Did you know that you can get paid to shop? You can make money shopping for others, you can become a personal shopper, or even make money shopping online! Check below for the best ideas, and start earning extra money today!
They say, find a job you love and never work a day in your life. But what if that job could be … shopping!?
No, seriously, as a side hustle, a full-time job, or even a way to make a little extra cash and save money in your daily routine, you can get paid to shop!
I know what you’re thinking. Anyone who’s looked through online reviews of apps that pay you to shop has been inundated with cries of scams!
That’s why I’ve done the hard work for you and compiled the absolute best, most legit ways out there to get paid to shop.
I’ve even included some tips to help you make more than advertised!
Ready to get started? Let’s go!
15 Best Ways To Get Paid To Shop
- Uber Eats
- Walmart Personal Shopper
- Amazon Personal Shopper
- Start A Personal Shopper Business
- Market Force
- Secret Shopper
- Receipt Hog
Get Paid to Shop for Others: Grocery Shopper Jobs
In 2021, a record 60% of consumers in the United States purchased groceries online.
Grocery e-commerce is booming and shows no sign of slowing down. And it’s not just food items. Many grocery delivery services are now “moving beyond the grocery store” and delivering everything from household items, to drug store essentials, to office supplies.
You probably already spend a couple of hours each week grocery shopping. The rise of grocery e-commerce means you can now turn this into a profitable side hustle in your spare time. Or even a full-time income.
Here are the best places to get paid to shop for groceries.
You’ve likely heard of Instacart. With its 10 million active users across 5,500 cities in the US and Canada, it is perhaps the best-known grocery delivery service. But did you know that the company employs over 500,000 shoppers who get paid to shop for others?
All you need to become an Instacart shopper is a vehicle, a valid driver’s license, and your phone. Simply download the Instacart app and enter your zip code, and you will see a list of orders available in your area.
Choose one, shop for it, deliver, and get paid. It’s that easy!
As an independent contractor, you can pick your own hours and how many orders you want to take. Then you’ll get paid weekly via direct deposit to your bank account.
2. Uber Eats
Like Instacart, use the Uber Eats app to find orders in your area – they operate in thousands of cities across the US, Canada, and the UK – then accept and deliver as many as you’d like.
Unlike Instacart, though, you don’t need a car to get paid to shop for groceries with Uber Eats. They allow shoppers to work with a vehicle, bicycle, or scooter, even on foot!
Plus, with Uber Eats, you’ll be able to see how much you’ll get paid to deliver each order before you accept it. And your earnings are automatically transferred to your bank account every week.
Since the start of 2020, Shipt has more than quadrupled in size. If Instacart and Uber Eats are the established giants, then Shipt is the hottest up-and-comer in grocery e-commerce.
Why? According to Shipt CEO Kelly Caruso, “Our shoppers matter … They’re our secret sauce.”
She’s not lying. Shipt’s rise has, without a doubt, been stimulated by its unique Preferred Shoppers feature.
This allows customers who give shoppers a 5-star rating to add these shoppers to a list that prioritizes them in the future. For shoppers, this means the opportunity to form relationships with individual clients.
Personalized relationships among Shipt members means better customer service and a more satisfying work environment for shoppers. And can also result in bigger tips!
How much can you get paid to shop for groceries?
According to ZipRecruiter, personal shoppers can earn anywhere from $10-$20/hour. However, with the right strategies, this can go much higher.
What strategies? I’m so glad you asked.
- High demand orders: Keep an eye out for deliveries in Instacart’s “busy areas” and “peak times” and Shipt’s “bounties” on unclaimed orders. These can often double your pay for an order.
- Double and triple up: Nobody says you can’t sign up for two or three shopping apps at once and only take the highest paying orders in your area.
- A tip about tips: Positively interacting with customers can result in tips that exceed the flat rate for a delivery. Remember Shipt’s Preferred Shoppers program and think about building relationships with big tippers.
So how much can you really get paid to shop for groceries? Well, just look at this story about a man who made over $100,000 in 2020 working for Shipt!
And for more ways to make money on things you already do, check out these 35 Best Apps To Save Money!
Become a Personal Shopper
Rather than working as an independent contractor, you may prefer the security of shopping as an employee at a large, well-established company.
And the explosion of grocery e-commerce has brought some of the largest companies in the world to the table.
