How to Start a Personal Grocery Shopping Business

Imagine this: It's 6:00 pm and Jane, a mother of three, is driving home, exhausted from a full day at the office. After picking up her children from the sitter, she remembers the pantry is empty, the refrigerator is barren, and they've already eaten out four times this week. Fearfully, Jane pulls into the grocery store parking lot and circles for five minutes trying to find a parking space. She drags the kids out of the car. As she walks up and down each crowded grocery aisle, her kids toss junk food into the cart left and right.

For some people, grocery shopping is a dreaded chore.
For some people, grocery shopping is a dreaded chore.

Jane doesn't have a list, so there's no rhyme or reason as to what she puts in the cart. Regardless, it fills up with food quickly, and just when it feels like she's approaching the finish line, Jane sees the long lines at the checkout. Thirty minutes and $300 later, she's loading the kids and the groceries into the car. When Jane and the kids finally get home, it's almost 9:00 pm, and she's so worn out that she throws in the towel and hits the speed dial for the local pizza joint.

This scenario may seem a bit exaggerated, but it highlights the reasons why most people view grocery shopping as a hated household chore. The lines are long, the parking lot is crowded, it takes forever, it's expensive, and it's just not a fun way to spend your precious free time. The stress created by a trip to the grocery store can be eliminated by hiring a personal grocery shopper. Personal grocery shoppers offer an invaluable service to people who are short on time.

If you are looking for a way to earn some extra money, personal grocery shopping might be a great option for you. Unlike other small business ventures, the start-up costs for this endeavor are minimal. The biggest investment required is your time. Personal grocery shopping can be a full time job or a supplement to current income. The earning potential for a personal grocery shopper really depends on the number of clients you serve and how much time you are willing to devote to the success and growth of the business. Fill the most orders you can in the least amount of time to optimize your earnings.

A Quick Poll

How does grocery shopping make you feel?

  • Fantastic-I love a great deal!
  • Dreadful-I wish someone else could do it for me!
  • Indifferent-I have to eat, so I shop.
  • Stressed out-If only I could shop alone!
See results without voting

Getting Started

To get your personal grocery shopping business up and running, you'll need customers. A good marketing plan is essential. Create attractive flyers that highlight the services you provide. Include information on your flyers about how orders can be placed, contact information, and fees. Make yourself available via both phone and email. Potential clients may have a stronger preference toward one channel of communication versus the other.

Be strategic about where you distribute flyers. Seek out neighborhoods where most families have two working parents. Find neighborhoods populated by senior citizens who may not be able to shop for themselves anymore. Post flyers on bulletin boards at libraries, community recreation centers, and public swimming pools. Meet with grocery store managers and ask if you can post flyers on bulletin boards in their stores. Develop a professional relationship with store managers. They may be willing to hand out flyers to customers in exchange for doing a large volume of shopping at their particular store.

Targeting women is a productive strategy, since the female in most households does the majority of the grocery shopping and meal preparation. Place flyers on cars in school parking lots, or other places that employ mostly women. Posting flyers at day care centers might be a worthwhile plan for marketing your services. Parents who use day care facilities usually work full time and are more likely to sign up for a grocery shopping service. Email a copy of your flyer to friends and family, and ask them to spread the word about your new business. Word of mouth can be a powerful marketing tool.

Marketing is really the only start-up cost, as long as you have a reliable vehicle that can accommodate a large number of groceries. If you don't already have one, invest in a large ice chest to keep food cold if you plan on delivering multiple orders in one trip.

Sample Flyer

This flyer is eye catching and includes pertinent information about the personal grocery shopping business
This flyer is eyecatching and includes pertinent information about the personal grocery shopping business

Placing Orders

Try to keep order placement simple. There are many possibilities for how orders can be placed. Telephone, email, and fax are all good options. A standardized grocery shopping list might be helpful once you establish a large number of customers. Arrange the list according to where items are in the store to make shopping time more efficient.

Fees for Service

Like order placement, there are many different ways to set up a fee structure. If you want to keep things simple, charge a flat rate for each trip. For example, you could advertise a $40 shopping fee, which includes two hours of shopping, delivery, and mileage (cost of groceries not included). The downside to charging this way is that it will not appeal to customers with small orders. No one is going to pay $40 to have $20 worth of groceries delivered.

Arranging your rates according to the size of the grocery order may draw in more customers. For instance, you could charge $20 for grocery orders totaling up to $150, $30 for grocery orders totaling between $150 and $300, and 15% of the total for orders over $300. Once again, these fees could include shopping, delivery, and mileage. Other possibilities include charging separately for mileage, an extra fee for picking up coupons before shopping, or additional fees for shopping at more than one store.

Once your business is soaring, offer referral bonuses and other incentives to keep your customers coming back. Send out a weekly newsletter with outstanding grocery deals for the current week. Include recipes that use items that are on sale. Most of all, remember that one of a kind customer service is the key to a successful personal shopping business.

