What Pays More Than Instacart?

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In the ever-changing gig economy, many are seeking jobs that offer flexibility, competitive pay, and the opportunity to be their own boss. Instacart has become a popular choice for many, but you might be wondering: What pays more than Instacart? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore several alternatives that, depending on your circumstances and preferences, may be more lucrative.


Several gig jobs potentially pay more than Instacart. These include Amazon Flex, DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, Shipt, and Caviar. However, earnings can vary greatly depending on factors like location, demand, and individual performance. Other alternatives outside delivery services include freelance work, consulting, tutoring, and handyman services. Always remember to consider vehicle and other expenses when comparing potential earnings.

Amazon Flex

Amazon Flex is an appealing alternative to Instacart. As an independent contractor, you deliver packages for Amazon and can earn between $18 and $25 per hour. However, the availability of shifts can be inconsistent, and you’ll be responsible for vehicle expenses.


DoorDash is a food delivery service where you can work as an independent contractor and earn a base pay of $2 to $10 per order, plus 100% of tips. The advantage is that you have the flexibility to choose your own working hours. However, earnings can vary greatly depending on location and time of delivery.

Uber Eats

Uber Eats is another food delivery service where drivers can earn competitive rates. The earnings fluctuate based on the location and time of delivery, and drivers can boost their earnings with tips. Keep in mind, though, that vehicle expenses are not covered.


Postmates is a delivery service that offers flexible hours and competitive pay. However, as with other gig jobs, income can be unpredictable, and you’ll need to cover your vehicle expenses.


Shipt is a grocery delivery service that allows you to shop for and deliver groceries. They offer a base rate per delivery plus tips. However, some shoppers have reported that the pay is not always consistent.


Caviar is a food delivery service that claims drivers can earn up to $25 per hour, including tips. However, the service is not available in all cities.

Other Alternatives

Beyond delivery services, there are other high-paying gig economy jobs, including freelance work (such as writing, design, or programming), consulting, tutoring, and handyman services. These alternatives often require specialized skills or education, but they can offer greater earning potential.

Comparing Average Earnings

When comparing the average earnings between Instacart and these alternatives, remember that these earnings are gross pay and do not account for expenses such as fuel costs. Additionally, earnings may vary depending on factors like location, demand, and individual driver performance.

Job Security in the Gig Economy

Job security in the gig economy is generally similar across platforms. As independent contractors, workers do not have guaranteed job security. However, some workers may find that the flexibility and potential for high earnings outweigh the lack of traditional job security.

Real-Life Experiences

Many people have switched from Instacart to these alternatives and found success. For example, some Reddit users have reported better experiences with Shipt, citing more accurate orders and better overall service.


While Instacart offers flexibility and the potential for decent earnings, there are several alternatives that may pay more. By exploring these options and considering your personal preferences, skills, and schedule, you can find the best fit for you in the gig economy. Remember, what works best for one person might not work as well for another, so it’s important to do your research and consider all factors before making a decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the vehicle expenses that I need to consider?

Vehicle expenses include fuel, maintenance, insurance, and depreciation. These costs can add up quickly, especially for high-mileage drivers, and should be factored into your earnings calculations.

How do I become an independent contractor for these services?

To become an independent contractor for these services, you generally need to apply through their respective websites. The application process typically includes a background check and, in some cases, a vehicle inspection.

What are the peak delivery times that can increase my earnings?

Peak delivery times typically include lunch (around 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and dinner (around 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.), as well as weekends. However, peak times can vary depending on location and specific service.

How can I maximize my tips?

Providing excellent customer service, delivering orders in a timely manner, and maintaining professional communication with customers can help maximize your tips.

What are some other expenses I should consider when working in the gig economy?

Other potential expenses include taxes (since independent contractors are responsible for their own tax withholdings), health insurance (which is not provided by gig economy platforms), and any necessary equipment or supplies (like insulated bags for food delivery).

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