4. Walmart Personal Shopper
Walmart expects its e-commerce sales to double by 2023. This means that personal shoppers have become “one of the fastest growing jobs at Walmart.”
You don’t need a vehicle to work as a Walmart personal shopper because you will not actually be delivering the orders.
Instead, you will work 8–10-hour shifts as an in-store shopper, assembling orders of specific items, which Walmart’s delivery drivers will then deliver.
What this job lacks in flexibility – you work shifts instead of selecting the orders you want – it may make up for with comfort, mastering the layout of one store instead of many.
Check the latest Walmart job openings here.
5. Amazon Personal Shopper
Like Walmart, you will not deliver orders as an Amazon personal shopper but assemble them in an Amazon warehouse using a smart device.
There are, however, a couple of advantages to shopping for Amazon as opposed to Walmart.
- Amazon Anytime Shifts: As an Amazon team member, you can use the Amazon app to select your own schedule – weekends, late nights, or early mornings. You can work as a full- or part-time employee, whatever works for you! Just work a maximum of four hours per week, and cancel shifts anytime without questions.
- Amazon Anytime Pay: Personal shoppers can receive up to 70% of their earned pay anytime, 24/7, instantly!
How much can you make as a personal shopper at Walmart or Amazon?
Walmart says it pays personal shoppers between $13-$19/hour, while Amazon pays shoppers an average of $16/hour. However, depending on your local market, it could be more.
Because of the boom in grocery e-commerce, Walmart and Amazon are both pursuing aggressive expansion, and guess what? They’ve got more new jobs than they’ve got employees to fill them in many markets.
This means it is not uncommon to see new personal shoppers making over $22/hour plus benefits in some areas.
6. Start a Personal Shopper Business
What if you want to get paid to shop for others, but not as part of a company?
Good news! More than ever, individuals and businesses are looking for freelance personal shoppers they can build a relationship with.
This means that:
It has never been easier to start and operate your own personal shopper business through a website or even social media and make money shopping. You would probably be surprised how many people there are in your area looking for someone to shop for them right now.
And it’s not just groceries – it is personal shopping for fashion, home décor for busy professionals, or office supplies for businesses; it’s picking up supplies for major events or prescriptions for the elderly.
Think you might like to start a personal shopper business?
Here are some tips:
- Choose your niche: The best way to get started is by thinking about your area of expertise. Are you a fashionista or a business professional? Can you get in and out of the grocery store in 15 minutes? Choosing your niche will help you get clients and make them happier when you do.
- Know your clients: Before you ever go shopping, you should have an understanding of your individual client’s likes, dislikes, and special requests. This will allow you to make appropriate decisions on the fly. So how do you find these things out? Just ask them!
- Remember your taxes: Starting your own business is different from working as an independent contractor or employee. The good news is that you can write things off like fuel and car repairs, and even your computer or phone.
How much can you make with a personal shopper business?
PayScale estimates the yearly pay of freelance personal shoppers to be between $23,000-$76,000. That’s quite the range, but it makes sense for the industry.
As a personal shopper, you may make more or less based on your chosen niche and the complexity of your services – picking out fashion is different than picking up groceries – along with the competition in your area.
In fact, PayScale’s estimate might actually be underestimating things. With a bit of experience and a solid niche, it’s not unusual for personal shoppers with an established clientele to charge anywhere from $20-$100/hour.
Work as a Mystery Shopper
For modern businesses, success is all about data – on customer preferences and desires, brand reputation and engagement, new products, and old favorites.
Mystery shopping is one of the most effective ways businesses acquire this data.
In short, mystery shoppers get paid to shop at stores and provide feedback on their experience. This could mean the quality of food at a restaurant, the service at a salon, whether you were offered an ongoing promotion at a gas station, and so on.
When you work as a mystery shopper, you will be paid for your service and reimbursed for whatever you buy. This means not only can you get paid to shop, but you can get some pretty great perks while you’re at it.
Founded in 1986, BestMark is one of the oldest and largest companies in mystery shopping. Today, BestMark and its over 600,000 shoppers work with Fortune 500 companies and local stores in over 13,000 cities across the US and Canada.
To get started as a BestMark mystery shopper, fill out an application online – there’s no experience necessary. Once accepted, you’ll gain access to a database of available jobs in your area. Each listed job will tell you everything you need to know about the task, including what you will be expected to do and your expected pay.
