Instacart Waitlist 2024: How long is it & how to get off it

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If you’re looking to make some extra money, you apply to be an Instacart Shopper. However, you find yourself placed on the Instacart Waitlist.

It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

Many others share your frustration. A glance at Reddit reveals numerous complaints about being on the company’s waitlist. If you aim to make extra money, this situation is far from ideal.

If you’re on the Instacart Waitlist or waiting for approval on jobs like Instacart Shopper, consider exploring alternative options in the meantime.

In this article, we will discuss various options and provide essential information about the Instacart Shopper Waitlist. You’ll learn what it is and get insights into the expected wait time.

What is the Instacart Waitlist?

Instacart popularity in paying individuals to be personal shoppers has led to a surge in applications. However, in regions with low customer demand compared to the number of shoppers, Instacart maintains a waitlist. So, if you reside in an area with more shoppers than people ordering food, you may be on the waitlist.

Why is there a waitlist for Instacart?

The Instacart waitlist exists due to the high demand for their service. When the number of customers surpasses available shoppers, a waitlist is implemented. It helps manage the influx of new users, ensuring a smooth and reliable experience for everyone. This ensures a balance between supply and demand, joining the waitlist allows Instacart to gradually onboard users and maintain service quality.

How long is the Instacart Waitlist?

The Instacart Waitlist duration typically ranges from 2 to 6 months. While some users may get off the waitlist within a few weeks, others may experience a wait of a year or longer. It varies for each person. Here are insights from Reddit reports of people sharing their experiences on the Waitlist:

  • “The first rule about Instacart is you never predict Instacart. If it can go wrong it will go wrong. The CEO could call you personally in the next 5 minutes or you may get a letter in the mail in 10 years telling you that you’re still on the waitlist.”
  • “I had to wait about 2 months when I was waitlisted. With Shipt, I got the approval after 2 days and got my card a week later, but I love Shipt so much more than IC.”
  • “Lol I have been on the waitlist for 5 months. Good luck.”
  • “Ive been on the waiting list for over a year and 3 months.”
  • “I’ve been on list for 3 months now. I’m in Fla.”
  • “I have been on the waitlist for all over a year . . . So definitely don’t wait around!”

Refer to the Reddit threads linked here and here for additional information. Check them out to delve deeper into the reports.

How to get off the Instacart Waitlist

If you’re wondering how to get off the Instacart Waitlist, don’t worry. There are three options available to help you.

Use a different zip code

Wondering how to bypass the Instacart waitlist? Here’s a straightforward trick: change your zip code.

When signing up to be an Instacart shopper, you provide your home zip code. If you’re on the waitlist, it means there are enough shoppers in your area, and more are not currently required.

There could be additional zip codes in your nearby area that are not crowded, and therefore, they do not have a waitlist.

To bypass the Instacart Waitlist, simply update your zip code. Contact Instacart customer service through the website’s chat or send an email.

Consider nearby zip code areas where you’d be willing to shop. Share these zip codes with customer service and see which one gets approved.

If customer service locates an area without a Waitlist, your application can be approved in 15 to 20 minutes. Remember that this method may not always be successful, as customer service might not permit zip code changes, but it’s worth attempting.

Try Instacart alternatives to make money

If the zip code trick isn’t effective or you prefer not to alter your location, try exploring other delivery apps. Numerous food delivery platforms operate similarly to Instacart, offering opportunities to earn money by delivering food.

If you’re on the Instacart Waitlist, you might want to sign up for one of these alternative companies:


Shipt is highly rated compared to Instacart, making it a preferable choice. With Shipt, you get paid for shopping and delivering groceries to customers’ homes within a specified time.

Here are some reasons why you might consider working for Shipt:

  • Competitive pay: Shipt offers a pay range of $16 to $22 per hour.
  • Flexible hours: Enjoy the flexibility of working part-time or full-time with the freedom to set your own hours.
  • Weekly payments: Unlike waiting for a monthly payout, Shipt provides weekly payments through direct deposit, allowing you to access your earnings every Friday.
  • Accreditation: Shipt has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2015 and holds an impressive A+ rating.
  • Positive reviews: Shipt Shoppers consistently praise the company on Indeed, contributing to its positive reputation.


DoorDash is a platform that pays individuals to deliver food from restaurants and local eateries to customers’ homes. In contrast to services like Instacart and Shipt, which focus on grocery store deliveries.

Consider working with DoorDash for these reasons:

  • Competitive pay: DoorDash drivers earn an average of $16 per hour, with potential earnings ranging from $3 to $33 per hour.
  • Wide availability: DoorDash operates in 7,000 cities across the U.S., Canada, and Australia, DoorDash provides ample opportunities for delivery work in various locations.
  • Flexible schedule: Enjoy the freedom to choose your own working hours. Like Instacart, DoorDash allows you to tailor your schedule according to your preferences.
  • Earning boost: Increase your income through promotions and tips, allowing you to maximize your earnings while delivering for DoorDash.
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Uber Eats

Uber Eats serves as a popular food delivery platform, offering a viable alternative if you encounter difficulties finding work with Instacart in your area.

