I fell in love with Instacart - but there's a glaring flaw that will keep me from using it regularly
- Instacart makes grocery shopping quick and effortless.
- But tipping Instacart shoppers can become costly on frequent and expensive orders.
- It's a drawback that'll likely keep me from becoming a regular customer.
The speed of the service, the breadth of options, and the accuracy of my order were unparalleled compared to other delivery companies I've tried.
I just tried Instacart, and it was the best delivery grocery service I've ever used.
AdvertisementBut there's one drawback that makes it unlikely that I'll become a regular customer: the cost of the tips.
Here's what happened when I used the service:
To build my order, I downloaded the Instacart app and selected a list of 29 items from Whole Foods.
My order total came to $139.99. Instacart tacked on a $5.99 delivery fee (which is waived if you pay $149 annually for a membership) and a 10% "service fee" of more than $12.
I got an alert 30 minutes later notifying me that an Instacart employee named David was shopping for my groceries. The app updated every time David scanned a new item and added it to my basket.
Then I got a text from David asking how I would like my steaks cut. I loved having the ability to chat with David in real time. None of the other grocery delivery services I've tried have offered this feature.
When items were out of stock, the app let me know what David chose to replace them with. (Instacart also gives shoppers the option to prohibit replacements). I had the opportunity to make changes to those replacements while David was still in the store.
The app also adjusted my bill in real time as David shopped.
When David was done shopping, I got an alert saying that he was on his way to me. I could see him approaching my home on a map within the app.
When David arrived, he brought all the groceries to my doorstep.
I brought them inside and inspected all the items. I found nothing was missing from the order, none of the eggs were broken, and almost all of the produce was in good shape.
I likely would have chosen another sweet potato since this one was missing a chunk, but this won't affect my ability to cook with it.
Overall, I loved my experience with Instacart. As a working parent, I'm constantly looking for ways to save time, so I considered signing up for the $149 annual membership with Instacart Express, which comes with free, unlimited same-day deliveries.
But I changed my mind when I did the math to find out how much I would pay annually in tips. I estimated that I would pay more than $1,000 annually if I tipped about 15% on weekly orders of roughly $150.
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