How Pickup works

Instacart Pickup is another way to order from Instacart. Pickup allows you to order online, set a pickup time, and collect your order at the store.

Placing a Pickup order

For certain areas Instacart serves, Pickup is an option you can select before you start shopping. To place an order for Pickup, shop your order on the Instacart app and, when checking out, select a time to come to the store to collect it. 

You can see which stores in your area offer Pickup by clicking the Stores selector and choosing the Pickup toggle. To check if your preferred retailer and location offers Pickup, click or tap More Info under the store or look under the Pickup category during checkout. Any item available for delivery is also available for Pickup.


Pickup fees vary by store. Be sure to check over the fee amounts when you select a Pickup time at checkout. It looks like this—


Instacart Express customers with orders $35 and over always get free Pickup.

When your order is ready for pickup, Instacart sends a text or in-app push notification to your phone along with directions for where and how to retrieve your order. 

Occasionally, your order will be ready to pick up early. In these cases, we notify you—just in case you’d like to pick it up before the original order time. Don’t worry, though—we keep all your items in temperature-controlled storage until you arrive.

Picking up

We recommend downloading the Instacart app onto your phone, so you can stay up-to-date with notifications about your order. As you leave your house, tap the I’m on my way button so shoppers can get ready to bring out your order. When you arrive at the store, send a notification through the app by hitting the I’m here button. We also recommend sharing your location while using the Instacart app to help shoppers better time your grocery handoff. Learn more about location sharing. 

Depending on the store, you may pick up your order inside or wait while we bring it out to your car. Most stores have dedicated parking spots for you to wait in while we bring your order out—we’ll always share store-specific instructions for your order before you arrive.

For orders containing alcohol, you must have a valid form of ID.

Tracking your order in progress

For best results, download the latest version of the Instacart app for iOS or Android.

When your order is connected with a shopper, you’ll see a message in the app. If you have notifications turned on, you’ll also receive a notification.

You can access your active order any time by selecting account > Your orders. 

During the shop, tap See Shopped Items to track the shopper's progress and view item changes.

If you have notifications turned on, you will also receive alerts for any changes to your order such as replacements and refunds. 


You can chat with your shopper while they're selecting your items. Tap the Chat with shopper button on the bottom of the order page:

Use this feature to add new items to the order as needed. 

Tracking your delivery in progress

For best results, download the latest version of the Instacart app for iOS or Android.

When it's time for delivery, you'll see a message in the order screen in your app: 

(If you have notifications turned on, you'll see an alert as well.)

Here you'll see the delivery ETA. Tapping Map on the order screen displays your driver's location.  

During delivery, you can reach out to your driver as needed. Scroll to the bottom of the order screen and tap the Chat with shopper box to pull up the chat page:

Please be aware that, for safety reasons, drivers may be unable to reply to your messages while in transit. 

The order screen will reflect when the delivery is complete! (And, of course, you'll get a notification if you have those turned on.)

Approving changes to your order

 For best results, download the latest version of the Instacart app for iOS or Android.

To track your personal Shopper's progress and view item changes, tap See Shopped Items.

(If you have notifications turned on, you will also receive alerts for any changes to your order.)

If you approve of the order change, you can tap Approve. If you'd prefer another option, tap Other options...

On this page you'll see the reason the item was replaced or refunded. You can select other options for replacements, or choose a refund for the item instead. If you don't see the option you'd prefer, you're welcome to chat with your shopper directly by tapping the Chat with button. 


If you approve the change, the shopper will be notified to proceed. 

When the shop is complete, you can tap See Shopped items to view all the completed changes and items in your order:

Please note: depending on your store and delivery time, your order may be stored at temperature until it can be picked up for delivery. If so, you will see information about this in the order screen. 

Receiving your delivery

After the items in your order have been picked and packed, a personal shopper will start the delivery process. In some cases, the person who shops your order may not be the one who delivers it.

To make sure you get your delivery as scheduled, we recommend—

  • Turning on notifications for the Instacart app
  • Keeping an eye out for text messages and phone calls from the delivery driver
  • Leaving helpful instructions for parking, gate codes, or other clues to find your home.

Driver can’t find your location

If the delivery driver can’t find your location, they’ll try to get in touch with you via text message or phone call before taking further action. Unless you specifically request for them to do so, drivers are unable to leave an order unattended. Orders containing alcohol can never be left unattended.

When a customer can’t be found or contacted for an extended period of time, the order may be cancelled.