Choose a mystery shop assignment and get shopping! Then, file a written report with BestMark on your experience.
BestMark pays twice monthly through direct deposit, a PayPal account, or gift cards.
8. Market Force
Market Force works with more than 350 brands in the US, Canada, and the UK, meaning shoppers have a wide variety of gigs to choose from.
The best part about Market Force is its Eyes:On app. If you get a little concerned when you hear ‘written reports’ are part of working as a mystery shopper, Market Force may be the best option for you – Eyes:On streamlines the process and makes it so simple to complete assignments, to choose and schedule a shopping trip, and get paid!
Market Force pays once a month, by check or through direct deposit.
If written reports are your thing, you might want to look at Intellishop.
What makes them unique among mystery shopping companies is their proprietary shopper rating system. You start as a ‘beginner’ and move up based on the quality of your work – whether you were on time, followed the instructions, the thoroughness of your report, and so on.
The higher your rating, the more lucrative assignments you gain access to!
Be forewarned, Intellishop says, “we have very high standards.”
But if you are a master report writer, Intellishop gives you the best rewards.
Intellishop pays through PayPal once per month.
10. Secret Shopper
Established in 1990 and a founding member of the Mystery Shoppers Providers Association, Secret Shopper calls itself “the premier mystery shopping company.”
They may not be wrong. Secret Shopper operates globally with clients in practically all customer-focused industries.
Over the years, they have conducted millions of secret shopping evaluations and have one of the largest shopper databases around. If you want to become a mystery shopper and get paid to shop, you could do worse than one of the companies that built the ground floor.
Secret Shopper pays once per month by check.
How much can you make as a mystery shopper?
Mystery shoppers usually make between $5-$30 per assignment. Depending on how much time it takes and how quickly you can construct a report, this could mean anything from about $5-$25/hour.
Important note: A common complaint about mystery shopping companies as employers is that written reports can be invalidated if they contain what the company deems to be mistakes. So, you must be able to follow directions exactly to get paid.
There is a different way, however, to look at the question of how much you can make as a mystery shopper – one which I much prefer.
Think about it: If a mystery shopping assignment takes you to a restaurant, yes, you get paid for the assignment, but you also get to eat at the restaurant for free since you’ll be reimbursed for the cost of your meal. With all of the businesses these mystery shopping companies partner with, you could see free movies, drink free wine, even stay in a hotel, or visit a theme park for free – all while getting paid for the privilege!
Get Paid to Shop Online
What if you want to get paid to shop but don’t have time for a new gig like personal or mystery shopping?
No problem! Many apps pay you to shop for things you’re already buying!
How does it work?
Most major businesses pay marketing companies to send customers to their stores. When these referred customers make a purchase, the marketing companies get a commission. They then share this commission with the customer in the form of cash back and great rewards.
Because these marketing companies work with just about every major brand you can imagine, you can actually get paid just for doing your usual shopping.
Swagbucks is not only one of the best money-making apps in general, with its famed surveys, games, and other different ways to earn cash rewards, but it is also hands down one of the best ways to get paid to shop online.
First, shop at over 7,000 online stores – Walmart, Target, Amazon, Home Depot, Bes Buy, Macy’s, and Uber Eats, to name a few – through Swagbucks’ massive online shopping portal.
Each time you make a purchase, you will receive ‘Swagbucks’ reward points which can be redeemed for PayPal cash or gift cards at over 1,500 retailers.
Then, check out Swagbucks’ exclusive deals and coupon codes, a great way to get more points on top of those you’re already earning.
I made over $200 in just a couple of months last year using Swagbucks!
Bonus: Install Swagbucks Yahoo-powered search engine as your default browser and earn rewards points just for browsing. That’s right. You can get paid to shop online without even buying anything!
The key to Drop is that when it comes to your favorite brands, the app is ‘set it and forget it.’
Here’s how it works:
Once you download the Drop app and link it to your credit or debit card, you will be asked to choose five favorite brands from over 300.
From there, you don’t have to remember to shop through a portal or apply a coupon. You simply buy from these brands using your linked card and watch the points pile up automatically.
You can also earn points on the other 295+ brands but will need to opt into those each time.
