I love Shipt. Really though, their shoppers have saved me more than once when I needed groceries but could not get to the store, did not feel like going to the store, had two small children who I did not want to take to the store, you get the picture right? But, what is it really like to be a Shipt Shopper?
I love to share ideas of ways that you can work from home, pay off debt, or have more freedom. While Shipt Shoppers don’t technically work from home, they do get to create their own schedules and decide when and how much they work. This intrigued me. While Shipt Shopping is not the right gig for me, it may be for you so I caught up with a real Shipt Shopper, Heather, and got the inside scoop on what it’s really like to be a Shipt Shopper.
WHAT IS IT REALLY LIKE TO BE A SHIPT SHOPPER
What does a Shipt Shopper actually do?
Short answer: Shipt Shoppers simply shop from a list and deliver.
To go a little more in depth, a Shipt Shopper is notified when there is a shop to be done in their area of choice with info about the location, window of time the shop has to be done in, and the estimated amount of money you’ll make on the shop. As a Shopper you can accept or turn down that shop at your discretion.
If you accept the shop, you just head to the store indicated in the shop info at the time indicated, check off the shopping list as you pick up the items, check out at the register, take a picture of the receipt through the app, text the customer to let them know you’re on your way, click the map for directions and drop off the groceries.
Aside from texting the customer to ask about substitutions for items not available at the store, it’s as simple as that.
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How do you make money as a Shipt Shopper?
Shipt Shoppers make a percentage of the total grocery order, plus tips. The Shipt website says you can make $15-$22 on average per hour and I have found that to be true. To be clear, you get paid per order not per hour. You can figure an average of what you’re making by dividing the amount of money you made that day by the number of hours you worked if you track your hours.
Does Shipt pay mileage or fuel reimbursement?
No, Shipt does not reimburse fuel. However, you choose your area based on what’s closest to you, so your mileage is limited. You are considered an independent contractor and can write off your fuel costs on your taxes. It’s important to track your mileage. Shipt covers this in it’s training.
How many hours per week do Shipt Shoppers have to work?
This is my favorite part of Shipt Shopping! I am a lover of most unconventional ways of making money because they typically involve doing it when and as often as I want to (or don’t want to). As a Shipt Shopper you are basically your own boss. You set your hours of availability on your shopper app. You can set them ahead of time or wake up each morning and set your hours for the day. Even if you set your hours for the day and then change your mind or something comes up, you can reset them to unavailable whenever you want or turn down shops anytime you want.
How do Shipt Shoppers pay for the grocery orders?
Once you become a Shipt Shopper, Shipt will send you a card that they will load with money each time you except a shop. They load it with extra money in case the customer texts you and asks you to pick up something extra or you have to substitute an item for a higher priced item (i.e. a more expensive brand). You can check your app when you get to the store to make sure the card has been loaded before you start the shop.
I have only had to contact Shipt’s shopper tech support once because my card wasn’t loaded yet. I did a quick chat through the app and they loaded it immediately. The whole process only took about three minutes.
What is your favorite thing about being a Shipt Shopper?
The flexibility, for sure! You can work as little or as much as you want to and you don’t have to decide ahead of time. Anyone can do it in their spare time or as a full time job.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a Shipt Shopper?
At first the most challenging part was time management and being nervous. I went into it thinking I would rush through the grocery store like it was “Super Market Sweep” because that’s what I do when I’m shopping for my own groceries. In, out, easy peasy. But when I got to the store for my first shop, I realized that it’s easy for me to shop for myself because I know myself. I know that I don’t mind generic brands, I know how the exact ripeness I like my bananas to be when I buy them because I know how quickly I’ll eat them, I don’t have to second guess every decision I make when I’m shopping for myself.
So my first few Shipt shops I was nervous, I had to ask the customers a lot of questions (which I was afraid made their experience annoying), and the shops took me more time than I expected, which equals less money. Fortunately, that got better quickly. I got more comfortable and realized most people want you to ask questions and those who don’t will tell you to use your best judgment and they are happy with the outcome.
