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Instacart Tipping Guide: How Much Should You Tip Instacart Shoppers?

Instacart is convenient for those who don’t want to drive to the grocery store and peruse the aisles. Part of ordering Instacart delivery is the tip. When you’re thinking about that, you might wonder how tipping on Instacart works and how much you should tip your shopper.

Key Takeaways

  • Tipping Instacart shoppers 15-20% is recommended, and shoppers get 100% of tips.
  • Instacart shoppers can see tips before accepting deliveries, so tipping when placing your order may help to get delivery faster.
  • You can increase your Instacart tip amount up to 24 hours after delivery or reduce it up to 2 hours after delivery.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about tipping on Instacart, including how to tip before and after delivery.

How Much Should You Tip Instacart Shoppers?

We recommend tipping Instacart shoppers 15-20% of your order total, especially if you received exemplary service.

Instacart’s default tipping percentage is 5%, though orders delivered correctly and on time warrant a larger tip.

Instacart also recommends customers tip $2 at a minimum, even for small orders.

A 15% tip is a nice amount to give your shopper when they deliver your order on time with good-quality items.

Some shoppers are great at communicating about items needing to be replaced or finding uncommon products quickly.

When your Instacart shopper shows extra effort like this, it is recommended that you tip closer to 20% of the order total.

Of course, you can choose exactly how much you want to tip your shopper.

You can also adjust the tip amount on Instacart after the order has been delivered if you feel the original tip you selected did not reflect the service provided.

Why Should You Tip Instacart Shoppers?

You should tip Instacart shoppers to get your order on time and show your appreciation for their hard work.

Instacart shoppers can see the tips added to orders, which can influence how quickly an order is accepted.

Orders with no tips added will be looked over by many shoppers before they are selected for delivery.

In addition, Instacart shoppers rely on tips to supplement the base pay that Instacart offers.

Without tips, shoppers will typically make $7-10 per order, which does not equate to a reasonable hourly wage.

Furthermore, Instacart shoppers are not compensated for the wear on their cars.

Some orders may pay slightly extra for gas when prices surge, though there is no guarantee that any payment for gas will be included in each order.

To be sustainable for Instacart shoppers to continue working, they must earn tips on their orders.

This is why Instacart adds a default tip to each order.

Tipping is also the customary way to show your appreciation for the shopper’s hard work.

While it is somewhat expected that shoppers are tipped, it is not a requirement.

Thus, adding a tip demonstrates that you recognize the shopper’s great service.

Can Instacart Shoppers See Tips?

Instacart shoppers can see tips before accepting delivery. In addition, all available orders are displayed on the Instacart Shopper app, with the base pay and tip amount shown separately.

You can add a tip before or after your Instacart order is delivered.

It’s important to know that Instacart shoppers can see how much you tipped when you placed the order.

If you added a tip, whether a percentage or a dollar amount, the dollar amount will be listed on your order information on the Instacart Shopper app.

If you did not add a tip, the tip amount would display as $0.

If more than one order is available, shoppers will almost always select an order with a good tip versus one with no tip.

What Happens if You Don’t Tip on Instacart?

While tipping is optional on Instacart, it may take longer for a shopper to accept your order if you don’t tip.

Shoppers are likely to select other orders with better tips first, so orders with no tips may be delivered late.

When a shopper sees there is no tip, they are also less likely to put in extra effort to pick the best quality items.

Tips motivate shoppers in multiple ways.

First of all, having a tip encourages shoppers to accept your order since it makes the order worthwhile.

Many shoppers would agree that an order without a tip is not worth their time.

Secondly, tips motivate shoppers to work quickly yet with care.

When Instacart shoppers know they can earn a large tip, they want to provide excellent service to keep that tip.

Shoppers know that customers can change their tip amount if they are unhappy with the service provided.

When you include a nice tip with your order payment, your Instacart shopper will likely spend extra time picking the best quality produce, perishables that will not expire soon, and other items without any damage.

In addition, they will also be motivated to deliver your order in a reasonable time so they will shop more efficiently.

Do Instacart Shoppers Get 100% of the Tip?

Instacart shoppers get 100% of the tip on every order they deliver; however, shoppers cannot receive the money until at least 24 hours after the order has been completed.

This window of time allows customers to edit the amount they tip.

Once it is finalized, the entire tip will be paid to the shopper.

Customers can feel assured that the tips they give will go right to those who deserve them.

Instacart does not take any percentage of the tip on orders.

Instead, Instacart’s profits come from a portion of the delivery fees, service fees, memberships, and more.

How to Tip on Instacart

You can tip on the Instacart app or website when you first place the order, which will encourage shoppers to accept and deliver your order sooner. You can also edit or add a tip after the order has been delivered by opening the order information from your order history.

There are pros and cons to tipping before or after the delivery.

The major benefit of tipping when you place your order is that it will look more appealing to shoppers. Thus, your order will likely be accepted quickly.

The downside of tipping when you place your order is choosing an amount before anyone does any work.

In some cases, the tip amount may not correlate with the quality of service your shopper provides.

On the other hand, the benefit of tipping after the delivery is choosing the right amount that reflects the service you received.

You could tip extra if your shopper went above and beyond.

However, the downside of tipping after delivery is that shoppers will initially think you aren’t giving a tip.

Either way, you should tip your Instacart shoppers so they are adequately compensated for their work. Keep reading to learn exactly how to add a tip on Instacart before or after delivery.

