Instacart Costs Explained: Delivery, Service, and Additional Fees

Instacart Costs Explained Delivery Service and Additional Fees 1

So you’re wondering how Instacart works? I have always used Amazon fresh to buy my groceries, but since Amazon decided to charge a delivery fee for each order, I had to find other alternatives to Amazon fresh to continue buying my daily products and food.

I looked to Instacart as an alternative. I feel like making my research. Its cost, delivery fee, and how it works will be answered in the following content.

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A quick look at what Instacart does

Instacart is an online delivery platform that allows customers to order groceries and household essentials from a variety of local retailers online, and have them delivered straight to their doorstep by a personal shopper.

Customers can access the Instacart platform through the website or mobile app and can browse in different stores, add items to a virtual cart, provide payment, and choose a delivery time. The personal shoppers then receive the orders, shop for the items requested, and deliver them to the customer’s specified location.

Instacart offers a convenient way to do grocery shopping without leaving home, saving time and allowing customers to access various products all in one place.

How much does Instacart cost?

Instacart’s Express membership (Instacart+) costs $99 per year and includes free shipping on all orders over $35.

Since one of the benefits of Instacart+ is that you can get 5% cash back on pick up order, that is to say, as long as your monthly purchase amount exceeds $200, you can completely earn Instacart+ subscription fees within a year. This calculation is simple, right?

The following are some of the benefits of Instacart+, and you can view the details of the full benefits here.

  • Free delivery on orders of $35 or more
  • No service fee charges
  • No busy pricing, ever
  • Order from multiple stores in one order
  • One-hour delivery for no extra charge

If you sign up for Instacart+ now, you can use it for free for 14 days. If you’re already in the trial period and don’t want to continue purchasing Instacart+, their website also provides detailed unsubscribe instructions.

Instacarts Free Delivery 5 Easy Ways to Get Groceries

Want to buy Instacart+ cheaper?

There doesn’t seem to be a way to directly save on buying Instacart+. But you can quickly save money on Instacart+ through various shopping tips. Continue reading will be presented in detail below.

How much are Instacart fees?

Now that you know the specific fees and benefits of Instacart+, are there any other hidden costs when using Instacart to deliver groceries? Who are these hidden fees paid to?

Of course, none of these charges can be shown in great detail before you buy your groceries, and you will only be charged a lot after ordering. Learn as much as you can about each fee type, fees, and where your money goes before you decide to start using Instacart:

  • Service fee-5%

This fee covers the cost of operating the Instacart platform. It is calculated as a percentage of the order total, usually around 5%. This fee is charged by Instacart Inc. Service charges will not be paid to the driver.

  • Tipping-5%-10%

Instacart also encourages customers to tip their shoppers as a show of appreciation for their service. Tips are optional, but they are appreciated and can range from 5% to 20% of the total order and are paid directly to the personal shopper.

  • Delivery fee-$3.99

If you don’t subscribe to Instacart+, you’ll be charged $3.99 per order for delivery. And after you order Instacart+, you will get free shipping on orders over $35.

  • Busy Pricing

During Instacart’s busy hours, you may be charged an extra fee called a busy fee. According to Instacart’s explanation, it is an additional fee to reduce the pressure of busy periods.

It also motivates personal shoppers to work actively. If you don’t know if it’s Instacart’s busy time when you buy something, you just need to check if there is a busy fee in the final order settlement.

Buyers who purchased Instacart+ will not be charged this fee. This is a benefit included with Instacart+.

The exact cost of using Instacart will depend on various factors such as order size, location, delivery time, additional fees, and any promotional codes or discounts that may apply. You must check your order carefully during the checkout process of each order to avoid unnecessary charges.

The following are the shipping costs that may be incurred:

  • Heavy Order Fee: $5 – $15+

Instacart orders over 50 total pounds will be charged a heavy order fee

  • Alcohol Service Fee: $2 – $12+

Instacart orders containing alcohol are charged an additional fee and require ID at checkout and upon drop-off.

