Why Does Instacart Overcharge?

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With COVID, more people have opted to ordering products online to be delivered. This is happening with services like DoorDash to get food delivered or Instacart to get your other shopping needs delivered. With more frequent use, many customers have noticed that they may be paying more than they would otherwise when shopping inside the store.

So does Instacart actually overcharge? The quick answer is “Yes” but not always. According to many users and Supermarketnews, Instacart overcharge (markup) often amounts to 20-25% higher than in-store prices. Instacart has developed good relationships with certain retailers where they avoid overcharging, but for many stores that aren’t on this preferred list, you can expect to overpay.

Instacart Overcharge Examples

According to this Reddit user, a recent grocery trip via Instacart charged them anywhere from 7% higher than store prices to as high as 115%! One of the most egregious examples was $4.83 for a single zucchini when the actual cost was $2.46. Here is how their shopping trip breaks down:

Instacart overcharge Example. Customer paid $51.85 for $37.24 worth of groceries

According to another Reddit user, they ordered from Costco and their charge was $511 for groceries only (no tip, etc) Here is what they had to say:

Here is another receipt from an unhappy Instacart shopper. You can see that they wrote the prices charged on the receipt and notice the difference! See examples like $4.59 for granola that really costs $3.99 (15% overcharge) and $4.99 for blue cheese that really costs $4.29 (16% overcharge)

Is Instacart Allowed to Overcharge?

Instacart is technically allowed to overcharge. From a technical perspective, you are not buying items from a particular retailer. You are buying items from Instacart that has bought them from the retailer.

Overcharging for products from a delivery company is not uncommon. See how customers are also know to be overcharged from the likes of DoorDash here.

Here is an infographic provided that shows Instacart retail partners:

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