Author Topic: Instacart: Worth it?  (Read 3955 times)

marcela

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Instacart: Worth it?
« on: August 10, 2017, 09:27:32 AM »
I just got an email from my local grocery store letting me know that they now offer delivery via instacart. When I went to check it out, I was offered a 1 year free trial. It includes: Your free 1 year trial offer for Instacart Express includes
Unlimited, FREE delivery on orders of $35 or more
Enjoy the perks of peak time delivery - unlimited and free.

I've never done grocery delivery before (seems a bit extravagant to me), but the free trial is intriguing.
Do any of you use instacart? Have you found that they markup the prices on things? Should I do this?

prognastat

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Re: Instacart: Worth it?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 09:31:35 AM »
I just got an email from my local grocery store letting me know that they now offer delivery via instacart. When I went to check it out, I was offered a 1 year free trial. It includes: Your free 1 year trial offer for Instacart Express includes
Unlimited, FREE delivery on orders of $35 or more
Enjoy the perks of peak time delivery - unlimited and free.

I've never done grocery delivery before (seems a bit extravagant to me), but the free trial is intriguing.
Do any of you use instacart? Have you found that they markup the prices on things? Should I do this?

I don't think they markup the prices, but they do expect you to leave a tip.

TVRodriguez

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Re: Instacart: Worth it?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 09:34:13 AM »
I have used Instacart with some success.  In fact, the months we used it we actually spent less on groceries than usual.  I admit that when DH and I go to the food store, we do succumb to some impulse buys.  That's key to remember, because Instacart kept us from impulse buying.  I only ordered exactly what I had on my list.  Hence the lower grocery bills.  But I stopped using it . . . trying to remember why.  I think the last few times I tried, the delivery window was not convenient or was too late and it would be faster to go to the store.

Each of our delivery people walked away too quickly to accept a tip, btw.  And I don't remember there being a huge markup at all, although I didn't price check too much.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 04:38:53 PM by TVRodriguez »

madgeylou

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Re: Instacart: Worth it?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 09:41:18 AM »
Wow a full year free trial? I'd be all over that. I got a 2-week free trial and really loved it. Especially great for big stock up trips, because they bring it to your door.

There's a service fee automatically attached to the order -- I think it is 5 or 10%? It's optional, though, so I always zero it out and add that amount to the tip field (I tip through the app, not cash on arrival).

Haven't used it in a while though, because I haven't wanted to pay the $6 delivery fee ...
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 09:44:53 AM by madgeylou »

cats

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Re: Instacart: Worth it?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 09:46:59 AM »
We have used it in the past--some of the local grocery stores were offering free delivery and discounts off your purchases.

For the store we were shopping at, there was no markup in prices. 

My thoughts:

-Useful if you don't have a car and want to stock up on heavy items (e.g. we used one of our free delivery/discount options to get a bunch of canned tomatoes)

-Useful if you are prone to impulse buying

-Minimum order amount--you HAVE to spend $x.  If you aren't already consistently spending $x when you visit that store, maybe not so useful. 

-Doesn't allow you to take advantage of random one-off specials.  e.g. our grocery store often has meat marked down when it's getting close to its sell-by date.  This is not something they advertise, you just have to be there in person at the right time.  The instantcart shopper is not going to pick up the cheaper "manager's special" meat for you.  Another grocery store we go to has a "bargains" produce section that operates on a similar principal--super cheap prices for stuff that is cosmetically imperfect or that needs to be used quickly.  Again, a shopper isn't going to pick up on that for you.  And on regular priced produce and meat, maybe you have particular things you like to look for, the shopper won't pick up on that either (say you are buying avocados for the week...you want one that is ripe now and one that will be ripe in a few days...but the shopper is just going to grab the first two avocados available).   


We also occasionally had issues where we ordered something that was not actually available in store, and then had to have a text/call exchange with the shopper to let them know if there was an alternative item we wanted, which can be a hassle.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 09:48:53 AM by cats »

birdiegirl

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Re: Instacart: Worth it?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 10:09:43 AM »
I've used it a couple times.  It was a great service but probably not worth the cost for me to use regularly. They do not mark up the store prices - but I've found you don't always get the same sale prices.  That probably depends on the store and how they set it up with Instacart. 

Even with the free delivery, they do add a service fee and you are supposed to tip your delivery person (if I remember correctly you add the tip online either before or after the delivery when they send a confirmation/followup email).

These added $10-15 to my grocery orders - that are otherwise around $75.  For me that was too much extra to keep using on a regular basis. 

honeybbq

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Re: Instacart: Worth it?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 12:59:26 PM »
I've used it a few times. Some stores (COSTCO) significantly have their prices marked up, and it should explicitly say in the app. Other stores like Safeway, etc, usually have the same price as in store.

I use it when I come home from vacations and business trips and have no food in the house and/or no time for grocery shopping. I find the fees reasonable considering the benefit (e.g. alternative is to order pizza/go out).

You can't use coupons either, if you use instacart.

spicykissa

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Re: Instacart: Worth it?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 03:27:02 PM »
I liked it for the convenience factor--we live in a 4th floor walk-up apartment, so hauling heavy groceries is a pain. But between the service fee and the tip, and the fact that the the order was never quite right (missing bananas, wrong flavor sparkling water, slightly melted cheese, etc), we did not keep using it after the free delivery trial was up.

ysette9

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Re: Instacart: Worth it?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 04:50:06 PM »
It is more expensive, but you are paying for the convenience of the service. I have been using it frequently now that I am in the third trimester of pregnancy with a toddler and have so little energy. The only bummer about it is they don't shop at Trader Joe's-my absolute favorite store.

marcela

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Re: Instacart: Worth it?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2017, 06:39:52 AM »
Update: I pulled up the site while I was at my usual store this weekend. There was a HUGE markup on the things I price-checked so I think I will go ahead and cancel my trial. Plus they don't appear to take coupons. We are lucky to have a grocery store relatively nearby and have a car to bring home heavy groceries so I think we will continue to shop the old fashioned way :)