Skip to Content

How Does Instacart Work for Apartments?

Everyone is using Instacart these days for grocery delivery. But there’s a big difference between ordering for a house and ordering if you live in an apartment complex with hundreds of other people. So, how does Instacart work for apartments?

When apartment dwellers place an order through Instacart, they give specific instructions pertaining to security gates or checkpoints, building numbers, flights of stairs, and the apartment number. That way, the Shopper is clear on exactly how to deliver to them.

As long as the shoppers can reach your apartment, they’ll deliver your order.

After all, getting your orders to you is their job. You could be available to collect the order or inform them beforehand via the Instacart app to simply leave the order by your door.

The key thing is to make it easy for them to reach you by providing your address and making sure they can enter your apartment complex if it is gated.

And, of course, since they can see your tip before they choose to accept your order, if your situation is time-consuming or complicated, make sure and leave a good tip!

Read on for more…

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

Does Instacart come to your door in an apartment complex?

Instacart shoppers bring your order to your door even if you live in an apartment complex. In the app, you can even specify “leave at my door” for a contactless experience. But otherwise, they will hand you the groceries. Just make sure and note any gate codes or building numbers when you place the order.

It’ll be highly inconvenient if you have to go down to pick stuff up yourself each time you place an order.

And, it’s reasonable to assume that most people live in apartments anyway. If Instacart works only for those who live in detached houses, it won’t be useful for most people who don’t, right?

If you do select “leave at my door”, the shopper would take a picture of your order when they’ve delivered it to your door and send it to you.

This acts as a notification and, of course, proof that the order was delivered. You simply have to make it easy for the shopper to locate your apartment by providing the correct address and a description if it’s not easy to locate.

After locating your apartment, would the shoppers be willing to deliver your groceries inside?

This is the theme of a recent article of mine. Technically, Instacart Shoppers aren’t supposed to do that, but there are some exceptions.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Does Instacart deliver to gated apartments?

Yes, Instacart will deliver to gated apartments or gated communities. However, you must provide the gate code or any additional security instructions when you place the order. That way, they will be able to bring the groceries direct to your door.

Or, if the gate is manned by some security personnel, you could inform them beforehand that you’re expecting Instacart shoppers and that they are allowed into the complex.

These days EVERYONE is used to seeing Instacart deliveries. So both security personnel and Instacart Shoppers are used to the drill.

The key thing is to do this before the shopper arrives so that they won’t have to waste time.

The quicker they can conclude with your order, the faster they can get back to work, helping others with their deliveries.

Naturally, the security guard will check their ID.

If the security guards have to reach you before the shoppers are allowed in, make sure that you can easily be contacted. Because if you can’t be reached and they can’t get to your door, your order may simply be canceled.

In recent months, many people noticed that Instacart wasn’t as quick as they expected.

I explained why and how to get your orders on time in a recent article of mine. Just how late are they on average, and is that improving?

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Does Instacart deliver upstairs?

Instacart Shoppers can go up outside flights of stairs such as those in apartment complexes. However, they do not typically go up a flight of stairs inside the customer’s home. Instacart’s contract says to deliver the order to the door, not to carry them inside.

So even if you live on the 10th floor of a high rise without an elevator, the Shopper will bring the order to your order.

At times, that might mean they’ll have to make two trips. But, they are under no obligation to enter your home and carry the groceries to the kitchen for you.

That said, there are times Shoppers would make an exception.

Perhaps you’re heavily pregnant, bed-ridden, disabled, or you’re a senior citizen, and they’re inclined to go an extra mile. Then, they could help you take the order upstairs.

But, it shouldn’t be expected or taken for granted, seeing as it’s not a part of their terms of engagement.

If you order from Instacart a lot, you’ll likely end up having several different Instacart Shoppers deliver to you.

Did you know that you could rate them?

Yes, you can. Can they rate you? No. That’s what I explored in a recent article of mine. The app, as of the time of writing, has no function that allows shoppers to rate you. But, they choose the orders to fulfill. So, they can decline certain orders.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Can an Instacart Shopper decline your order if you live in an apartment?

Instacart Shoppers aren’t compelled to deliver any order. They choose the orders they would like to fulfill. So while it’s unusual for Shoppers to decline orders, since that is their revenue, they can decline orders in apartment complexes or complicated deliveries.

So if your situation is complicated or could be more time-consuming than normal, it’s a great idea to give a great tip!

A Shopper might be having some health challenges and may not want to climb to get to the 4th floor of an apartment complex they know has a funny elevator (or even no elevator).

Or, maybe the apartment is in a dangerous or sketchy part of the city. They may decide they’ll pass. The app doesn’t allocate orders to be completed by each shopper.

They choose. But, again, this is not common.

The Instacart contract doesn’t discriminate between those who live in detached houses and those who reside in apartment blocks.

The goal is to help everybody that’s within the areas within which the company operates.

Should I tip my Instacart Shopper more if I live in an apartment?

Any Instacart delivery that involves gate codes, security checkpoints, excess stairs, or a layer of complexity to it is deserving of a large tip beyond what would normally be given.

I honestly believe we should treat others the way we’d like to be treated.

If you were the shopper delivering to apartments, would you appreciate being tipped? I would. I think you should tip them. Especially if you are not living on the first floor, and they have to use the staircase or even use the elevator. It’s a lot more work, and it also takes more time, going up and down.

It’s also important to note that these Shoppers are not exactly making a fortune from their work.

And yet, you’ll agree their job is incredibly valuable. They’re making our lives more convenient and time-rich. From the comfort of our homes, we can have groceries delivered. It’s awesome, especially if, like most people, you’re a highly busy person who’s juggling a lot of responsibilities.

But, how much should you tip?

And do Instacart Shoppers even need tips? After all, they get paid by Instacart, right? I devoted a recent article of mine to explore this issue of tipping.

In it, I advised that it’s always a good idea to tip them. It’s a token of appreciation, and that tips make up a considerable chunk of their pay.

Just click the link to read it on my site and see what the recommended amount is.


Did I cover everything you’d like to know?

We looked at how Instacart works if you live in an apartment complex. Are shoppers likely to decline your orders? Would they deliver to gated apartments, and would they be willing to help take your orders upstairs and inside your apartment?

We learned that they do not discriminate and that they’re only expected to deliver to your door. Anything above that is an extra. We wrapped up by looking at why it’s great to always offer generous tips.

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

Photo which requires attribution:

Second Instacart Delivery. by Dennis Sylvester Hurd is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped and placed on top of another image.

The Grocery Store Guy, part of the Middle Class Dad family of websites, is reader-supported and when you make a purchase through some of my links, I  may earn a small commission from the sale, which in no way increases the cost to you. Learn more HERE.
Jeff Campbell

Grace Purdue

Tuesday 16th of January 2024

I live on the second floor in a private home. I am 87 years old and my husband is 91. Will you deliver to our apartment? You can park in the back yard. there are about six stairs outside and then about 13 inside. I have never really counted them.

Jeff Campbell

Wednesday 31st of January 2024

Hi Grace

I write articles but I am not affiliated with Instacart, nor do I likely live in your town, nor do I do grocery delivery. However, for an extra tip, I'm certain any driver would be happy to help you out if you note that when placing the orders.