Looking for part-time work that lets you pick your hours and work as much or as little as you want? How about grocery shopping?
The on-demand business model, used most famously by Uber, has moved into the grocery delivery business. Some delivery companies hire independent drivers who, like Uber drivers, set their own hours and work in response to customer demand. That allows the driver to make money on their own schedule — either as a primary job, or to fill in the gaps in the budget while going to school or another job.
One such delivery service is Shipt, which uses driver-shoppers as contracted employees.
“I make approximately 18 to 22 dollars an hour,” says Robert Murray, a Shipt contractor in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area who also coaches high school lacrosse. “It really depends on how busy and popular the week is that week.”
Kimberly Carrizoza, a Shipt “driver-shopper,” is also a stay-at-home mother of three who says she enjoys the money and the flexibility. Shipt lets her fit work around her busy and constantly changing schedule. She told Nooga.com, a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based news site:
“My husband works full-time, and he goes out of town for his job. So to have something like this where I can sign on when I want and sign out when I’m done [is ideal].”
Shipt (acquired by Target in late 2017) is one of many companies that use apps to connect people looking for extra money with people willing to pay for the convenience of having their groceries delivered. The shopping services make money with markups on whatever it is they’re delivering.
Which one you choose to go with will depend on where you live. Shipt is especially strong in the U.S. Southeast. This service is currently available in select cities in 17 states: Check here to see if your area is included. Other services are more concentrated in the West, or in Canada. They are all expanding rapidly.
Driver requirements will vary from company to company as well, but just to give you an idea, here’s what Shipt lists as requirements for their driver-shoppers:
- At least 18 years old
- Has a reliable vehicle, 15 years old or newer
- Has an iPhone (iOS 10 or newer) or Android (5.1 or newer)
- Has a valid U.S. driver’s license and auto insurance
- Passes a thorough background check
- Has an insulated cooler bag
- Has knowledge of produce selection
- Has the ability to lift 25+ pounds
Be a top-rated shopper
As with many other services, Shipt customers have an opportunity to rate their experience. The shoppers who receive the best customer ratings are given first crack at jobs as new orders arrive.
According to Nooga.com:
Whoever has the highest rating and the fastest fingers gets the job, Carrizoza said. After an order comes in, if none of the highest-rated shoppers opt for that delivery, other shoppers get the option to take the job.
Additionally, Shipt tells customers to “tip based on the quality of your service.”
And it helps to be an outgoing person.
“I do pretty well because I think I approach it with the same mind frame as I do with coaching,” says Murray. “I have a great game plan going into it, I’m high energy and I’m a great people person.”
Companies and options across the U.S.
If shopping for groceries sounds like good work, you’ll find other options as well. Depending on the company, you may be hired simply to deliver groceries, or you could fulfill orders too, shopping in grocery stores and delivering goods to a customer’s home. Alternatives to Shipt include:
- Instacart: A grocery delivery service in cities scattered across the country. If you’re on the West Coast, this company offers more opportunities than Shipt. Check locations here.
- Peapod: A grocery delivery service operating in parts of the Midwest and the Eastern Seaboard. The company employs drivers in staff positions, offering a “comprehensive benefits package, competitive salaries and the opportunity to grow within our company.”
- WeGoShop: This company puts a different twist on on-demand grocery delivery. WeGoShop partners with what it calls “associate owners,” who are individuals like you or me. Associate owners pay for access to branding, credit-card processing and other back-end business support, and then choose specific territories in which to run their own business. See details here.
- Be your own startup: You can start your own grocery shopping business where you live, advertising for customers and fulfilling orders. Grocery Shopping Business — a blog all about running your own grocery delivery service — has loads of tips on how to build a client base, meet people’s specialized requirements and grow your profits.
If grocery delivery isn’t your cup of tea, then find something more appetizing. From driving for Uber to online teaching to pet sitting, there are dozens of ways to make extra money these days that didn’t exist just a few years ago.
Would you be willing to jump into the grocery delivery business? Share your thoughts in comments below or on our Facebook page.
Marilyn Lewis contributed to this post.