Does Instacart Pay You If You Don’t Get Any Orders?

Instacart is a grocery delivery and pickup service based in the US and Canada. Through its website and mobile app, the company makes grocery shopping convenient and quick for people who find it hard to go to stores by letting them order individual shoppers to do their shopping from over 300 participating retailers. Let us know about “Does Instacart Pay You If You Don’t Get Any Orders?”

Does Instacart Pay You If You Don't Get Any Orders?

Whether or not you get paid if you do not get orders depends on what kind of shopping you are doing for Instacart. If you are an individual contractor, Instacart will not pay you if you cannot find or deliver any orders. It is a purely on-demand gig where you may choose when to work and which orders to accept, but you cannot expect any pay without completing any batches, even if you are waiting for orders to be available. However, if you are a part-time in-store shopper for Instacart, they will pay you an hourly fee even if you do not get any orders. The payment plan depends on what you are doing for Instacart.

Who Gets Paid For What: In-Store Shoppers Vs Full-Service Shoppers

Full-service shoppers shop for items or collect them from the in-store shoppers and deliver them. They are individual contractors, which means they are not Instacart employees. Therefore, they can choose which orders to accept and get paid according to what they do for Instacart. They do not get any pay for waiting and have to manage their own taxes, travel accommodations, et cetera. Instacart buys their services, not their time. They get a base salary for only delivering ($5) and for both shopping and then delivering ($7-$10), plus extra pay for the effort, distance, time, location, et cetera, and they can keep 100% of the tips received. Full-service is often more lucrative, but the amount you get depends on your effort; you do not get paid if you do not deliver, and there is no obligation on how many orders you have to complete.

In-store shoppers work up to 29 hours weekly for an hourly pay detailed in their offer letter. They stay in the store, pack items according to shopping lists, and prepare the package for delivery or pickup. They have to commit to their working hours in advance, and they get paid for these hours. An in-store shopper’s pay is fixed and independent of how many orders they receive. However, they do not get any tips because they do not interact with customers. It is a lower but stable income with time off and sick leaves allowed. 

How To Get More Orders?

The number of Instacart opportunities you see depends on several factors. Some things you can do are

  • Improve your shopper rating – do whatever you can to get better ratings so that Instacart shows you opportunities faster.
  • Improve your timeliness and accuracy.
  • Wait near a hot spot – near grocery stores or busy areas with more customers. Instacart has a map view and Store Busyness features that should help you choose a spot.
  • Shop at a busier time/day.
  • Get eligibility to deliver certain items. For example, get your cooler bags approved.


To conclude, Instacart is a lucrative part-time gig with very few requirements to fulfill. It is good to work with, but you should choose carefully between in-store or full-service shopping because one offers a lower but guaranteed salary whether or not you get orders, whereas the other will only pay you if you get orders, but it has more room for earnings and tips – it depends on how much time and effort you put into your work.

Q: What are the basic requirements to become an Instacart shopper?

A: You must be at least 18 years old, eligible to work in the US or Canada, with a working smartphone with iOS 14.0 or Android 5.0 or later. You should be able to lift at least 30 lb and follow Instacart’s food safety policies. Full-service shoppers must have a functioning, registered, insured vehicle.

Q: How common is it for shoppers to get no orders?

A: It is not common to get no orders, but you have to accept them quickly – maybe set a notification system to alert you to new batches- before other shoppers accept them. To get more options, you can refer to the tips mentioned above.

Q: When does Instacart pay you? What is Instacart’s payment method?

A: In-store shoppers get paid a fixed salary weekly. Full-service shoppers are paid when they complete an order, and they can withdraw their pay immediately with Instant Cashout once they complete 5 batches. Shoppers are paid via direct deposit to a checking or savings account. With Instant Cashout, the money can be transferred directly to their debit card.

Q: How do I receive batches?

A: You can see the available batches on the Instacart Shoppers’ App that you will have to download on your smartphone. It should have an estimated payment for the batch, relevant locations, and other information related to the order. You can also set notifications to be alerted to new batches immediately.

Does Instacart Pay You If You Don’t Get Any Orders?

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