Last Updated on 2024-03-13

How to Choose Between Shipt and DoorDash (or Both) in 2024 [3 Real-World Experiences]

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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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

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, tax, or insurance advice. The content contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments or insurance changes. Any reader should consult with an insurance professional to obtain insurance advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

Short on time? Here’s the key takeaway: the best move is to sign up for both Shipt (apply here) and DoorDash (apply here). Depending on where you live, one of them might pay better than the other, and there’s no way to know without trying them out for yourself. Plus, you can use them simultaneously to boost your earnings and add some variety to your work. If you want more details on how they compare, we’ll dig into the nitty-gritty throughout the rest of this post. 

Shipt and DoorDash are both delivery platforms at heart, but their focuses are different: Shipt concentrates more on providing grocery delivery services, while DoorDash is more centered around delivery from restaurants (but it does offer grocery and convenience store deliveries too). 

You can work for DoorDash and Shipt at the same time, so there’s no need to choose.  In fact, being on multiple gig apps at the same time, which is frequently referred to as “multi-apping,” is a great way to maximize your income and make the most of these opportunities. 

Plus, by applying to both of them at the same time, you’ll reduce the risk of losing out on potential earnings while stuck on the waiting list for one or the other. In fact, you may want to consider adding Instacart into the mix as well (check out our post on how Instacart and Shipt compare). 

Matthew Desmond, who has three years of experience with both Shipt and DoorDash, says, “multi-apping is definitely the way to go. You can make a lot of money doing things this way and during downtimes.”

One note before we get started: Shipt offers two different roles, the Shopper and the Driver (read about the differences), but DoorDash only offers one, the Dasher. Here, we’ll compare being a Shipt Shopper to a DoorDash Dasher — we won’t be covering Shipt Drivers.  

Shipt and DoorDash have different focuses

Shipt started out as a full-service grocery delivery platform and hasn’t expanded much beyond that: most of the orders you’ll fulfill as a Shipt Shopper are still grocery orders. 

DoorDash, on the other hand, focuses more on restaurant and convenience store delivery. It offers grocery delivery as well, but that’s not the app’s bread and butter. Shipt, on the other hand, doesn’t offer restaurant delivery at all. 

In short: both Shipt and DoorDash offer grocery and convenience store delivery, but only DoorDash offers restaurant delivery too. That means that Shipt Shoppers will likely spend more time shopping in stores than Dashers will. 

Shipt’s Preferred Shopper program is a game changer

Shipt’s Preferred Shopper program is unique among gig apps — DoorDash doesn’t have anything like it. The program allows customers to select their favorite Shoppers and send orders straight to them before they hit the open market. 

As a Shopper, this gives you the opportunity to build up a list of clientele and operate more like a standard business. Many long-term Shoppers rely exclusively on preferred orders and skip the open market entirely. This not only helps build a more reliable income stream, but it also helps avoid problematic customers and low tippers. 

We have a dedicated post on the Shipt Preferred Shopper program, so make sure you give that a read for more information. 

DoorDash delivers from more stores and restaurants

Since DoorDash offers more types of delivery, it also has a wider selection of partner merchants than Shipt does. When entering a random address on the Shipt website, only nine stores were offering delivery via Shipt: 

Meanwhile, entering the same address on the DoorDash website brings up a wide variety of stores and restaurants in many different categories:

The above images are just a small portion of the full offerings. Needless to say, DoorDash offers a lot more variety. 

But as a gig worker, variety isn’t always desirable. With Shipt, you can familiarize yourself with a small selection of stores, which can increase your Shopping speed and enable you to take more orders. DoorDash’s variety can make it harder to get into a routine, which might lower the number of orders you can take. 

James Tuliano, who has been using Shipt and DoorDash since 2020, says, “with DoorDash, you are mainly just going into the restaurant and picking up the food, so it typically is much faster and easier than doing a full Shipt order. The obvious exception is if you are doing what DoorDash calls ‘Shop and Deliver,’ which is almost never worth the money due to the low base pay DoorDash offers compared to Shipt.”

Shipt is owned by Target

Shipt is available in fewer areas than DoorDash, so you may be surprised to learn that Shipt is actually owned by one of the largest companies in the United States — its parent company is much bigger than DoorDash. Shipt’s limited availability is likely intentional — it’s been carving out a niche for itself as a “boutique” delivery app, thanks in large part to its Preferred Shopper program. 

