Mar 16, 2022
Updated Mar 16, 2022
Delivery apps and services have made a huge rise in popularity over the last two years due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. One such popular delivery app that partners with many retail stores is Instacart. If you haven't used a delivery app yet, signing up and getting started is easy!
How to Sign Up for Instacart
Signing up for Instacart is as simple as downloading the mobile app to your Android or iPhone, and filling out the required credentials such as email, password, delivery address, and payment info.
How to Place an Order with Instacart
- Find your item. Search for specific items or browse by department. Instacart will also make recommendations based on what you’ve bought before or what’s popular in your area.
- Add items to your cart. Spotted something you like? Add it to your cart by selecting +Add or Add to Cart. Adjust the item quantity by using the + or - buttons. You can add items to your cart without signing up for an Instacart account but you will need an account to check out.
- Review your cart. You can check what’s already in your cart by selecting the green Cart icon. Look for the next available delivery time and how much you may need to add to reach any order minimums. You can also view your item total, adjust quantities, or remove items from your cart.
- Confirm your order details. When you’re ready to check out, go to your cart and select the green Go to Checkout button. You may need to enter your email address and select Create Account if you don’t have an Instacart account yet. If you have items in your cart from more than one store, you must choose a separate delivery window for each store. You can schedule delivery for as fast as an hour or for later in the day or week to fit your schedule. Select between—
- A specific delivery window.
- The Fast & Flexible delivery option, which puts you on standby for the next available shopper within the estimated delivery window.
- Priority delivery, which typically arrives in 60 minutes or less from when you place the order depending on what area you live in.
- Place your order. Add a delivery address and payment information, then place your order.
Instacart Partner Stores
Instacart has many partner stores on both a local and a national level so chances are, there will be quite a few stores on the Instacart app in your area. Some of the more popular options are:
- Stop And Shop
- BJ’s Wholesale
- Sam’s Club
To see which stores are available near you, use the Instacart locations page to search for partner stores in your area.
While Instacart is available at a variety of stores and many claim you can order most anything through the app, there are some items that are not available for delivery. These items include:
- Live animals, including feeder animals for pets
- Non-alcoholic age-restricted products like tobacco and over-the-counter items containing nicotine
- Items containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, phenylpropanolamine, and, in some states, dextromethorphan
- Holiday trees
- Lottery Tickets
- Gift cards
- Weapons and weapon supplies
- Dry ice
- Hazmat chemicals
- Helium tanks
If you are looking for something that is not included in one of the above categories and are having trouble finding the items try using the search box in the app. A helpful tip is to search for 1 keyword instead of multiple, for example, searching for watermelon instead of watermelon slices.
Instacart's Charges and Fees
While it would be wonderful if we could get our favorite essentials delivered to our door for no extra fee, unfortunately, that is not how InstaCart (or other delivery apps) work. Instacart has a number of "fees" associated with using their service so you will pay a premium for your groceries or goods in the end. Here is a breakdown of Instacart's fees:
- Service Fee. Instacart states that their service fee is to help Instacart run the HR portion of their work, including background tests and insuring drivers. The service fee is anywhere from 5-10% of your order total.
- Delivery Fee. The delivery fee on Instacart ranges from $3.99 to $12.99. You also have the option of signing up for an annual membership for $99 a year to get free delivery for orders over $35.
- The Goods Markup. One hidden cost of using the Instacart app is the markup of goods within the app as compared to the prices in the store. Instacart lets each of their partner stores determine their own prices within the app and while some stores may not markup their goods, most markup their items by 15-20%! This can add a significant amount to your grocery bill!
- Tips. As with any service, tips for delivery personnel are expected. Most Instacart users tip around 5-10%.
While the fees for Instacart definitely add up, the cost in time you will save may be worth the extra expense. If you are thinking of signing up for Instacart, now is a great time as they are offering 2 weeks of free delivery to all new users!