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Instacart Waitlist: How To Get Off It in 2024?

The American job market is currently over-saturated. After going for a rapid hiring stint, Instacart had to introduce its waitlist for aspiring shoppers.

But there are many myths and rumors about this waitlist, as people also still try different tricks to bypass it.

Although there are now many ways available to make money right now, Instacart shopper’s job has been popular since this delivery service hit the market.

It is mainly due to the attractive payment and the flexibility to choose shift and delivery area. It is also a job that doesn’t require any college degree.

So, the competition is fierce! And I decided to take a deep dive to find out the current status of the Instacart waitlist. Sharing it with you!


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What Is Instacart Shopper Waitlist?

instacart waitlist screenshot

Source: Reddit user: Kindly-Flatworm8084

Instacart is known for providing legit delivery driving jobs, no doubt about it!

But due to its immense popularity, handsome earnings, and crisis in the American job market, getting a job as an Instacart shopper is becoming too complex.

So, Instacart launched their waitlist a few years back, where you’ll be placed in waiting if there are way too many shoppers already available in your area.

In simple terms, if Instacart has a sufficient workforce to cater to its customers, you’ll be placed on the waitlist.

Waitlist can even trigger in your ZIP code or locality if there are not too many orders. So, with this waitlist, they mainly manage their workforce and maintain a steady stream of available shoppers.

Bonus: Do you know that you can easily become a shopper and make around $16/hour plus tips? Check out my latest Instacart Shopper review to know in detail.


Why Is There An Instacart Waitlist?

It is true that there is an ongoing job crisis not just in the USA but all over the world. And at the same time, the demand for good jobs is ever-rising.

So, more and more people are now applying to become an Instacart shopper, as it can guarantee a decent income.

It has received way more applications than it can actually absorb. And that’s why Instacart had to opt for a waitlist to keep track of all the applicants and also to efficiently manage their workforce.

There are three main reasons why Instacart has a waitlist this year.

  • There are way too many shoppers already available in a particular ZIP code or area.
  • Not many people are ordering food, and the demand for Instacart delivery is not high in that location.
  • Instacart received too many applications for new shoppers in that particular area.

On a different note, Shipt offers a much lower waiting time than Instacart, although both platforms offer similar jobs. You can get more details in my new Shipt Vs. Instacart comparison.

My Findings: Many people doubt that their applications must have some errors after they have been assigned to a waitlist. But don’t worry; you did nothing wrong! It is a thing that you can’t control from your side.

Read: 15+ Best Jobs Like Instacart to Make Extra Money


How Long Is The Waitlist For Instacart & Why?

The length of the Instacart waitlist can vary depending on many factors. So, the actual waiting time in your particular area or ZIP code will depend on those parameters.

While many shoppers got placed within a month, many had to wait for up to six months.

There are even reports that many shoppers instantly got their slots without going through the waitlist. So, there is no fixed tenure for the Instacart waitlist.

There are two main reasons why there is so much rush to become an Instacart shopper. First, North America is still fighting the job crisis post-pandemic.

And second, Instacart is relatively easier to join than the rest of its competitors.

If you opt for high-paying jobs like DoorDash, you need to cross many hurdles. But on Instacart, you need to meet just the basic requirements to opt for the background check.

And once the check is done, you can start your work and can also choose your preferred shifts.

instacart waitlist tweet

Source: Twitter

While addressing this issue, Instacart stated on their Twitter (now X) handle, “Waitlist timelines vary from region to region. As our customer base grows or shoppers leave the platform, we will start onboarding again.”

On a different Tweet, they also clarified why anyone may be placed on the Instacart waitlist.

My Findings: Currently, the average waiting duration on the Instacart waitlist is between 2 and 4 months. But if you live in metro cities, such as Austin, San Fransisco, or Seattle, this waiting time can be up to 6 months.

Read – 14 Best Delivery Driving Jobs – Earn up to $20/Hour.


What Current And Previous Shoppers Are Saying About The Instacart Waitlist?

I looked through various forums and participated in shoppers’ discussions to know what the average waiting time throughout the USA is. And here is what I found.

Instacart shoppers comments on Reddit

Source: Reddit

  • Hthratmn on Reddit wrote, “I’ve been on the waitlist for 2 years. I’ve moved 3 times since then, reached out to them a few times, and they tell me that people are not taken off of the wait list in order.”
  • Another user called Isabellasmom2020 wrote, “Wait list currently is 1+ year. Do something else in the meantime.”
  • Skip2020Altogether said, “I started in 2019 and was on the waitlist for 2 weeks before being accepted. But now I have friends that applied last year or at the end of 21 and are still on the waitlist. So, anyone new applying could literally be waiting years.”
  • A Reddit user has a funny take on this. NoConcept4068 wrote, “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.”

My Take: If you live in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, or Washington, D.C., your waiting time will be shorter. It is because Instacart is very popular in these cities, and there are way more batches for shoppers.


How To Bypass / Get off Instacart’s Waitlist?

It is true that Instacart is among the very few apps that pay real money on time. And that’s why there is an ever-increasing popularity of this delivery app.

More and more people are now also finding ways to bypass the Instacart shopper waitlist.

