Flexibility is at the top of the list of perks for home business owners. I can get up at 5:30 am on Friday and have my grocery shopping done before most people get to the office. I rarely have to wait in the checkout line. I get the freshest produce and baked good – it’s usually being unpacked fresh for the day when I arrive. I can use all of the coupons I want without receiving nasty looks from other customers in a hurry. Now, imagine making money from this joyous experience when you offer up your services as a personal grocery shopper!
Getting paid to grocery shop for others is a growing industry and one enjoyed by many looking for side jobs to earn extra money. In today's post, we are looking at a few keys things you need to know whether you decide to go into business for yourself or contract with one of the popular grocery delivery services already out there.
Who would need my services?
There are so many people that hire personal grocery shoppers. The elderly, ill and even busy parents and professionals enjoy home delivery as opposed to standing in the Friday-payday checkout line. If you live near a popular vacation destination with rental properties, you can offer your services to these guests as well. Who wants to head to the grocery store as soon as you reach your vacation destination?
How much can I get paid?
Many personal shoppers charge up to $25 per hour. Things to consider when setting your rates may be distance from your home to local grocery stores and then the distance from the grocery stores to your customers' homes and back home again. You will also want to figure in gas, insurance, car wear and tear and taxes as you will be responsible for paying your own taxes if you are self-employed. Some people charge a flat rate for simple drop-offs. Most shoppers also charge an extra 10-20% of the grocery total as well if they will be unpacking the groceries once delivered. According to Glassdoor, personal shoppers earn around $32,000 per year.
Are there companies that hire personal grocery shoppers?
Absolutely! A few companies have popped up to meet this growing demand. These services will dictate your earnings in most cases. But, in turn, they do eliminate the need to go out there and get your own clients. The clients come to them. They dispatch the orders to you.
To contract with any of them, you will need to have reliable transportation and be able to physically lift those bags. You also need a great demeanor and will likely need to pass an interview. Most companies require a minimum of 18 years of age or older and the ability to pass a background check.
Shipt promotes a flexible schedule on their shopper website. You can work full-time or part-time. You set your hours.
Shipt Shopper Requirements
- 18 years of age or older
- Valid US driver's license and auto insurance
- Reliable vehicle, 1997 or newer
- Knowledge of produce selection
- Insulated cooler bags
- Ability to lift 40 pounds
- iPhone or Android smartphone
The Shipt website currently says experienced shopper make an average of $22 per hour. That's not too bad. Shoppers are paid weekly.
Instacart hires both full-service shoppers and in-store shoppers.
Full-Service Shoppers are independent contracts who both shop for and deliver orders. This position requires access to a reliable car. The company encourages those already working with a driving service like DoorDash or Lyft to apply. You can start earning quickly and pick up work according to your schedule.
In-Store Shoppers are part-time employees. In this position, you are simply selecting groceries for the customer's order in-store and bagging them for pick-up. Therefore, you don't need a vehicle for this position.
Both Instacart positions require the following:
- Age 18 or older
- Eligible for work in the U.S.
- Smartphone access and effective use
- Ability to lift 30-40 pounds
Pay for both positions is weekly.
You may also find grocery shopper and delivery jobs at some of your local stores.
What if I want to start my own business?
The good news is if you want to start your own personal grocery shopper service, you won’t need much to get started:
- Reliable wheels
- Business cards and flyers to hand out at grocery stores, child care centers, libraries
- Grocery checklists for your customers
- A means to pay – if your first customers will be strangers it is unlikely they are handing over their debit card or a blank check for you to use at the store. That means you need to pay upfront and collect payment upon delivery.
If you need help navigating the startup process, WeGoShop can help. Their licensing fee is $350 per year.
This fee includes:
- license to use their logo, name and platform
- webpage and grocery delivery ordering system, maintenance and hosted WeGoShop website and mobile app
- secure up to 10 cities or towns to start with the ability to secure another 10 in 30 days
WeGoShop promises no competition with other WeGoShop owners.
The great thing about becoming a personal shopper is this business is scalable and easy to modify as needed into something like a full-fledged personal concierge service. In addition to grocery shopping, you could also offer school and holiday shopping during the fall. And let's not forget opportunities like UberEats if you love making deliveries and would like to get paid to drive.