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Do Instacart Shoppers See Tips Before Delivery?

Tips are a great way to show Instacart shoppers your appreciation of their service. But, since the app has you put in a tip before your order is placed, it’s natural to wonder, do Instacart shoppers see tips before delivery?

Instacart Shoppers do see tips before delivery. But customers have the option of changing the tip within 24 hours after the delivery has been made in the event of stellar or poor service. Additionally, Instacart Shoppers can also decline an order due to a low tip.

However, tips are not a requirement for using Instacart since they are optional. But just like with great service from a restaurant waiter, they are a great way to show appreciation to the personal Shopper that shopped and delivered your groceries from the grocery store.

In this article, we’ll explore all there is to know about Instacart and tipping, how much they earn before tips, and what a good amount to tip is.

Let’s get into it!

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

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Do Instacart shoppers know if you tip?

Instacart shoppers know if you tip, can see the amount, and can select orders with a larger tip if more than 1 order is available at the same time.

After all, they are independent contractors, not employees. Therefore, they see the value of the tips — key data that affects their earnings.

Since not all orders are created equal, they can decide whether to accept or reject orders.

The Instacart app shows shoppers the tip you are offering, the items you request, and the store location. Because they are independent contractors, they get paid based on their performance.

About half of their earnings are made up of tips. It makes sense that they’d see the tip you’re offering before they get to work fulfilling your order: selecting the items, packing them, and then driving to your doorstep to deliver your order.

So, it is important to tip them well because of the excellent service they are rendering.

It makes sense that they can see the tip and the items you request. Then, they can decide if it is an order that’s worthwhile in terms of their overall potential earnings because, being independent contractors, they have expenses they incur as they do their work.

For example, they have to buy gas and the cost of maintaining their cars, which they use for deliveries.

Can the Instacart Shoppers rate you?

Check out a recent article of mine where I shared more info about the rating system. They can’t rate you, but you can rate them. The rating is a crucial factor in what determines their earnings.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

How much do Instacart Shoppers make before tips?

Instacart Shoppers earn approximately $14,000 a year in base pay and $28,000 total on average per year. It’s not a fixed-income but is based on the number of jobs they choose to take.

Truth be told, $28,000 is not a lot of money. This is why you should try and offer generous tips as a token of appreciation for their service.

Two main factors are key in determining shoppers’ earnings: their role and location. There are two types of shoppers:

  • Full-service shoppers (independent contractors who shop and deliver)
  • In-store shoppers (hourly employees who shop in a store)

It’s difficult to determine the earnings of an Instacart shopper because it is based on a couple of factors such as the number of items ordered, its weight, distance covered, and size of the delivery.

In a survey by, only about 40% of the shoppers polled believe they are well-paid. It also showed that shopper earnings average out to $17.40 per hour. Luckily that’s well above minimum wage. And there is value in the flexibility with their hours as they could also do other jobs as well.

But in truth, the hourly rate can be misleading because full-service shoppers (those who shop and deliver) don’t have hourly rates. They are paid per job.

The average earning per batch is between $15 – $20. Seeing as a considerable chunk of their income comes from tips, it’s good to tip them.

If you’d like to explore the issue of tips a bit more, check out a recent article of mine where I offered more explanations and guidance around what to do, including some specifics on how much to tip. But I also cover the differences between pickup and delivery.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

Can I tip Instacart in cash?

Instacart tips can be cash. In that case, there would need to be a physical meeting between the Shopper and the customer, which may not always be feasible. This is why most of the tips are done via the app. But most Shoppers prefer a cash tip as they won’t have to wait to receive it.

The only downside of offering cash tips is that you won’t have a record of it. While it’d have been captured if you had used the app.

But in all honesty, most shoppers would prefer cash tips because it’s “instant access.” If you pay via the app, it will take some time before they get access to the money. So in many ways, a cash tip is the best way to reward Instacart employees for a job well done.

You’re probably not clear about whether they can simply leave your package by the door.

Or can Instacart Shoppers help you take heavy groceries inside the house? What happens if it’s a heavy package, you’re physically challenged, or if you’re a senior citizen?