Comments 151 comments

RainbowRecognizer profile image

RainbowRecognizer 8 years ago from Midwest

This is awesome! I'm a mother of three and I'd love this sometimes and I also would not mind doing it for someone else. Great idea, thanks :o)

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

Yes, it's a great opportunity for moms who want to earn a little extra money. You can even take your kids with you if you need to. Thanks for your comment!

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I agree with RainbowRecognizer and up her one: This idea is *totally* awesome.

I am a single person, and I HATE GROCERY SHOPPING! I have never seen an ad in my area for a personal grocery shopper, but I will be looking for one now.

Shawna, your idea is fantastic whether you are a consumer or an entrepreneur. There's something in it for everyone. Plus, you did a great job with the business strategy, including the sample flyer, which shows the possibilities.

For anyone who is interested in pursuing this business, I'd like to offer a weekly menu plan that I created for those who cook for one. This plan can be modified for any number of people. I can see this plan as a great tool for entrepreneurs who would like to build this business. Let your imagination soar about how you would use it.

You can find this plan here on HubPages:

Both thumbs up on this one. What a great Hub.

Best regards, Sally.

talford profile image

talford 8 years ago from U.S.A.

Great idea. i was just kicking this around with my wife the other day.


shoesfact1 8 years ago

Hi shawna,

Nice Hub, in this recession, i woun't mind doing it for some one. Good Hub? Are you from Kansas City?

sharon66 profile image

sharon66 8 years ago from bunbury

it is a good idea well done,why didn't you do it??? and would be interesting to see how meny people give it a go. spose we will never know. think people will actually save money this way

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

Sharon-I think people can definitely save money this way simply because it eliminates impulse buys. If you only buy what's on the shopper's list, there won't be any added expenses like candy bars and sodas at the check out stand.

Shoesfact1-Nope, I've never even been to Kansas!

Sally-Thanks for the positive feedback. It's very encouraging to an uncertain new hubber like myself.

psioni profile image

psioni 8 years ago from Toronto

I like the suggested flyer- if I saw this in a store, I'd be tempted.

Wahine profile image

Wahine 8 years ago from California

Wonderful article!

sharon66 profile image

sharon66 8 years ago from bunbury

so true, then you could go shopping every once in a while for yourself and actually enjoy it. maybe buy a chocolate .

acne_expert profile image

acne_expert 8 years ago from Washington

Awesome article, and very helpful too!

Thank you so much.

epictruth profile image

epictruth 8 years ago from Frisco

Amazing hub! Thanks a ton for the info. :)

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

Psioni-Thanks for the compliment on the flyer. I had fun making it.

I appreciate all the positive feedback everyone!

ib 8 years ago

great article.

this is so good an idea, its life saving

rethansmith 8 years ago

Great advice! The sample flyer was good as well. I might have to suggest this to a few friends...

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

ib-I'm glad I could provide some helpful information to you. Do you plan on trying this idea?

rethansmith-Thanks for the comment...if you suggest this idea to friends, send them a link to my hub too :)

wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors

This idea is really great. It beats house cleaning and looks like a better income opportunity.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

Yes, I'd definitely prefer shopping for a living over cleaning!

RGraf profile image

RGraf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

Great article! Need to think about doing this!

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

RGraf-Thanks for reading. If you try starting a personal shopping business, let me know how it goes!

sherlynavia 7 years ago from United States

Grocery shopping business sounds great!

nancydodds1 profile image

nancydodds1 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Good stuff. Nice work and good hub. Thanks for sharing this information.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Sherlynavia-thanks for reading my hub!

nancydodds1-I'm glad you enjoyed this information. 

Rhelena profile image

Rhelena 7 years ago

What a great idea! I think I'm goin to try this...I'm in a small town, but I'm sure I can make it work.


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks for reading Rhelena. Be sure to update me with the success of your business!

49er profile image

49er 7 years ago from USA

Wow, this is a really awesome idea. There is grocery store chain in my area that has curbside pickup, where you can order online and then pick it up later, but I don't think anyone does the full shopping and delivery for you.

I think if you coupled this with a nice online store, that had pictures and images, allowing an individual to easily create a shopping list, this could have a lot of potential. You could even go so far as using the clients MVP card or whatever, so they still get points or milk coupons. Like Sally Trove said, having pre-made menu plans could add a lot of value as well.

This idea has a lot of potential.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks, 49er. I thought long and hard about starting a shopping business myself. I had everything all planned out, and that's why I was able to write a hub about it in such detail. At the time, I really hated my "real job" and was trying to think of alternatives. Since then I've found a different job that I like 100 times more, and there's no way I could earn the same amount of money doing a shopping business. I still love the idea though, and I will keep it in my back pocket in case I ever need to generate additional income for my family.

I agree that an online store with pictures, menus, shopping lists, etc. would make the business incredible. Being able to place orders online would be awesome too. Thanks for all your feedback!

