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[2023] Shipt Shopper Review: Is It Worth It?

Updated: Jul 18

Affiliate Marketing Disclosure

Are you a person that doesn't mind grocery shopping when you're not in a rush? Did you know that you actually can get paid to go food shopping for others in your area?

I've written a few pieces recently about freelancing gigs such as Uber, Grubhub, Instacart, and DoorDash. Today, I'm back with another review, this time of Shipt.

This post will cover:

  1. What is Shipt?

  2. How does it work?

  3. How to become a Shipt shopper

  4. How much money you can expect to make

  5. Pros and cons

What is Shipt?

Shipt is an online grocery delivery service, similar to Instacart. Users can order groceries electronically from the comfort of their homes, and they will then be delivered to your house.

A Target Corporation brand, Shipt is based in Birmingham, Alabama, and by some estimates, now has drivers that number well into the tens of thousands.

As is the case with Instacart, users have the option to choose from a number of supermarkets in your area, and they'll be able to browse from hundreds, if not thousands, of different products. Shipt also offers free same-day or next-day delivery on orders exceeding $35, which has undoubtedly helped them consistently add new customers.

How does Shipt work?

When a customer wants to place an order, he/she can choose from a list of participating stores in the area. After deciding upon a store, the customer can add items to his/her cart, similar to any online shopping experience.

After checking out, a personal shopper (a Shipt driver) will be assigned to complete the order. This is where you come in. While you're shopping to complete a customer's order, you'll have options to notify them if any items are out of stock, need substitutions, etc.

Once you've accommodated any substitution requests, you'll proceed to the checkout, and ultimately to your car. From here, you'll navigate to your drop-off point and deliver the groceries you shopped for.

Unlike other gig economy delivery apps, customers will not be able to track your exact location, so don't be afraid to communicate with them and use the app's messaging capabilities.

How to become a Shipt shopper

Once you're ready, registering to become a Shipt shopper is really easy to do. In fact, you'll only need to follow these five basic steps:

  1. Create a Shipt account

  2. Verify your eligibility

  3. Apply to shop

  4. Get approved

  5. Start shopping

I'll break this down into all the details you'll need to get up and running.

1. Create a Shipt account

Your first step is to create a Shipt account. Doing so is really easy, and you'll need just your name, email address, phone number, and zip code to get started.

The rest of the application process will require more personal information, but this is all you'll need to get started.

2. Verify your eligibility

Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to start driving for Shipt. Rather, it is reserved for those that are able to meet the following requirements:

  • Are at least 18 years old

  • Have valid United States drivers licenses and auto insurance

  • Have vehicles from 1997 or younger

These are the base requirements. Additionally, you may be relied upon to lift up to 40 pounds (produce is heavy, after all!), and you should have a smartphone able to run iOS 10 or newer (iPhone) or Android 5.1 or newer.

Finally, you'll need to pass a background check performed by Checkr. This background check will aim to identify any past felony convictions, DUI/drug convictions, and moving vehicle violations.

3. Apply to become a shopper

Once you've verified your eligibility, you can proceed to complete the application process. When I filled out an application on Shipt, I was asked the following questions:

  • My address, including city, state, and zip code

  • My age

  • My shirt size

  • Whether I was referred to Shipt by somebody else

You may also be required to attend a 30 minute interview, which is oftentimes more of an informational session than a typical interview. Think of it as Shipt doing their due diligence to assure you are a good fit.

4. Get approved

Once you've submitted your application, you'll need to wait for the platform to approve you. Online, they mention that the process usually takes 24-48 hours to play out, but shoppers that I've spoken to have mentioned that the process sometimes takes three business days or a little more.

This delay can be frustrating, but it really isn't much of a delay in the grand scheme of things.

Do note that if your application is rejected that you will not be able to reapply.

5. Start shopping

With all the paperwork and formalities complete, it is finally time for you to start working! Focus on accuracy and service, and you'll do quite well!

