In some of the recent developments with Doordash, there were a lot of order types added making the types of orders you can potentially do a bit more unpredictable. One of these orders being the Shop and Deliver orders.
With any type of development like this there are a lot of questions that come with it. How does it work? Are they worth taking? How do I accept them and why would I want to do this as opposed to any other order?
So in an attempt to add some clarity to those questions, we are going over what shop and deliver are, how you can make the most of them, and giving you a final verdict on if they are worth taking.
But before any of that, my name is Joseph Mandracchia, I have been working full-time with the gig economy since 2018 and have completed over 8100 orders and deliveries across several different platforms and pay models, as well as other forms of income.
It is my hope to impart some of my knowledge and experience unto you to help you make the most money in your side hustle and help you on your journey to achieve financial independence so you can choose to live your life in anyway you would find valuable to you.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial, tax or legal advisor of any kind. I am not giving you financial, tax or legal advice. I am simply expressing what I have done to overcome in this area and hoping you can find a take away for yourself within this article.
Shop and Deliver Orders in a Nutshell
A shop and deliver order is exactly as it sounds, similar to Instacart, you go into a store and shop for all the items in that store. Usually the stores this applies to are pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens.
In the event that the store doesn't have an item that was ordered, you contact the customer and tell them that the item was not available and ask if they want to replace the item with a similar item or of another brand.
If there is no other items that can replace it, you just say item is unavailable. After you get all the items on the order that you can, you then go to the checkout line (no you can't just go to the counter like other orders) use your red card to pay for the order and proceed to deliver.
Requirements to Complete Shop and Deliver Orders
So as we had eluded to before there are some additional requirements to complete shop and deliver orders as opposed to a normal Doordash delivery, some not a big deal as opposed to others but it is important to talk about.
First and foremost, where as in a normal order where you can run in and out without an issue, you will have to take the time to find each item and put together the order itself, which depending on the size of the order can take a while.
Second, you need a red card to complete the purchase. This should be obvious and honestly a little disappointing because I thought we were on track to rid ourselves from these entirely. Turns out however, we are just repurposing them.
You also might need to scan a code so that store can identify that this particular checkout was a Doordash order, but I have only seen that with CVS personally. Just keep that in mind when checking out that this is a possibility.
How to Make the Most of Shop and Deliver Orders
So while it does take some extra time to do these orders, there are some things you can do that can help you save some time in completing them and make a good amount of money in the process.
The first thing has to do with your standards, which shouldn't be much of an issue if you have any kind of experience with Doordash or any delivery app since it won't be too much of a change.
So with shop and deliver orders I add one additional criteria to my decision to doing a shop and deliver order with Doordash as opposed to normal orders and that would be items in the order. I personally would only do about 3 items per shopping order at most.
The reason I do this is that I want the highest Return on Time (ROT) as possible, because as soon as I am done with one order I can standby to receive another, which can potentially pay so much better than the one I just completed.
The best way to increase your ROT on these orders is to know the store itself. Unlike how Instacart will at least tell you what aisle the item is in so it is easier to find, there is no system at this time within the app to help you find these items.
It is a hard enough time to find what you need in a pharmacy for yourself, let alone for a Doordash order. Although, if you ask a person who works at the place and that employee knows the store enough, they can help you find what you need sometimes.
Another thing about my standards for shop and deliver orders is that I tighten the rope a bit, as far as miles per order and how much money I would make per shop and deliver order.
So I am only willing to do a shop and deliver order for $2+/mile and $10 or more (they will show you higher values for these orders). Anymore than that, I find to be a waste of time and energy.
Benefits of Shop and Deliver Orders
Shop and deliver orders aren't all bad, in fact depending on the time of day there are some benefits of doing them that are pretty awesome if you do it right.
Shop and deliver orders can take a lot of time if there are a lot of items, but if they are only a couple of items, like the way I do it, it shouldn't be too long at all.
That means the time it takes to actually get the order done is dependent on two factors, how quickly you can find the items and how long the cashier takes to get through their line. In fact, if there is a self checkout section, it would be completely on you!
Then they only thing you would have to do is ring yourself out and head out to the customer with effectively no wait time whatsoever.
One other benefit of these orders is that Doordash tends to be more transparent with these orders so people know how much they would get paid to spend time in a store shopping for a customer.
So instead of seeing the order at $8-$8.50 and hope the price jumps, you can pretty much tell how much you will be getting paid per order with these.
Another advantage, if you can call it that, is unlike how you in restaurants you can't always get something for yourself without increasing the wait time, you can get whatever you need while you are there.
Disadvantages of Shop and Deliver Orders
Now where there are some advantages of these shop and deliver orders, there are also a few disadvantages we need to talk about that pertains to all shop and deliver orders.
The first is the increased amount of work per order. Where some orders you simply need to run into the store, grab the meal and run right back out to your car no problem, for this you need to go through the store you are shopping for, find the items, check out and then go.
Not a big deal until you realize that if you kept getting those orders repetitively, you would end up losing time in the long run, and therefore losing money because you are unavailable to take more orders for an extended period of time than normal.
Also, if you go to a store that you are unfamiliar with you can be there for 30 minutes picking out item after item, hoping continuously contacting the customer if there is a change in items and therefore making it harder for you than it has to be.
If you receive a shop and deliver order for more than $10 at $2/mile of distance with less than 3 items and the distance isn't too far, it is worth taking. Anything outside of that, may be too time consuming and will cost you more in opportunity than it is worth.
This is based on my experience and personal opinions on this subject and I am sure there are people out there who would fight me on this and tell me I am wrong, and I am also sure there are people who would take orders like this in a heartbeat.
The one thing I would recommend over anything else is get some experience for yourself and then determine if it is truly worth doing these order in your area, because what works for me may not always work for you.
With that said, thank you so much for taking the time to read this article! I hope you found some value in what you read here and will apply this information in your life and success in your side hustle!