Jules 7 years ago

Like this idea as an alternative to "regular" jobs. One issue though...You would pay for the groceries yourself and then collect the money plus fee from the client afterwards..okay what if the client orders $300 worth of items? I do not have an extra $300 laying around. How would that work out?

Thanks so much!

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Jules. You may be able to ask for the payment up front if you know approximately how much the total will come to. I don't know how willing customers would be to pay up front. Otherwise you could just start with smaller orders and when you have enough money in your cash pool, then begin taking larger orders. Hope this helps!

Debra 7 years ago

I am definetly going to try this. I made my flyer and even have a website now with email. Where should I post the flyers? I also made a separate flyer geared more towards the elderly. Would love some more advise!!

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Great Debra! I would post the flyers on bulletin boards at grocery stores, and you could even ask the manager of your local store if he'll allow them to be handed out at the register. Daycare centers would also be a great place to post because working moms and dads are likely to be short on time to grocery shop. You can also post them at your church, your kids' school, local parks, community centers, community mailboxes, etc. Anywhere you can think of! The main thing is to get the word out. Word of mouth is incredibly powerful, so use that too. Email everyone you know and ask them to spread the word. For your flyer geared towards the elderly, find a senior center and post it there. Good luck! Make sure to let me know how it goes!

Debra 7 years ago

Thanks Shawna!! I will let you know how it goes, thanks for the luck and the great suggestions!

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

One other thought I had was to visit other local businesses and ask if you can post flyers there. In return, you could put their flyers in the grocery bags when you deliver the food. Just an idea!

multimastery 7 years ago

Great Hub! I know a couple who started a grocery store business.  I haven't seen them in a whilw but I hope they're doing well with it.  One thing about this business, as you say, it doesn't take a lot of money at all to start up.  Me personally, I would get the grocery shopping money upfront from clients, instead of afterwards.  This way you can avoid getting stiffed!

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Getting the money up front would be ideal, but it would be hard to know exactly how much to charge without buying the food first. Asking for a deposit might work well. Thanks for reading, multimastery!

ontheway profile image

ontheway 7 years ago

How To Start a Personal Grocery Shopping Business

very good, I support you, come on , welcome to my hub!

someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

I would try to find customers that all lived in the same general area say an apartment and /or neighborhood .That would make it easier on you and more convienent for your customers especially if you had to make multiple trips to the store or several different stores all in the same general area.

As far as money,I would only take customers who are able to pay cash if you can't trust them to write checks that are good.As for charges ,you might consider getting a website that has that kind of service available for your customers to well as for the "terms" of your service  For example ; any returned merchandise might require them to pay a small additional  fee if it is a perishable item if your willing to go that route.Trial and error will tell the tale.Unless you know already by experience what to expect.

I had another thought ,if you have a membership at cosco or one of those bulk item stores you may be able to give your customers a deal on a few things that they normally wouldn't be able to get at the supermarket.

Local Coupons 7 years ago

Personal grocery shoppers?

That's a great idea, but it may take more energy to carry all the groceries around. It's also a great idea to help other people finding the local coupons they want, so they can clip and shop on their own.

There are many local coupon queens and coupn kings out there to help local residents save money shopping smarter. Check out the local TV station first. They may already have a list of personal shopper assistants available for you, if you don't have time to shop locally on your own.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Someonewhoknows-Thanks for your comment. I agree that finding people that live in the same area would be helpful.

Local Coupons-I don't think carrying the groceries around would be too exhausting. I am a die hard couponer, so I agree with what you're saying about saving money using coupons. I know a lot of people aren't willing to put forth the effort to clip and plan their shopping trips though. So why not capitalize on those who would rather have someone else shop for them? I enjoy grocery shopping because of all the incredible deals I find with coupons. So I guess that's why I thought this would be a good business idea. Thanks for reading!

price comparison 7 years ago

O M G. This is a very intersting Hub. Verythoughtful and innovative.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks for reading PC!

Gwen P profile image

Gwen P 7 years ago from The Heartland

Great hub. I might mention this to my dd who just got married, in case babysitting doesn't work out for her. I'm glad you mentioned charging by the price of the order or size though. Because one local store we have shops and delivers groceries of any amount for a flat rate of only $10. But one thing, they only take online orders. My mom who is homebound, needs groceries delivered and does not have the internet, so I take her orders by phone and place them online. I babysit full time so I use their gro. delivery often myself, as I don't want to have to take the kids with me or have my own kids (teens) babysit them unless it's for a quick trip. They have things going on, too! LOL! Anyway, nice hub. Thanks for explaining how someone would do this.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks for reading, Gwen. Wow, only charging $10 no matter the size of the order sounds like a steal for the customer! If I were running a shopping business though, I don't think $10 would be worth the time it takes to shop for and deliver a larger order. Glad you enjoyed this hub :)

April 7 years ago

Wow thank you for the ideas. I was thinking PayPal if needed for charge. I was wondering about food stamp cards though (EBT) any ideas on how to make that work?

