14 Pros and Cons of Working for Instacart

Before the pandemic, Instacart and other gig economy jobs were booming.

Now as COVID-19 is ending, there is an increase in the number of workers hoping for side jobs.

Instacart allows for individuals who have few skills and a demand for a quick payout to have gainful employment.

There are many benefits to working for Instacart, as well as several consequences. 

Pros of Being an Instacart Worker

1. Set Your Own Hours

A major reason why individuals move into the gig economy and pick up side hustles like Instacart is to be able to work their own schedule.

This is the type of work that needs to be done most hours of the day, with the odd hours being when the customers are most unexpectedly in demand for your services.

That being said, you don’t have to work when you do not want to, and you get to choose when you do start your Instacart job during the day or night. 

2. Moving Around and Staying Active

In the Instacart workplace, individuals stand up and walk around in order to get the groceries that their customers want them to deliver to them.

This is an active position that involves lots of movement.

If you are tired of being sedentary, which sounds like an oxymoron but it is true for most office workers, then getting an Instacart job can make you move more often.

The faster you can grab those groceries, the quicker you get paid and are able to move along to the next order, too.

3. Gig Economy Work

Are you someone curious about working in the so-called gig economy?

Well, now you can and you are able to select the type of job you want–whether you are into driving, drawing, shooting videos, or picking up someone’s groceries.

Instacart is a huge industry mover and shaker with more than $35 billion in grocery sales and more than 350,000 new hires in 2020 alone.

Getting into the door with this job is simple; you need to have a phone with the Instacart app and a vehicle or form of transportation.

There is also the job at Instacart involving simply selecting groceries and not delivering them, too, if you do not have a vehicle.

4. Easy to Get Paid

Instacart makes it easy to get paid.

Instead of waiting to receive a paper check in the mail, you have instant access to digital cash.

This makes it far easier for people to get paid, and faster, too.

If you like to get paid when you set the date, you are able to request a payout when you want to with Instacart.

This helps you stay on track with spending and saving, as well.

You can earn as much, or as little, as you need by how fast and efficiently you pull orders and deliver them.

That is another way you take control over how easy it is to make money with Instacart.

5. Quit When You Want to

This is not one of those jobs where you have a boss or even a watercooler to chat with your employees.

You are on your own.

That means, if you are not having a good time at Instacart or do not make enough money, or have enough orders at your local stores, you can leave at any time.

There is zero guilt hanging over your head about quitting your team at Instacart.

You do not have to turn in an apron or tell them you are putting in your two-weeks notice.

If you want to quit, you can quit, no problem.

This is great for people who get anxious about this kind of thing.

6. Seeing New Products at Stores

Do you like to window shop?

Do you love seeing what grocery stores have to offer?

Well, when you start working at Instacart, you will get to find out what other people buy and eat–and what stores have new in stock.

Typically, most of us do not visit 10 different grocery stores in a week for shopping.

However, when you work for Instacart, your customers might have you going to 12 stores or more in a week and showing you some new stores you did not even know existed.

This can make your life a lot more fun, especially since you are not spending your own money to do this “shelf shopping.”

7. Discovering the Outdoors

Instacart workers deliver groceries to customers in most cases.

As a result, you are getting outdoors, which is an environment that is healthy and beneficial.

Yet we do not have a chance to be outdoors that often most of the time with our jobs.

If you want a gig job that lets you be indoors and outdoors for about the same amount of time, consider Instacart.

Cons of Being at Instacart

1. It Is a Gig Job

In the gig economy, there is one big problem.

You are not guaranteed the same securities as those who work in a contracted labor position.

Instead of being bound to a desk or to a corporation, you have few ties to Instacart.

It is all up to you when you decide when to work and where to work, and even which orders to pick up and deliver.

This means you are on your own.

It is a gig job, and if you are looking for more structure, and a boss to breathe down your neck, this is not the workplace to be in.

2. Staying Focused is Tough

A problem that a lot of gig workers find is that they might want to make a lot of money, and have a schedule that allows them to do so.

But since there is no one telling them they must go to work, the gig worker can easily miss a shift or three without anyone caring–at all.

This is where staying focused is the new priority and skill of anyone working for Instacart.

In order to make zero mistakes and have orders delivered on time, you must be on your game when at work, too.

It all adds up to make for an independent working situation that will only be successful if you are willing to focus.

3. Technology Goofs

In working with technology like smartphones, apps, and wifi, there are always issues, especially in connectivity.

This is what can be a big issue for Instacart.

If you cannot successfully upload and access orders and communicate with your customers, this will hold you up.

Finding someone to support you in tech is also problematic as this is a gig working position.

As a result, you might find that the technology is the reason you forgo working at Instacart.

4. Physical Labor

Picking up 25 pounds of flour, three cases of canned soda, and more ground beef than you want to mention is a lot of lifting.

Individuals need to follow ergonomic practices in order to protect and support their muscles when moving groceries.

This includes picking groceries up off the shelves, and when carrying the grocery bags to the doorway of the customer.

If you are not physically fit, this can prove to be a more difficult gig job than anticipated. 

5. Lack of Control Over Job

For adults who like to have a say where they work, Instacart might not work so well.

Since there is not a centralized office to call or report to, you cannot really have a say in the way things work at this gig job.

It is what it is, as they say, and you are stuck with the system.

This can be jeopardizing and difficult if you are not used to having to do what the app says all the time and expect to offer insightful advice to the CEO.

6. Constantly Going Into New Environments

Along with visiting new grocery stores and markets regularly, Instacart workers are frequently having to travel to new addresses to deliver groceries.

This is tedious if you are new to an area and not good at navigating around town.

As a result, Instacart gig workers should have a clear idea of the area where they are planning to shop and deliver groceries before they get started.

Otherwise, they might spend too much time lost or unable to find streets due to poor GPS signals. 

7. Gig Work is Still Spotty for Insurance

Not having the same protections like health insurance as conventional workers is where Instacart and other gig jobs have issues.

Workers who expect to have medical health care coverage are going to be lacking at Instacart.

This can be problematic, and for individuals who need medical care coverage, they simply will struggle to get by with the wages and lack of benefits at Instacart.

Pros and Cons of Working for Instacart – Summary Table

Pros of Being an Instacart WorkerCons of Being at Instacart
1. Set Your Own Hours1. It Is a Gig Job
2. Moving Around and Staying Active2. Staying Focused is Tough
3. Gig Economy Work3. Technology Goofs
4. Easy to Get Paid4. Physical Labor
5. Quit When You Want to5. Lack of Control Over Job
6. Seeing New Products at Stores6. Constantly Going Into New Environments
7. Discovering the Outdoors7. Gig Work is Still Spotty for Insurance

Should You Become an Instacart Worker?

If you are ready to pick up your first gig job, then an Instacart worker is a great position.

Technically, you are shopping for groceries, and simply getting paid to do the task.

Rather than having strangers in and out of your vehicle, you are getting paid to deliver their groceries to their doorstep.

This will help you reduce interactions with strangers, and is considered safer than other gig jobs.

Now that you understand what is at stake and can be expected of you, you should become an Instacart worker if you are clear about the way you will be paid and your job expectations.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

One thought on “14 Pros and Cons of Working for Instacart

  1. It’s a good hustle as a second job, but I wouldn’t rely on Instacart to be my main source of income, some shoppers are very entitled and rude, but other than that it’s great to be your own boss and work on whatever hours you feel are good for you. the pay is actually better than I thought it would be which is great (:

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