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Does Instacart Bring Groceries Inside?

Many people are switching over to grocery delivery services such as Instacart. However, sometimes the person ordering is elderly, handicapped, or might just use some help in getting the groceries up a flight of stairs. This leaves many wondering: does Instacart bring groceries inside?

Instacart Shoppers can bring groceries inside if they choose to, but they are not expected or required to bring groceries inside (based on the terms of their contract). They are trained to hand them to you at the door. But Instacart gives Shoppers the ability to decide the ideal course of action for each situation.

They can also accept an order based on seeing the tip in advance, so it’s always good to specify a special request in advance and tip accordingly.

So, if a person is physically challenged, for example, it’s more humane that they’ll go the extra mile. You still get to decide if you don’t want to have any contact with the shopper by selecting the “Leave at my Door” delivery option.

As the customer, you are in charge.

But let’s get into all the policies, procedures, and systems, so you know exactly what to do for your next delivery from Instacart!

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

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Can Instacart leave groceries on the porch?

Instacart Shoppers can just leave a grocery delivery on the porch without any contact with the recipient. Simply select the “Leave at my Door” delivery option for a contactless delivery.

You may be a tad apprehensive about strangers entering your home to deliver groceries.

The anxiety is understandable. Interestingly, the Instacart shoppers might be feeling uneasy, too. Fortunately, there’s a solution that works for both parties.

But, first, how are groceries meant to be delivered by Instacart shoppers? Are they to be taken inside your apartment or left outside?

The groceries are actually meant to be handed over to you unless you express the wish that they should leave them on the porch or outside.

You could do that via a chat message or by expressly taking advantage of the “Leave at my Door” delivery option, which is effectively a non-contact delivery option.

It equips you with the ability to notify the Instacart shopper (via the app) that you want your groceries left outside and the designated time. The feature was developed to take care of folks who may not be at home at the time of delivery, but it’s being used even by those who simply want a non-contact option.

When the option you chose is to leave the groceries outside, they’ll still need to take a picture of it (there on the porch) and send it to you. In addition to serving as a notification, the picture is also evidence that they delivered the groceries.

Many have no concerns about getting their groceries directly from Instacart Shoppers.

Naturally, there’ll be some interaction, and you might wonder if Instacart Shoppers can rate customers based on how you treat them.

I explored the theme in a recent article of mine. After all, a bad review could impact a customer’s ability to get consistent drivers.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Does Instacart bring groceries upstairs?

Instacart Shoppers do not automatically bring groceries up a flight of stairs. The policy is that Instacart shoppers deliver to your door. However, many Instacart Shoppers will be glad to provide extra assistance if asked.

So, they’re not expected to walk into your home and then carry stuff upstairs for you.

The policy serves as a protection for both parties. After all, most people are uncomfortable having strangers in their home. (And they should be.)

But, there are situations where the person who ordered is disabled or elderly and needs a little help. Delivering in such a way that minimizes discomfort for the customers makes sense, right?

There are Instacart shoppers who go the extra mile and who would help carry groceries upstairs.

This could simply be a question of flexibility on their part and a genuine desire to help, and so they respond based on the needs of the customer. It could also be because some are confident that they can defend themselves if the need were to arise, or even a combination of both.

No matter the motivation, it’s worth remembering that taking groceries upstairs is not a part of the deal. And of course, any time you ask for something extra, make sure and add that to the tip.

Should I tip Instacart more if they bring groceries upstairs?

Instacart Shoppers deserve to receive an additional tip for bringing groceries upstairs, providing other extra assistance, or for particularly large or heavy orders.

Because as we’ve seen above, the contract only covers delivery to your door.

When they have to take it upstairs for whatever reason, they’re actually providing extra-service. And, as a sign of appreciation, they deserve a generous tip. It’s not as if these shoppers are making out like bandits, so they would really appreciate a generous tip.

We all have a tendency to take things for granted (at times).

This shouldn’t be one of those times because Instacart makes life a lot easier for all of us. Imagine that in a lot of cases, you could get groceries delivered in about an hour.

You’re probably wondering why you should tip them. After all, you’re paying a delivery fee.

The reality is that the delivery fee doesn’t go to the Shopper; it goes to Instacart. And Instacart is already most likely charging you more than the store price for your groceries, so they’re making out like bandits.

But it’s the contracted Instacart employee doing most of the work.

Okay. Okay. How much should one tip? 5% is just about right in most cases when you receive the delivery at your door. Got stairs, 15 bags, or heavy stuff? Maybe throw in an extra $5.00 to be nice.

The tips go directly to the Shopper (not to Instacart, the company).

By the way, does Instacart accept EBT? I did some research and wrote up my findings in a recent article. In it, I explained that it’s accepted in a few select stores, such as ALDI.

Just click the link to get the full info on my site.

Do you have to answer the door for Instacart?

Traditionally, customers would be expected to open the door to receive a delivery from Instacart. However, you can select the “Leave at my Door” delivery option so you won’t have to answer the door for Instacart.

After all, their contract says to leave your groceries by the door.

If you won’t be at home and there’s no one at home to collect the groceries, you should indicate while using the app a designated place for them to keep your groceries. Ideally, it should be at a place where they’re protected from humans and animals.

If you don’t inform them of such a place or have someone waiting to collect on your behalf, they’ll take the groceries back! That’s what their contract stipulates. If you ordered Alcohol, there must be someone who’s of age to sign and collect.

What about ice cream?

Can you order ice cream via Instacart? And does it arrive melted? Find out in a recent article of mine. In it, I explained that you could, but a lot of issues have been reported with ice cream deliveries. How often does melted ice cream arrive? 

Just click the link to read the article on my site.

Should I let an Instacart Shopper inside my apartment or house?

From a safety standpoint, it is reasonably safe to allow Instacart Shoppers inside your apartment or house. Before they are hired, they have to undergo and pass background checks. An applicant’s criminal history and driving records are also checked to ensure they are only hiring reputable and trustworthy individuals.

So, they’re not just random folks being sent to people’s homes.

These are people who have been screened. At the risk of stating the obvious, the company, Instacart, via its app, has records of the Instacart shopper that’s delivering to each of their customers, and they have access to a considerable chunk of the interaction.

But it’s worth noting that nothing is 100% guaranteed.

And sometimes bad people slip through the background checks of many companies. But in terms of the odds of letting an Instacart employee into your home and having something bad happen, the odds are quite small.

Final Thoughts

Instacart is one of the innovative companies that’s making our lives easier.

Consider that you could get groceries delivered in about an hour! That’s awesome. In the preceding paragraphs, we looked at how its shoppers deliver groceries.

We explored questions such as Can the shoppers leave groceries at the door, do they take groceries upstairs, should you tip them, do you have to answer the door when you use the app?

And, we wrapped things up by considering if it’s okay to allow a shopper into your home.

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

Photos that require attribution:

Instacart_PwG_anim_02 by 姿穎 呂 is licensed under Public Domain and Apartment Stairs, Paris by Mike Hauser is licensed under CC2.0 and both were edited, cropped, and merged with a text overlay added.

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Jeff Campbell