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

I don't know much about paypal, but it sounds like it would be a good way to deal with the payment part of things. I don't have any experience with food stamps either. Sorry I'm not much help! Good luck to you :)

Kristen 7 years ago

Hi Shawna! Thank you sooo much for the fabuous info! My friend and I are wanting to start our own grocery shopping business and this is just the info we were looking for :) I love the flier you made and the grocery list you made too- VERY proffesional! I was wondering if you could email me the originals so I could personalize them. Just let me know. Thanks!!

KEckerle profile image

KEckerle 7 years ago from Currently near Surprise, AZ

I did this for a number of years in Denver about 20 years ago. It worked well and once I guilt a clientele it was great -- especially in bad weather. As with everything, you must run it professionally and you must deliver what you promise!

Great post.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Kristen-unfortunately when I created those documents I was using my old laptop that has since died. I don't think I have them anymore :( I used Microsoft publisher to create the flier, so if you have access to that program, it's really easy to use and I'm sure you could create one of your own. Good luck with your business! I'd love to hear how it goes.

Thanks for reading, KEckerle. It's nice to hear that you ran this type of business successfully.

Cassidy 7 years ago

If a client calls in to place an order, should i giv them the prices thats on my price list because i mite not know the price the shop is asking? Customers would like to know the total prices of what they'v ordered before hand.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Cassidy- You could quote them the store's regular price of the item, and then if it turns out to be on sale for less, they'll be charged less and might be really pleased. Does that make sense? Thanks for reading!

dovechocolatier profile image

dovechocolatier 6 years ago from Tennessee

That is a good Idea for older people who have no way to Shop. They would I'm sure like a service like that.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks dovechocolatier. I live in an area with a huge population of retirees, and I'm sure you're right. Thanks for reading!

stlramesh profile image

stlramesh 6 years ago from Calgary, Canada

Simple and superb idea. Easily executable when you try to serve the right crowd.

jimbo9 profile image

jimbo9 6 years ago from Kettering, Northants. UK


Thank you for a very well researched business idea. It is a viable and practical idea and would work well in almost any place it is set up. Many thanks for a great idea.

Every success.

conciergeatyourservice 6 years ago

Hi Shawna,

It's funny that you put this article out here, because I actually started this business about a month ago, because I was looking for a fairly easy busy to start up with less capital to start and right now I'm targeting grocery stores with a proposal of partnership. This is a great idea and it works for everyone, especially during those nasty days when you just really don't want to go out of the house or your just to ill. I'll let you know how it goes.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

Good luck with your shopping business. Keep me posted on your success!

adrienne2 profile image

adrienne2 6 years ago from Atlanta

Shawna, this is a very creative way for busy moms or anyone looking to start their on business. Great article!

Larissa 6 years ago

It's a good idea but I am worry how to pick correctly all needed items to avoid any mistake, maybe I should prepare a list of 1 supermarket to make it easier to the person who has orders. and (for example:if someone is asking fruits and vegetables, in our country there's lot of levels of same vegetable/fruit).

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks Adrienne!

Larissa-shopping only at one store would definitely simplify things. You would need to ask customers ahead of time if they prefer organic vs. conventional produce. Is that what you mean?

tohru rikku 6 years ago

There is portable interac machines. I am not sure how much the cost though. But if you are running large customer base then it may work out in the end.

MrsMike 6 years ago

I am a military wife and a new mother who has been looking for something to implement our income!! I tried babysitting, but honestly do not like dividing my time away from my own new baby to someone elses child!! And because we move every year or so it's hard to find a good part time job. I have been thinking about maybe doing something like this! I am still trying to think over what to charge and how to collect though. I am a college graduate with a business degree and was working as a store manager before my son was born, and it has been hard living on only half our original income!!

MrsMike 6 years ago

Also, what would you suggest be the best type of schedule... tell people the days and times you are available to shop or shop according to people's schedules. I don't feel that you would make much of a profit shopping according to their schedules, but will you use your client numbers if you only use your own schedule?

And maybe have a set rate for delivery within a certain radius, and anything past that be so many dollars per mile more?

euqinod 6 years ago

you really helped me out, i thank you so very much and i will not forget about you. to God be the glory!

loretha 6 years ago

I have had this idea since I was in college but not to shop myself but to set up as a business with multiple shoppers working for me. Just want tho thank you for all the information. So much of it is totally in line with my thoughts and ideas. I know this will work and I am in the process of setting it up. I was searching to see if anyone had actually been successful with the idea. I have found several businesses set up similarly but not exactly like the idea you have here and the one I hold dear in my mind. I have picked up several pointers from you and thanks again.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

Glad I could help!

