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How To Save Money & Time With Instacart Pickup Orders

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Key Takeaways

  • Instacart Pickup allows for online grocery shopping with self-collection.
  • Check store’s “pickup available,” shop, and schedule pickup time in the app.
  • Pickup eliminates delivery fees; small basket fee applies for orders under $35.
  • Ideal for saving time and avoiding delivery fees; consider traffic and store hours.

What Is Instacart Pickup?

Instacart pickup is an excellent service that allows customers to shop for groceries online and pick up what they bought later. What’s great about such a service is its convenience.

Using this service, you get to skip the hassle of shopping and pick up your order without even leaving the car.

Through the Instacart app, you can browse a wide selection of merchandise and add them to your cart. Upon checkout, you schedule a pickup time window. The pickup time can range from same-day orders to up to many days in advance.

That said, the availability of the Instacart pickup service can vary depending on your location. It can also change according to the retailer partnering with the service.

Yet, in most cases, the service is available in areas where the app operates and has partnerships with grocery stores.

Pickup vs. Delivery: Understanding the Differences

Instacart offers both pickup and delivery options. Yet, what makes one choice different from the other?

Principally, each choice has its advantages. It all depends on a person’s preferences and needs.

Here’s a quick comparison between the Instacart pickup service and the traditional delivery option.

1. Convenience

Instacart pickup provides convenience for customers who prefer to collect their groceries quickly.

This way, they don’t have to wait for a specific time window. It also eliminates the need to be home to receive the groceries.

However, what’s fantastic about delivery for certain people is having someone bring the groceries to their doorstep. Such an option saves time and effort. It’s also excellent for individuals with mobility constraints.

2. Costs

Instacart pickup can be more cost-effective than delivery. Unlike the delivery option, you don’t have to pay a service fee to pick up your order. Yet, you need to pay a pickup fee that’s slightly lower than the delivery fees.

3. Time Slots Availability

Pickup offers more flexibility in selecting time slots, allowing users to make the most of their busy schedules. As for deliveries, the time slots can be limited, especially during peak hours.

So, as a customer using the delivery service, you should plan in advance to secure a suitable delivery window.

4. Personal Preferences

For customers who prefer the convenience of a quick, in-and-out shopping experience, Instacart pickup is ideal. It’s also an excellent option for those who want to inspect their groceries closely before heading home.

How Much Does It Cost To Use Instacart Pickup?

Using Instacart curbside pickup service usually requires fewer fees than the delivery. For example, you don’t have to pay separate service fees, regardless of your membership type.

That said, you can find certain retailers that impose a “pickup fee” on customers. It typically covers the cost of shopping and preparing the order for pickup.

While Instacart+ members don’t have to pay such an additional fee, it’s typically around $1.99 for non-members compared to the $3.99 minimum delivery fee (varying depending on retailer and location).

There’s also what’s called a “small basket fee.” It applies to orders less than $35.

Instacart+ (a subscription-based service) offers benefits for its members. This includes free deliveries on orders above a certain value. It also gives them 5% money-back on their orders when using the pickup service.

Should You Tip on Instacart Pickup Orders?

Overall, tipping for Instacart shoppers isn’t obligatory, but it shows your shopper appreciation. While there’s an option to add a tip for your delivery order, there isn’t when it comes to pickup.

Of course, you can give a cash tip to the person who handed you your order. However, most of the time, it’s not the same person who did the shopping.

If you choose to tip, consider around 5% to 10% of your order total. You can adjust the amount depending on the order size and service quality.

Yet, if you don’t choose to tip, expressing verbal gratitude can be a kind gesture.

How Instacart Pickup Works

If you haven’t used Instacart before, the process can be quite confusing for you. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through placing an Instacart order for pickup.

  1. Before getting the app, you can enter your area’s ZIP code on their website to check nearby stores offering curbside pickup.
  2. Download the app and launch it (you can also order through their website).
  3. Search for the store that has the “pickup available” statement next to its name and select it.
  4. Browse through the available types of items and add them to your cart as you do with other online shopping services.
  5. Make sure the items you choose are eligible for pickup.
  6. When you finish shopping for all the items you need, click on the checkout button.
  7. During the checkout process, you should select the pickup option and choose a pickup date and time slot.
  8. After completing the checkout process, you’ll receive a confirmation email (or notification) confirming your order and pickup time.
  9. Once your personal shopper begins to gather the order for you, you’ll receive notifications about their progress.
  10. On the day and time you picked, drive to the store and head to the designated parking spots.
  11. Upon arrival, use the Instacart app or website to notify the store that you’ve arrived for pickup.
  12. Once your order is ready, an Instacart shopper or store employee will bring your groceries to your vehicle.
  13. Finally, ensure all the items are correct before leaving with your order.

Benefits of Using Instacart Pickup

Using Instacart pickup offers several benefits. One of the most important is allowing customers to save on delivery fees, especially for those who shop more than once a month.

It also provides flexibility, enabling customers to choose a convenient pickup time throughout the day. On top of that, it saves precious time and effort, offering the option of not having to navigate crowded stores.

On one of the online question-and-answer platforms, you can spot customers talking about their experiences with the service.

For instance, an anonymous user states that Instacart store pickup is a sensible method for when the store is along your way home from work.

So, you don’t only save on the hassle of shopping, but you also get to pick up your items, making a quick stop on your usual way.

Other Considerations for First-Time Users

As a first-time user exploring Instacart pickup service, it’s essential to consider a few factors. Beyond placing an order, there are some practices to ensure a smooth experience.

a. Prepare for Pickup

When scheduling a suitable time for pickup, you need to consider the store’s busy hours.

It’s not all about your convenience (though it’s important). You also want to minimize the wait time.

Therefore, try to aim for times when you’re available to collect the order, and the store is likely to be less crowded (for example, weekday mornings).

b. Ensure Order Accuracy

Carefully check your order to ensure it’s the right one. Verify that all items are there and in decent condition.

If you find a missing item or substitution you didn’t approve, contact the Instacart shopper or store staff. They should be quick to make all the necessary adjustments.

You have another option to report the issue to the app or website (up to four days after pickup).

c. Apply Health and Safety Protocols

Instacart prioritizes the health and safety of its customers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The app offers contactless pickup options that allow you to collect your order without direct contact with anybody.

The business has also implemented sanitation measures. As such, it encourages customers to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines during pickup.

Following these protocols, you can enjoy a safe and convenient shopping experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Instacart Hold Your Pickup Order?

Instacart should typically be able to hold your pickup order until the latest pickup window. Note that it’s possible this time isn’t the same as the store’s closing hours.

So, if you think you won’t make it in time, try to reach out to Instacart Customer Support to cancel the order.

What are Pickup Batches on Instacart?

Pickup batches refer to the group of orders assigned to a specific shopper. In general, Instacart shoppers can select multiple batches (double, triple, etc.) to shop for during a single trip to a store.

This can significantly enhance the speed and effectiveness of the pickup process.

Conclusion: Is Instacart Pickup Right for You?

Instacart pickup is a fantastic service that offers a convenient, cost-effective, and flexible solution for online grocery shopping. It’s suitable for all the diverse lifestyles and needs of customers.

With the ability to schedule pickups at your convenience, this service makes shopping for busy individuals and families easier. It allows you to save on delivery fees and enjoy contactless transactions for health considerations.

All in all, Instacart has revolutionized the way we shop for home essentials. So, for your next shopping trip, try Instacart pickup instead of going yourself. Armed with our guide, you should be able to make the most out of such an experience.

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