One potential downside of Drop is points are paid out only in gift cards, although, with choices ranging from Starbucks to Amazon, to Netflix, to Uber, these gift cards may be quite alright.
Founded in 1998 as Ebates, Rakuten is one of the most well-established cash back platforms around.
Rakuten allows you to earn cash back by shopping through their online portal. Or install the Rakuten browser extension, and you will automatically be informed of the best deals whenever you’re shopping.
Plus, this browser extension means that when you’re shopping somewhere where no deals are currently available, Rakuten will notify you of a similar product or store where there is a deal, so you never miss out on a chance to get paid to shop online.
Like Swagbucks, Rakuten also provides featured deals, coupons, and promo codes that can be combined with other cash back offers.
Rakuten pays by check or through PayPal, but unfortunately only pays quarterly. But since they’ve been around since 1998, you know they’re not going anywhere.
Did you know? Rakuten has paid out over $1 billion to members.
Ibotta takes mobile apps that pay you to shop to the next level. Yes, it is more complex than others on this list, but the possible rewards might be worth it.
Here’s how it works:
Check the Ibotta app for offers at any of its over 300 partner companies. Select an offer, and you will be shown a list of tasks you c n complete to earn cash back – things like reading a fact, watching a video, completing a poll, writing a comment, or posting on social media. You can complete any or all of the tasks.
More tasks completed = more cash back!
When you’re done, purchase the product either online through the rewards app or in store, then get your cash with PayPal, Venmo, or gift cards.
Bonus: A great thing about Ibotta is that they always run fun seasonal promotions, like $20 of free school supplies during the back-to-school time or $20 of free party snacks for the Super Bowl.
15. Receipt Hog
The best part about Receipt Hog? No need to worry about brand partners. You earn rewards for scanning any receipt from your favorite stores – “any store, any brand, online or in-store,” as the company says.
When you shop, take a picture of your receipt and upload it.
Receipts from places like grocery, convenience, or discount stores – think Walmart, Costco, or Dollar General – earn cash back directly, while receipts from other places earn you entries into monthly sweepstakes or spins on the Hog Slots.
Hog Slots, because I know you’re dying to know, is a game where you can win bonus cash, free gift cards, and other prizes. It works just like a slot machine – pull the handle and see what combination of icons you receive to learn what you’ve won!
Pro tip: Upload at least one receipt every week – Receipt Hog users start at Level 1, which earns a free spin on the Hog Slots at the start of the week, then move up each consecutive week a receipt is uploaded. By Level 40, you’ll receive the equivalent of about $2.50 cash back to start the week. Think about it, at Level 40, you’d receive over $100 per year for basically nothing! It’s like free money!
Bonus: Earn Using a Cash Back Credit Card
Gone are the days when a cash back credit card simply meant getting 1% or 2% cash back on every purchase. Yes, these cards still exist, but nowadays, the options are much more diverse, and the payouts are much more lucrative.
Many cash back credit cards offer 5-6% cash back or more in specific bonus categories like grocery stores, dining, entertainment, gas stations, and even streaming services. All you need to do is think about what you buy most and get a card that gives big rewards in that category.
Check out Forbes Advisor’s Best Cash Back Credit Cards Of 2022
(And make sure to pay your credit card balance every month – big cash back means big interest rates.)
How much can you make shopping for yourself?
No, cash back apps and credit cards are not a job. But what they are is an easy way to get paid to shop online and in store for things you’re already buying.
Using apps that pay you to shop could mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars of extra money every year without changing your shopping habits or leaving the comfort of your home.
The real secret, though? Stack it up!
Get cash back credit cards that give big rewards on the specific categories most relevant to you, then use these cash back credit cards to make purchases through cash back apps.
Finally, stack the coupons from cash back platforms on top of it all. Really, there’s no telling how much you could earn!
Can you really get paid to shop?
As incredible as it may sound to the shopaholics among us, yes, you really can get paid to shop!
I guess next on the docket would be getting paid to pet a puppy, watch a sunset, and feel a warm summer breeze on your face.
Hey, if we’re already going to get paid to shop, a gal can dream, can’t she?
But until then, we can get paid to shop for others as personal shoppers, for ourselves as mystery shoppers, or simply for the things we’re already buying with cash-back apps and credit cards.
Whichever you choose, it’s the perfect time to get started. And as you do, let me know how it’s going in the comments – I respond to every single one!
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