Instacart Tipping: Do You Tip On Instacart?
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Instacart Tipping: Do You Tip On Instacart?

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Are you tipping on Instacart?

Is it mandatory that you pay more than the recommended tipping rate of 5 percent of the total order amount?

In this post, we will look into the idea of tipping on Instacart.

But to better understand this, we will take a peek at what Instacart workers do and how they make money by providing a service through this grocery delivery app.

What is Instacart?

Grocery shopping; it is an unavoidable chore that we do frequently. It occupies a big part of our day, whether it’s after work or as an interruption to a relaxing weekend.

While it’s a necessary chore, grocery shopping can be an inconvenience if you don’t have the time or means to do it. It’s even problematic if you don’t have a means of transportation or otherwise not physically able to perform the task.

But lucky for us, there’s a way to have our groceries delivered right to our doorstep.

This is where Instacart comes in. It’s a grocery delivery service provider that makes our lives a whole lot easier.

For a minimal fee, you can have all the items you need delivered to you. Simply open the Instacart app and fill your grocery list. No need to drive to the supermarket. This convenient app will do the work for you.

What’s the day-to-day life of an Instacart worker?

Tipping on Instacart is a subject with a lot of gray areas.

Should you tip your Instacart delivery person and, if yes, how much?

To get a good idea of how much should you be tipping on Instacart, let’s take a closer look at the life of an Instacart worker.

What goes on in their usual day?

Instacart workers generally start their shift by logging on to the grocery delivery app. While their hours are generally flexible, they need to be available to provide the service at least two consecutive hours per shift.

During their shift, they wait around until an order comes through. That’s when the “work” begins as they go over the grocery list and get them at the supermarket.

How Much To Tip On Instacart

To keep it short it is recommended that you tip at least 5% of your total bill.

What happens when you send an order to Instacart?

After receiving your grocery delivery order through the app, the Instacart worker will drive his or her vehicle to the appropriate grocery store to complete your request.

He or she will browse the aisles and locate your requested stuff, checking them off one at a time from your grocery list.

Wondering what happens if any of your requested items are not available?

The Instacart worker will look for a comparable alternative or a replacement that’s closest to what you want. Or he or she will contact you should you have an appropriate product in mind.

After checking out and bagging your groceries, the Instacart worker will make their way to your address and bring all your requested items to your door.

Is it an easy job working as an Instacart delivery person?

Not really. It can be hard work too.

Some Instacart app users may request heavy items or in bulk. So that’s a grocery haul right there.

Think endless cases of bottled water, wine, etc. Or several heavy bags of pet food. It can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars of goods too.

So in addition to dealing with heavy cargo, there’s also the risk of incurring heavy loss should the Instacart worker slip or fall along with the haul. You can just imagine broken bottles of wine that cost thousands of dollars.

Plus, you’ll have to consider the environmental factors. Think inclement weather that causes snow-covered steps or slippery sidewalks.

And if that’s not enough, most deliveries are made in urban areas. Imagine carrying all that grocery haul to apartment buildings without elevators.

So yes, being an Instacart delivery person isn’t an easy job.

How much do these Instacart guys get?

With all the heavy work that they do, have you wondered if these Instacart workers get enough for the services they put in?

Well, the reality for these guys is that they are independent contractors. They are not paid by the hour; rather, they only receive a small portion of the fee you pay to Instacart.

Did you know each Instacart order has a delivery fee of $5.99?

And for every unique item you ordered, the Instacart worker only gets 30 cents.

So if you ordered a bag of dog food, that’s 30 cents to the Instacart worker. But even if you ordered 15 bags, it’s still 30 cents.

That’s because he or she only gets 30 cents for every unique item. So in the case of duplicates, there is no additional payment.

While this may make sense if the ordered item is just several pieces of bread, this 30-cent rate becomes unconscionable when the Instacart worker has to carry 15 cases of Coca-Cola up several flights of stairs.

Because that’s only 30 cents still.

That seems unfair, don’t you think?

In this scenario, the Instacart worker isn’t compensated commensurate to the time and effort they put it.

This is why I advocate tipping on Instacart.

These Instacart workers are making your life easier. They do all the work that you’re not doing. The least you can do is give them extra for the convenience they provide; hence, tipping on Instacart.

Here are more reasons for tipping on Instacart.

Not getting paid enough is one of my primary reasons for tipping on Instacart. But there are more bases that warrant why you should give extra to these hardworking individuals.

1. Did you know these Instacart workers are not compensated for their time?

So whether it took them three minutes or three hours to complete one task, their compensation will still follow the structure as provided by Instacart. This means the pay will still be the same.

What’s worse, they will not be getting any payment even if they waited for hours in their car for the next order to come through.

You will also have to think about all the time they will waste while waiting at the back of the grocery line; it gets longer during peak hours.

2. Or what about those bad weather days?

Heavy rains and snow can slow down traffic; or worse, completely stop the commute.

So no matter the road or other conditions, the pay rate stays the same for these Instacart workers.

3. Instacart workers will incur operational expenses too.

They will pay for their own fuel; Instacart will not be reimbursing them that.

