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Are you the type of person who loves shopping for groceries? If so, no one has to ask you twice to get in the car and go to your local grocery store. All you need to hear are the words we need food, and you’re already on the way.
Here’s some good news: Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be just a hobby. You can actually get paid to roam the freezer aisles and indulge in the cool mist of the broccoli section. All of this is possible by working as a personal grocery buyer – which you may even be able to do full-time if you get on with it.
With that in mind, here is how you can make this dream come true and become a full-service shopper.
- Use Instacart or Shipt
- Take a look at TaskRabbit
- Deliver for Postmates, Saucey, or Uber Eats
- Help community members directly
- Delivery for local grocery stores
1. Use Instacart or Shipt
One of the quickest, easiest ways to become a grocery buyer is to sign up for a concierge service like Instacart or Shipt.
These apps allow you to create a profile and connect with other buyers. People place orders and give directions through the app, and you rush to the nearest grocery store and handpick the items.
Instacart even gives you the ability to chat with customers in real time while you pull loaves of bread and fresh apples off the shelves. This is important because the more care you take in shopping, the more likely people are to tip.
Essentially, these apps allow you to be your own boss and shop whenever you want in your spare time. Shipt also has a nice community feature that lets you share tips with other buyers, attend parties, and get perks like free memberships.
The main difference between Instacart and Shipt is that you need to apply for Shipt. On the other hand, almost anyone can buy Instacart as long as they meet the basic requirements.
2. Take a look at TaskRabbit
Another platform to familiarize yourself with is TaskRabbit, a site where Taskers can do odd jobs for members of their community.
Unlike Shipt and InstaCart, TaskRabbit offers access to a much wider range of jobs. For example, you can get paid to do exercise, gardening, assembling furniture, and assembling televisions, among other things.
When shopping for groceries at TaskRabbit, you simply review various tasks that need to be done, apply for a job, and get in touch if they accept your suggestion. You can chat with the person to confirm details before agreeing to take on a project.
Now that you’ve determined the scope of the task, it’s time to buy groceries, deliver the items, and get paid through the app. Do the best job you can because people can write reviews too. Good ones might get you more gigs, while bad ones might make it harder to find work.
Take a look at TaskRabbit
3. Deliver for Postmates, Saucey, or Uber Eats
Three other apps that you should try out are Postmates, Saucey, and Uber Eats.
These are on-demand delivery apps for groceries and everyday objects, alcohol and groceries. When you work for these apps, you don’t really have to shop and drag items off the shelves. Upon arrival at a store, you will receive a notification whether the order is ready or not. Then you pick up the items and transport them to their destination.
There is much less effort involved in this approach. The downside, however, is that customers don’t tip as much because you work less.
Remember, you don’t have to work exclusively through concierge apps to deliver groceries. Another approach is to create direct connections with community members and become their personal grocery shopping solution.
For example, you may have an older neighbor or family friend who appreciates a personal shopper. You can even create social media posts promoting your services. Chances are, someone may know a person or family who needs help collecting items occasionally or regularly.
Another approach you can take is to promote your services on Craigslist. Remember that there are a lot of scams out there. Hence, you should be very careful when connecting with strangers, clicking links, or exchanging personal information.
When you work with someone on Craigslist, use a secure payment app like PayPal, Cell, or Venmo, or make a cash transaction.
The nice thing about working independently rather than for a concierge app is that you don’t have to pay a service fee. You get full commission for every job you do. Shopping frequently can result in significant savings and speed up your journey to financial independence.
5. Deliver for local grocery stores
Local independent retailers do everything they can to compete with larger supermarket chains. This is a great opportunity for you to help them provide a delivery service.
Contact local stores and offer your delivery service. You may be able to land a part-time gig bringing items to local customers. You may even be able to secure a dedicated route and bring their items to loyal customers weekly.
What you need to work as a personal grocery buyer
A standard driver’s license
Most delivery services don’t require you to have a commercial license to deliver groceries. However, you will need an active driver’s license and most likely a clean driver’s license. If you’re interested in becoming a delivery driver, you’ll need to pass a background check.
If you want to use apps like Instacart and TaskRabbit for deliveries, you need a working smartphone. Either iPhone or Android will do the trick.
Just make sure the phone is up to date and in good condition so that it will keep working while it is being driven around and shipped. The last thing you want is a phone that breaks or behaves easily.
A reliable car
Most delivery services require you to have a working car that is in decent condition. It is also a good idea to consider additional auto insurance.
Talk to your insurance company to make sure you have protection before you start.
A savings and investment plan
If you are serious about grocery delivering and doing a lot of work, money will pile up. If so, make sure you have a budget with a solid savings and investment plan. That way you can save money and build a secure future for yourself.
If you play your cards right, you can potentially set aside enough cash to pay someone else to do their shopping Your Groceries someday.
The trick with any type of job like grocery shopping is to make the customer happy.
Make sure to chat with the customer in advance and send them some messages while shopping. Let them see that you’re not just reaching for the first apples you see. Rather, they sort the McIntoshes and select the best ones that don’t have any dents or bruises.
If you do, you will get better tips, better reviews, and more money. You can even get along with someone and become their personal buyer.
If you’re on the go shopping for groceries, be sure to download the Uber or Lyft apps. These ridesharing opportunities allow you to connect with local community members who need rides to and from various destinations.
For example, Mary may need an elevator to the Bank of America. Or Tony may need to take a trip to the Home Depot. You can help them get there and make extra money in the process.
Try to work in a big city
If you’re traveling in the country or in the suburbs, you may have trouble finding consistent gigs for grocery shopping. Your city may be worth going to, be it Los Angeles, San Diego, Omaha, Austin, or anywhere in between.
In large metropolitan areas with more people, more consumers will have to deliver groceries to their doorsteps.
frequently asked Questions
What is Hy-Vee?
Hy-Vee is a supermarket chain in the American Midwest. The company is known for providing high quality products with friendly customer guidelines and low prices.
Do Instacart buyers have to pay for groceries?
Instacart buyers pay for items with prepaid credit cards. This means you don’t have to use your own payment card to pay for groceries. The company will do this for you and send you a card in the mail.
Is grocery delivery a good part-time job?
Delivering groceries can be hard work. If you want to make real money, you have to invest long hours and long time interacting with customers.
However, there are some advantages to driving. You’re out and about in your church instead of sitting behind a desk all day. Plus, you have flexibility in your schedule while adding extra cash for monthly expenses.
As with most jobs, grocery delivery depends on your perspective. You may find that it is an excellent job that you enjoy doing. Or you will find that it is not for you. Try it out and see for yourself.
Are food buyers independent contractors?
Some grocery buyers are independent contractors while others have part-time jobs with local shopkeepers. There are also buyers working under the table taking jobs online through sites like Craigslist.
Keep in mind that when you work as a 1099 contractor, you need to subtract money from every paycheck in order to pay taxes. If you don’t, you could run into problems with the IRS.
For the best results, you should work with a tax advisor to prepare your taxes and figure out how much money to set aside.
The bottom line
Even though you might not agree, driving for a grocery delivery service and collecting grocery orders can be a healthy source of income.
Many apps and companies let you set your own schedule so you can essentially open your own shop and be your own boss.
To be fair, grocery shopping jobs aren’t always easy. However, if you enjoy shopping and are looking for a job that gives you a flexible schedule, this might be the perfect opportunity.
Remember to save the money you make, pay off your debt, or invest in opportunities for growth. With the right work ethic and investment approach, you are on your way to financial freedom.