Review: Is Instacart A Scam?

Updated Review: Is instacart a scam

Opportunity to earn money:  Be an independent contractor working for Instacart as a shopper/driver

The company has its headquarters in San Francisco.

Costs to join:  Free!  In order to become a shopper/driver you must be at least 21 years old, (18 in Boston), be able to pass a criminal background check, and a legal resident of the U.S.   As a driver working for Instacart you must have access to a reliable vehicle.

Business owner:  Could not be ascertained.  This company has been around since at least 2014.

The Instacart Opportunity – Recommendation from Rat Race Rebellion:

With the continued explosion of the Internet and mobile devices there continues to be opportunities to earn money online. At the excellent Rat Race Rebellion jobs leads site, they regularly  advertise openings available at Instacart for people acting as shoppers and/or drivers in picking up groceries for individuals who can not do this chore themselves.

The pay rate is adverstised  as being between $15 – 20/hour as one would work as an independent contractor.

In doing research to write this article, even though I do trust Rat Race Rebellion explicitly still I wanted to answer the following question:

Is Instacart a scam?  Or, is this opportunity a legit way to earn money?

Please read on as after conducting research with this company and at their website, I hope that I will provide you with suitable information.

****  For some individuals who might not have a car available to perform this job, (acting as a driver)  or may find this opportunity at Instacart to be something that does not appeal to you,  I will also mention at this time as an alternative an opportunity to make money online through a company called Wealthy Affiliate. ****

What is Instacart all about? Is instacart a scam

Instacart provides a service to customers who are seniors, have disabilities, or just do not have access to vehicles.  The service fulfilled is that Instacart takes grocery orders and will perform the chore of actually shopping at specific supermarkets for these customers.

Instacart hires online independent contractors who either perform the chore of shopping for these customers’ orders, drivers who deliver the food to the homes, or a combination of both – individuals who shop and also deliver the food personally.

At Rat Race Rebellion and at the Instacart site itself they advertise the fact that working up to 29 hours/week an individual can make between $15 – 20/hour with this opportunity.  In today’s economy and unstable job environment this does represent real money.

Requirements for being an independent contractor with Instacart:

As I mentioned above there are three opportunities to be hired as an independent contractor regarding providing a service to customers in need of weekly groceries:

1). Acting as a shopper for the customer based on their listed needs. Is instacart a scam

2). Acting as a driver who delivers the grocery food to the customer’s home.

3). An individual acting as both shopper and driver in delivering the customer’s order after picking it up at one of the participating grocery stores.


– You must be at least 21 years old for both the role of shopper, driver, or the role of both, (although 18 in Boston).

–  To be a driver you must have a valid driver’s license, and own a reliably running car. Such a type of vehicle that would not consistently take you 10+ attempts in the grocery store parking lot trying to get it started daily because the engine is so ill-running.  Delivering the food in a prompt manner would be a requirement.

–  A shopper would NOT have to actually have a car available, although it would be a requirement of course that he/she has reliable transportation to get to the grocery store so that the shopping job could be accomplished.

–  You must be able to pass a criminal background check.

–  You would need to be able to lift up to 30 pounds.

*** Again as an alternative if any of the above requirements for this role at Instacart are something that you could not achieve, as a way to make money online I mention a program called Wealthy Affiliate. ***

Instacart does not discriminate against people who have disabilities!

Applicants with disabilities who may need reasonable accommodations in order to complete their job requirements involving this opportunity may contact a number provided by Instacart and simply provide information about their special needs.

Instacart in following specific U.S. laws will not discriminate against a person who has disabilities and might not believe that he/she could apply for this type of work.

–  All applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S.

–  Finally, applicants must have access to a Smartphone (IPhone 4, Android 4 or newer).  The job assignments would be put on display via the company’s apps and social media accounts, easily and quickly seen on mobile devices.

Instacart’s recent change in pay philosophy:

Beginning last October 2016,  Instacart enacted a change regarding their philosophy of payment – especially tips that previously had been randomly awarded to independent contractors.

Previous to this date Instacart found out that many customers out of simply not appreciating the services done by independent contractors having to do with their shopping and/or driving/ delivering the orders to homes, either did not provide a tip or did so at a very low percentage rate.