  • Long-Distance Fee: Varies

If your delivery address is outside the delivery range (usually 30 minutes or more away), you will be charged for mileage.

Instacart Costs Explained Delivery Service and Additional Fees 1

How much should I tip Instacart?

One of the fees mentioned above is a tipping fee for personal shoppers, so what is going on with this fee? The tip fee is mentioned in Instacart’s help section. This is generally a 5% tip on the total order. If your order is $35-40, the minimum tip fee is $2.

If your Costco order is fulfilled by Instacart’s same-day delivery service, it will default to a 10% tip.

Personal shoppers can see in their dashboard whether the order was tipped properly before accepting your order. A reasonable tip can get your order fulfilled faster.

If your shopper completes the delivery perfectly, you can add their tip within 14 days of the order as your sincere thank you.

7 Ways to Reduce Instacart Costs

In my shopping experience and doing price comparisons, Instacart prices are 10% – 30% higher than store shelf prices. Unless you are very familiar with the retail price of an item, there is no way to immediately know how much Instacart is adding to the price.

As long as you use Instacart to shop, you can’t avoid the hidden 10%-30% price increase. What can we do as consumers to save money and keep our grocery budget in check?

▷Choose a smaller delivery window: By choosing a smaller delivery window, you can reduce the cost of your Instacart order. Instacart offers delivery windows ranging from 2 hours to 5 days, and a smaller window often means a lower fee.

▷Opt for curbside pickup: Many grocery stores offer curbside pickup options that can be arranged through the Instacart app. This option can save on delivery fees and help you cut the cost of your Instacart order.

▷Consider a membership: Instacart offers a membership for frequent users that can help reduce costs. The paid membership offers free delivery on orders over $35 and can save on service fees.

▷Use coupons and discounts: Look for discounts and coupons for Instacart on coupon sites, social media, or directly in your email inbox. Many grocery stores also offer promotional codes to use when checking out on orders placed through Instacart.

▷Buy in bulk: Buying in bulk can lead to substantial savings, and Instacart allows bulk purchases of items. You can stock up on essentials that have long shelf-life items and avoid additional fees on multiple orders.

▷Plan meals ahead of time: Planning your meals ahead of time will help you shop smarter and avoid errors or multiple reorders. It can also help you avoid impulse purchases that add to the overall cost of your Instacart order.

▷Avoid peak times: Instacart typically charges higher fees during peak delivery hours, so scheduling your delivery outside of those hours can help cut down on these costs.

Instacart Costs Explained Delivery Service and Additional Fees 2

How to Get Instacart Promo Codes?

If you are using Instacart for the first time, the most direct way to get coupons is to sign up and accept the email subscription as a new user. You can get $10-30 worth of coupons on your first order. But if you are already a user and looking for ways to get more effective coupons, here are a few discounts to check out:

1.Join their email newsletter to receive exclusive promotions and codes.

2.Check their social media pages for promotional offers and codes.

3.Keep an eye out for seasonal sales and events, such as Cyber Monday or Black Friday, when promo codes may be released.

4.Use a website or app that provides extra cashback, such as Topcashback or Honey to earn extra cashback.

5. Refer a friend and get $10 off your next order once they make their first purchase.

6.Try linking your PayPal account for $35 off your next Instacart order

Overall, there are tons of ways to get Instacart promo codes, and it’s always worth checking out new promotions to save money on your next grocery delivery. I prefer to get coupons using a browser extension that automatically finds valid coupons.

Related reading:

How does honey automatically find valid coupons?

Final Thoughts

When it comes to Instacart’s cost, it’s important to consider the convenience and time-saving benefits that the service provides. While the cost of goods and delivery fees may seem high, it can be worth it for those who don’t have the time or ability to go grocery shopping in person.

It’s also worth noting that Instacart offers various subscription options, such as the Instacart Express membership, which can help lower costs and provide additional benefits like free delivery and reduced service fees.

Ultimately, whether or not Instacart is worth the cost depends on the individual’s budget and priorities. For those who value convenience and time-saving, the service can be a helpful resource for grocery shopping.

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