Author Topic: Instacart and Coronavirus Costco madness...  (Read 1536 times)


  • Magnum Stache
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Instacart and Coronavirus Costco madness...
« on: March 16, 2020, 06:39:24 PM »
Hey all,

I placed an Instacart order a few days ago, thinking it would be a great idea to "avoid large gatherings" such as the ones where 100s of people are lining up at Costcos across SoCal to stockpile toilet paper, water and food. This was my first time using Instacart, so I placed the order and left the *default* tip amount, thinking I'd just give cash or increase the tip amount later (similar to what I've done when ordering Doordash, Grubhub, etc).

I stumbled across this thread just today, after wondering what was going on with my order:

I didn't realize shoppers can *choose* to fulfill your order or skip it. I guess that makes sense, seeing that's sort of how Uber and Lyft work (except if you skip too many 'contracts' you get flagged and eventually booted). Seems a bit discriminatory to pass up an order based on tip but I understand. Again, it's my first time trying this and due to wanting to avoid running head-first into lines of panicked people (as well as heeding the govt's warning of gathering in large groups). All I wanted was some dish soap, mac and cheese, vitamins and King's Hawaiian bread...

That said, I tried reaching out to Instacart but they're completely slammed. Sent them an email and shortly after my order was canceled. Oh well, I still refuse to wait in mile-long lines at Costco let alone be exposed. I guess Instacart shoppers are probably also intentionally not choosing to fulfill people's orders for this same reason (unless you tip them $400 maybe lol)

Anyone here in a heavily-impacted area and tried doing the same?
« Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 06:42:05 PM by jeromedawg »


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Instacart and Coronavirus Costco madness...
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2020, 05:38:01 AM »
My area isn't heavily impacted...yet. But we live not too far from Philly so time will tell.

That being said, I can completely see gig workers wanting to avoid some of the hardest hit stores. There are probably plenty working for the various companies who are willing, but their services are far more in demand which is likely leading to the long wait times (that, and the huge surge of people looking to lock themselves inside).

I went [inside] the grocery store for what's probably going to be one of the last times over the next week or two. From this point forward, I'm taking advantage of curbside pickup - we got a note from some regional chains (among the 100s of other COVID emails) that the local grocers/stores are boosting their staff, especially staff dedicated to picking and collecting curbside orders. I think it's a nice compromise - even though not all stores have a curbside program, those that do have nearly everything that we could run out of.

Have you considered utilizing Target/Walmart/Kroger/etc. pick-up (even if shopping non-bulk is slightly more expensive)?


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Instacart and Coronavirus Costco madness...
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2020, 06:34:27 AM »
I used Instacart last week -- not because I was afraid of contagion, but because I was lazy (and working) and didn't want to deal with all the panicked shoppers and lines.  But I had no idea how bad it was going to be; I placed the order in the morning, and that afternoon the state basically shut down, so when she went the next morning, everyone was in panic mode.  But the only problem I had was the order was about an hour late and about half the things I wanted required substitution -- my shopper was sending me pics of mostly-empty shelves to let me know my replacement options.  Under the circumstances, zero complaints.

I also gave her a $20 tip, because I knew it was going to suck even before the governor stepped in and shut everything down. 


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Instacart and Coronavirus Costco madness...
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2020, 06:47:59 AM »
The people I know who do instacart are only taking big orders that are going to pay really well. They can, and are, be really choosy right now.

All the delivery options seem to be slammed right now.