To correct this as too low of a percentage of people did this grateful deed anyway Instacart decided not to accept any tips period.  These tips were just not consistent.

Instead and as the company’s way of showing their appreciation to the independent contractors hired to perform these tasks, Instacart started charging customers a service fee to reflect what they felt would be adequate compensation being shown as a way of appreciation for what these independent contractors had performed.

Below I have an example taken from the company’s site based on the before and after hourly charges that a typical San Francisco based independent contractor could expect to make working for the company in the roles of shopper, driver or a combination of both.

Is instacart a scam


I would say that through the images seen a person hired to work as an independent contractor with Instacart could earn a significant amount of money if only doing so part-time.

Pros with being an independent contractor at Instacart:

As long as you are a “people-person” with the ability to show friendliness and respect towards others, have a reliable car, and can prove that you are a licensed driver with no past criminal record this represents a real opportunity to earn legitimate money for yourself.  You might not think of it as a “business” per say. But the work can be very steady and you will make $$.

As the population continues to age with people living longer, more elderly citizens in the future would need such a service provided for them.  This is especially so if they could no longer drive or have a reliable neighbor or younger relative to deliver them food weekly.

Independent contractors should look at the service in what they would be providing as it being a noble, kind and thoughtful gesture being performed for their fellow human beings.

Complaints about being an independent contractor at Instacart:

This company is still growing.  The one major complaint that I see is that at present, Instacart is only located in 19 states across the United States totaling 372 locations, (multiple locations in major cities).  I have an image below of the cities that Instacart currently services:

Is instacart a scam

Sorry but if you live in any location in the Upper mid-west to the mountain range states, (except for locations in large cities) or along the Pacific Coast where you do not live in either: Seattle, Portland Oregon, San Francisco or Los Angeles; at present Instacart does not service many areas in the U.S.

Even along the East Coast at this time they are only located in large cities – Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta, Durham/Charlotte NC, Washington/Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

Outside of those areas unfortunately and unless you really like commuting daily, these jobs would just not be available to you as Instacart cannot be found servicing people in many parts of the U.S.  With time as the company expands one has the hope that this will improve.

My final assessment:  Instacart is legit! Is instacart a scam

Instacart is not a scam!  If this company was an unreliable, unproven and completely fraudulent/bogus opportunity, a reputable and well-known site such as Rat Race Rebellion would never promote/endorse Instacart as being a job that people could look at as a source of potential income for themselves!

Furthermore, as Instacart continues to grow, hopefully it will have more locations especially in the western part of the U.S. and perhaps even into Canada!

 Before I Let You Go. . .

As I mentioned a bit earlier, perhaps this opportunity with Instacart might not be a good fit for everyone.  You might not own a reliable automobile or live in an area of the U.S. that currently is served by Instacart.

If you still are interested in a way to earn money online, I again will mention what is my top recommendation, an opportunity with a  company called Wealthy Affiliate. Is Instacart A Scam

Wealthy Affiliate founded back in 2005, has had over a million members at one time or another who all sought to make money for themselves online.  The educational training, tools and community support all key to a person’s eventually attaining success is unmatched anywhere else by any similar program on the Internet.

Take advantage of what this opportunity can do for you, especially if you’re seeking extra income for you and your family.

Thank you for reading this article!  If you have any questions or thoughts please feel free to post them in the comments’ section below:


11 thoughts on “Review: Is Instacart A Scam?

  1. Looks like a good opportunity for those between jobs and needing the money. Such odd jobs used to be for part timers, permanent careers and those deemed to be forever only fit for them. But now with tech we can all be drivers, shoppers, carers etc anytime we are free, increasing our earning potential by leaps and bounds!

  2. Hello and great site.
    I filled out your mailing list to make money online. This instacart thing looks great and I am honestly going to look into it for my area. I think it can thrive and you make it look great. You honest opinions are refreshing and I am very interested. Thanks for this opportunity

  3. Hi Mark! Thank you sir for reading the article, sharing your thoughts and also signing up as a subscriber to my email list. I guarantee that it will not be spam. There are about 5 – 6 emails in the series that will be sent out to you, spaced out over time. I hope that I will provide a service to you in whatever online business venture that you’d be thinking of pursuing.

