In the era of digital convenience, grocery delivery services like Instacart have become increasingly popular. Instacart, in particular, has gained a significant user base due to its easy-to-use platform and partnerships with a wide range of retailers. However, one aspect that often leaves users puzzled is the pricing structure of Instacart. This article aims to demystify how Instacart’s pricing works, covering everything from delivery fees to service charges, and even tips for your shopper.

Understanding Instacart’s Pricing Model

Instacart’s pricing model is a combination of several components. These include the cost of the groceries, a delivery fee, a service fee, and an optional tip for the shopper. The total cost can also be influenced by factors such as the time of delivery and the specific retailer you’re shopping from.

Cost of Groceries

Instacart partners with various retailers, and the prices of items on the platform are set by these retailers. Some retailers choose to match their in-store prices on Instacart, while others may charge a premium for the convenience of delivery. It’s always a good idea to compare prices before placing an order.

Delivery Fees

Instacart charges a delivery fee for each order, which varies based on the order size and delivery time. For orders of $35 or more, the delivery fee typically ranges from $3.99 to $7.99, while smaller orders may have higher delivery fees. Peak times may also incur additional “Busy Pricing” delivery fees.

Service Fees

Apart from the delivery fee, Instacart also charges a service fee, which is a percentage of your total order cost. This fee is not a tip and goes directly to Instacart. The service fee helps cover various operational costs, including shopper operations, insurance, and customer support.

Membership Option: Instacart Express

For frequent users, Instacart offers a membership program called Instacart Express. For a monthly or annual fee, Instacart Express members enjoy free delivery on orders over $35, reduced service fees, and no additional charges during peak delivery hours. This can be a cost-effective option for those who use the service regularly.

Tipping Your Shopper

Tipping is optional on Instacart, but it’s a great way to show appreciation for your shopper’s service. The tip goes directly to the shopper, and you can adjust the amount at checkout or even after delivery. Instacart suggests a default tip of 5%, but you can modify this as per your preference.

Additional Costs

There may be additional costs associated with your Instacart order. For example, if you request a special item or if an item needs to be replaced, this could affect the final cost. Additionally, certain retailers may have minimum order requirements for delivery.

In conclusion, understanding Instacart’s pricing structure can help you make more informed decisions and potentially save money on your grocery deliveries. Remember to consider all the components of the total cost, including grocery prices, delivery and service fees, and any potential additional costs. And don’t forget, if you’re a frequent user, the Instacart Express membership could offer significant savings.


Alex likes to write about anything related to technology, marketing and gadgets. He sometimes reviews the latest tech and also writes on other blogs.