Previously, people tended to change their zip code, bypass the waitlist, and then call customer support to re-fix their ZIP code so that they could get back to their original ZIP code after the bypass.

But now, this trick is not working anymore.

Instacart shoppers comments on Reddit

Source: Reddit

The best you can do is just wait! Customer support can’t help you now in this matter. But don’t try any glitch or exploit any bug to bypass the waitlist. If you get caught, your ID will be permanently blocked.

Read: 10 Companies Offering Flexible Food Delivery Jobs


Instacart Alternatives To Make Money While On The Waitlist

One thing you must have already understood is that the Instacart waitlist is currently too long.

So, you can either wait for your turn or can take a different route to earn money. And there are three things you can do right now!


Try Other Food Delivery Apps

Most people just concentrate on Instacart without knowing that there are many platforms where you can also get jobs like Instacart. If you live in the USA, opportunities are even more!

My personal recommendation is DoorDash! You may not know, but you can easily make $500/week or more with DoorDash now.

You can also try some tested DoorDash hacks to increase the amount even more.

Doordash Driver Reviews

Source: Indeed

It is now available in over 7,000 metro cities throughout the USA, Canada, and Australia. However, there are a few other platforms available that you can also try in 2024.

  • Uber Eats: Food delivery.
  • Grubhub: Food & beverages delivery.
  • Shipt: Grocery delivery from local stores.
  • Cornershop: Grocery and daily needs delivery.
  • Postmates: Food, beverages, and grocery delivery.

My Take: I’ll recommend you apply for at least three companies at the same time. This way, you can secure a delivery driving job even if there is a waitlist on a couple of platforms.

Read: 13 High-Paying Jobs like DoorDash


Work With Other Gig Economy Apps

If you are currently looking for a full-time or a side job, you can also try other gig economy apps besides the delivery ones.

And there are many best odd job apps available nowadays that can secure you a decent income.

If you are currently stuck with the Instacart shopper waitlist, there are apps like Wonolo that you can surely try. However, I also have my personal recommendations.

If you are comfortable helping people move to a new place, you can find packing and moving jobs at Bellhops. You can make up to $21/hour plus bonuses and tips while working here.

And if you have a vehicle, you can get paid to advertise your car as well.


Try Other Zip Codes or Change Your Location

The change location trick that I’ve already talked about was pretty famous for bypassing the Instacart waitlist.

However, that trick doesn’t work anymore on Instacart or any other platform that offers grocery and food delivery jobs.

But yes, if you have another city nearby in your daily driving distance, you can surely change your location while applying. If you are lucky enough, you may find a nearby city that doesn’t even have a waitlist.

You can find some best ZIP codes to avoid Instacart waitlist in this Reddit thread. So, don’t miss this one! However, make sure that you can travel to that city every day. Otherwise, try to find some fast ways to make money in your locality.

My Take: Try to select a city that takes around 15 to 20 minutes on one side. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting so much time on your commute that your profit will be minimal.


How To Check Your Instacart Waitlist Status?

It is true that Instacart is known for providing jobs that pay $20+/hour. But it is now equally infamous for its super-long waitlist. However, there is no way to check it from your side.

All you can do is check your email regularly to see if you got any confirmation mail or not. But don’t try to call customer support to get the current status of your application.

This is a completely automated service, and they can’t provide additional info on that.

But there are other platforms you can join and make $200+ a day if you work full-time on these delivery gigs.


Can You Skip the Instacart Waitlist?

No, it is not possible to skip the Instacart waitlist if it is showing in your locality. But yes, you can surely try some other zip codes that are within driving distance.

I’d suggest a maximum of an hour’s drive on two ways.

This will minimize your travel time and can also save some gas. However, I’ve already also discussed how to bypass the Instacart waitlist. You can also try those as well.


Final Thoughts

It is not possible to skip or bypass the Instacart waitlist, period. You are lucky if you have another city nearby that doesn’t have a waitlist. You can certainly change your location to that city and avoid the waitlist.

However, there are many other easy jobs also available throughout the USA where you can get up to $30/hour. So, try to figure out other ways to earn if you are placed on the waitlist.


FAQs On Instacart Waitlist

Is the Instacart waitlist worth it?

Yes, the Instacart waitlist is definitely worth it if you have the kind of patience to keep trying even with the 4 to 6 months of average waiting time.

But I’ll only suggest waiting for your turn if you already have a primary source of income.


Is Instacart hiring in my area?

Instacart is currently available in all 50 states, where they run their batches each day. However, there may be waitlists in your city.

Instacart Shopper Jobs


You can enter your ZIP code on the official website to check if Instacart is currently hiring in your area or not!


What does the no spots available message from Instacart mean?

During the application process, if you get the “No Spots Available” message, that means that you are already placed on the waitlist.

You’ll automatically get an email notification when there is the next batch available.


Can I try Instacart in another city or state?

Yes, according to the current Instacart policy, you can surely try Instacart in another nearby city or state. However, it must be within driving distance for your daily commute.


How long does it take to get started with Instacart?

If you are placed on the Instacart waitlist, it can take between 4 and 6 months on average. But once you are accepted as a shopper, you can start immediately.


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