How often do you get paid?
Shipt Shoppers get paid weekly via direct deposit, so it should be noted that all shoppers are required to have a checking account. Sometimes you get cash tips so you might get some money each day. Some tips are paid through the app so they’ll be added into your weekly paycheck.
Are there any requirements to be a Shipt Shopper?
Yes, but they are reasonable.
- At least 18 years of age
- Valid U.S. driver’s license and auto insurance
- A reliable vehicle, 1997 or newer
- Knowledge of produce selection
- Insulated cooler bag
- Ability to lift 40 pounds.
- iPhone (iOS 10 or newer) or Android (5.1 or newer) smartphone.
Can you take your kids with you when you’re Shipt shopping?
Shipt will make it clear during training that anything but solo shopping is prohibited. Taking other adults who have not been vetted by the company (i.e. each shopper agrees to a background check) can be a risk to upsetting their customers because you are going to their homes. They do also state that you are not allowed to bring children, but I have seen Shipt Shoppers at the stores with their kids. I will say, and this is my opinion because I haven’t seen an explanation for this, that children being prohibited to tag along is most likely because they would cause too much distraction for your shop. That would extend shopping and delivery times. If you’re a mom and you want to make some extra money I would suggest working as a Shipt Shopper while your kids are at school or after they go to bed. Night time is actually the prime time to make the most money anyway, so that’s a plus for you!
Do you ever feel uncomfortable during the delivery at a stranger’s house?
At first I was nervous about going to people’s houses. Obviously there is always some risk involved in this. After all, the Shipt Shoppers are the only ones getting background checks, not the customers. After my first shop I felt much better. Most customers are extremely nice and the transactions are very short and sweet. Some people ask you to bring their groceries inside and I decide on a case by case basis if I will do that. You are allowed to politely decline doing this at your discretion. Again, the only way to avoid risk all together is by not being a Shipt Shopper, or by never leaving your house, for that matter. The crazy people can and will just take you from the grocery store parking lot if they want you. That’s the way I look at it.
You are not allowed to carry firearms as a Shipt Shopper, but I did carry pepper spray on my key chain.
Are there any other perks of being a Shipt Shopper?
Flexibility and the opportunity to make good money aren’t the only perks of the job. Many of the customers I deliver to are elderly or disabled and unable to make it to the store on their own. They are so grateful for the service you offer as a Shipt Shopper. It’s rewarding to know that you are helping those in need.
How can someone become a Shipt Shopper?
Becoming a Shipt Shopper is easy! It doesn’t cost anything and just takes a few days to be approved. All you have to do is visit www.shipt.com/be-a-shopper and fill out the quick application. As long as you meet the basic requirements they will ask you to do a virtual interview. All you’ll do is record yourself answering a few questions and upload them to the application. This seems complicated but they walk you through it and it’s super simple.
After you submit the videos you’ll receive an email if they think you’ll be a good fit for Shipt Shopping. At that point you’ll have to electronically sign some paper agreements and permission for them to run your background check. This took a few days for me.
After my background check came back clear they notified me by text and email that my Shipt Shopper packet was on the way. The packet includes a t-shirt (that you aren’t required to wear) and your shopper card. You can get started setting up your availability and receiving shops as soon as you activate your shopper card.
Well, there you have it folks. I especially loved the insight on crazy people in parking lots, didn’t you? Overall I think Shipt shopping sounds like a great side-gig for a student or anyone looking to supplement their income.
I personally use Shipt all the time and really love all the nice Shipt Shoppers who come to my house and save the day with the groceries I don’t have time to get, or let’s keep it real… I don’t want to.
Hi, I’m Jessica! I am wife to Chris, and mom to Kaiper, Alana and Koa. I am a graphic designer, website developer and aspiring author. In this space, I share about everything from parenting, working from home, food we cook, and lots of things for kids! Learn more about me here.