For the most part, the Shipt-Target relationship won’t impact you as a Shopper, but in case you were wondering whether Shipt is legit, this should put your mind at ease. Plus, Shipt has a reputation for really caring for its Shoppers and listening to their feedback. 

Does Shipt or DoorDash pay more? Which is better? Here’s what Shoppers and Dashers have to say

There are no official pay statistics available for Shipt and DoorDash, so there’s no way to know for sure. A lot of the pay variation depends on the region you’re working in, so even if overall statistics were available, they wouldn’t necessarily say much about what you’d be making with either of them — DoorDash could pay more in one city but less in another. 

The only way to get an accurate idea of which one you’ll earn more with is to try both for a while and see how your earnings shake out. 

In the meantime, here are the experiences of some of our Gig Pros who have tried both.

James’ take

James Tuliano has been doing Shipt and DoorDash since 2020, averaging about 20 hours per week across both platforms. Here’s what he has to say on the difference between the two apps:

“DoorDash can be almost relaxing. You have very little interaction with the customer, and you are just picking up an order from point A to point B. For many orders, I don't even say a word to the customer.”

“With Shipt, you have constant interaction with the customer and need to be great at customer service. If you are more introverted, then DoorDash might be better for you.”

“DoorDash can also make you more money quickly. If you are doing just random Shipt orders from the open metro, you are gambling that you will get tipped or not. DoorDash always shows you the tip beforehand so you know exactly the minimum that you'll earn for an order before accepting it. It is much less of a gamble.”

“DoorDash is great for short bursts, and Shipt is great once you build up your customer base.”

Matthew’s take

Matthew Desmond has been doing Shipt for three years and has earned almost $100k with it. He says, “In my opinion, DoorDash can make the most money doing food deliveries.” That said, he advises gig workers to use multiple apps: “Multi-apping is definitely the way to go. You can make a lot of money doing things this way and during downtimes.”

He also says that DoorDash’s support leaves much to be desired. “Their Dasher support team is completely outsourced. If you have an issue, good luck getting it resolved.”

Joshua’s take

Joshua Merritt has over three years of experience working with Shipt. He notes the difference in the amount of work required for the two apps: “There is no ‘shopping’ process for DoorDash. All orders are prepared for you at the restaurant, you simply pick up, make sure it seems like everything is there, then deliver. No spending an hour walking around a grocery store shopping.”

That said, the pay can balance that out. He says that “with DoorDash, you typically make less per order, and are spending more time in your car and driving, which can lead to higher maintenance costs.”

He also says that DoorDash’s rating forgiveness program is less forgiving than Shipt’s. He mentions that DoorDash’s automatic removal process “leads to a much harder time trying to get unjustified reviews removed that don’t fall under the automatic removal, Shipt is much more lenient in my experience.”

Shipt vs. DoorDash point by point

With the overarching comparisons out of the way, let’s take a look at how Shipt and DoorDash compare on some finer details. 

Employment status

Both Shipt Shoppers and DoorDash Dashers are considered self-employed independent contractors. On this point, the two are exactly the same. 

Self-employment gives you more control and flexibility over how and when you work, but it can also make your taxes a bit more complicated (we’ll cover that next). 

For more information on how self-employment with Shipt works and how self-employment with DoorDash works, check out our full posts on those topics. 


Taxes for Shoppers and Dashers work the same way since both are considered self-employment. This means that you’ll need to file estimated quarterly tax payments and pay self-employment tax as well. 

Generally, your taxes as an independent contractor will be higher than if you were an employee. The silver lining is that you can write off your business expenses (gas, mileage, etc.) to lower your tax burden. 

Taxes are a complex subject, so make sure you check out our full posts on taxes on Shipt income and taxes on DoorDash income for a deeper look. 


Shipt and DoorDash both pay their workers 100% of the tips they earn on orders made through the app. 

However, on DoorDash, customers will sometimes place orders outside the DoorDash app. In those cases, the Dasher may not get the full tip amount. This isn’t a concern with Shipt. 

On the flip side though, Shipt Shoppers can’t see tips before they accept an order. Dashers can’t see how much they’ll be tipped before accepting an order, but they can see if an order has no tip, which helps in avoiding low-paying orders. 

James notes that “DoorDash will ALWAYS show you the full amount you'll be paid (with the only exception being that sometimes you'll get paid more than the initial offer) before you accept the order. So DoorDash is more transparent in that regard. But they don't break down base pay + tips until after you complete the order.”

