Instacart, the popular grocery delivery service, has an unexpected perk for some of its shoppers: free groceries. In certain situations, when customers cancel orders or aren’t available to receive their deliveries, Instacart allows shoppers to keep some or all of the groceries, rather than returning them to the store.
This practice came to light through social media platforms like TikTok, where users shared their experiences of receiving free groceries. One TikTok user recounted how a customer canceled a $200 grocery order just as he arrived at their doorstep. Instacart’s support team told him he could keep the groceries, resulting in a windfall of items like Greek yogurt, eggs, and veggie burgers.
@iamlo.uie So i just got $200 in free groceries!! ????????#instacart #instacartshopper #fyp #viral #foryoupage #instacartstorytime ♬ original sound – iamlo.uie
Another user shared a similar experience, explaining how they received bags of groceries from Publix for free because they couldn’t locate the correct address for delivery. Instacart’s response was reportedly, “Keep ’em, just return the non-perishable items to Publix.”
Instacart provides its shoppers with a debit card to pay for items, which means that the company bears the cost of canceled or undeliverable orders.
While this practice may be an unexpected bonus for some shoppers, it’s unclear how frequently it occurs or what the overall impact is on Instacart’s operations and finances. The company has not yet commented on the situation.
Instances like these shed light on the complex and sometimes surprising dynamics within the gig economy and food delivery services.