Instacart, Tips, and Shopper Delivery Pay
Shopper Tips and Instacart Pay
Recently a few articles have surfaced clearly demonstrating that Instacart adjusts pay with regards to the amount of tip included in the shopper estimate. (If you are new here, please read the basics about how Instacart sets their pricing and how shoppers and delivery contractors get paid.) Back in April of 2018, Instacart attempted to fix some shopper complaints that they weren’t getting tips by adjusting service cost and suggesting a minimum tip. They did little to discuss how the new shopper estimates would look postfix and now more news has been reported that confirmed what I’ve already told you. Instacart, Shipt, etc., will always consider the number and value of tips you receive in the pay scale. This is not shocking news, it’s just painful when shoppers get extremely low estimates just because a very giving customer wanted to tip $10.
Tips and Employees versus Contractors
In restaurants, employees pay is adjusted based on estimated tips. But is that fair to contractors? Why would it not be fair to create some dazzling algorithm that made those adjustments for you? That’s exactly what Instacart did and now shoppers are working together via social media to compare and contrast pay. Not only are Instacart and Shipt making commissions off of each item customers purchase, but they are charging shoppers for the privilege of connecting those customers to people who want to shop and deliver their groceries. Why would Instacart or Shipt care about your hourly net income when all they want is to be the conduit between a person who wants groceries but doesn’t want to have to leave the house and a person who needs some income?
Customers Who Tip
People who give generously in the tip category generally understand how putting in an hours worth of effort into driving around Atlanta with a dozen eggs over and over can be frustrating. Customer’s who don’t tip think that companies like Instacart and Shipt pay enough to keep the wheels on the car. If that were true, then the person named “Candace” whose photo in the Instacart app is supposed to be procuring and delivering my goods didn’t look like Tom when she arrived. I’m sure that by the looks of Tom and his vehicle, that he and Candace are doing everything they can to get as many shop/deliveries to make some cash. I demonstrated that in over 200 Atlanta area shop/deliveries that almost 40% of the customers did not tip. Those that did rarely tipped in cash.
If Nothing Else Grabs Your Attention: Tip in CASH
Instacart and Shipt make life easy. They connect you with individuals who will shop and deliver your groceries. Those that do delivery only also make life easy because they connect you with services you would never have unless you used companies like Door Dash, Uber Eats, Grub Hub who connect you to those individuals. When I was collecting data for this so-called science experiment known as my gig-economy career, I kept every single cash tip I received and now give those back when a delivery arrives at my house. I find delight in handing cash to the person who has taken a task I loathe and taken care of it for me. I’ll even tolerate over-ripe avocados to avoid having to step in a supermarket! Your cash tips are not factored into some fancy algorithm that Instacart or Shipt may be using to adjust the pay of their contractors. Instacart’s vision isn’t to be the best shopper/deliverer – it’s to provide access to it! Instacart says, “We’ve transformed million of customers lives that get groceries delivered with more time and access to fresh food.” It’s access that transforms those customers.
How Much Should I Tip?
I have other calculations, but generally, a 15% cash tip is a default! Depending on timing, access, and courtesy, start with 5% and work up as needed. In cash. Don’t use the apps to add tips, see the value of the access to services you get, and invest in the value of it. All shoppers and delivery agents should strive for good customer service – this coupled with cash tips would ultimately change the game entirely. Know how your contracting pay works, refuse low estimate batches and understand that your ability to excel does not stop at delivery by a certain time.