Payment process

Shipt and DoorDash both pay via direct deposit once per week. 

Shipt offers Instant Pay and DoorDash offers Fast Pay, which, despite the different names, offer essentially the same thing: instant payouts to your debit card. Shipt charges a $0.49 fee per transaction and DoorDash charges $1.99 per transaction. 

DoorDash also offers the DasherDirect debit card. Using this card provides a bunch of benefits, including 2% cash back on gas purchases. Fast Pay transaction fees are waived if you use the DasherDirect card to receive the payout, and you can even choose to get instant direct deposits after every dash without any fees. Shipt doesn’t have anything similar to the DasherDirect card.

DoorDash allows cash on delivery for some orders as well, which means you can get paid in cash immediately. That money is then deducted from the earnings that appear in the app. 

For more info on how Shipt pays and how DoorDash pays, check out our full posts on those topics. 

Health insurance

Neither Shipt nor Doordash provide health insurance coverage to their workers — that’s because self-employed contractors are not eligible for employee benefits. 

Both of them partner with insurance brokers that can help you find coverage though. Shipt is partnered with HealthSherpa, and DoorDash is partnered with Stride

Shipt offers a few other health benefits as well, including a discount on BetterHelp and River, but none of them are comprehensive enough to serve as a full health insurance alternative — they are nice perks though. 

To learn more about the intricacies of health insurance with Shipt and health insurance with DoorDash, check out our full posts for each. 

Benefits and perks

Neither Shipt nor DoorDash offer traditional employee benefits, but both of them offer a variety of perks — mostly discounts on products and services.

Going off numbers alone, Shipt provides more perks than DoorDash — Shipt offers 16 and DoorDash 11. 

One of Shipt’s perks is a free Shipt membership, which gives you free Shipt deliveries — that comes out to almost a $100 value. 

For a deeper look at each of Shipt’s benefits and DoorDash’s benefits, take a look at our full posts covering them. 

Application process and signup requirements

DoorDash’s signup requirements are significantly more lenient than Shipt’s. To sign up for DoorDash, you just need to:

  • Be 18 (19 if you’re in Delaware, Montana, or West Virginia)
  • Have access to a car, scooter, or bike (in select cities)
  • Have a driver’s license or other form of ID (if you’re not using a car), and Social Security number

Shipt, on the other hand, requires that you:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid current mailing address.
  • Have a valid U.S. driver’s license and auto insurance (must meet your state’s minimum requirements)
  • Have access to a reliable vehicle (1997 or newer)
  • Have knowledge of produce selection
  • Be able to lift 45 pounds
  • Have access to a smartphone - iPhone (iOS 10 or newer) or Android (5.1 or newer).

A few more things you should know: 

For more info on Shipt’s requirements, DoorDash’s requirements, Shipt’s car requirements, and DoorDash’s car requirements check out our full posts on them. We also have posts on. 

Sign-up and referral bonuses

Shipt and DoorDash both offer referral bonuses, but they’re both rare and hard to come by when signing up. Once you’re already on the app, though, you can give out your link to people you know and make significant bonuses if they sign up and complete the bonus criteria. The specifics of the bonuses vary widely, even within each app. 

As for sign-up bonuses, Shipt offers them occasionally, but DoorDash has stopped offering them. 

Overall, sign-up and referral bonuses are not something you should count on on either app. 

To learn more, check out our full posts on Shipt sign-up bonuses, Shipt referral bonuses, DoorDash sign-up bonuses, and DoorDash referral bonuses

Rewards programs

Shipt and DoorDash both have rewards programs for top performers, but DoorDash’s program pales in comparison. Currently, Shipt runs the Shipt Summit Seeker rewards program, which provides monetary rewards to top Shoppers — rewards can be as high as $1/gallon cash back on gas purchases.

In contrast, DoorDash’s Top Dasher program only offers the ability to use DoorDash’s “Dash Now” feature even when the map is gray. Basically, it lets you dash in more places than normal. DoorDash does have a separate gas rewards program, but it only offers 2% cash back. 

Car insurance

Car insurance for Shipt and DoorDash works the same way, and they both have the same requirements (you need to meet your state’s minimum requirements). As a gig worker, you may end up with higher car insurance rates as a result of your increased time on the road and commercial activities. As a general rule, it’s best to check in with your insurer before you start doing deliveries.