Richard  6 years ago

i thought of starting up a personal grocery business in March 2010. i did it for a while with only 2 clients. Unfortunately for reasons best known to them, they stopped placing their orders. im currently struggling to hook new clients. its a great business and can really become full time employment. Kindly provide advise

hipchecker6 6 years ago

I've also been thinking about setting up a grocery delivery service. The one thing that concerns me is not knowing the demand for such a service. I haven't been able to find a business in my area (major metropolitan area) that does this and I'm wondering why. I find it hard to believe nobody else has tried this. For those of you who have started a business, have you seen a lot of interest? Thanks.

Deborah J. Graham 6 years ago

I have been thinking about this since 1989 I think its a fantastic idea.

Robyn 6 years ago

My mother is currently starting one of these businesses with me and my brother helping out. If you are in the North East Florida area, there will soon be a Facebook page with information you will need to know before going to our website. It isn't currently up yet, but should be up and fully detailed in the next two weeks.

On a more personal note, I appreciate this site for helping my mom do what she has always wanted to do, work for herself! She is an amazing money saver and knows all the great places to shop. She can help someone who maybe just doesn't have time to do the research she has done to save the same way she does. (It has also given me, a college freshman in desperate need of money, a job! THANK YOU!!!!)

Sarah 6 years ago

As for payment,I would suggest the clients purchase prepaid gift or credit cards that can be used and returned after each shopping trip or cash that can be used then change returned with the receipt after each trip.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

Prepaid cards are a great idea, Sarah. Thanks for your feedback!

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

Robyn-I'm so glad this information was helpful. Sounds like your mom is an experienced saver when it comes to grocery shopping. I hope her business is a success!

rebekah 6 years ago

do you need a business license or a DBA to do this sort of thing? I'll have no employers and working from home...

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

Rebekah-Honestly I don't know. Maybe someone else can answer that by posting a comment here.

Wife Who Saves 6 years ago

I enjoyed your hub. Unfortunately, in my area the grocery stores deliver any size order to your front door for $20. Pick-up curbside at the store is $5. Place your order online and choose a pick-up or delivery time. It would probably work in a smaller community without grocery stores across the street from one another.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

I agree this type of business would do better in certain markets than others. There is one grocery store in my area that delivers, but I don't know of any that do curbside pickup. Thanks for your comment!

carols 6 years ago

This is a great idea but what is the potential income for a business like this. Do I need a car?

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

Unless you live in a city with an outstanding public transportation system, I don't see how this could be done without a car. The income potential really depends. You could do this on the side to supplement your primary income or try to make it a full time job. Good luck!

Jenny 6 years ago

I actually came across your Hub while researching this idea. I plugged the idea into a search engine and came across this page. So far, it has been the most helpful article on the topic. I had some good ideas but you (and the others leaving comments) just added a lot more! I am a 31-year-old widow looking for something to give me some extra income but, more importantly, a place to show my creativity and to help others. I already started a business (glass and metal engraving) with my mother a few years back and it's still doing well. Unfortunately, most of our customers order items for their wedding and that doesn't happen a lot over the winter months. Anyway, thank you so much! I hope to read more posts from others that have tried this idea. If I decide to do it, myself, I'll let you know how it goes! I live in a fairly small town in WV and I think it would just BOOM here!

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

Jenny-Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you found this article helpful. Good luck with the business and let me know how it goes! Also post any other tips or ideas that you have to share with others thinking about this type of endeavor. :)

Kim 6 years ago

Great article, thanks Shawna. Just did a rough calculation and it doesn't seem feasable to do this full time, which is such a pit - if I shop for one or two clients a day, I will only be earning half of what I do now. Any recommendations for those wanting to do this full time?

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

Kim-thanks for reading! I think you would have to shop for a much larger number of customers per day to make it a full time job. One or two wouldn't cut it for most people. You could start small as a secondary income source, and gradually add clients until it seems large enough to become your primary means of income. Just my two cents!

meri 6 years ago

I also came across your Hub while researching this idea. Great and very helpful information. I lost my job this summer so I was thinking of something to do for extra cash. I have printed flayers already. I'll definitely keep you post it. Thank you one more time

Sarah 5 years ago

I am in love with this idea! I had thought of offering it along with the local coupon deals as a service for those who don't have time to go to 5 different stores to get the best deal each week. I googled how to start & came up with your page. Thanks for all the info! Do you mind if I use your flyer as sort of a template for mine? I would re-make it, but it could be pretty similar.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Sure, Sarah! Glad I could help :) Good luck!

cgarwriter 5 years ago

What happens if you buy the food, receive the check and it bounces? Just curious.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 5 years ago from Arizona Author

cgarwriter- Thanks for your comment. A cash only policy would prevent that problem. That's the best solution that comes to mind.

Gnatryit 5 years ago

Hey Shawna, I googled grocery shoppers and found you, I see you started this 2 years ago and it's still got momentum! Well I was looking for ideas and like yours the best! Thanks for the advice and can I use your template as well?? Anyways I'm a stay at home mom and have some time in the afternoon so why not get some cash huh?? Here's to hoping it'll all work out! Scared out of my mind!