When Placing Your Order (Before Delivery)

Here is how to add a tip when placing your Instacart order through the website:

Step 1. Add all your groceries to your cart. Once you are ready, click the cart to review your order and click “Go to Checkout.”

Step 2. On the right sidebar, locate where it says “Delivery Tip.” Click “Change” to adjust the tip amount.

Step 3. Select the tip percentage you want to give to your shopper. You can also enter a custom amount by selecting “Other amount.”

Step 4. Click “Save Tip” to add the tip amount to your order total. Place the order when ready so a shopper can accept it.

Here is how to add a tip when placing your order through the Instacart app:

Step 1. Add all your groceries to your cart. Once you are ready, click “Go to Checkout” to review your order.

Step 2. Scroll down to the section that says “Delivery Tip.”

Step 3. Click “Change” to adjust the tip amount. A default amount may have already been added to your order, but you can adjust it at any time. Choose the tip amount you would like to add to the order.

Step 4. Choose “Save Tip” to update your order total.

Step 5. If you have selected “Other” and entered $0 as a tip amount, Instacart will show a message recommending that you tip your shopper. You can still confirm that you would not like to add a tip, though we discourage this.

After Your Order Has Been Delivered

You may want to add a tip after your order has been delivered or perhaps feel that you need to change your originally selected amount.

You can easily adjust the tip amount on Instacart after your order has been delivered.

Here’s how to add a tip on the website after your Instacart order has been delivered:

Step 1. Open the menu by clicking the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner of your screen.

Step 2. Select “Your orders” to see all orders you have previously placed.

Step 3. Click “View order detail” for the order you want to adjust.

Step 4. You will see the option to modify the tip amount. Adjust as needed.

Here’s how to add a tip after your order has been delivered on the Instacart app:

Step 1. Open the menu by clicking the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner of your screen.

Step 2. Select “Your orders” to see all orders you have previously placed.

Step 3. Select the order you want to make changes.

Step 4. Select “Receipt” to view the items ordered and purchased by the shopper and the price breakdown. Scroll down until you see an option to adjust the tip and make any changes needed.

Whether you don’t initially tip or choose an amount that you want to modify, you will be able to change the final tip amount before the order is closed out.

Make sure that you do not let more than 24 hours pass after your order is delivered.

Instacart allows customers to increase their tip amount up to 24 hours after delivery or reduce their tip up to 2 hours after delivery.

Instacart must have a final tip amount selected to pay out the tip to the deserving shopper.

Can You Tip Instacart Shoppers in Cash?

You can tip Instacart shoppers in cash when they deliver your order.

To tip your Instacart shopper in cash, you can either leave the cash at your doorstep for them to take or hand it directly to them when they drop off your groceries.

However, you cannot pay for the actual groceries with cash, so you still need a credit or debit card.

Adding a tip online when placing your order is generally the best way to tip an Instacart shopper.

Since you already have to use some type of electronic payment method to pay for your order, you might as well add the tip to the same transaction.

Also, remember that shoppers can see the tip amount when previewing orders.

If you leave the tip off the initial order and plan to tip in cash, the shoppers will not know that.

Instead, your order may be overlooked since shoppers will not be expecting to receive a tip.

If you still want to tip in cash, you can do so.

You will be notified when your shopper checks out and when they have arrived at the delivery location.

The shopper should knock or ring your doorbell to let you know they have arrived, at which you can then tip them.

You can also message your shopper on the Instacart app to give them a heads-up that you will be tipping in cash.

They will greatly appreciate it, and they will make sure to meet you so they can get the cash.

An alternative way to tip in cash is by leaving the tip at your door, somewhere where the shopper will see it.

You should still message the shopper to let them know that there will be a tip waiting for them.

A word of caution with leaving the tip at your door – you should be careful with your tip placement, perhaps hiding it in an inconspicuous spot.

You also want to make sure that the cash can’t get blown away by the wind!

In the end, your Instacart shopper will greatly appreciate any tip you give, whether electronically or in cash.

Do You Tip Instacart Pickup?

You do not usually tip Instacart pickup orders. When you place a pickup order on Instacart, an in-store shopper will prepare your groceries, and you will pick up the order at the store.

These shoppers are often employees of the stores themselves, and they are usually not allowed to accept tips from customers.

While shoppers would greatly appreciate tips, they are often not allowed to accept any money from customers.

Most grocery stores have policies that prohibit customers from tipping their employees.

Since Instacart pickup orders only require the shopping component of an order (and not the delivery), some stores use their own employees to fulfill pickup orders.

Thus, customers cannot tip the person who prepared their order.

There are some situations in which the order will be completed by an Instacart shopper.

In that case, you may have the option to add a tip to your order.


Instacart shoppers greatly appreciate it when they receive a tip on an order. Tips from customers are often necessary to make their income worthy of their time and effort.

Tips are also important to keep all delivery services sustainable, making them an attractive option in the gig economy.

If you’re looking to learn more about Instacart, check out these articles.

Related Articles:

How Does Instacart Work and How Much Does It Cost?

Instacart Express: What Are the Benefits and Is It Worth It?

How to Contact Instacart Customer Service (By Phone, Chat, and More)

Here’s How Costco Same-Day Delivery With Instacart Works

How Instacart Pickup Works and How to Order

About the Author

Alex Burgess is a registered dietitian and content creator with over two years of experience. She loves sharing nutrition information and has a passion for studying gut health.

During her free time, she enjoys hiking with friends, cooking a new recipe for her family, or watching her dog frolic at the dog park.

November 16, 2022