Unavailable to receive delivery

In the case that you can’t be there to receive your delivery in person, we recommend first reaching out to a friend or neighbor to get it for you. Just let the driver know of the change by adding a note in the delivery instructions or sending them a message through the Instacart app or website.

Alternatively, you can ask the driver to leave the order unattended in a designated spot.

Please note: orders containing alcohol require the I.D. and signature of someone 21 or older and cannot be left unattended

Wrong address on order

Place an order and realize too late that it’s headed to the wrong address? You’ll need to reach out to Instacart Care for assistance.

View your delivery receipt

Once your delivery is complete, you can quickly access your receipt in your email inbox or in your Instacart account.


In your email inbox

When your delivery is complete, we’ll send you an email copy of your full receipt. If you’re not receiving Instacart order confirmation emails, please check your junk/spam folder!


In your account

In the app:

  1. Tap the completed order pop-up at the bottom of the screen, OR:
  2. Tap the Account icon
  3. Tap Your orders
  4. Select the order you want to review
  5. Tap View receipt

On a computer:

  1. Click Account
  2. In the dropdown menu, click Your orders
  3. In the left-hand menu, click Order History
  4. Click on the order you want to review
  5. At the top of the order details page, click View Receipt

Please note: if your order contained deliveries from multiple stores, you will see each store’s items list displayed as a tab on the order details page. However, selecting View receipt on any of these store tabs will display a receipt for the complete order, including all stores.



Shoppers appreciate tips as a way of recognizing excellent service and 100% of your tip goes directly to the shopper delivering your order.

By default a 5% tip is suggested at checkout, with a minimum suggestion of $2 per individual store delivery. 

Tips are optional and the default tip may be adjusted at checkout or when rating an order after a delivery. You can add and change a tip amount up to 3 days after your delivery is complete. Your receipt will update accordingly.

Where do I modify the tip?

Modifying the tip when placing an order

To adjust the tip when placing your order, tap Change next to Driver Tip at Checkout.

Select a tip amount and tap Save.

Modifying the tip after delivery

You can adjust the tip after your delivery is complete through the receipt pop-up in your app, in your account, or via the emailed receipt statement. Clicking rate order will take you to the tip page.

In the app:

  1. Tap the Account icon
  2. Tap Your orders
  3. Tap your recent order
  4. Tap Rate and tip
  5. Select the tip amount

On the website:

  1. Log in and click Account
  2. In the drop down menu, click Your Orders
  3. Click on your recent order
  4. At the top of the order page, click Rate order


Here you can set your tip by a percentage of the order total, set a custom amount, or submit none.  

For more help viewing your receipt, click here.

I added a tip after delivery, but I want to change it. Can I do that?

You can adjust your tip within 3 days of your completed order. Follow the steps to access the Order page, above. Select View rating and adjust the tip as preferred.

How is a tip different than the service fee?

The service fee is not a tip and does not go directly to the shopper delivering your order. For more information about the service fee, follow this link.

Locker Pickup

Cub Foods stores in your region now offer a new, more convenient option for shopping with Instacart. You will now get your Instacart Pickup orders in climate-controlled lockers, located outside the front entrance of specific Cub stores.

Here’s how it works—

  1. Shop and checkout on the Instacart app, selecting a time window during which your order will be available for pick up. Your order will stay in the locker until the store closes
  2. Arrive at the store, find the outdoor lockers at the front entrance, and open your app to find a special PIN in the dashboard
  3. Tap the screen in the center of the lockers and input your special PIN
  4. LED lights illuminate next to the locker(s) containing your order. Pull open the locker doors to access. If you accidentally close a locker door before you finish collecting your items, don’t worry. Your PIN works for an additional 15 minutes after you first open the locker(s)
  5. Collect your order and carry on living your life!

There are 3 types of Pickup lockers: freezer, refrigerator, and room temperature (for shelf-stable foods like cereal) so your cool and frozen items are kept at a safe temperature before you pick them up.

If your entire order won’t fit in available lockers, your app will note such and you can pick it up at a temperature-controlled storage area inside the store. Check your Instacart app (where you found your unique PIN) for additional directions. If you are unable to pick up your order before Cub closes for the night, your order will be returned inside the store and you will get a refund but charged a $15 fee.

