Personalfinance tips

Use A Mileage Tracking App

An often overlooked Instacart shopper trick is to use a mileage tracking app to log the miles you drive when out on deliveries. Wear and tear plus fuel costs are real expenses you need to monitor. After all, you want to have an accurate picture of your hourly earnings after costs. Plus, you can deduct business mileage on your tax return, and it’s just a good habit to get into. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use mileage tracking app, check out our Hurdlr app review. Hurdlr lets you track mileage, log your income, and makes tax season easier, so I think it’s a no-brainer for any serious gig economy worker. Extra Reading – Does Instacart Pay For Gas?

Try Double Batch Orders

Did you know that Instacart can send out requests to complete two deliveries at once? These are known as double batches, and they’re what they sound like: you assemble two grocery orders and then make two separate deliveries. You can qualify for double batch orders after completing 60 deliveries, and when done correctly, double batches help boost your hourly income. This is because it’s more efficient to shop at one single store for two customers rather than driving to a second store for the second order. However, double batches are more challenging since you obviously need to ensure orders are kept separate. My advice here is to really make use of Instacart’s app here and to mark items as found as you add them to your cart. Also, come up with a system to divide the products for each customer in your cart and in your car…don’t just throw things in your cart or trunk! I suggest either having two different crates or developing your own organization system beforehand to make life easier. Extra Reading – How To Make $50 A Day.

Go The Extra Mile

One final Instacart shopper tip is to try going the extra mile. I’ll give you an example here from a thread I found on Quora from Rena Margulies, a part-time Instacart shopper who has been working this side gig since 2016: In her tip, Rena suggests grabbing freebies for the customers, taking free samples, picking up magazines, and even buying small thank you notes reminding customers you’re grateful for their business and to rate you 5 stars. For some, this might sound like going over the top, but hey, it’s worth testing this in your market to see if you get more 5 star reviews and better tips!

Wait Near Busy Areas

When you start working for Instacart, you can technically be on the sofa at home, enjoying a nice TV show and bag of popcorn. However, do you really want to spring into action when you get a batch request you like and then drive into town? If you’re serious about Instacart, my tip is to wait near busy areas of your town where there are multiple, popular grocery stores. Even if you end up waiting in your car a few minutes, the fact you’re already near busy stores makes a massive difference.

Make Sure Your Phone Is Charged!

One of the easiest ways to ruin a successful day of side hustling is to have your phone’s battery run out on you. Get in the habit of charging your phone the night before a busy Instacart day. Additionally, put an extra cable in your car and consider buying a power bank, just in case!

Wait Near Multiple Restaurants

DoorDash highlights hotspots in the driver app that lets you know areas with a lot of order requests. DoorDash hotspots are a nice area to wait for orders by. However, you can also make life easier by waiting by clusters of multiple restaurants you know orders come from frequently. This usually includes malls, strip malls, or just general neighborhoods in your city with a bunch of fast food joints right next to each other. Extra Reading – How To Complete Your First DoorDash Delivery.

Be Friendly

Another trick to make more money on DoorDash is to be friendly with customers when messaging them and at drop off. Drop off is really the most important part here as well. Be friendly, have a smile, and don’t be afraid to crack a joke about something. Even something like a “dang, your order looked so good when I picked it up, you had me thinking twice about completing the delivery” or something tongue-and-cheek can get a chuckle and maybe increase the chance of a tip. Just try to read the person quickly before cracking too many jokes; if they look antisocial or something, just give some friendly banter, a smile, and tell them to enjoy. All of these DoorDash tips and tricks seem inconsequential, but in aggregate, they do help you land more tips.

Wear a DoorDash Shirt (or Be Presentable)

If you’re looking for even more tip potential, it pays to be presentable. In other words, don’t roll up to the drop off looking like you just robbed the joint you got the food from. You can wear a DoorDash delivery driver t-shirt. Alternatively, wear a fun shirt or, at the very least, something clean and presentable. Smell good as well!

Claim Delivery Shifts Early

If it’s busy in your area, DoorDash usually lets you begin dashing in a zone immediately. However, scheduling yourself for an upcoming dash is an effective way to make more money with DoorDash because it ensures you can work. There’s nothing worse than opening your DoorDash driver app, only to find out your nearby zones have enough drivers and you can’t make extra cash. Schedule yourself as early as possible and check the app frequently to see what shifts are available. Extra Reading – The Best DoorDash Times.

Aim For On-Time Pay

Did you know that DoorDash can sometimes pay bonuses for delivering earlier than expected? That’s right: you can earn an on-time bonus if you’re exceptionally fast and consistently beat delivery time goals. Granted, this DoorDash driver tip is often out of your control because of traffic or restaurants being slow, but sometimes, the hustle can pay off!