SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Dulce Maria-Espinosa yanks a grocery cart and is on a mission to fill her latest order as a personal shopper.
“One cilantro, two Roma tomatoes,” she reads from her shopping list, mentally mapping her route at a grocery store in Hillcrest. Maria has been a personal shopper for about 2 and half years.
“The experience of shopping,” she says, “of trying something I’ve never done before. And really liking it — and loving it!”
Maria had been a housekeeper and personal assistant for decades, until she says a friend suggested she might like shopping for a living.
“It’s pretty easy, it’s an app-based company — it gives you the orders. You just go to the stores and do the shopping and bring it to the customer.”
Dulce works with Shipt, a same-day personal shopping and delivery company with more than 300,000 independent shoppers in some 5,000 cities. Customer orders appear on the company’s app and their independent shoppers decide if they want to handle the order.
“If I want to take it, I’ll take it,” said Maria. “If not, you know, I can just leave it. But usually I will take."
ABC 10News tagged along as Maria efficiently zipped through an order, knowing just where to go very each item. The goal is to make deliveries within an hour.
Maria says, “Once you know the stores. Once you know where everything is, it becomes easier.”
Maria’s efficiency has helped her reach an impressive benchmark, surpassing 5,000 orders so far. She says the most she’s done in a week was 87, but she usually completes 55 to 60.
Maria also has a perfect on-time record which has helped her earn a “preferred shopper” designation with many of her clients. She’s proud of the designation and proud of the work she’s doing for her customers.
“I have variety, you know. I have senior citizens, I have people who can’t really shop because they’re limited. I’m helping them,” Maria said.
And she’s helping herself. Maria says she’s making about 30 percent more than she did at housekeeping and having more fun. Her advice to those thinking of giving personal shopping a try.
“Go for it. Don’t be afraid to do it. It becomes quite easy. You get used to it. Get used to the stores. And you will become fast.”
Shipt says their independent shoppers average $25 to $35 an hour, and have access to “Shoppers Perks,” which include health insurance programs.
Learn more at Shipt.com