How many times have you downloaded a new app or signed up for a new service and found that you used it only once, or worse — never used it at all?
For us, it’s happened plenty.
Phone screens quickly become graveyards for lost and forgotten apps that showed so much promise at first.
According to ComScore, smartphone users spend more than 75 percent of their time in their top three mobile apps and nearly 90 percent in their top five apps.
Real estate on your phone’s home screen is precious and nobody wants to waste their time with useless apps and services, which leads us to our topic of discussion today — is Instacart legit?
Will you find value in the grocery delivery service, or will it become a one-and-done service that you end up deleting a few months down the road?
Today we’ll go over nine questions you might have before signing up for the service so you can determine if it’s worth using.
- 1. What Is Instacart?
- 2. How Does Instacart Work?
- 3. What Are the Benefits of Using Instacart?
- 4. What Are Some of the Downsides?
- 5. How Much Does Instacart Cost?
- 6. Do I Tip My Instacart Driver?
- 7. How Can I Save Money?
- 8. Where Can I Download the App?
- 9. What If I Have a Problem With My Order?
- You Should Seriously Consider Instacart
1. What Is Instacart?
Instacart is an on-demand grocery delivery service that simplifies the grocery shopping experience by allowing you to order your groceries online and have them delivered right to your door by a personal shopper.
Instacart is like the Uber for grocery delivery.
No longer do you have to wait in line at grocery stores.
Instead, full-service shoppers will pick up your groceries and deliver them to wherever you’re at.
2. How Does Instacart Work?
After signing up for Instacart, you can start organizing your grocery list.
As you pick all of your items and add them to your grocery list, you can also leave specific notes and instructions for your shopper.
Once you’ve searched the app for all the items you need, you can place your order to be delivered to your home in as soon as one hour or later in the day.
You can also schedule your delivery to be made up to six days away.
When your delivery time arrives, an independent contractor — or Instacart Shopper — will pick up all your items from the local grocery store, check out, and deliver them to wherever you’re at.
Throughout the delivery process, you’ll receive notifications telling you when your order has begun, when it’s en route to your home, and when it has arrived.
Additionally, instead of placing a delivery order, you can also place a pick-up order.
This is especially helpful if you’re in a rush home from work and you’re capable of picking up your items from the store.
Pick-up orders are not available at every store, so make sure you confirm within the app before ordering.
3. What Are the Benefits of Using Instacart?
There are plenty of benefits to using Instacart.
Instacart is an incredibly convenient service that saves you time, energy, and in some cases — money.
One of the biggest perks you’ll immediately realize is that you will no longer have to waste your time driving to the local grocery store, searching the store for your grocery items, and then waiting in a long check-out line before fighting traffic on your way home.
This is especially beneficial for those who live in an urban area, like New York City or Chicago, and don’t own a vehicle.
Grocery shopping is even more inconvenient as you’ll need to grab an Uber or hop on the subway to navigate to the nearest Whole Foods.
And we haven’t even mentioned lugging all your groceries back home and up a few flights of stairs.
Lastly, the Instacart shopping app is a useful tool for finding all of the current coupons and deals that are happening at your local store.
While these might not be life-changing savings, you can at least make up for some of the fees you pay to get your groceries delivered.
4. What Are Some of the Downsides?
One of the most popular grievances we hear is that people just love doing their own grocery shopping.
Call it what you will — pure enjoyment, therapeutic, or pickiness — some people like taking their grocery shopping into their own hands.
Along the same line, in some cases, you’ll need to rely on your Instacart Shopper to pick out your items and decide which ones are best.
This really comes into play when you order a lot of produce and leave it up to your Shopper to find the ripest tomatoes and not-so-ripe bananas (so they’ll last longer).
You can always leave notes for your Shopper, but to a certain extent, you’re at their mercy.
Additionally, some people don’t think Instacart is worth it and don’t want to pay to use the service.
Delivery fees and service fees can quickly add up, especially if you don’t sign up for Instacart Express — the premium Instacart membership.
5. How Much Does Instacart Cost?
Instacart charges customers a delivery fee and service fee for using the service.
The default delivery fee is $3.99 and the service fee is 5 percent of your order.
In regards to the delivery fee, this is largely dependent on where you’re ordering from, how soon you’d like your order delivered, and whether or not you are signed up for Instacart Express.
For example, while the default fee is $3.99, the delivery charge on the screenshot above is $9.99 for one-hour delivery and $7.99 for all other times.
This is quite a bit more than the default charge that Instacart advertises.
This means that delivery charges might be different across cities like Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Houston, and Los Angeles.
If you’d like more information on the cost breakdown, check out our guide to what Instacart costs.
6. Do I Tip My Instacart Driver?
You should always consider tipping your delivery person, especially if you think they did a great job.
Instacart employees get to keep 100 percent of their tips and consider it a large chunk of their wages.
The default tip is set at 5 percent, but you can always increase your percentage or dollar amount tip that you’d like to give.
Also, if things hit the fan and you have troubles with your shopper (highly unlikely), then you can always go back into the app and change the tip amount after the delivery was completed.
If you still have some questions regarding tipping, head to our article on Instacart tipping etiquette.
7. How Can I Save Money?
There are a few different ways you can save money using Instacart.
Let’s take a look at each.
Instacart Express is a premium membership that gives you free delivery on all orders over $35 and exempts you from service fees on all orders.
You will also be able to place orders from multiple stores at once and will never be charged premiums for deliveries during periods of high demand.
The cost of Instacart Express is $99 per year or $9.99 per month to access all of these benefits.
If you order from Instacart quite often, the amount of money saved adds up in just a few short months.
If you’d like to know more, head to our Instacart Express overview.
Coupons on the App
As you browse through the app creating your grocery list, you’ll notice there are a ton of deals and coupons sprinkled throughout.
It’s in your best interest to order any of these items when applicable if you’d like to save money on your orders.
Refer a Friend
Every time you refer a friend to use Instacart, you’ll receive $10 that you can use on your next order.
The only thing your friend must do is place one order.
If interested, you can find referral code information here.
Promo codes are a great way to get money off your first order.
You can also receive free delivery if it’s your first time using Instacart by applying a promo code.
To get your hands on one, make sure to check out our guide to Instacart promo codes.
8. Where Can I Download the App?
Getting set up on Instacart is quick and easy.
The Instacart app can be downloaded for iOS on the App Store or for Android on Google Play.
If you’d like to sign up, you can either download one of the apps above or head to the Instacart homepage to begin the sign-up process.
9. What If I Have a Problem With My Order?
You can always reach out to Instacart to correct any issues you may be having.
This could include changing items that are on your current order, resolving problems with previous orders, or dealing with account issues.
If you’d like to contact Instacart customer support, you can use any of the following channels:
- Email: [email protected]
- Phone Number: 1-888-246-7822
- Customer support page
- Contact page
If you’d like more information, you can head to our guide to navigating Instacart customer support.
You Should Seriously Consider Instacart
If you find that grocery shopping is one of the bigger inconveniences of your weekly routine, then you should seriously consider using the Instacart service.
It will save you time, energy, and hassle by taking a hefty chore off your weekly list.
And if you’re put off by the delivery fees and service fees that might add up, then give the Instacart Express trial membership a shot.
It’s completely free and it wouldn’t hurt to take the service for a test run before committing.
At the end of the day, if you find value in Instacart’s convenience, then of course, Instacart is legit.