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Instacart Forces Mandatory 5% Service Fee On All Orders

“If you can’t beat them, join them.” This appears to be Instacart’s mindset as they implemented yet another change a few weeks ago to the compensation structure for their Full Service Personal Shoppers. In reality, it’s more like, “If you can’t beat them, join them halfway!”

The compensation issue began a year and a half ago when Instacart decided to implement a “Service Fee” and mislead their customers into believing it was a TIP for the Instacart Shopper. Instacart also make customers jump through hoops to locate where and how to actually leave a TIP. See the previous post on how Instacart changed tips into a service fee:

The savvy and resourceful Instacart Shoppers came up with methods of informing their clients how to save money by avoiding the “optional service fee” and how to transfer it to their shopper as a tip instead. The famous “Wave and Save” flyer was born, and this along with a grassroots movement played a huge impact on the service charge issue and helped the Instacart shopper recoup some of the Tip losses. Instacart wasn’t pleased with the revenue lost when customers “waived” the service fee and they began to dramatically lower the batch pay that Instacart Shoppers could count on in order to make up for deceitful “Service fee” income loss.

I’m a part time Instacart personal shopper and it’s my belief that Instacart tried to find a middle ground by now making a 5% Service fee permanent and giving the Instacart shoppers a chance to at least earn a 5% tip by defaulting it to that amount. One does wonder though, why they couldn’t at least default the tip to 10%?

After working under these changes the past few weeks, it’s proven to work in my favor and other shoppers have shared their support of this new change. There are those that have a “glass half empty” mentality regardless, but overall I believe this will remain a positive change for Instacart shoppers by:

I do more Delivery Only orders

We’ve all had issues with “Delivery Only” (DO) orders since they tend to cause us a loss of our 5 Star Bonus based upon mistakes by the Instacart In-Store Shopper but most importantly the payment for these have been at an all time low. The delivery-only payment typically ranges from $2-$3 a batch In the Los Angeles area, which is absolutely absurd. Since the new Tip option a few weeks ago, almost every one of my Delivery Only batches has earned me a tip. The screenshot is from a triple DO order which earned a fellow Instacart shopper in Los Angeles a decedent payout for half an hours work!

The default gives you better odds

Since the default for a tip is set at 5% it appears less confusing and our customers are reminded that they need to tip. It’s takes more effort to remove the tip than go with the default. However, I hope they opt for the 20% option, but at least almost all my orders are being tipped now after this change. On several occasions I find that the customer will go back and tip a higher amount even though I originally received the default.

No more Waive and Save

There is definitely less lip service required now when I shop or deliver to a customer. It became exhausting printing “Waive and Save” fliers or having to ask or constantly explain to the customer if they knew “how to save the service fee”’ so that I at least had a fighting chance of receiving a tip. The “service fee” has less deceptive verbiage now and it’s obvious this it’s not a Tip. Unfortunately, the customer has no option to waive it, and I’ve had regular customers claim they will no longer use this service since they are forced to pay an extra fee ON TOP of their membership. Since the tip says “driver tip,” I message the client before starting a batch to let them know that I’ll be shopping and delivering their order today to avoid any confusion.

What Else Should I Know About Instacart?

I’ve written a long post detailing everything else you need to know about Instacart. You can read it below:

Let’s hear from you

As an Instacart Full Service Shopper, how has the new tip change affected your income?

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