Monica  5 years ago

Hi Shawna,

Do you need any approval from the grocery stores to purchase their groceries to sell and deliver to others?

Thank you!

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skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

I believe you are a little angel offering divine intervention for opportunity that is very likely and possible. God is so Good how he uses one of His to help many. Praise GOD. SO many side jobs or quick jobs have a down side I do not see any with this. Get the cash up front make it worth your time never sell yourself short. God thinks we are worth good pay!!

It is a tuff job and many people would easily come up with the bucks to be free of this resposibility. Thank You for caring and sharing. Are you an angel? I think so.

Love n Hugs DO come for a visit to my hubs when you are not shopping lol

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shawna.wilson 5 years ago from Arizona Author


I wouldn't think so. Say you owned a vending machine, and you bought all the snacks to fill it at the grocery store. You wouldn't need approval for that. How is this any different? I'm just thinking it through! Plus, you're really just delivering, not buying and re-selling, right? Hope this helps :)


Thank you for such sweet comments!

nasinda 5 years ago

this is absolute for some of us in the third world, i had the chance to travel other parts of the world and saw how amazing things work, i want to start a grocery store and i need all the help i can get pls anyone email for advices,and strategy on how to start and grow in this biz.

Brian Muniz 5 years ago

We provide that service in the South Florida area. If any one would be interested. Please contact us at

Nutritionrx 5 years ago

Thanks for the great article.

shuan76 5 years ago

I am very interested in starting this business. I'd like to create a website that includes store items from the grocery stores I will shop from so the customers can pay online. I want the site to include prices as well. I want customers to be able to pay online, so all i have to do is shop and deliver. has anyone done this?

Jill 5 years ago

This is an awesome Idea that I have just started looking into doing for a side job.

I use tons of coupons and I was thinking I'd not only get the peoples lists but I would offer the sales I found and if I saved them $10-$20 with using my coupons I would charge an additional $5. If I saved them $20 and beyond I would get an additional $10

I have many receipts to prove my shopping record, plus if my coupons did save them more then 10 my clients will be happy to save some money and have the convenience of me shopping and lugging the groceries inside is a plus.

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shawna.wilson 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Shuan-I know there is a grocery store in my area that offers that service. You place your order online, and they deliver it to your house. I am not sure what they charge for delivery. I suppose you'd need to know a thing or two about web design and programming, etc. Good luck!

Jill-I'm a coupon queen too, and I've often wondered how I could put that hobby to use for other people. Sounds like you have a great idea brewing! Good luck and have fun!

Tina 5 years ago

This is a great idea, and I’m getting excited about planning and executing this idea into a business plan for myself. There is obviously a market and thanks for sharing, but, I am curious to know Why you gave this idea away ?. (Im glad you did : ) )..Obviously not for selfish reasons, by the all the replies, you had nothing to lose or gain by sharing. Thanks so much again.

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shawna.wilson 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Tina-I'm glad you found this information helpful! I wrote the article after seriously thinking about starting my own shopping business. I love to grocery shop and I thought it would be fun to have a business doing something I enjoy :) I just earn a lot more money at my "real job" as a nurse, so it didn't make a whole lot of sense for me. Glad I can share it with others though!

Lydia Drummond 5 years ago

thanks so much for this. I am keen to try it out. I have actually been toying with the idea for sometime and found your site. Later on I would like to expand to owning a website and organizing some of the orders online. I live in Zimbabwe and I've noticed that people in general just don't have the time like they used to to grocery shop, its become such a chore. I hate it but I reckon that if I make a business of it, I'll enjoy it. I'm keen to liaise with the supermarkets and see if they'll give me a percentage of their margin if I bring more business to them thus increasing my profit too. I guess the minimum spending would be $100 or I was thinking of going to businesses and having individuals group their orders... will do more research and start it up. will update you on how it goes. thanks

Laydee 5 years ago

Hi , thank you for great article . It's been really helpful .

Troy 5 years ago

would u mind if i used that flyer? slightly modified?

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shawna.wilson 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Troy-go ahead!

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shawna.wilson 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks laydee!

Eric Ayesu-Boapeah 5 years ago

Many thanks for this info. This may help me to set up grocery shopping in my area in UK.

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shawna.wilson 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Good luck Eric!

Troy 5 years ago

I saw something like this on one of those police shows think it was ncis and thought that would be a good idea.

then saw your article and everyone who i have said to that im going to see how successful it is has said it sounds like a great idea.

so fingers crossed just need to build up a cash float.

Troy 5 years ago

One question i have is to do with the shopping list there is so many products on the shelves at the supermarket what is the best way to know what the customer wants?.

i started putting together a spreadsheet of all the products from the supermarket but that will take years.

any suggestions on how to simplify it?

Tanya Shores 5 years ago

I would love to become a personal shopper. I love going to the grocery store and using coupons to save money. I love the idea of being able to do this for someone who doesn't like going to the grocery store or doesn't have time to go. I live in Winston-Salem, NC and am very interested in getting started with providing this service to people. My email is if interested in contacting me.

