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The current pandemic has changed the way we shop, and many people are now outsourcing their shopping to trips to companies like Shipt. Shipt has a stable of independent contractors who will go to a local store, purchase the items on your list and then deliver them to your door. As with rideshare services like Lyft or Uber, Shipt shoppers work whenever they want, picking up orders on their smartphones when they have time to shop.
How Does Shipt Work?
Consumers join Shipt so they can order groceries and household items to be delivered to their home or office, rather than having to go to the store themselves. Shipt customers pay a membership fee of $99 per year or a pay-as-you-go pass for each shop.
When it’s time to shop, Shipt members use the app to select the store they want to shop at and the items they want. Then they choose a delivery time the same day.
Once an order is placed, a Shipt shopper can pick it up. The shopper, who also has an app, goes to the store, selects the products on the customer’s list, pays for them with a Shipt debit card that has been pre-loaded with the amount of the order, and delivers the order to the customer. That’s it!
What Are the Qualifications to Become a Shipt Shopper?
To become a Shipt shopper, you must:
- Be 18 years old or older
- Have an iPhone or Android smartphone
- Have a reliable, insured vehicle and a valid U.S. driver’s license
- Be able to lift at least 45 pounds
- Know how to select produce
Since you will be dealing with the public, it’s also helpful if you are a “people person.” Some shoppers cultivate relationships with regular customers — particularly those they know regularly tip well.
How Do I Become a Shipt Shopper?
There’s a three-step process to becoming a shopper for Shipt.
- Apply to become a shopper on the website.
- Have an interview.
- Download the app.
Once you’re approved, you’ll get a Shipt t-shirt which it is suggested you wear every time you shop. You’ll also get a debit card that you use to pay for orders. It will be loaded with the funds required for each order you claim.
How Much Do Shipt Shoppers Make?
According to the website, experienced shoppers can make $22 an hour. This is based on shoppers who have already completed 30 or more shops.
Good To Know
Shoppers are paid per order, and the amount depends on how many orders you have under your belt. Shipt shoppers keep 100% of customer tips. You’ll get paid every Friday.
How Can I Maximize My Income as a Shipt Shopper?
Shipt offers lots of resources to help shoppers do a better job and increase their earnings. For instance, you can learn about Shipt best practices, and get certified for specific types of deliveries, like those including alcohol or prescriptions.
For your first 10 orders, while you’re getting used to it, you will only be able to pick up one order per delivery window, and a maximum of three orders back-to-back. Once you have 10 successful orders under your belt, you can pick up more than one order and a time, and unlimited back-to-back orders. By carefully scheduling your deliveries, you can maximize your earnings.
Another way to increase your earnings is with tips. Customers can tip shoppers who do a good job, and 100% of the tip goes to the shopper. There are several ways you can increase your tips:
Make sure you deliver on time. The Shipt app will give you an estimate of the time it will take you to shop and deliver the order. To increase your on-time delivery record, plan to deliver at the beginning of the delivery window. If you’re going to be unavoidably late, contact the customer as soon as you know there may be a delay.
Deliver the correct items. Read the notes that members can leave for their shopper, particularly for things like produce. Notes will help you know whether the customer wants green bananas or ones that are really ripe.
Pick up repeat shops from the same customers, especially if they tip. Some customers are more likely to tip than others, so if you get one who does, try to pick up that same customer’s shops in the future. If you shop for the same customer repeatedly, you can also develop a rapport that will help you select products more accurately for them and can lead to even more tips.
Bag items appropriately. Especially if you’re using self-checkout at the store, be sure that you’re following best practices for bagging. Some customers have a preference for paper vs. plastic, so be sure to honor that if it’s noted. Keep perishables separate from non-perishables, and cleaning products separate from food. Shipt provides cooler bags so you can keep frozen and refrigerated items in good condition until you deliver them.
What Are the Benefits to Being a Shipt Shopper?
Shipt shoppers are independent contractors, not employees. This means that you can shop when you want, but it also means that you won’t get benefits and taxes won’t be withheld from your pay.
Even though you don’t get employee benefits like an employer-funded retirement plan or paid vacation, there are some perks associated with being a Shipt shopper. Here are some of them:
- A free Shipt membership. If you’ve spent all day shopping for others, and come home to an empty pantry, you can have someone else go out and pick up what you need.
- Subsidized car insurance, plus tools to track your mileage — which can be a tax deduction — and vehicle maintenance.
- COVID-19 assistance if you contract the virus or are required to quarantine.
- Help finding health care, plus prescription discounts.
Becoming a Shipt shopper can provide you with some extra income if you like to shop. You can set your own schedule, shopping as much or as little as you want, but the more shops you do, the more money you’re likely to make.