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You don't always need a car to make money delivering products for a company like Instacart. In many places, a bicycle is enough.
Don't assume that you won't get anywhere as a delivery driver without a car. There's a good chance that you can do the job without a car in your area. You might even be able to do the job quickly enough on foot, although a bicycle is better.
Delivering goods by bike is great if you are trying to keep your expenses low. With a bike, you don't need to look for parking, don't need to pay a car loan, and don't need car insurance or gas money. You can make half-decent money delivering goods by bike and can start right away.
How hard is it to deliver goods by bike? What are the advantages and disadvantages? If you are interested in doing this, we can help you get into and succeed at the job.
I used to deliver for Instacart full-time when I moved to a new city. Today, I still do it part-time when I need extra money. It works as either an offline side hustle or as a full-time job.
The Advantages of Delivery Work
If you need to get a job fast or want to earn extra on your own schedule, you can try being a delivery driver. This kind of work is available in any city, is not hard to find, does not require experience, and does not always pay little. It is also a great choice for a young person who is just starting out and doesn't have much work experience.
You do have to make sure that you get the job done right and on time. The job is not difficult, but you have to do it right, like any other job. Over time, you will get better at it, become more efficient, and make more money.
What is Instacart?
Many people get their groceries from grocery delivery services rather than shop for groceries themselves. This allows many people to deliver groceries part-time or even full-time.
Instacart is one of the biggest grocery delivery companies. It is in more than 5500 towns and cities in the USA and Canada.
Instacart is not only for delivering food but also for other essential everyday goods. Instacart customers can order goods from stores like Costco, CVS, or target, and people will deliver them to their door. Instacart needs a lot of people to make these deliveries, so they are always hiring workers.
What Are the Advantages of Delivering By Bicycle?
You don't need much money to begin delivery work if you don't need a car. If you don't have a car already, work can be harder to find. Delivery work by bicycle or scooter is a way out of this.
On some days, especially in high-traffic areas, you can make more money on a bicycle than in a car. Everyone knows how slow a car can be in heavy city traffic. You can do better on a bicycle a lot of the time.
Since a bike also doesn't require any gas money, you can sometimes make significantly more money on a bicycle. It depends on where you live and how heavy the traffic is. Some of the best locations to deliver goods are places where traffic is slow.
There is no worry about making car payments at the end of the month with a bicycle. If you make less money than you expected, you won't have to miss a payment or borrow money to pay your car loan. You can save money delivering goods by bike in many places.
What Are the Disadvantages?
The worse the weather is, the less likely you are to want to work outside all day. While you can choose not to work on a rainy day without consequences, doing Instacart on a bike in the winter isn't possible. If the ground is snowy and slippery, you can only do it on foot, and it might be too cold to be worth it.
You can also make more money if you do bigger orders which require a car. The pace is not fast, and the job is not high pressure - back-to-back orders are not difficult to fulfill in time. However, the job can be too slow some of the time, and you would rather have a car if you have to wait outside.
While biking outside all day is great exercise and can be enjoyable on a sunny day, it can also tire you out. Going from one order to the next and making all of them on time can be tiring if you do it with a bike rather than a car.
Instacart also knows that you are on a bike rather than in a car. This is an advantage as well as a disadvantage. You will get smaller orders and won't have to travel as far, but you will also make less money because your orders are smaller.
You also potentially get hurt being out on a bike all day. Driving around making deliveries is safer than doing so on a bicycle or other small vehicle. Pay attention and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Is Delivery By Bike Worth It?
Again, it depends on your location. If you live near the center of a city, where there are a lot of people and a lot of traffic, delivering by bike pays better than delivering by car.
Even if you are not near the center of a city, you can sometimes make a reasonable amount of money delivering goods by bike. If you are interested, try it. You will probably be surprised by how much money you can make rather than disappointed.
Delivering goods for Instacart is better than most other side hustles. Some people make handmade goods, teach a language online, sell digital products, or manage social media accounts to make money. While all of these side hustles can make you money, they all require skills; you do not need to know anything to start working for Instacart.
Anyone Can Start this Job Right Away
Delivering goods is a good idea because you can learn the job on the first day and become fast and efficient in a short time. Many people get a regular part-time job to make extra money, but you can't usually do this on your own schedule.
While you won't get rich delivering goods, the pay is not minimum wage or only a little above that. You can make $15 or $20+ per hour delivering goods for Instacart.
What Does Delivering for Instacart Involve?
Working for Instacart is much more convenient than working a regular job. You will do your entire job from a phone app. You will create an account, log in, and accept and orders you want to make.
Instacart will make different items available to you in "batches" that you can tap and look at. When you tap a batch, it will show you:
- What products do you have to deliver
- How much you will get paid
- Where to go to get the products
- What address to deliver them to
You can then claim the batch and become responsible for delivering it. You can tell the company how far along you are by using the app. For example, you will press a "start shopping" button when you reach the store, and you might also text customers.
You Can Pay for Everything on an Instacart Card
To pay for the groceries and other goods, you will have an Instacart Card. Since no one can use their Instacart card to pay for gas, you can save money on each order if you do everything by bike, which isn't always slower.
Sometimes, the products won't be available. The list of products on your app might have substitutes - your customer may tell you what to buy instead if you can't find a certain product. You might text the customer and ask them, or you might go ahead and buy a very similar product if you are sure it is truly very similar.
Be Careful When You Bag Your Goods
When you take your groceries to the customer, bag everything carefully. Don't back something soft that can be crushed with anything heavy. Succeeding at Instacart requires you to get good customer reviews, so be careful, especially early on.
After packing everything, head to the customer's house and deliver the goods. Use the app to communicate that you have completed the order. You may need insulated bags if you are delivering something like ice cream on a hot day.
What Are Some Alternatives to Instacart?
From what I have heard from people who have tried the alternatives, Instacart is probably somewhat better. However, other companies may still be worth your time if Instacart is not available in your area.
Uber Eats lets people deliver by bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter. Doordash is also bicycle-friendly. Any of these companies is good if you live in a good location for delivery by bicycle.