How much do Shipt shoppers make?

Shipt advertises that you can earn as much as $22 per hour in your role shopping for and delivering groceries to others in you community. I'll be honest - in my experience and through conversations with others, it is hard to make this per hour.

I'd say that an hourly rate of about $15 is much more attainable. Here's why.

The company historically paid shoppers $5 for each order you complete (no matter the size), plus 7.5% of the total value of the order and the potential to earn customer tips. However, there was an adjustment mechanism in place designed to compensate you for completing small orders.

This pay model was updated a couple of years back to account for things like your driving time, time spent in traffic, etc. And while the company has not released exact specifics on the new pricing model, it is designed to reward those willing to exert extra effort to complete orders.

Regardless, I recommend that you always check the size and scope of an order before you accept the work. Plus, I have some tips designed to help you maximize your earnings.

Make more money on Shipt

Like I mentioned, making money on Shipt can occasionally feel like a bit of a crap shoot. To maximize your earnings, I recommend that you follow these tips:

  1. Focus on the customer experience

  2. Shop with accuracy

1. Focus on the customer experience

The customer experience should be at the forefront of everything you do, since they have the ability to award you tips. Tips can be added even after the delivery has been completed, so take actions that will encourage shoppers to reward you.

You’ll keep 100% of your tips after all, so it is in your best interest to do all the small things. Here are a few strategies that I’ve found helpful in the past, either personally or from those I’ve connected with:

  • Bag groceries in an organized way that assures bags won’t break

  • Communicate with customers if you hit traffic or experience a delay

  • Bring food to your customer's front door

2. Shop with accuracy

You'll want to make sure that you're doing everything that you can to fulfill all of your orders with the utmost accuracy. Limiting customer complaint is integral because, in time, the app will give high performing the shoppers the ability to complete two orders at one time rather than just one.

This means that you potentially could earn double the money for each trip into the store, plus the potential for tips!

Shipt driver pros and cons

No side hustle is perfect - that much is the truth.

But there are definitely some notable pros and cons to driving for Shipt that you should consider before deciding whether this is the gig for you. It is only fair that I start with the notable benefits.


  • Flexible hours: Like most other freelance driving gigs out there, Shipt does allow you to work when it is convenient for you. This doesn't guarantee you'll make tons of money when you work, however, since some times are obviously busier than others.

  • Opportunity to earn tips: I'm a huge fan of gigs where you can earn tips for providing great customer service. It doesn't take a ton of effort to go above and beyond, and customers oftentimes notice. Over time, you absolutely will be rewarded for it.

  • Ease of making money: Compared to other delivery side gigs, I found the registration and application process to be much easier than it is with other competitors. I attribute this to being owned by Target, so Shipt is able to leverage their technology.

Of course, not everything is perfect about the experience.


  • No guarantee of tips: To be fair, this is true of most all freelancing platforms. But it is still worth mentioning, since it can be frustrating to go above and beyond to complete an order, only for it to not be noticed. Generally, you will have the most success working during the busiest hours, like 4-8pm on workdays.

  • Customer cancellations: Shipt allows customers to cancel their orders up to one hour prior to their designated delivery window. This means that it is hypothetically possible for an order to be cancelled after you've started to prepare it. In my opinion, not only is this frustrating, but it is also a little unfair for workers.

Is Shipt worth it as a side hustle?

Similar to my feelings on Instacart, I believe that Shipt has a place among the shopping/delivery services on the market. Not only can you supplement your income, but it is also possible to do really well if you follow our insider tips!

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We manually review all products and services that we think are of high quality and value to you.

About Nathan Zarcaro

Nathan Zarcaro is the founder of The Student Debt Destroyer and is passionate about personal finance related causes.  A 2018 graduate of Providence College's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Nathan studied Finance, and worked for one of the world's largest asset management firms before starting his own consulting practice.  In his free time, Nathan enjoys playing golf and traveling with his wife Brigid.

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