The app pays you for delivering food from various restaurants to customers’ homes. You can use your car, bike, or scooter for the deliveries.

Consider working with Uber Eats for these simple reasons:

  • Competitive pay: Uber Eats offers high earning potential, with drivers making between $6 and $38 per hour. You can earn $19 per hour on average, providing a lucrative opportunity.
  • Quick payments: Your earnings are automatically deposited into your bank account weekly. The Instant Pay feature also allows you to cash out up to 5 times daily, ensuring fast access to your money.
  • Flexibility: Uber Eats provides flexible working hours, allowing you to choose when to deliver. Whether for an hour, during the weekend, or throughout the week, you have control over your schedule.
  • Tips: Customers on Uber Eats can tip directly through the app, and you get to keep 100% of the tips.


GrubHub is a significant player among apps that offer payment for driving. This food delivery gig operates in numerous U.S. cities. By partnering with local restaurants, GrubHub allows you to sign up and deliver meals to customers in your area.


Explore this new grocery delivery service. Upon approval, your task involves browsing the app for orders, shopping for groceries, and delivering them to customers. While not as well-known as Instacart, you can earn approximately $16 per hour and retain 100% of your tips.

Try other gig apps

Aside from food delivery, several alternative side hustle apps, such as Instacart, offer opportunities to earn extra money.

Here are some alternatives:

Thumbtack Pro

Thumbtack Pro is an online platform offering job opportunities in various fields. Users can select their preferred line of work from options such as:

  • Landscaper
  • Mover
  • Electrician
  • Housecleaner
  • Painter
  • Handyman
  • Wellness instructor
  • Home electronics specialist
  • Photographer
  • IT Specialist


Bellhops offer compensation for assisting individuals with their moves, providing up to $21 per hour, including tips and bonuses. Payments are made every week.


TaskRabbit is a platform that compensates you for assisting others with tasks and errands.

It pays you for assisting others with tasks such as:

  • Furniture assembly
  • Home repairs
  • Helping people to move
  • Cleaning
  • Mounting
  • Yard work
  • Shopping
  • Delivery
  • Lifting
  • And more.

Compensation ranges from $3 to $78 per hour.


Sign up for GoShare, a platform for on-demand moving and delivery services. Earn money using your cargo van to assist people with their moves. Depending on your vehicle’s size, you can earn over $100 per hour, making it one of the highest-paying gig apps available.

Amazon Flex

Sign up as an Amazon Flex driver in your city to seize local opportunities. Earn up to $25 per hour delivering packages to Amazon customers. With Amazon Flex, you can choose your working hours by booking Amazon Flex blocks.


Use Roadie to offer delivery services by connecting with people in your local area who need drivers. Deliver various items such as food, groceries, luggage, furniture, and appliances. Having a larger vehicle can be beneficial, especially for transporting larger packages.

Why did Instacart put me on a waitlist?

Being on the Instacart waitlist indicates that there are currently no available shopper positions in your area.

Instacart uses this waitlist to balance customer demand and shopper availability. If there are too many shoppers in a specific market, it can lead to a shortage of orders for them to fulfill.

How long will I be on Instacart’s waitlist?

The duration of your waitlist period on Instacart is variable and depends on your location and the number of shoppers in your area.

Additionally, shopper demand is influenced by shopping trends. Instacart shoppers typically wait between 2 to 6 months.

How long does it take to get started on Instacart?

The time it takes to start working with Instacart depends on whether you’re approved immediately or put on the waitlist.

If approved immediately, you can expect the application, onboarding, and starting shopping in your area to take one to two weeks.

If you’re on the waitlist, it may take a couple of months before you can begin working.

Can I make $300 a week with Instacart?

Instacart shoppers earn between $200 and $1,000 weekly, with earnings influenced by batch availability and market demand.

Opting for larger orders and receiving customer tips can help you achieve a weekly income of around $300 on Instacart.

Can you make a living off Instacart?

Instacart offers an opportunity to earn a living by delivering groceries, depending on your location.

You can choose when and how much you work, allowing you to use it as a side hustle or a full-time job.

With dedication and favorable conditions, it’s possible to make a sustainable income through Instacart.

How can I check my Instacart waitlist status?

To check your eligibility and status on the Instacart waitlist, regularly check the email address you used to sign up for shopping.

It’s crucial to use an email address you regularly check and remember the password. Avoid contacting Instacart or customer support for waitlist updates; they will email you when a spot becomes available.

What does the Instacart No Spots Available message mean?

If you apply to be a shopper and encounter “no Instacart spots available,” it indicates you’re on the waitlist. You must wait for additional shopping spots to open up, either through increased availability or if existing shoppers are deactivated, creating openings.

The bottom line

Many individuals aim to bypass the Instacart Waitlist, and this desire is completely reasonable. Waiting for months before beginning to earn extra cash is not ideal for those seeking quick opportunities.

Utilize the zip code method we suggested to bypass the Instacart Waitlist. If this doesn’t succeed, explore alternative food delivery and gig apps for additional earning opportunities.