That said, DoorDash doesn’t require you to use a car — you can use a bike, motorcycle, or scooter too, which sidesteps any insurance issues (unless you’re using a motorcycle, which requires motorcycle insurance). Shipt, however, only allows cars. 

Make sure to read our guides on car insurance for Shipt and car insurance for DoorDash for a more in-depth look. 

Gas assistance and rewards

Shipt and DoorDash both offer some form of gas assistance, but Shipt offers more. Currently, Shipt offers up to $1/gallon cash back on gas purchases for top Shoppers, while DoorDash maxes out at 2% cash back for DasherDirect members. 

If you want to learn more about DoorDash’s gas rewards program, how DoorDash helps pay for gas, and how Shipt helps pay for gas, read our full posts on the topics.

Rating forgiveness

Shoppers and Dashers both depend on high customer ratings to stay on the service — if your customer rating falls too low (below 4.7 for Shipt and 4.2 for DoorDash), you may be deactivated (the gig work equivalent of being fired). 

Rating forgiveness is the process by which unfairly low customer ratings are removed so that they don’t hurt your overall customer rating and cause you to be wrongly deactivated.

Shipt has a formal rating forgiveness request process and also removes the lowest of every 50 ratings.

DoorDash doesn’t have a standard process for rating forgiveness requests. Instead, it automatically removes low ratings that meet certain criteria

Joshua Merritt, who has three years of experience on both Shipt and DoorDash, says, “this leads to a much harder time trying to get unjustified reviews removed that don’t fall under the automatic removal. Shipt is much more lenient in my experience.”

Multiple orders

You can claim multiple orders at once on both Shipt and DoorDash. Grouping orders together in batches is a great way to boost your earnings on both platforms. 


When you sign up for Shipt and DoorDash, you’ll get a branded shirt. You do not have to wear the Shipt shirt while shopping, and the same goes for DoorDash.


When it comes to safety, there’s not much difference between Shipt and DoorDash. The main difference is that Shipt generally requires a bit more lifting than DoorDash (you’ll have to carry large grocery orders).

DoorDash also allows you to use motorcycles, scooters, and bikes, while Shipt does not. These alternative vehicles are generally more dangerous than cars (motorcycles especially), so you’re at a higher risk of injury if you choose to Dash on one of them. 

Bikes, scooters, motorcycles, and walking

Shipt’s car requirements stipulate that you can’t use anything other than a car for your deliveries. 

DoorDash, however, allows bikes, scooters, and motorcycles. Walking is not allowed. 

For more info, check out our full post on how to DoorDash without a car

The bottom line: pros and cons of Shipt vs DoorDash

If you’re trying to decide between Shipt and DoorDash, the best choice is both. Whether you want to do Shipt as a side job, DoorDash as a side hustle, DoorDash as a full-time job, Shipt as a full-time job, or some combination of both (maybe with some other gigs thrown in there too), your best bet is to try them out yourself and see what works best for you. 

That said, here’s an overview of the pros and cons of each:

Shipt pros: 

  • Preferred Shopper program helps boost earnings, avoid problematic customers, and create a reliable list of customers
  • Wide variety of perks (16) for Shoppers
  • Solid fuel assistance program
  • Company is known for really listening to Shoppers
  • Less store variety can help shopping efficiency
  • Superior rewards program

Shipt cons: 

  • Available in fewer metros
  • Can’t see tips before accepting orders
  • Bikes, motorcycles, and scooters not allowed
  • More stringent customer rating requirements (must maintain 4.7 or higher)

DoorDash pros:

  • There’s no shopping involved, which makes for a faster and easier delivery process
  • Allows bikes, motorcycles, and scooters
  • Less strict customer rating requirements (must maintain 4.2 or higher)
  • Available in more metro areas
  • Can see whether customers have left a tip
  • Instant direct deposit available via DasherDirect
  • Wider variety of stores may keep work more interesting
  • Rewards program leaves a lot to be desired

DoorDash cons:

  • Nothing comparable to the Preferred Shopper program
  • Higher instant payout fees if you’re not using DasherDirect
  • May not always receive 100% of customer tips
  • Wider variety of stores could lead to reduced efficiency
  • Pay is typically less per order
  • Less time shopping means more time driving, leading to higher maintenance and gas costs
  • Support isn’t as good as Shipt’s 

Want to see how Shipt stacks up against other gigs? Check out our comparison of Shipt and Instacart too. 

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