I explored this in some depth in a recent article where I explained that the terms of their contract require shoppers to hand over the package to you at the door.

But, they can use their discretion to decide if they want to help you take the package inside the house or even up a flight of stairs.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Can I change my tip on Instacart after the order is placed?

Instacart’s platform gives customers the option of changing tips within 24 hours after the order was delivered. It can be revised upward or downward or even canceled. The change is made via Instacart’s app or its website.

You might be thrilled by a shopper’s professionalism and service that you’d want to offer them more money than the tip you’d set initially. As you know, some folks are just superb.

And since you know that shoppers aren’t exactly making a bundle, you may want to tip them generously.

It’s rare, but there could also be the occasional “shopper from hell” that you feel is not truly deserving of the original amount based on the nature of the service they eventually provided.

And in that case, you want to reduce or cancel the tip.

Being a shopper is tough. I would suggest we sympathize with some of the latter kind. Of course, without encouraging laziness and lack of courtesy in any shopper.

Just avoid what’s known as Instacart tip baiting.

This is where you consistently place an order with a large tip and then, since you have the ability to change the to for up to 24 hours after delivery, you go back and lower the tip amount.

That is basically a way of tricking the Instacart Shoppers into taking your order and then ripping them off after the fact.

Now if the service was bad or the delivery was way late, by all means, feel free to adjust the tip. But never intentionally do that just to pad your own wallet. A Shopper’s hard work is worth paying for to say nothing of the ethical aspects of doing this.

Can Instacart Shoppers refuse my order if my tip is low?

Instacart Shoppers are free to refuse orders if the tip is low. They are independent contractors who can choose the orders they deliver. As tips make up a large part of their earnings, they might refuse orders with low tips, especially if another order was available with a higher tip.

Instacart shoppers are not making out like bandits. In fact, their average income is very low.

So, to earn a reasonable amount, like most people who work in the service industry, they rely on tips. It makes sense, therefore, that if the tip is too low, it might not be worth it, seeing as the shoppers have costs to bear as they deliver the orders.

They are using their cars and have to cover the cost of gas and maintenance. Understandably, they’d want to maximize their earnings by choosing orders with high tips. Wouldn’t you?

There was a time when Instacart was pretty slow.

What accounted for this? And has it been fixed?? Find out in a recent article of mine where I explained that it boils down to the question of supply and demand. I also showed that…

Just click the link to read it on my site.

If I pay a service fee do I still have to tip my Instacart Shopper?

It’s important to note that as with other grocery delivery services, you are typically charged a service fee or delivery fee. But this does NOT go to the Shopper/driver whatsoever. That goes to Instacart to cover the costs associated with their system.

Of course, this is in addition to the fact that with most (but not all) grocery stores Instacart also marks up the prices by as much as 20% from what you see on the shelves in the store. So those fees and higher prices don’t have any impact on how much the Instacart Shopper actually makes.

So the only way Instacart delivery drivers get anything is if you add a tip to your order total or give them a good tip in cash at the time of the delivery.

What is the default tip for Instacart?

Instacart’s app doesn’t require a tip. But Instacart’s default tip amount of 5% that it “suggests” for good service.

That being said, 5% is hardly a decent tip for these hard-working gig workers delivering your grocery orders. Higher tips, as with anyone in the service industry, should be standard as long as the delivery time window was adhered to, the order was accurate, and the Shopper was friendly.

So Instacart customers should always tip a minimum of 15% in most cases. And large tips beyond that may be appropriate for extra-ordinary service or special care and handling of fragile or perishable items.


When you place an order, can Instacart shoppers see the tip you’re offering? In the article, I explained that they could see it and why.

And, I showed that Instacart allows you to modify the tip for up to 24 hours after the delivery has been made.

I shared the average income they earn. Trust me, it’s not a lot. Of course, you may prefer to offer tips in cash, which most shoppers would like since there’s no waiting time.

I wrapped up by saying that shoppers have the freedom to refuse orders if the tips are low.

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

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Jeff Campbell