Skip navigation
Instacart_personal_shopper-pickup_1_0_1_0 (2).png Getty Images

Instacart slashes its shopper minimum order pay rates from $7 to $4

Shoppers say they are considering leaving the Instacart workforce due to the severity of the cuts

Instacart is dropping its minimum order base pay rates for shoppers from $7 to $4, leaving many workers up in arms about the pay cut, reports Business Insider. In fact, shoppers told Insider that they would “rather quit and work for McDonald’s or DoorDash” after the company lowered their minimum order pay.  

Some of the workers say they’re considering switching over to restaurant order deliveries (which don’t require shopping), while others are considering alternatives like full-time jobs.

There are multiple steps when it comes to Instacart shoppers’ labor. They shop for orders within the store, stand in a checkout line, and drive to the customers’ houses for each order, leaving many questioning whether or not the base pay is still worth the work, according to social media posts, emails, and interviews via Insider

The pay decrease went into effect last week, and while the base amount is what Instacart shoppers and drivers are guaranteed to make when they accept an order, they also have the opportunity to earn more through customer tips. 

However, Instacart’s Chief Product Officer Daniel Danker said that the company pays “guaranteed batch earnings that are two times higher than other app-based companies.” 

“Shoppers also have full control over which batches they take, and we never penalize them for not accepting an order when it comes in,” Danker said. “With these updates, we expect average pay to stay the same for shoppers across the platform. Each order placed on the Instacart platform is unique, and we want to make sure shopper earnings reflect the effort needed to fulfill each batch.”

But shoppers point out that they don’t just deliver goods to consumers; they also have to navigate grocery stores and communicate with consumers when items are out of stock, for example. 

On a Reddit page for Instacart shoppers, some workers say a traditional job is starting to look more appealing. “I was making $30/hour for two years with Instacart,” one post reads. “Now I'm literally making $17. McDonald’s is paying more.”

The move by Instacart comes after a business pivot from delivery company DoorDash which includes an option for delivery drivers to toggle between being paid an hourly minimum wage or the choice to earn money for each delivery, depending on which method makes sense. The shift adds an incentive for drivers to pick up smaller or less desirable orders they might typically avoid (if they don’t pay as well, for example). 


Instacart has announced it will be cutting the pay rate of delivery workers from $7 down to $4. Instacart says drivers will be able to make more on tips and that the company pays guaranteed batch earnings two times higher than the competition. Do you think Instacart will suffer a mass exodus of workers following the $4 announcement? 
Let us know in the comments below, or email your thoughts to the SN Staff at [email protected]

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.