One of the available options when checking out with Instacart is to leave a tip, which has some people wondering if the tip is mandatory or even necessary.
So, should you tip Instacart delivery drivers? Since we don’t want to be out there committing social faux pas, keep reading for the answer you need!
Should You Tip Instacart Delivery Drivers In 2023?
While tipping Instacart delivery drivers is not mandatory, they are members of the service industry and gig economy, so they rely on tips to round out their compensation in 2023. Instacart customers may do so entirely through the app, or they are welcome to give them cash upon delivery as well. Two dollars is the suggested minimum.
To learn more about how much you should be tipping Instacart delivery drivers, whether Instacart drivers see the tips before delivering, and how you can change your tip, keep reading for all the details!
How Much Should You Tip Instacart Delivery Drivers?
When Instacart prompts you to enter a tip for your driver, the amount is automatically set at five percent.
Instacart includes a few preset percentages, including 5, 10, 15, and 20 percent, all pre-calculated for you based on your order total.
You can choose from any of those, or pick “Custom” and enter your own.
Whereas in the restaurant industry it’s normal to leave at least 15 percent, it’s still acceptable to leave as little as five percent for your Instacart driver.
However, you might want to consider a larger tip under the following circumstances:
- Your order includes heavier, bulkier items
- You live in a third-floor walk-up with no elevator (or equivalent)
- The weather and roads are bad
- A combination of all three
I personally think at least 10 percent should be the norm, plus anywhere from 12-15 percent (and up) for bigger grocery orders.
What Is the Minimum You Should Tip Instacart Delivery Drivers?
Instacart recommends a minimum of $2 as a tip for any individual delivery, but I would like to suggest at least $5 if you’re not going to go the percentage route.
The truth is, you can tip nothing, and you won’t be penalized by Instacart in any way.
However, it might make full-service shoppers/drivers less likely to want to shop your order.
Do Instacart Drivers See Tips Before Delivery?
Per The Grocery Store Guy, Instacart drivers do see the initial tip entered by the customer before delivery.
The article goes on to say, “Shoppers could also decline an order due to a low tip.”
So, if you were to leave only $2 or $1, or even no tip when checking out, your order might get declined by available shoppers.
I have also seen instances where shoppers are leaving large tips to try and “hook” shoppers faster, but then going back and reducing the tip after the order is delivered.
However, it’s recommended to be as honest and as generous as you can, and that way your order will be well taken care of.
Can You Change Your Instacart Delivery Drivers’ Tip?
You can change your Instacart delivery drivers’ tip after they drop it off, but you do have to leave a reason why.
To change the tip, which you can do up to 24 hours after the delivery is completed, navigate in the app to the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner.
Tap where it says Your Orders, and your order history will appear. Select the order you wish to alter and see “Rate and tip” pop up. From there, you can make the changes.
Hopefully, you are increasing the tip because of excellent service, but if the opposite is true, Instacart definitely wants to hear about it.
To protect shoppers from tip scammers (the act is called “tip baiting”), Instacart monitors how often customers change their tips and notes any unusual activity.
Should You Tip Instacart Delivery Drivers in Cash?
You don’t have to tip cash, as Instacart forwards 100 percent of the digital tips to drivers, but it is certainly appreciated by drivers.
This is due to the fact that the money earned by Instacart shoppers isn’t available to them 24/7, so a cash tip is convenient and considerate.
What If You Can’t Afford the Instacart Delivery Drivers Tip?
While some are able to absorb the service into their weekly grocery shopping budget, Instacart is definitely still a luxury for many.
That said, what should you do if you can’t necessarily afford a fair delivery tip?
Many stores on Instacart also offer a pick-up option, which tends to be cheaper ($1.99 versus $3.99 and up).
While not quite as convenient as delivery, you still don’t have to step foot inside the store, you can set the pick-up time and you don’t have to leave a tip.
Instacart delivery drivers work hard to shop and bring groceries to customers, and they deserve to receive a gratuity to supplement their earnings.
The gold standard for minimum tipping should be $5 or 10 percent, whichever is more, with 15 or 20 percent for particularly good service.