How Much Does Instacart Pay Before Tip?


Usually, people do not know the exact pay or wage a delivery service company pays unless they work there or know someone working there.

Knowing the salary a company pays its employees helps those planning to work at the specific company. But, most of the time, the exact amount Instacart pays employees is unknown, as it varies and depends on different factors.


Instacart has different payment structures for shoppers.

  • Full-service shoppers do the shopping and deliver all the ordered items to the customers. Instacart pays them base payment which is per batch or order.
    They also receive incentives and additional bonuses during holidays.
  • Instacart pays in-store shoppers hourly wages. They also get incentives and bonuses during holidays.

The amount Instacart pay before the tip varies depending on many factors.

Some of them are:

  • Size of the order.
  • Location of the store.
  • Time of the order.
  • Place of delivery.

Generally, Instacart pays five to ten dollars per order as a base rate for the shoppers. However, according to different sources, Instacart pays seven to ten dollars per order for a full service and five dollars for just delivery.

The shopper might get additional payment for large or heavy orders and driving extra miles.

Knowing the pay or wages a company or service provides before the tip amount keeps the people who intend to work at that place and customers well informed.

A person who wants to work first looks at the pay, perks, and benefits and decides whether or not to work there.


Instacart does not pay the shoppers for driving to the store, driving home, or automotive and toll expenses.

The Working Process of InstaCart

Instacart Website

Instacart is one of the most popular online grocery delivery and pick-up service in the United States and Canada that provides a space for customers to connect with shoppers.

Customers place an order using the Instacart website or mobile app. When Instacart shoppers receive the orders, they do the shopping for the customers and deliver the items themselves, or an Instacart driver drops off the order at the customer’s address.

Customers can also opt for Instacart pick-up service.

The Instacart shoppers and drivers are independent contractors meaning:

  1. Instacart does not provide any employee benefits to these shoppers.
  2. Instacart shoppers have to pay taxes on their earnings.

These are the reasons that make it necessary for shoppers to earn tips to make a decent living. Without the tip amount, it is hard for the shoppers to deal with all the expenditures and taxes.

As Instacart does not cover the expenses of the Instacart shoppers, like gas, car maintenance, and so on, shoppers have to rely on the tip amount.

Types of Instacart Shoppers and Their Pay Structure

There are two types of shoppers at Instacart:

1. Full-Service Shoppers

Delivery Man

Full-service shoppers at Instacart’s tasks are to collect the items on the order list and then deliver them to the customers.

They collect all the order items from the store and drop them off at the customer’s doorstep when they receive an order. Moreover, it is their job to communicate with the customer when needed.

Pay Structure of Full-Service Shoppers

Full-service shoppers receive per-order payment from Instacart. And the amount varies, depending on different factors like:

  • Base pay is the minimum amount they receive per order. Instacart calculates the amount based on the order size and time required to prepare the order and then deliver them to the customers.
  • During peak hours, when the demands are high, the full-service shoppers have to work more; they get more orders and additional payment.
  • Instacart also gives bonuses to shoppers who have performances.
  • Customers also leave tips for their shoppers.

2. In-Store Shoppers

Instacart Shopper

In-store shoppers’ job is to work at the store, and when they receive an order, they select all the items on the list and prepare them for delivery. They get paid hourly.

Also, they must communicate with the customer if there are other issues with the order.

Pay Structure of In-Store Shoppers

In-store shoppers get hourly wages, and according to different sources, they receive thirteen to fifteen dollars per hour; the actual pay depends on the work experience of the in-store shopper and their roles, the location of the store, and more.

They also receive bonuses based on their performance and tips from their customers.

Sometimes, Instacart has separate drivers to deliver the order items to the customers. Their task is to collect the prepared order from the store and deliver them to the customers at their doorsteps.

Like full-service shoppers, the drivers get per-order pay, and the amount varies depending on the location of the store, order size, delivery time, and other factors.

They also receive incentives and tips, which are a good addition to their income.


Full-service shoppers, in-store shoppers, and drivers receive additional bonuses when they work during holidays, events, or other peak hours.

Tipping Instacart Shoppers

Shoppers Tip

Tipping is a norm in the service sector though it is optional, and to tip a service worker who provides a service is a good incentive for the shopper who will receive compensation for their work.

If a customer gives a tip to a shopper, it shows an appreciation for their efforts and time and also helps them to get additional income.

At Instacart, the shoppers rely on tips to make an additional income as the wage alone cannot fulfill their expenses, and they have to pay their taxes.

Also, these contractors are independent contractors who do not receive employment benefits like other employees.

Process for Paying Tip to the Instacart Shoppers

Customers have some options as to how to tip the shoppers at Instacart.

  1. Customers can add a tip at checkout on the website or through the mobile app.
  2. They can add the tip after the shopper has delivered the order.
  3. Customers can pay in cash when the shoppers deliver the order to their doorstep.

Instacart has pre-set tip percentage, starting from five percent of the total order amount. The tip amount or percentage entirely depends on the customers and how much they decide to pay as a tip. It is optional, and customers can choose not to pay, as it is entirely up to them.

Sometimes, a customer does not tip when they make the order, but if they are satisfied with the shopper, they can either pay in cash or go to the Instacart website or app and add a tip for the shoppers.

Moreover, customers can increase or decrease the tip amount if they are satisfied or unsatisfied with the service.

Tip-Baiting and Its Effect on the Shoppers

Customers use tip-baiting to lure shoppers by placing a high tip amount, and when they receive the orders, they decrease the tip amount. Unfortunately, this practice creates distrust between the customers and shoppers, and the shoppers feel betrayed.

It also impacts the overall earning of the shoppers. As shoppers pay their expenses and taxes and do not get employee benefits, they count on these tip amounts.

But when customers reduce the tip amount, the overall earning from that order reduces.

Instacart Measures for Handling Tip-Baiting

Instacart discourages the practice of tip-baiting, and there are several measures they take to stop customers from practicing this behavior, but tip-baiting still exists.

Some of the measures Instacart takes to discourage tip-baiting are:

  1. Decreasing the tip adjustment time from three days to twenty-four hours.
  2. Asking customers for valid reasons for reducing the tip.
  3. Identifying customers doing repetitive tip-baiting practices and banning them from using the platform.


Instacart pays varies and depends on various factors like the role of the employee, location of the store, size of the order, and many more.

Also, the pay for in-store, full-service shoppers, and drivers is different; the in-store shopper gets hourly wages, and full-service shoppers and drivers get per-order wages.

Also, the full-service shoppers and drivers are independent contractors who pay their taxes and do not receive employee benefits.

Shoppers rely on orders and tip amounts they receive from customers to pay their expenses and taxes. Although tipping is optional, it is a good way to show appreciation to the shoppers for their time and work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Will Receive the Tip if an In-Store Shopper Prepares the Order and the Driver Delivers It?

When two employees prepare the order, they share the tip amount.

Why Does Instacart Hire Independent Contractors?

Instacart hires shoppers as independent contractors:

  • Instacart does not have to pay employee benefits.
  • Independent contractors have flexible working hours.

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