Ditto 5 years ago

Hey! I'm from the uk and searched more information about starting a personal shopper for the alday chores that are just time consuming my worry though is that all our major supermarkets are doing the delivery service which you place online only charge £5 per order and delivery can't seem to compete with that but it's a fab idea and I'm glad you posted this on here it's gave me advice. I'm stuck on the pay structure now.. Any ideas? Thank you x

Troy 5 years ago

@ Ditto

im starting over here in australia and all our supermarkets do home delivery yes for $5.00 upwards

How im doing it is im advertising that i will jump supermarkets to get all the specials most people would only do 1 online shop or get a delivery from 1 supermarket so they wouldent really save anything

I offer to grab all the specials from the 3 different supermarkets and buy my fruit and veg from a independent fruit barn as they are way cheaper

the thing is when a customer goes to the supermarket they buy everything in the 1 place they wont go to the independants to save money as people are lazy they will just get it in the 1 place and pay more.

I charge $30.00 a delivery and am aimig for upto 20 a day but the way i do it the customer will save $30 upwards on there shopping bill.

more info wanted?

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aprilking 5 years ago from United States

Thats an excellent Idea. Thanks for the resourceful information

Traci Bell 5 years ago

This is an excellent article. I was wondering how much I would need to charge and the way you put this makes it very clear and reasonable. Great read! 4 years ago

im loving the advice you just took a truck load of pressure off my shoulders. I recently thiught of the idea when i say my boses grocery list on the fridge 2 weeks after it had been put up, and i ran the idea past my parents and now im planning on starting with my newly found clients. Thanx a lot.

A.Li 4 years ago

Great idea. But will you need a business license for this?

NISHANTHAN 4 years ago

thank u

Sister's Shopping 4 years ago

We're getting ready to launch our shopping service and live in Md. Would you happen to know of anything that might need to be done to cover us legally in providing this service? We're accepting checks or cash. My husband is just concerned that if we have a disgruntled customer that they might try to sue us in some way. Have you every known of anyone experiencing this. And your information has been a tremendous help. Thanks

A Brown 4 years ago

Do you recommend the shopping paying for items at the store/s, and then getting reimbursed? Or, should they pick up their customers means of payment before shopping?

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mfriedstore 4 years ago from 176 Flushing Avenue Brooklyn , New York

Wow, this is great. I've been trying to put up my own grocery store until I found your hub. It is an inspirational hub especially to those who are planning to put up their own business. I thank you for this. Marketing strategies is important to gather more customers in your store yet by giving them comfort while shopping.

lmlitz 4 years ago

My husband and I are starting up a grocery delivery service in Huntsville Alabama. I am interested in knowing the demand for this type of business also.

resources8 4 years ago


Thanks so much for the info. I was wondering what would be a good idea in regards to how to schedule business hours? Also, how to plan the expected delivery date after the groceries have been ordered.

veronica 4 years ago

Would it be recommended for the shopper to pay for the items at the store first and then get reimbursed? Do you think one may open themselves up to being taken advantage of or do you think people would be honorable in paying after receiving groceries, since it is groceries (aka 'something they need'...)?

KC 4 years ago

I was looking for a home based business myself and got introduced to an incredible opportunity with the home grocery pick up and delivery business. If you'd like information let me know.

alicia_g 4 years ago

I am moving in a week and I will be looking for a job so I am really considering doing this and seeing how it pans out. My concern though is...I don't want to get somewhere with the groceries and have the person "Oh, shoot, my husband has the checkbook" or "I'm sorry I don't have the money to pay you right now". Then I am stuck with these groceries and the bill. Any suggestions on how to avoid this?

rock730 4 years ago

a store in my town that have online grocery list shopping with price are on their web page but they don't shop and delivery how can i go about this please tell me something

consumer 4 years ago

could someone answer troy's question

One question i have is to do with the shopping list there is so many products on the shelves at the supermarket what is the best way to know what the customer wants?.

i started putting together a spreadsheet of all the products from the supermarket but that will take years.

any suggestions on how to simplify it?

Stella 4 years ago

This is a great idea. I did find a company that sells potential business owners and those interested in starting their own grocery shopping and delivery biz the use of their trademarked name and all of the marketing materials needed and their website is great and they offer their trademarked name to anyone qualified. Their website is

Lisa 4 years ago

I am very interested in being a personal shopper. I think this would be a great start/business. However, I am concerned about purchasing the groceries before collecting the money and fees. Do you have any suggestions?

dream wever 4 years ago

Hi ya all ! Its really funny, i been wanting to start a grocery delivery business for about a year now but never really got started with it, and i had been thinking more about pursuing the idea here lately, and last night i had a dream that if i started the business it would go over really well !! So this morning when i woke up i grabbed me a cup of coffee and hit the search engine on how to start a grocery delivery business and WALA !! up came this site ! WOW, what a motivator ! i love it !! it has given me that extra "PUSH" and Desire that i needed to get in gear and get this going, THANKS to EVERYONE for starting this hub and commenting, and giving GREAT IDEAS and insite on how to start and pursue, and be successful in this type of business !! LOTS of great minds and ideas out here ! You all are awesome !! keep up the great posts and ideas, people like myself and others are putting your thoughts and ideas, and concerns to use, Thanks Again !! Ill let you all know how everything works out and the ups and downs as i go along with this business...Best wishes and Best of luck to all of you out there in whatever it is you pursue... or not lol...Keep the posts coming !! Ill be checking in to see what more useful advice you all are posting ! God Bless !!!

