How Much To Tip Grocery Delivery – During the COVID-19 pandemic, grocery delivery seemed to many consumers to be a safer option than going through the store, putting enormous pressure on grocers to add or greatly expand delivery and curbside pickup. Fortunately, many stores had already added delivery before Covid hit. In 2017, Amazon made big waves by gobbling up Whole Foods, using the chain’s distribution network to expand delivery. Target, Walmart, and the biggest supermarket chains rushed to catch up, worried the 1,000-pound gorilla of delivery would win a huge chunk of their market share. And it’s spurred new investments and partnerships to outfit your products, like Instacart.

There are many ways to order grocery delivery in this area. Most major chains run their own delivery operations, including Giant, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Walmart, Wegmans, Weis and Whole Foods. For most of these companies, shoppers can also order through Instacart or Shipt, third-party sites that use their own gig workers to assemble and transport groceries. At many small chain and independent stores, third-party apps are your only option.

How Much To Tip Grocery Delivery

Consumers aren’t skipping the aisles like they were in 2020, but the pandemic has gotten a new pool of shoppers turning to online grocery shopping for good. If you find going to the grocery store a chore and a hassle, getting your avocados, Doritos, and whatever else isn’t delivered is a nice, time-saving option for you. And these services are a great help to those who cannot visit the local market due to physical disabilities or lack of transportation.

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Still, in most stores, getting groceries to you involves sending someone else up and down the aisles to collect your items and then bring them to you. This means most delivery businesses are just transferring the labor of shopping from you to someone else—and someone pays for it. In some stores, the extra cost for delivery is minimal (just a few dollars per order), but in others we found that many customers were paying a huge premium to skip the store.

At some stores, we found that delivering groceries costs the same as if you cut them yourself. But we discovered that some delivery options added $40 or more to our order, even before adding a tip. (Please tip; order-fillers and drivers are paid little and depend on gratuities.)

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The table below reports how we compared grocery delivery services on price We shopped each option using our market basket of 154 items (the same list we used to compare in-store prices in conventional supermarkets). We then compared prices collected from delivery services to prices offered at brick-and-mortar stores in the Washington area. The table reports how much our illustrative family of four would spend with each grocery delivery service for an order that would cost $250 at an “average” grocery store.

All delivery services we checked have an annual fee, delivery fee or service fee Some stores also mark the prices offered. How much you pay for delivery depends on which store you shop at and which service you use.

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Several options increase your costs by charging high delivery fees; Some charge $10 or more per order. With most, you can pay a membership fee or pay a lower per-order fee to get unlimited free delivery; If you order often, you’ll save by joining. (In our cost comparison, we assumed our customer would place 36 orders per year and choose the least expensive option for delivery fees; for services that offer annual subscriptions, we divided their annual fee by 36 and added it to the total order. )

We added a $25 tip to our hypothetical order for each delivery option. If it’s less than you suggest, adjust our estimates accordingly. Some services accommodate tipping better than others; With some, there is no way to do this when ordering, so you have to tip with cash.

As you can see sometimes there is no big cost consequence for delivery versus buying it yourself. Leaving aside the $25 tip, the incremental cost for delivery was about $3 for Harris Teeter, Safeway, Target and Walmart, if we ordered using their own dedicated services.

But with some delivery options, markups and fees added $40 or more to our total. Using Instacart to shop at Giant costs $75 more than what we pay in store, plus tip; It costs us an additional $80, plus tip, to place our order at Harris Teeter via Shipot.

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The total cost of our delivery orders, including groceries, fees and tip, ranged from a minimum of $183 for ALDI via Instacart, $225 for Lidl via Shipt, and $238 for Walmart, when ordering from Safeway via Shipt. Up to a maximum of $365.

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The least expensive delivery option, in terms of added fees, was ordering directly through Giant: It charges no delivery fees for orders delivered Tuesday through Thursday, and charges just $3.95 per order for other days.

Our largest cost increases are typically due to in-store price markups. While many stores charge the same price for groceries whether they’re sold in their physical stores or delivered, others add a markup to items brought to you. For example, ordering via Shipt from Harris Teeter added about 23 percent to our grocery bill; Using Instacart for our giant orders tacked on a 20 percent markup—and again, that’s before Instacart and Shipt’s fees and any tips are added.

Instacart and Shipt are listed several times in our price comparison because they allow their customers to choose between different chains where they will send their shopper-drivers to find, check out, and bring the items you ordered to you. So with Instacart you can make one order for Wegmans and another for Costco (each trip counts as a separate order).

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Instacart and Shipt partner with many grocery stores, and Shipt is owned by Target. When ordering through these services, in some stores store staff do the shopping and third-party services only handle delivery. Other stores only allow Instacart and Shipt employees to shop for customers.

With most delivery options you can sign up for an annual membership and get unlimited free delivery or pay a reduced delivery fee.

An Instacart membership costs $99 a year; It also charges a per-order service fee (it’s not a tip, that fee goes to the company). For our $250 order, Instacart’s service fee was typically $10, and goes up if you don’t opt ​​for its annual membership. Some stores also charge large markups on items you order through Instacart.

Shipt also offers membership for $99 per year, but unlike Instacart doesn’t charge additional per-order fees. But, like Instacart, you should watch out for big price markups.

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To order from Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods, you need a Prime membership ($14.99/month or $139/year), but there’s no additional fee per order.

Except for some Amazon Fresh orders, stores and third-party delivery services send their employees to local retail grocery stores to peruse the aisles, select the items you order, and then bring them to you—hardly an efficient operation. While these workers can move faster than you (it helps that they’re working from a limited, organized list and aren’t bringing a herd of kids), these added labor costs mean higher bills for you. But for most shoppers, grocery deliveries are about saving time, not money.

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Ordering online requires more foresight than popping into the store on the way home from the office, and more planning than wandering the aisles and throwing whatever looks good in the cart. And while you don’t have to be home when your order arrives with most delivery services, you’ll still want to schedule your orders to show up at a convenient time to make sure your items don’t melt, spoil, or disappear.

Making a list of the products you buy most often makes part of the online shopping process much more efficient—just pull up your list and click on the items you need—but making that list, at least at first, is tedious.

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While we’ve found that store inventory technology has improved greatly over the past few years, searching for items on many sites is incredibly frustrating. For example, searching for “brussels sprouts” in some stores yielded no results; Searching for “gala apple” we also got zero hits. But if we use the inappropriate “brussel sprouts” or just “apples,” bingo!

Our researchers were also annoyed by Instacart and others that forced them to scroll through sponsored items, featured recipes and “what others are buying” before they actually selected the items they wanted.

On most sites, item descriptions are very vague. Were we buying a pound of jalapeños? A single pepper? A big bag of them? Often there was nothing to indicate what we would get.

Worse, we often get confused by the snail-like speed of many websites. In some cases, it was faster to run to the store than spend hours staring at loaded pages.

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On the other hand, a plus of online shopping is that it greatly reduces on impulse buying. And, again, once you’re organized, delivery services can save time.

Some stores offer online ordering with in-store pickup. But you still need to plan and make lists

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