Last Updated on 2024-03-20

How to Make $1,000 a Week With Shipt: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

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James Tuliano

4 years of experience working across Shipt and DoorDash

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Catherine Meyers

5 years of experience working across Shipt and Instacart

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Joshua Merritt

4 years of experience working across DoorDash, Instacart, Shipt, and UberEats

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Phil Grossman

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

Making $1,000 a week as a Shipt Shopper may seem like a lofty goal, but with strategic planning and efficient execution, it's an attainable feat. However, it may come at the cost of less flexibility in terms of when and where you work.

If you’re looking to make $1,000 weekly as a Shipt Shopper, you'll need to work during Shipt’s peak hours and in areas with high demand to maximize your income. Depending on your goals and circumstances, Shipt can make a good side job, but you'll likely have to devote more than part-time hours to consistently hit $1,000 per week. Here's how you can make the most of working for Shipt and hit your earnings goals.

Shipt’s payment structure

Shipt Shoppers earn money primarily from base pay (per order) and tips for completing grocery deliveries to customers. The latter makes up a significant portion of the total pay. Another chunk of income comes from bonuses and promotions offered periodically to Shoppers. 

Is there a minimum wage with Shipt?

Shipt offers a minimum guarantee of $16 per hour nationwide for all Shoppers, with metro areas making even more than that. The app estimates the amount of time required to complete a customer’s order and offers a base pay based on the $16 per hour rate. 

For example, if a grocery order is estimated to take 45 minutes to fulfill, Shipt may make a base pay offer of $12. It's important to note that this base pay is offered per order based on estimated order fulfillment time, so Shoppers who take longer than the estimated time will not see additional compensation and may end up making less than $16 per hour despite the guarantee. 

Joshua Merritt, a Shipt Shopper with 4 years of experience, explains further: “This can easily happen with larger orders that require a lot of substitutions or if the customer is adding items while the shopper is shopping, so time management and communication is key.”

In addition, Shipt only pays Shoppers when they are actively working on an order, which may result in reduced hourly pay when you account for downtime between orders. Most Shipt Shoppers can still expect to earn around $16-$20 an hour, but this can vary.

In recent years, states and metropolitan areas have been passing legislation to guarantee minimum wages and benefits for delivery app drivers. In both California and New York, there are protections for drivers that guarantee a minimum wage higher than $16, so base pay offers in these states may be higher. 

Making $1,000 per week as a Shipt Shopper

All that said, it's achievable to hit a target goal of $1,000 per week working for Shipt. In 2020, RJ Woldhuis made $100,280 shopping for Shipt, which comes out to almost double that goal. While this windfall was an anomaly made possible by the Covid-19 pandemic, you can utilize some of his strategies to hit your target income.

Let’s assume a $16 hourly pay rate to see how much you can expect to make in a week based on hours worked:

  • 20 hours/week: $320/week
  • 40 hours/week: $640/week
  • 50 hours/week: $800/week
  • 60 hours/week: $960/week
  • 65 hours/week: $1,040/week

In order to meet the $1,000 target on base pay offers alone, you would need to work 62.5 hours per week, which is obviously far more than a standard workweek. While Shipt may occasionally offer bonuses and promotions, they aren't offered consistently enough to factor into this weekly calculation. 

The only other source of income for Shipt Shoppers is tips. Hitting $1,000 for 40 hours of work requires an hourly pay rate of $25. Since Shipt guarantees a rate of $16 per hour, getting that extra $9 bump in pay will have to come from tips. 

Over the course of a day, that's $72 in tips needed, or $360 in tips over the whole week. Here's how that shakes out:

  • Weekly Base Pay: $640
  • Weekly Tips: $360
  • Weekly Total: $1,000

Of course, this assumes that you are actively working on orders for eight hours every day, which may not be entirely realistic. You may end up spending more like nine to ten hours fielding orders for eight hours of pay. Other promotions and bonuses may also be offered throughout the week, which may allow you to boost your earnings and work fewer hours to achieve your target pay for the week. 

Maximizing tips via the Preferred Shopper Program

Tips can be difficult to predict since only the customer controls how much they give you, but Shipt makes it a bit easier to make sure you're consistently getting good tips. It differs from other delivery apps in that it enables Shoppers to develop a curated list of customers over time via the Preferred Shopper program, which lets customers select their preferred Shoppers and send orders directly to them. 

As a Shopper, you can use this program to selectively shop for customers with a generous tipping history and ensure that you are making more money per hour. There are several ways to use this feature to your benefit. Here are a couple that pertain directly to increasing your hourly income:

  • Schedule your Shipt availability around reliable customers who request deliveries at regular intervals
  • Use non-peak hours to find new customers who can fill those slower blocks with reliable orders

When used to its fullest potential, this program allows Shoppers to drastically increase their hourly tip rate, getting that much closer to a weekly revenue goal of $1,000. 