Geminibr 4 years ago

These are great ideas. I have a question to anyone that can help. If you are on a budget yourself and barely getting by, but you have gotten 3 clients to shop for, how do you pay for their groceries, if each is about 150.00 each. I mean if a person only has 185.00 in their checking then how do they pay for 450.00 worth of groceries on the same day? Please advise.

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shawna.wilson 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Kirk, glad to hear your business is starting out on the right foot! How are you handling the payments? Many people ask about paying up front vs. getting reimbursed.

kdbusiness 3 years ago

I have three payment options - Cash - Internet - Credit cards and they pay when I deliver the groceries to their residents, so it would be reimbursed, I am using a Hypercom M4230-GPRS unit, portable their door. If it is a customer I have shopped for in the past, then if needed I will accept a cheque from them.

stella 3 years ago

I know this company We Shop and Deliver and they are doing great !

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wegoshopbiz 3 years ago from United States

Shawna, your article is much appreciated and it certainly raises the awareness of not only the availability of online grocery shopping but also the potential of this type of service being a profitable venture. You are owed a great deal of thanks, if not more, because your article has brought to us many Associate Owners, people who have started their own grocery shopping and delivery business with us. We are ( ) and have grown to become the largest, nationally expanding, full-service, personalized grocery shopping & delivery company in the nation simply because of our deployment of the first available online and telephone ordering grocery delivery service supported by a network of Independent Associate Owners. We have been in business since 1999 and have been offering like minded individuals the opportunity to start their own grocery shopping and delivery business since 2002. Again, we appreciate your article and praise you for spreading the word!

pirlo 3 years ago

now i have a job to do ....thank you soooo much..God bless you

saty1395 3 years ago

Now we can save our time instead of shopping in the outside food stores. Spending 2 to 3 hours for buying our daily needs like grocery. gives lots of discount and provide free home delivery.

No need to standing in the long ques for billing, you can pay cash on delivery or simply swipe the Debit/credit card.

suzy 3 years ago

I am from charlotte nc I was thinking about doin that than I saw the article now I really want to go for it contact at for some pointer. Thx

3 years ago

can you buy alcohol as a personal shopper?

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shawna.wilson 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I don't see why not as long as you're over the legal age.

Melanie 3 years ago

Can we pick up and deliver alcohol as a personal shopper in CA?

Krlatina 2 years ago

Thank you very much For all this information, I just quit my job because I don't make enoug to pay for my 3 years old daycare and after care for my 10 years old.... So this will be a wanderful idea be a personal shoper I live in NJ is a lot of seniors arroun I will love to help them and make some money too!! Thanks I love the flyer too!!

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waynegm 21 months ago from California

now a days you do not have to be a savvy internet users to shop online and have all kinds of grocery items delivered in HOURS.. There are a few good websites that get you the best prices too. , is another and many more. Best of luck.....

Shauna77 16 months ago

Hi Shawna,

I've been thinking about doing a business like this for a few years now and I think I'm ready to give it a go. I love the flyer you made. Is it ok if I use it -slightly modified?

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 15 months ago from Arizona Author

Shauna77, feel free to use the flyer :) Good luck!

Shonnica 11 months ago

I have been wanting to start my own business grocery shopping for years. I work in a grocery store and I see the elderly and working families exhausted from grocery shopping. I am actually sitting down writing the vision right now. Thanks so much, it was very helpful.

Jeannie 10 months ago

How would you purchase the groceries? Do you have a separate debit/credit card set up for just shopping for your business?

This information is so helpful! I'm so glad I found this post!

Amy Busby 10 months ago

hi love the flyer that you've created. How can I get a copy where I can edit with my name and number???

Amy busby 10 months ago

how can I use the flyer you created so I can edit it and put my name and number

stephanie 5 months ago

Im considering do this as well but also extend my services to people out in remote parts of Alaska where they can get a lot of stuff.. Would I need a business license for this??

gh 4 months ago

hello i want to know if i need any permission or license to give my flyers

13 days ago

Any suggestions on once I begin to branch out. As of right customers will reimburse me. Does anyone have any suggestions on how future employees can pay for groceries. Can't rely on employees having enough funds on hand to make multiple purchases a day.

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