    As for instacart, you bet this opportunity is quite realistic for you to earn money. As I said in the article if the two owners of Rat Race Rebellion endorse it in one of their articles then it is 100% legit. I just hope that instacart is in an area where you currently live. The company is growing but unfortunately in vast parts of the U.S. it still is not in a lot of locations.

    Thank you again for your wonderful comments, Mark! They are very much appreciated by me, sir!



  4. Hi Regina! Thank you for both reading the article and also issuing your insightful thoughts. As I remarked to a previous reader the opportunities now available online to make extra money – even shopping/driving for others weekly to help get them their groceries certainly were not available 10 – 15 years ago. All thanks to the continued expansion of the Internet. Still you have to be careful not to fall for scams which most certainly are still present online.

    Thank you again for your comments Regina and again visiting my site! Your thoughts are very much appreciated by me!



  5. I want the extra income,but I’m afraid to put my bank info online to get paid. Is there any other way to get paid? Via mail!?

  6. Hi, Marsha. I am not quite sure how to answer that question because as is the case with Instacart and its online site, (similar to other work-from-home jobs) it does require you to put in your online bank info in order for them to pay you.

    The one positive aspect of Instacart’s site (which you can see by clicking on those two previous words), is that as it begins with the https:// prefix, it is secured and encrypted. Also notice the green lock symbol to the left of the url. Had the site only begun with the http:// url I would tell you not to provide any type of personal info to them.

    As a suggestion you could also try and contact Instacart on their contact page and as a phone number is provided try and express your concerns to someone who works at the company. I am not in any way associated with Instacart, and therefore could not provide you with any info regarding a secondary payment method other than what the company has in place.

    Thank you for reading the article, Marsha. Apparently, it did impress you enough to at least consider earning yourself some extra cash by working for Instacart.


  7. Do not work for Instacart. It is a scam. I worked for this company for 2 months and they did not pay me for the work I completed. Also I helped signed 2 more individuals to work for Instacart. Instacart did not send them the materials needed to start the job. While signing up for jobs on Sundays, you have to quickly sign in, as if you are car racing, to pick up assignments. Proceed with caution.

  8. Hi, Yolanda! Thank you first of all for both reading this article and also for sharing your candid thoughts. I’m sorry for what you had to go through in getting work through Instacart. The fact that, as you stated, this company did not pay you for 2 months for working for them frankly is inexcusable.

    It also is not a good reflection on this company when they did not send materials, obviously not bothering to reply back to your 2 friends who also were looking for work from Instacart. At the very least, the people who run this company in the area where you live in should, out of just plain courtesy, replied back to your friends telling them that there were no openings for them to be hired indeed if that was the case. Instead by not responding back, it appears to me that the Instacart organization is but a reflection of what society has become now that we’re well into the 21st century. People just do not have the decency and respect for other human beings in being able to communicate with them effectively.

    I’m sure that other people reading your comments will now think about possibly seeking work for Instacart. Again, what has happened to both you and your friends reflects back quite poorly on this company!

    I’m wishing you the best also, Yolanda, if you’re still in the market for looking for legit work-from-home positions. You might even consider my mentioning Wealthy Affiliate as being a much more viable alternative to what obviously is Instacart!


  9. I am trying to figure out if they are trust worthy, they want my bank account information so they can pay me directly. But even after reading this im still not sure, what should I do?

  10. Hi Sarah. Thank you for reading this article. Instacart is a legit opportunity for a person to earn money through picking up and delivering groceries to people who otherwise cannot do it on their own. However, as I’m the same way regarding giving my bank account info to people who I personally do not know, I don’t blame you for your hesitancy in providing it. I was unaware that this is the type of procedure that Instacart does in order to sign people onto their program, and then pay them for their services.

    Sarah, I simply would feel uncomfortable if I were to definitely state that you do provide what Instacart is asking as far as bank account info in order to pay you. I’m surprised that they do not use PayPal, as that company, (known worldwide and used by tens of millions of people) does not ask for that sensitive info. I can only state, as apparently you’re quite reluctant to provide info about your bank account, that you simply pass on this opportunity. I am not going to be an individual who is going to try and twist your arm into doing something that you’re not at all comfortable in proceeding forward.


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