What’s up all you Instacart Shoppers out
there? Chad The Gig Economist back again with the conclusion of my First Day Training trilogy.
This lesson picks up right where the last one left off. So without further ado, let’s
get right into it. LOADING YOUR CAR
It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive; there’s a universal strategy to loading
your car based on physics. Keep the heaviest, densest items to the front with the light
and fragile things in the back. This way, if you have to slam on your brakes; the light
and fragile items won’t be crushed from behind.
I drive a Honda Fit and my backseats fold up, so I put the bags on the floor in the
back row and use the trunk area to store my insulated bags and wagon. If I’m doing a
double or triple delivery, I’ll also use the trunk to keep the customers’ bags separate
(plus I have labels I use for the insulated bags, but I’ll show you those in another
video). Some minivans and SUVs enable you to rearrange
or remove the seats to make as much storage space as you need. If you drive one of these
vehicles I’m sure you know how it works. But even if you can’t move the seats, there
should still be plenty of room between them for bags. Just try to keep everything on the
floor so that they don’t topple over. If you drive a regular car you’ll probably
be using the trunk to store your bags. If you keep all the cold food together within
an insulated bag, it should be fine. If you’re really worried about it, keep all the cold
stuff on the floor in the backseat and save the trunk for everything else.
GETTING READY TO MAKE THE DELIVERY Once you’ve got your car packed and you’re
in the driver’s seat, go back to the Shopper app. Swipe right to start the delivery and
you’ll see a page with the customer’s address in the top left corner and any delivery
notes right underneath it. You’ll usually see gate codes in this section, or instructions
telling you to knock, or to leave the groceries at the door.
In the top right corner you’ll see a white “Navigate” button. Tap this and your GPS
app will launch. Once you do, the customer will be able to follow your location on their
Instacart app. If you need to stop for any reason, message the customer to let them know.
Otherwise, they’ll be confused and possibly annoyed if they see you sitting somewhere
for a long time, or if you go way off route. I recommend waiting until after you make the
delivery to gas up, or get food, or take a bathroom break (unless it’s an emergency,
of course). The vast majority of customers will be at
regular houses in the suburbs or at apartment complexes. You will also make deliveries to
hotels, trailer parks, businesses, high rises, retirement homes, hospitals, police and fire
stations, military bases, and even the occasional mansion. It would take me forever to go over
each of those scenarios, so let’s just talk about houses and apartments for now.
DELIVERING TO HOUSES I usually pull into the customer’s driveway
if they’re at a house. This keeps the walking distance from the car to the door as short
and possible. If you need to use the wagon, make sure you’ll be able to navigate it
around cars in the driveway and that you won’t trample any flower beds or gardens. If you
need to roll it across the lawn, try to okay it with the customer first.
Here in Florida, most houses are at the same level as the driveway and sidewalk, so I always
offer to roll the wagon all the way into the customer’s kitchen. I find that doing this
encourages the customer to help unpack the bags. It’s also a great way to start conversing
with them and getting them comfortable around me. That extra effort is what real 5-star
service is. I also was nervous about entering customers’
homes when I first started, but I got over it quickly. Especially when I noticed how
much of a difference it made in terms of 5-star ratings and bigger tips. If all you’re willing
to do is bring the bags to the door and nothing more, that’s understandable (especially
if they dogs running around). However, some Instacart customers are elderly and/or disabled;
carrying groceries 15 feet from the door to the fridge is like a marathon to them. They’ll
be very appreciative if you’re willing to come inside.
DELIVERING TO APARTMENTS Apartment complexes can be a major pain. Especially
when the entire complex shares the same street address. A lot of times the GPS will take
you to the main entrance, but not to the customer’s actual location. Smart customers will put
directions on how to get to them in the delivery notes, but most don’t.
If it’s a large, sprawling complex I recommend calling the customer to ask them where to
go. If you can’t get a ahold of them, try asking anyone you see walking around the complex.
Otherwise, look for signs or numbers on the building. You’ll eventually see a pattern
and realize if you’re heading in the right direction. The absolute worst is when you
have to deliver at night and the building numbers aren’t lit very well. You might
even have to get out of your car and walk over to the building to figure out if you’re
close. Another thing you have to be prepared for
is the eventuality of climbing upwards of four flights of stairs. If you live in an
area with really old buildings, you’re probably used to elevators being rare. However, even
brand new buildings with less than five floors aren’t required to have elevators. I’ve
had to haul multiple cases of water up multiple flights many times. Usually, I don’t mind
because I’m in good shape and I just consider it a bonus workout. But if I just ate or if
it’s the last delivery of the night and I’m exhausted, this can be a major pain.
If you’re petite, frail, obese, handicapped, or injured, you could ask the customer to
help you carry the heavy stuff. Just bear in mind, the reason they might need their
groceries delivered is because they’re handicapped or injured and might be worse off than you
are. If you act like a petulant child and refuse to carry items to the customer’s
door, you could get deactivated for that. At the very least, expect to be 1-starred
and have your tip revoked. So whenever you see a batch with “heavy
order pay included” in the offer, you might want to skip it if you’re not going to be
able to handle it. But if the money is too good to turn down, you’re just going to
have to suck it up and do some heavy lifting. DELIVERING ALCOHOL
If the customer bought alcohol, you will have to scan their license no matter their age.
Customers have to enter their birthday and read a little disclaimer when they purchase
alcohol through Instacart, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise to them.
Whenever I make an alcohol delivery I usually scan their ID before I hand them any bags.
