Tips for New Instacart Users
If you have been stuck at home (and who hasn’t), you might be ready to get some groceries, but that doesn’t mean that you have to drive and shop yourself. Take a walk in the park instead or play with your kids, while Instacart does all the grocery shopping for you.
Instacart is one of the biggest and most widely available services of personal shopping and grocery delivery to your door. They are not free, but you have to take convenience into account, money saved on no impulse buys, and ability to compare prices between different grocery stores.
Read this if you are about to order your first Instacart delivery:
What is Instacart?
The grocery delivery company through personal shoppers has a website and an app, where you can enter your zip code and see if this service is available in your area. Instacart offers to get products from a few grocery stores, pharmacies, and even pet stores for your convenience. Personal shoppers get what you need and stay in touch with you about out stock items and substitutions. Once done, the groceries get delivered to your home contact-free.
How does it work?
Personal shopper gets your shopping list and gets products from it for you. To start this service you have to have an app or sign up online. All you need for registration is your name and email. The app and the website are connected, so you won’t have to enter the info twice. Once you create your account, you will have to enter your zip code. After that you will see a list of available stores to choose from. If you become a yearly member of Instacart Express ($99/year), you will be able to pick multiple stores per order.
Some stores charge a bit extra for Instacart orders, so make sure you read your select store’s pricing policy. Once you do that, go shopping and create your shopping list. You can also shop at savings category and frequently bought products if you use Instacart more than once.
Each product in your cart has instructions tab in case it is out of stock – specific item for substitution, shopper’s decision about the closest substitution, or no substitutions.
Next step is to select delivery time. You can sometimes get your groceries delivered in two hours, depending on the time of the day. The best time to order is after 12 am because then you can pick pretty much any time for delivery. You can choose your time slot for up to 5 days in advance.
To place your order, enter your credit card information and select tip amount. You can change your order right up to the minute your shopper starts working on it. During the shopping process you can still chat with your shopper to add or change something.
You can see your order’s status during shopping and will be receiving emails and messages about delivery times.
What stores does Instacart partner with?
- Sam’s Club
- BJ’s Wholesale
These are just to name a few national retailers, but you can also find various smaller local grocers.
How much does Instacart cost?
Delivery price depends on location and time of the day. It can be $3.99 and it can also be up to $7.99. The prices of products can also be different than you would see in the store, because of upcharge. There is also Instacart service fee of 5-10%. Tips are optional, but you should definitely tip, especially during the coronavirus period. Order minimum is usually $35.
If you like Instacart and want to use if frequently, definitely consider becoming Instacart Express member for $99 per year or $9.99 per month. Members’ orders of $35+ are free and they can shop at multiple stores each time.
What are Instacart pros?
- Convenience is the bigger one - you can shop from your phone or computer without leaving your house.
- Same day delivery – you can get your groceries in as little as two hours or schedule for whenever you want.
- Big selection – you can choose from different stores and compare prices.
What are some cons?
- More expensive – some stores charge extra for Instacart shopping.
- Extra fees – you will pay delivery or membership fee, service fee, and tips. On average people pay $7 more than if they shopped themselves.
Overall Instacart offers great service, unprecedented convenience, and a wide selection of stores. If you value your quality time with family at $7, Instacart is definitely for you!