- Jun 13, 2018
I may not look like a shopaholic, with my worn jeans and work boots, but there’s no point denying it. I’m a certified shopaholic. During my days off, you can find me in the nearby mall checking out all my favorite shops. I usually start at the sporting goods store, then work my way to the comic shop, then on to the knitting supply emporium (don’t ask).
I spend so much time at the mall that my girlfriend once joked that, I should probably get paid to shop. Well, a lightbulb went on in my head. I knew she was joking, but I started looking for ways to get paid to shop. Turns out there’s a job title of this sort of thing - personal shopper.
I’ve heard about personal shoppers before, but I thought they only worked in luxury shops and boutiques. I mean, having someone actually shop for you sounds pretty luxurious, right? But times have changed, and personal shopping is a service regular people can avail of.
So that’s good. It means I’ll have a wider market for my services. But I wasn’t really into fashion and luxury. Can you see yourself hiring a construction guy such as myself to pick out the season’s hottest fashion pieces? Yeah, not gonna happen. One of the more common types of personal shopping is for groceries. Deliver fresh fruit and supplies to the old lady down the block? I could see myself doing that.
Personal grocery shopping is one of the more enjoyable and fulfilling money-making ventures I’ve tried. If you like shopping and interacting with people, I suggest you also give it a try! To get started, I suggest checking out personal shopping businesses online. Most of them act as a sort of Uber for personal grocery shopping jobs. They connect you with people who need this sort of service.
I’ll be giving you a list of websites to check out in a bit. But for now, let’s tackle some basics of personal grocery shopping jobs.
What Does a Personal Shopper Actually Do?
The job description of personal shoppers tends to differ based on the shops they work for and the industries those shops belong to. But generally speaking, a personal shopper’s job is to help people pick out items. These items can be clothing (in which case, the personal shopper’s job may include personal styling), furniture and home decor, and yep, even groceries.
As a personal grocery shopper, my tasks varied. Sometimes I would go out and buy the stuff on my client’s grocery list (I would get reimbursed, of course), and sometimes I would pick out items for them. But the most common task I had was picking up groceries from the supermarket and delivering them to the client. That task isn’t as sexy as picking stuff out for the client, but it was still pretty fun! Most of the jobs you will find involve making deliveries.
How Much Can I Earn Doing These Sorts of Jobs?
Earning potential varies, and depends on the company you work for, and the type of tasks you do. The hourly rate for personal shoppers working directly with major supermarkets (on a contractual basis) is around $25. On Glassdoor, you’ll find that the average yearly salary is over $30,000. Now, before you quit your current job, that figure involves mostly fashion-related jobs. Personal grocery shopping won’t pay as much (unless you start your own company), but you won’t be making chump change, either.
As for me, I found companies that let me keep a flexible schedule. I was able to do my deliveries during breaks from my construction job. All in all, I earned a pretty nice amount. Not enough to quit my job, but enough to supplement my income.
Companies You Can Work For
Okay, so I’ve given you the low-down on the what the job entails, and how much you can hope to make. Here’s the list of sites I promised.
This is how Shipt works: clients will use the site or app to select grocery items they’d like to pick up. Or rather, items they’d like a shopper to pick up. You get a notification, then head to their preferred grocery to get the items. Shipt currently works with H-E-B, Meijer, Target, and Western Market.
The job requires you to exercise a bit of judgment when picking items. For example, if a client wants some apples, you’ll have to pick the ones that are fresh and do not have bruises. This is the “human” element of the job.
The job comes with a few requirements. Namely, knowledge of produce selection, and the ability to life 25 lbs. Applicants must also own a reliable vehicle (1997 and newer), insulated containers for wet and frozen items, and a smartphone. Oh, and applicants must be at least 18 years old.
Experienced Shipt shoppers can make up to $22 an hour. Not a bad amount, but what I personally liked about Shipt was the fact that shoppers can set their own schedule. You can work either full-time or part-time through Shipt. This is handy if you want to juggle two or more jobs. (As I did)
If you don’t own a car, Instacart is the option for you. The site offers two employment opportunities: Full-Service Shopper, and In-Store Shopper. The latter doesn’t require vehicle ownership.
Here’s how it works: clients can choose items from shops such as Whole Foods Market, Target, Costco, and Petco. Your job will be to go to their preferred shop and pick out the items they’ve listed. If you’re an In-Store Shopper, all you have to do is pick the items and bag them. The client will drop by to pick up the items you’ve selected for them. If you’re a Full-Service shopper, you will pick and bag the items, then deliver them to the client’s address.
Requirements are mostly the same as Shipt. You need to be 18 and over, own a smartphone, and be able to lift heavy bags. (Full-Service Shoppers will need a reliable vehicle, of course)
If you want to take your personal grocery shopping service to the next level, use WeGoShop. Unlike the previous two sites, you won’t work as a contractor under WeGoShop - you actually run your own personal shopping business! For an annual fee of $499, they will provide you with the following perks and services:
- Website and ordering system
- Free updates and maintenance
- Your own business territory
- Business cards
- Customized graphics for your business
- An @wegoshop.com email address
Working Directly with Supermarkets
I’m pretty sure you’ll always find personal grocery shopping jobs through the sites I’ve listed. But if you’d like other options, you can try looking for stores that hire directly. Some of my local groceries actually prefer hiring direct because their clients like getting to know their personal shoppers. With third party companies, a rotating cast of new shoppers are assigned to clients. I guess clients prefer that personalized touch and small-town vibe.
You can start looking at Indeed and Monster. Both sites are career resources, and regularly post personal grocery shopper job openings.
If all else fails, you can try contacting the store directly. But this option works better for smaller, mom and pop groceries.
These are all legit ways to find work as a personal grocery shopper! The job itself is enjoyable and profitable. I’ve made a great deal of money on the side, and I’m even considering expanding my WeGoShop business.
This article is based on my own experiences as a personal grocery shopper! Now it’s your turn to share! Have you done this job? Where did you work and how did it go?
Let’s hear your stories!