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Instacart Review: Why This Service may be Better Than a Personal Shopper

Written By: Paul

Last Updated on April 17, 2023

Ever wish you had a personal shopper to take care of your grocery shopping for you? With Instacart grocery delivery service, you have exactly that. The service makes it easy for you to get the groceries you want from your favorite store without interrupting your day.

At this time, more people are looking into grocery delivery services now than ever. Whether you can't leave the house or simply don't have time, you can join the masses of people using Instacart. Using the app or website, all you have to do is place an order and an Instacart shopper will pick up and deliver your items.

If you haven't had groceries delivered before, you may be wondering about the process. Read this Instacart review to find out how the service works and if it's worth trying.

Instacart At A Glance

  • Best Match For: People looking to eliminate grocery shopping from their schedule and use all the perks of an easy-to-use app with super-fast delivery times.
  • Commitment Level: No commitments - Order at any time; Instacart Express membership
  • Availability: Over 5,500 cities across the US and Canada
  • Value: Prices vary significantly based on the store and products you choose; 5% service and a delivery fee for non-members; Reduced service fees and free delivery for orders over $35 with Instacart Express membership
  • Type: A food delivery app with over 40,000 partnering stores

How Instacart Works

Signing up and getting your first delivery is a streamlined experience. First, you'll need to create an account either on the site or on the free app using your name, email address, and a password. Then, you can enter your zip code and view the stores available in your area.

Instacart partners with most regular grocery stores as well as places like CVS and Petco.

The following are some of Instacart's store partners:

  • Sprouts Farmers Market
  • Publix
  • Sam's Club
  • Alsi
  • Costco
  • Walmart
  • Wegmans
  • Target
  • Albertsons
  • and other regional stores

For many stores, the pricing for items is the same as it would be in-person. However, some of them may markup the price when you order groceries online. You can view a store's pricing policy before you select it. After that, you're ready to shop. Keep in mind that you may find more than just grocery stores as shopping options.

If you know what you need, you can search for products or sort by category. If not, feel free to browse and add items to your cart as you see fit. To see the deals of the day, navigate to the "savings" section and find sales and discounts. Once you've used Instacart, you will be able to see your favorite items the next time you shop.

Much like when you go to the store yourself, it's possible that some things you want will be out of stock. Before you checkout, Instacart allows you to select substitution preferences. If something is unavailable, you can opt to:

  • pick a replacement for the item
  • let your shopper choose something similar
  • cancel the item

If a substitutions happen and there is a price difference, you will get a refund (or be charged) for the difference in the replacement items.

Finally, you get to pick your two hour delivery window and find a delivery time that works for you.

You can select a window up to five days in advance. Review your order, select a tip amount, and you're good to go.

If you need to make any last-minute changes, you can do so until right before the shopper hits the store.

What You Can Expect From Delivery

Unless there is a delay, your order should come within your chosen timeframe. You will get a text, email, or phone call when your delivery person is on the way. Your shopper may also message you if they have any questions while picking up your groceries, so it's important to have your phone or computer near you.

Instacart notifies you every step of the way when it comes to your order. You won't just have a stranger knocking at your door with grocery bags at any moment. They send you alerts when you get a shopper, when they arrive at the grocery store, and when they're headed to your house.

Your items arrive in the plastic grocery bags from the store. Typically, they will tie the bags at the top for easy delivery. If any item is incorrect or missing that was on your grocery list, you can contact Instacart customer service and someone will refund you or get you the item.

If you use Instacart often, it may be worth it so join Instacart Express. An Instacart Express membership gets you free delivery on any qualifying order, no extra charges during high-volume times of day, and the opportunity to have more than one store in a single order.

Grocery shopping can get hectic if you have a big family or an upcoming event. With Instacart, you can easily share your shopping list with others so that they can add to the order with no fuss.

It's an easy way for everybody to get what they need without the responsibility falling on one family member to remember all the specifics. If you don't want to deviate from your favorite brand or you only like to buy green bananas, you can put all of that into the system.

Instacart Shoppers

Instacart shoppers can earn money shopping for other people on their own time.

There are two options to work for the company: you can shop and deliver or just be a shopper.

If you want to make deliveries, you will need access to a car, and you will be considered a contract employee.

To sign up, you create an account on the company website, download the app, and agree to a background check.

From there, you can log on whenever you want to work.

When you go to the store, you will have an Instacart payment card to use at checkout. 

As you make income, you'll get payment via check or direct deposit to your bank account.


