driving for money, work for as many companies as you can. That way you can quickly analyze where you’ll actually earn the most money in any given hour of any given day.
Don’t forget to track your miles
When you’re an independent contractor, you can deduct your mileage from your income to reduce your taxable earnings. Use Everlance to keep track of your mileage.
Buy a car charger
If you’re going to be a participant in the gig economy, you need a car charger. These apps will destroy your battery life.
Would you ever use Shipt as a shopper? Do you think delivering groceries with Shipt is a worthy side hustle to try out? Your thoughts are welcome in the comments below.
- Flexibility - 80
- Ease of Use - 80
- Company Support - 80
- Income Potential - 80
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.