So even if they are forced to get the items at a faraway grocery store, the pay remains the same. There are no incentives for driving far distances to complete the customers’ orders.

In addition, these Instacart workers will also incur wear and tear on their vehicles. And yes, you guessed it right. They will also shoulder these expenses with no reimbursement from Instacart.

Yes to tipping on Instacart!

Hopefully, these reasons are good enough to support the idea of tipping on Instacart.

These workers are providing you a service that makes your life a whole lot easier. The least you can do is give back to them by tipping on Instacart.

Tipping on Instacart helps these workers make a living.

These Instacart workers don’t make much from providing services through the grocery delivery app. This is why they tend to rely heavily on tips to make a living.

Are you wondering where your tips go?

If you advocate tipping on Instacart, you’ll be happy to know all of your tips go to the Instacart workers.

But did you know this wasn’t the case before?

There was a point when the company tinkered around with the compensation model as it relates to the tips for its workers. This resulted in ruffling a handful of feathers.

Before, Instacart disallowed the option to tip the workers individually. Instead, the app substituted it with a default service fee of 10 percent for the total amount involved.

All amounts it collected as tips were pooled together and given to all. The idea was to create fair wages across the board and ensure that every worker’s income was not dependent on tipping on Instacart.

On paper, this idea looked good. But when applied in actual practice, the productive Instacart workers didn’t like it. In fact, it enraged them as the new policy caused a drastic drop in their earnings overnight.

Due to the widespread backlash, the company decided to bring back the tipping option. And to boost the earning potential of its workers, Instacart continued the 10 percent service fee.

However, the app set the default tip amount to 0 percent. As a result, it confused a lot of customers who assumed they no longer need to tip their Instacart delivery person since they were already paying the 10 percent service fee.

Fortunately, this issue was fixed.

Now, the default tip is at 5 percent, which can be changed.

Instacart also revamped the process, putting the driver tipping option front and center. This way, the option to give a tip is very apparent for the customers as they complete their order.

In addition, it states there that 100 percent of all the tips absolutely go to the Instacart workers.

For purposes of tipping on Instacart, how to calculate?

Now that we know all of the tips go to your Instacart worker, how do you calculate the appropriate amount?

Let’s take a look at how to determine the ideal tipping on Instacart.

As a general rule, you take the tip from the total amount of products your Instacart delivery person purchased for you. Please note that this amount does not include other fees and charges such as taxes, delivery, and other service fees.

Based on the amount of the purchased products, you multiply it by 5 percent (or higher if you decide to tip more).

Don’t have a calculator with you?

No worries. Instacart will do the math for you.

Can the Instacart delivery people see your tip?

No, they can’t.

So when they get your order, they wouldn’t have any idea that you intend to give them extra later.

They won’t also see your notes before accepting any order. However, once they accept the order, that’s when they can read any notes left. You may indicate there that you intend to leave a tip.

Want to up the tipping on Instacart?

Did your Instacart delivery person do a great job?

Would you like to reward him or her for the excellent service?

Here are a few pointers on tipping on Instacart.

With the default tip amount set at a 5-percent rate, you can change it. The recommended tip is at least 10 to 20 percent, which is the general theme in terms of gratuity. But by all means, you can raise even more.

Why you should advocate tipping on Instacart?

Don’t have enough time to go to the grocery store?

Or are you physically unable to do so?

Instacart is a convenient tool that can make your life a whole lot easier. This grocery delivery app will save you time and effort. So it makes sense to give something back to the people who help you.

Tipping on Instacart is founded on the precepts of fairness and rewarding hard work.

The fact that your Instacart delivery person completed a job that you don’t want to do yourself, then it’s perfectly just and fair that you compensate him or her accordingly. More so, if he or she performed an excellent service.

Pay it forward by tipping on Instacart.

At the end of the day, it seems right that you leave an appropriate tip. Consider the hard work and the time and effort you saved.

The tips these Instacart delivery people get can add up and help them make a good living off the app. It’s a good portion of the money that they can earn.

So it’s a good idea to give. Whether you believe in good karma or just a genuinely nice person. It’s a wonderful way to show your sense of appreciation for the excellent service they do to make your life a whole lot easier.

I mean, isn’t it just fair to reward the nice folks who go the extra mile to make things easy and convenient for you?

In the case of the Instacart delivery peeps, they provide a type of service that affords us more time and effort to ourselves.

While tipping on Instacart isn’t a requirement, it helps put food on the table and cozy home for these delivery guys and gals and their families. So you’re doing a wonderful thing when you do.

McKinzie Bean
McKinzie is a mom of two, and a personal finance enthusiast. She loves teaching other moms how to save money, make money, and take control of their financial situation. She has started five profitable businesses and in college, she double-majored in Financial Planning and Psychology. You may have seen her in publications like Forbes, The US Chamber of Commerce, Yahoo Finance,, The Penny Hoarder, & more.

2 thoughts on “Instacart Tipping: Do You Tip On Instacart?”

  1. I have used Instacart delivery and was able to give a tip. But on pickup orders, there is no place to enter a tip when you go into Rate and Tip. Really frustrating.

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