Instacart is available in all 50 states in the US. They are not in every city, but you should not have an issue if you live in a major city. To find out if you can get the grocery delivery service in your area, enter your zip code online or in the app. The service can deliver to a house, apartment, or business.

Though you get free delivery on your first order, the next ones will have a delivery fee. The delivery fee depends on your location as well as the demand at your delivery time. Using Instacart, you can even get alcohol delivery for a slightly higher service fee.

When you get your order, you will get a message using you to rate your experience. Rating can be a great way to say thanks to your shopper.


Is Instacart a good service?

Yes, Instacart is perfect if you want to skip grocery shopping and get everything delivered to your door. In addition, the fees are reasonable, so you won’t break a budget.

How much does it cost to use Instacart?

When you select a store, you will see an alert if their prices are higher on Instacart than in person. Some stores in your area may add a fee to Instacart orders, while others won't. Generally, the fees you pay depend on your town and your order.

For example, some of the fees you may note include a service fee, a delivery fee, and an alcohol fee. The minimum fee can increase during peak hours.

Your tip is separate from the delivery or service fees. While the tip for your delivery driver is optional, the default amount is 5%. You can change your tips on your credit card up until three days past your delivery.

While you may pay a bit more, there are ways to save while using Instacart. For a membership fee, you can waive the service fee and delivery fee on your order. Additionally, you can view sale items in the app while you make your selection.

Do Instacart shoppers see reviews?

You can leave star ratings and comments for the person who picks up your Instacart order. Shoppers get your reviews after 24 hours of completing your delivery. The reviews are anonymous, but they can see the comments and stars associated with 5-star reviews.

If you have a specific complaint or problem, make sure to contact Instacart customer service.

Who is Instacart for?

This service is perfect for people who need some extra time in their week, who don't like grocery shopping or can't get to the store, and who want to have easier meal prep. With their service, you know exactly what you're getting from the store each week, so it's easier to budget for groceries and plan your meals.

You have full control over your order, so you'll only get what you want and need. If you like to use coupons and seek out in-person deals, however, then you may have a hard time finding those opportunities for savings with Instacart.

You'll have to get used to having someone else pick out your groceries as well. If there are items that you're particular about, it's easy to leave detailed notes and information for the person picking up your ingredients. When issues arise, customer service is only a call or email away.

Is Instacart a ripoff?

No, Instacart is legit. However, you may have instances where you’ll pay a different amount than what’s displayed on the website. But, your shopper should let you know about those changes.

Do Instacart shoppers make good money?

Instacart shoppers can make good money, but it depends on many factors such as location, day of the week, time of the day, order size, and others. Some estimates show that Instacart shoppers can earn between $200 and $500 per week.

Does Instacart have hidden fees?

No, Instacart is transparent about its fees. Just make sure to go over all items in your total to understand what you are paying for.

What company owns Instacart?

Instacart is owned by Maplebear Inc., located in San Francisco, California.

Do Instacart drivers know if you tip?

Yes, the Instacart app allows drivers to see your tip. Many drivers choose orders based on that criterion alone.

Can Instacart leave groceries on the porch?

Yes, you can choose a contactless delivery, and you won’t have any contact with your Instacart shopper.

Instacart Costs

Prices vary significantly based on the store and products you choose. There is a 5% service and a delivery fee for non-members, while Instacart Express membership costs $9.99 per month and brings you reduced service fees and free delivery for orders over $35.

Food for Thought

Overall, using Instacart is much more convenient than taking time out of your day to go to the grocery store. You can get your order as fast as 20 minutes from the time you place it, depending on the size. It's also possible to schedule deliveries to arrive as soon as you get home from work, so you can mark that off your busy to-do list.

instacart orders

Instacart is available in many areas. Depending on where you live, you should be able to find a lot of store options. The best part is that with store partners like Bed Bath and Beyond and Vitamin Shoppe, you can shop for more than just produce and chicken.

Another cool thing about Instacart is that you have full control of everything. Some similar companies are tricky because they may give you anything for whatever reason. With this service, your shopper won't replace anything without your approval, and they will report any problems to you in real time.

Instacart grocery delivery is most compatible with people who want to order groceries from anywhere and have them arrive within a specific time.

Instacart's grocery delivery services


  • Same-day grocery delivery and advance delivery options
  • Easy to use and to communicate with your delivery person
  • The service is available all over the country
  • No delivery charge on your first order

Hi, I'm Paul. Welcome to my website! I, along with my cronies, are leveraging our years of working in the food industry to review meal and drink delivery services. We review. You eat happily ever after.

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