To do this, just go to the main delivery screen and you’ll see a button at the bottom that
says “Verify Alcohol Info.” Tap that and it’ll bring you to another screen giving
you the option of scanning the barcode on their ID, or entering their information manually.
Getting the Shopper app to scan the ID can be tricky. Try holding the ID at an angle
rather than straight-on and it should scan. If it doesn’t, just enter the information
manually. In either case, the app will require the customer
to sign your phone with their finger. They can scribble anything for all I care. As long
as the person receiving the alcohol is clearly of age, you should be fine. By the way, you
don’t have to scan the actual customer’s ID; you can scan the ID of anyone of legal
drinking age who’s actually there and clearly not intoxicated.
HANDLING REFUNDS AT THE DOOR Once in a while you may have to refund something
at the door that you bought as a substitute. This usually happens when the customer has
notifications turned off, or they placed the order on the website. In either case, they
have no idea anything was replaced until you make the delivery and they’re not a fan
of what you got. They might also want a refund if something was damaged in your car. Or,
they might’ve just changed their mind about an item and not want it anymore.
Just make sure they understand that if you refund an item, you have to take it back – they
don’t get it for free. Whatever the case may be, it’s pretty easy to refund the customer
for the items in question. As long as you haven’t swiped delivery complete, all you
have to do is tap the “I in the circle” icon in the top right corner. Then scroll
down to where it says show items. Tap that and you’ll see a list of all the items in
the order. Tap the item they want refunded and that should be one of the actions available.
I recommend having the customer watch you do this so they know for sure they were refunded
and it puts them at ease. IF THE CUSTOMER IS UNAVAILABLE
It doesn’t happen often, but once in a while the customer won’t be home when you arrive.
There are a few reasons this happens. • The customer scheduled their delivery
days or weeks in advance and completely forgot about it.
• The customer moved and forgot to update Instacart with their new address.
• The customer bought that order as a gift for someone else entirely and that person
isn’t home. You’d think you could just leave the bags
at the door and let the customer deal with it, but don’t do that unless they have clearly
stated it’s okay either in their delivery notes or in any of their text messages. Even
if you talk to them on the phone and they say it’s okay to leave their stuff, tell
them they have to put that in writing so there’s a record of it.
Whenever you leave the stuff at the door, always take a picture of the bags and send
it to the customer with a message like “per your instructions, I have left your items
at your door.” Try to include your insulated bags in the picture so they know you used
them. Never assume the customer will be okay with
having their bags left at the door because this creates a huge liability problem. Unattended
bags is a sign that no one is home and attracts burglars. Or someone might just steal the
groceries. In either case you could easily get deactivated (maybe even sued).
There will also be times when the customer is home, but aren’t answering the door because
the doorbell is broken (unbeknownst to them or you), or they’re sleeping, or in the
backyard, or they just can’t hear the doorbell or the knock for whatever reason.
The worst is probably when the customer is in a gated community and they didn’t leave
any instructions on what to do at the gate. If you want to tailgate someone in just to
make the delivery, that’s up to you, but I do not recommend doing this because you
could damage your car if the gate closes on it (plus you might run into trouble with the
law). And sometimes it’s not even the customer’s
fault. Occasionally, Instacart miscalculates how long it will take to make the delivery,
and you end up arriving before their delivery window.
If any of these scenarios occur, you’ll have to start the no-show process; you can’t
just hightail it out of there. To do this, go to the main delivery screen. You’ll see
a menu item that says “Customer is unavailable.” Tap this and it will take you to another page
where you’ll have to go through a tedious checklist so Instacart can verify you’re
where you should be and when you should be there.
Eventually you’ll get to a point where the app says it is letting the customer know that
you are waiting for them. You’ll also see a 1-minute countdown timer. I find that most
of the time, this gets the customer’s attention and they either answer the door immediately,
or call or text me to let me know what’s going on. Once that timer hits zero, you’ll
go to the next step and have to call the customer. Even if you’ve already called them, you
still have to do this in order to proceed. If you still can’t get a hold of the customer,
you’ll have to wait 4 more minutes for them to answer the door, come home, or call or
text you back. After those four minutes are up, you’ll move on to the final step: contacting
Shopper Happiness. Tell the SH rep that your customer is a no-show and they’ll take it
from there. Most of the time, SH gets ahold of the customer and will tell you what to
do. But once in a blue moon, not even SH can get
ahold of the customer and they’ll give you the okay to leave. The problem is, you might
end up waiting 10 to 20 minutes before this happens. At this point you’ll have the option
of keeping the groceries, or returning them to the store for a $10 bump. Just bear in
mind some stores won’t refund perishable foods of any kind; so you can keep them for
yourself, donate them, or just throw them away.
MARKING DELIVERY COMPLETE Even if there is a hang-up of some sort, all
orders are finalized the same way. Just go back to the main delivery screen and you’ll
see a red button across the bottom. Swipe right on it to mark the delivery complete.
Once you do this, the order is now completely out of your hands. If the customer suddenly
decides they want to return something, tell them you’re not able to and advise them
to call Instacart customer service. Also, you and the customer won’t be able to message
each other any more. So if you want to send them a thank-you text, make sure you do it
before you mark the delivery complete. CONCLUSION
As I often say, sorry this video was so long, but I wanted to be thorough. So once again,
if you watched to the end you are awesome! If I forgot anything, or you still have questions,
let me know in the comments and I’ll answer as soon as I can.
As always, thanks for watching and I will see you soon. Bye!