Many full-time college students also need to have a job to be able to afford day-to-day expenses. Jobs in retail or at a restaurant can be tough to work into a busy student schedule of classes and social life.
Apps like DoorDash, UberEats and Instacart have become popular over the past few years, especially when COVID-19 hit hard. A convenience for consumers, these apps also give people a good opportunity to earn money while working with a flexible schedule which is perfect for college students.
Instacart is one of the most well-liked of the options. Signing up for Instacart requires shoppers to go through background checks and fill out various forms to make sure they’re eligible to become a shopper. Once you’re approved, you’ll be able to download the shopper app that allows you to claim orders and see your earnings.
The Shopper app runs you through different training scenarios to help you get prepared to start shopping.
“It was really easy to sign up and get started,” said Krista Novello.
Novello has been an instacart shopper for about a year now and enjoys the benefits of it over a traditional job.
“I love that I’m able to just pick up my phone and start working whenever I want to,” Novello said.
Instacart uses your phone’s location to narrow down which stores and customers are available for you. This is another benefit for college students who move back home while they’re not at school. Shoppers are able to open the app anywhere and accept orders from whichever town or city they’re in at that moment.
“I have a job at home but having Instacart to do on the side for a little extra money is awesome,” Novello said.
While the main reason that many students are Instacart shoppers is to make money, some also find it rewarding to do something helpful for someone else.
Instacart shopper Kylie Alexander has only been doing it for a few months, but she has had a great experience so far.
“I started Instacart as an easy way to make money but I also see how much it can help people who can’t get to the stores easily or at all,” Alexander said.
On top of the fulfilling feeling that she gets while Instacarting, Alexander also finds some joy in doing it.
“It’s honestly kind of fun to drive around and shop for someone else. I love shopping and not using my own money,” Alexander said.
Being an Instacart shopper does start to eat up your gas a little bit if you’re driving to customers who are farther away and you’re taking a lot of orders, but that’s what part of your income from each order is for.
If there are customers who are farther away than normal, Instacart will compensate for that and give a little extra onto the earnings.
Instacart also will add onto the earnings if the order is considered a heavy order; this usually means there are things like cases of water or other large items that may be difficult to deal with.
Shoppers can earn between $8 to $15 for one batch. If there are two batches in an order, shoppers can earn up to $20 to $25. How much someone can make in a week depends on the shopper themselves because they’re the one that’s in control of how many hours they work and how many batches they choose to take.
Being an Instacart shopper may not be ideal for everyone but it is definitely convenient and a better option for college students or other people who have very busy lives and need a flexible schedule.