Optimizing your financial strategy

While tips are the most straightforward method of growing your revenue pie, several strategies can get you over the hump if you’re close to your goal. While these may help on the margins, they may not be sufficient to reach the target revenue unless you live in a metro area with a higher base pay rate.

Bundle Your Orders

After completing your Shipt Rookie period (a sort of “tutorial” period that lasts for your first 10 orders), you’ll be able to shop for multiple orders at a time. You can use this feature to your benefit by delivering multiple orders to the same area or making fewer stops at the same grocery store. You may also be able to use this feature in tandem with the Preferred Shopper program to map out your grocery store visits if you have a good idea of when orders will be coming through.

Minimize Downtime

As mentioned earlier, you are paid per order, and Shipt assumes a certain amount of time spent on each order. If you’re spending more time fulfilling those orders, that time will not be compensated. You also will not make money during the time spent in between orders.

You can use this knowledge to make strategic choices when shopping. Consider shopping in an area where orders can be delivered quickly, reducing the amount of time spent in transit. 

Additionally, there may be lulls during the day where it makes sense to pick up lower-value orders because of a lack of alternative orders — during these times, the alternative to a low-paying order is not having any order at all. As you learn the order patterns in your area, you can identify times of day when it’s not worth trying to work at all. 

Minimize Your Expenses

When targeting $1,000 per week of revenue, your actual net income will be your revenue minus expenses, so minimizing expenses will be key to keeping as much of that revenue as possible.

If you’re using a car to deliver with Shipt, expenses will include insurance, fuel, loan interest, and car maintenance. While you can deduct these expenses on your taxes, it’s more profitable to minimize these expenses as much as possible. Choosing a dependable, low-cost, fuel-efficient vehicle will go a long way to keep your total expenses low. 

Other ways to boost Shipt earnings

One way to increase earnings with Shipt is to expand the size of the metro area you shop for. James Tuliano, a Shipt Shopper with over 4+ years experience explains: “Every Shipt Shopper works in a designated metro, but that metro usually spans a pretty wide area, and you can sign up for different areas within your metro (called zones) that you'll get orders offered in within that metro.” 

This is echoed by Catherine Meyers, who has shopped for multiple gig apps including Instacart and Shipt: “I’ll add on zones near stores that are sending me tons of orders and just park there for the day. You do have to be adaptable if you want to make money.” 

Shipt sometimes tags orders with certain labels, which can increase your total income if used properly — here are some to be aware of:

  • Bonuses: Shipt may offer you bonuses to hit certain fulfillment thresholds over a set period of time, such as a weekend or holiday period. These can be seasonal and aren’t reliable sources of income, but it’s nice when they are available to bump your earnings. 
  • Promos: Shipt will occasionally tag certain orders with extra money to get them claimed and completed by a Shopper. It's an extra cash incentive on top of the base pay. If you see this label on an order, it may be worth your effort for the additional cash.
  • Early OK: This modifier allows you to deliver the order at any time between 8 a.m. and the delivery time requested by the customer. You can stack these orders early in the morning before more standard orders become available. Catherine explains that “bundling is the best way to maximize your earnings for your time spent shopping, and organizing your orders/deliveries by their delivery window is important to keep your on-time percentage up. Early OKs have more flexibility in delivery so I can organize my other orders around them.
  • Certifications: Shipt certifications allow you to take on additional order types. Alcohol orders, for example, require a certification from Shipt, and you’ll have to follow a few extra guidelines. It’s possible you’ll get a higher customer tip for delivering alcohol, but otherwise, the main benefit is just that you have more orders to choose from. 

How to make $500 a week as a Shipt Shopper 

If your financial goals with Shipt are a bit more modest, say $500 per week, a few new pathways to hitting your benchmarks open up. Aiming for this lower threshold allows you to reduce your reliance on tips, so the most straightforward way to hit this goal is to work around 32 hours a week, which Shipt theoretically promises will net you $512 each week. 

There are also other methods to hit a $500 weekly goal:

Preferred Shopper Program

Getting to $1,000 weekly shopping only for preferred customers can be challenging since you may not get all their orders consistently. There may also be days of the week where your client base tends not to order, leaving multiple days when you can’t depend on these customers. 

However, once you’ve built up a base of preferred customers, making $500 in weekly income is much more feasible, and you'll likely end up working fewer than 32 hours per week since you can assume you'll receive decent tips. 

Peak Hours, Promos, Bonuses

Since you're only working part-time, you can focus on working during the most lucrative peak hours. These times vary by metro area and will likely take some time to learn. However, this method allows you to maximize your hourly pay rate by focusing on bonus periods and promoted orders. There may be weeks with few promos, and you’ll have to accept that there could be more variance in your weekly income.

Work more hours on fewer days

Another option is to work two to three days weekly and ensure those days are jam-packed with shopping. This may be a good option if you work in a region where weekend orders are way more numerous than weekday orders. This pathway also allows you to evaluate your pay over a couple of days and decide if it’s worth working an extra day to reach or exceed your payment goals.

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