GPS and location

Turning on your GPS location services in your Instacart app can help improve your shopping experience. Instacart uses this data to better serve you when using the Pickup shopping option. This helps us make sure your order is ready to go when you get close to the store and, in some cases, deploy a runner for curbside pickup at participating grocers.

Turning on location services

You can check in your phone’s settings to see if you already share your location with the Instacart app. If it’s off, it’s easy to turn on those permissions.

For Apple iOS—

  1. Go to your phone Settings
  2. Tap Privacy
  3. Tap Location Services
  4. Tap the slider and make sure it’s green
  5. Tap the Instacart app
  6. Tap Location
  7. Tap Always or While Using the App

For Android—

If you see Locating method or Mode underneath the Location toggle, select High Accuracy. Make sure to give the Instacart app permission to access your location.

  1. Go to phone Settings
  2. Tap Apps
  3. Tap the Instacart app
  4. Turn on the Location toggle


Chat with your shopper

While your personal shopper is working on your order, you can chat with them about changes to your order, to get more information about a recommended replacement, and anything else you want to communicate.

If a shopper hasn’t started your order yet, you can make changes to your order such as item selections, notes, and replacement options.

Chat in the Instacart app

Open the Instacart app while your order is in progress.

  1. Tap the current order card at the bottom of the screen OR
  2. Tap the Account icon
  3. Tap Your orders
  4. Select your current order
  5. When your current order screen appears, tap the chat bubble icon in the upper right corner
  6. Send your message
  7. If you have turned on in-app notifications, you’ll receive an alert when your personal Shopper replies.

Chat on the Instacart website

Log in to

  1. Click View order status near the top of the page OR
  2. Click Account
  3. In the dropdown menu, click Your orders
  4. Select your current order
  5. In the upper right of the page, you’ll see a chat box that says, “Leave a message for your shopper here!
  6. Enter a message to your personal shopper in the box. You can say something like, “Add a bag of oranges!”
  7. To view replies, keep the page open on your browser.

Please note: If your order hasn’t been connected to a shopper yet, you can manage your items, notes, and replacement options in your account. Click here for help updating your order items.


Problem with your order

Receive a delivery you’re not completely satisfied with? In most cases, we can make things right quickly when you report a problem following the instructions below.

In the Instacart app or website, you can let us know about—

  • Missing items
  • Incorrect items
  • Damaged items
  • Poor replacements
  • Late orders

How to report a problem

Open the order you’d like to tell us about in the app or on You can also share any issues from the ratings screen. 

To get started—

  1. Select the Report a problem link OR select a specific issue under “Were there any problems?”
  2. Choose the issue you experienced
  3. Select any affected item(s) in your order
  4. Select what you’d like Instacart to do to resolve the issue
  5. Select Add another problem for additional issues
  6. Click or tap Submit Issues to finish

You’ll get an email confirmation right away for any credits or refunds, and we’ll let you know as soon as any other issues are resolved.

If your order never arrived, reach out to Instacart Care by selecting Contact Us at the bottom of any article.

Returns policy

At this time, except in situations where a shopper must return alcohol to the store (for example, if the shopper cannot confirm valid ID), shoppers cannot accept items for return.

If there is a problem with an item in your order, please click this link for help reporting the issue.

If you choose to make a return in-store, please note that in-store returns are subject to in-store policies, and vary by retailer. Some retailers may accept your digital Instacart receipt as proof of payment.

Receiving orders at military bases

If you live or work on a military base, given the heightened security, you may have to give specific guidance to your shopper on how to make the delivery. This includes instructions such as how to pass security gates or stops, or for your shopper to meet you at the entrance gate instead of delivering to your door.

Please note that shoppers who can’t reach you via chat or phone may not be able to deliver your order.


Food Safety at Instacart

Food safety and quality is a top priority at Instacart. We make sure that all shoppers are well-equipped with knowledge to make sure your food is properly picked and maintained at all stages of the shopping process. 

Educating shoppers on food safety

We help prepare shoppers to safely handle and transport food with an interactive Food Safety Walkthrough and a Shopper Food Safety Requirements and Best Practices guide. Shoppers learn to look for the freshest possible items and pay special attention to expiration dates, broken seals, and the quality of fresh produce.

Storing food properly

Orders that are placed for a later delivery may get shopped in advance and delivered by another shopper. We make sure that all items are maintained in temperature-controlled fridges and freezers at the store until the driver arrives. 

We’ve also implemented the use of insulated bags and coolers to make sure your items stay at the correct temperature while in transit from the store to you.