Does Instacart Charge More For Groceries? (Quick Facts)


Does Instacart Charge More For Groceries

Sometimes going out to get your groceries and other necessities can be a pain. Maybe you don’t want to brave the harsh weather, or you’re sick or injured and aren’t able to leave your home. So, you may have come across Instacart and are wondering if it’s worth the extra costs to get your items delivered right to your home — and you’re also likely wondering if you’ll pay more for your groceries by using this service!

Some or all grocery prices may be marked up for sale on Instacart — this depends entirely on the retailers you’re buying from and the region you live in.

Instacart is convenient, safe, and easy to use. Your items will be delivered to you in as little as an hour — or whenever is convenient for you —and you’ll be able to track your shopper’s progress and view any substitutions they have had to make with your order. You also have the option to chat with them regarding any changes or other things you want to communicate.

Most stores will even allow you to add loyalty cards to the platform so you can still earn rewards from the stores you shop at! But you likely still have a few questions about Instacart and their pricing so we have found out the answers to all the frequently asked questions for you.

How Much Does It Cost To Use Instacart?

Instacart delivery fees start at $3.99 USD with a minimum $35 USD order. Additional charges can occasionally be added for heavy items and faster delivery. Taxes, bottle deposits, service fees, sugar taxes, and bagging fees may also be added to the total cost depending on the jurisdiction you are ordering in.

Instacart Express members get free delivery on orders of $35 USD or more. This offer is valid per retailer.

Is There A Monthly Fee For Instacart?

If you’re an occasional Instacart user there is no charge other than the delivery fee and additional charges listed above. But if you use Instacart regularly you may consider getting an Instacart Express membership which you can pay for monthly (a $9.99 USD fee) or annually ($99 USD fee).

With Instacart Express you get FREE delivery on orders over $35 USD, reduced service fees, and no extra fees for deliveries at busy times of the day.

Are Instacart Prices Higher Than Costco?

For most items, Costco prices will be higher on Instacart than they would be in the store. This is because Costco gets a lot of their money through customer memberships and when people order through Instacart they’re losing out on these membership costs.

How Much Extra Does Instacart Cost?

As you can see using Instacart will cost you more than just the price of groceries. But exactly how much extra you’ll be paying for the convenience and ease of using Instacart depends entirely on a few factors:

Stores Shopped At And Items Bought. As mentioned above, some retailers — especially stores like Costco which have monthly membership fees —may mark up some or all of their prices on Instacart to make up for in-store losses. So, depending on which stores you’re buying from your items may come to more than if you were to shop in the store yourself. You can view the pricing policy of each retailer under the pricing link of each retailer.

Delivery Charges. Unless you are an Instacart Express member — which comes with a monthly or annual fee — you’ll have to pay a minimum $3.95 USD delivery charge on every order.

Taxes And Additional Fees. Taxes and bottle deposits are charged on every order — these will vary due to the costs in your state. And depending on the region and/or store you’re shopping in sugar taxes and bagging fees could be added to your order, as well.

Service Fee. Instacart does charge a service fee on top of every order. This service fee covers Instacart’s operating fees and customer support as well as insurance, background checks, and other fees associated with the employment of the Instacart shoppers.

This service fee starts at 5% of your order and is based on the subtotal of your cart — not including alcohol, which comes with an additional $2 to $10 USD fee.

Instacart Express members get a reduced service fee. Their fee starts at only 1.9% of your order and they also receive a reduced alcohol service fee (ranging from $.80 to $4 USD).

You will be able to see what the service fee you are being charged on your order before you complete your purchase — however, you should be aware that these charges may change slightly before you get billed. These changes can be due to substitutions in your order or being out of an item and your subtotal changing before delivery. The card you are paying with will be temporarily charged with the cost you’re given at check out time but your final cost will be reflected on your digital receipt and your credit card statement when your order is complete and delivered.

Tipping. Tipping is optional but highly encouraged to show appreciation to your shopper for their service. 100% of your tipOpens in a new tab. goes directly to the shopper who delivered your order. Tips can be made online at the time you place your order and can be altered for up to 24 hours after your delivery has been completed to reflect the service levels of your shopper.

Are Costco And Instacart Partners?

Costco and Instacart entered into a partnership in 2016 and Costco now offer Instacart services at all their U.S. clubs. This partnership has now been extended to Canada and includes most Costco stores in Canada as well.

Which Stores Use Instacart?

There are over 300 grocery and other retailers across the country which use Instacart to offer easy, fast delivery to their national and regional customers. Enter your city and/or zip code on the Instacart site to find out which of your favorite local stores offer Instacart delivery or pickup options. Stores which use Instacart may vary by region but some of the most popular ones that offer services across the country include:

  • Costco
  • Sam’s Club
  • Albertsons
  • CVS
  • Loblaw
  • Kroger
  • Publix
  • Sprouts
  • Wegmans

Does Instacart Mark Up Costco Prices?

Instacart does not mark up any prices at Costco or any other store! Instacart’s retail partners are the ones responsible for including the pricing of the items they offeron Instacart. And quite a few stores do mark these prices up at least a little bit —especially in some bigger regions across the country. And as mentioned before, Costco and many other retailers do these markups as a way to make up for other losses. So, paying a little extra for groceries at Costco may still be worth the cost and inconvenience of getting a Costco membership.

How Much Does Instacart Curbside Pickup Cost?

If you’re able to get to your local store but have the time to shop or don’t feel like going inside, Instacart also offers curbside pickup at most of the locations of the stores they partner with. When you place your order online, you’ll see if your local store(s) offers pickup, and when you choose the pickup location you can choose a convenient time to complete your easy curbside pickup.

There is a minimum order cost of $35 USD for curbside pickup and Instacart Express members are never charged for curbside pickup. Non-Instacart Express members are charged a lower rate than delivery for curbside pickup — typically ranging from free to $4.99 USD depending on the retailer and how quickly they want their order. Other fees such as service fees, bottle charges, heavy items, baggage fees, and sugar taxes may also be added to your curbside order depending on your region.

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