5 Things I wish I knew before shopping with Instacart

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I’m a Shopper for Instacart – and here are 5 things I wish I knew before I started.  

1. Don’t accept every order.

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Making decisions about what batches you select, developing a strategy and doing so consistently will help you better control your time and make you runs more efficiently. Some shoppers only accept batches with 30 items or more, while others aren’t so selective.

However, whatever your style, there’s probably no point in driving 20 minutes out of the way to complete a small batch…the base pay and tip just won’t be there to make it worth your while.

Ultimately, this is a skill you learn over time, so I’d start by accepting most batches until you figure out which ones aren’t worth your time

2. Tracking is important – Keep Your Receipts

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When a customer receives their Instacart order, they get an email receipt of everything they paid for. In this sense, you don’t really have to keep your receipts.However, it’s good practice to hold onto your shopper receipts for at least a week or so until Instacart pays you. 

You never know when there could be a crazy customer who insists they didn’t get a particular item, or there’s a question about an order, so better safe than sorry on this front! Establishing this as a habit up front vs waiting to get burned has saved me on multiple occasions.  

3. Bring Your own Insulated Bags

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Melted frozen foods and chilly coffees are the most noticeable errors in food delivery. Keeping insulated bags with you at all times will help keep frozen goods frozen and hot foods hot; this is the surest way to make sure your tips stay high and your ratings stay perfect! Cheap bags are on amazon, costco or walmart. Easy to grab and life savers.

4. Make Replacements quickly

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As someone who is a picky eater myself and loves making the right decision, this was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn. But agonizing over product replacements is definitely where I lost the most money in my first months with instacart.

The bottom line is that for most products, you should be able to find a simple, acceptable replacement very quickly…just use common sense! Also remember to check notes in the Instacart app since many customers leave specifications about replacement products.

5. Communicate with your customer

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Tips are the biggest variable in this job – and having good customer service with higher tips can make or break your earnings.

Here are some good times to get in touch with the customer:

  1. Order Starts. Send a simple “Hello, I’m your Instacart shopper and am beginning the shopping trip. Please let me know if there’s anything you need or if you have any questions” sort of deal.
  2. Replacements. Normally, you should use common sense to find replacements, or the customer will have left notes about their preferences (more on this in a bit). However, if you’re absolutely lost, it’s a good idea to message the customer for clarification.
  3. Delays. If something is holding up your delivery, send a quick text to inform the customer.

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by Insider Envy Staff

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