why does instacart charge more than total

As a regular user of Instacart, I have often wondered why the final total charged to my account is slightly higher than the total shown on the app. After doing some research and reaching out to Instacart customer support, I’ve uncovered some interesting facts about Instacart’s pricing strategy. In this article, I will address the reasons behind why Instacart may charge more than the total shown on the app, shedding light on some common misconceptions and offering a comprehensive understanding of the issue.

The Convenience Fee: Breaking Down Service Charges

One of the key factors contributing to the disparity between the total shown on the app and the final amount charged is the convenience fee. The convenience fee is a flat fee charged for the convenience of having groceries delivered to your doorstep. While this fee is clearly disclosed before checkout, it is often overlooked by users who focus solely on the cost of the items in their cart. This fee is essential for Instacart to cover operational costs and maintain the quality of their services.

Markup on Products: Examining Pricing Discrepancies

Another factor that may lead to Instacart charging more than the total displayed on the app is the markup on certain products. While Instacart strives to offer competitive prices, they may mark up the prices of certain items to account for the cost of sourcing and delivering them. This markup is typically nominal but can add up, especially when purchasing a large number of items.

Dynamic Pricing: Understanding Fluctuations in Costs

Instacart also employs dynamic pricing, which means that the prices of certain items may fluctuate based on demand, availability, and other external factors. This can result in the final total charged being higher than the initially displayed total. While Instacart aims to minimize these fluctuations, they are a natural part of the retail industry and can impact the overall cost of a user’s order.

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Scaling Delivery Fees: Factoring in Distance and Time

Delivery fees on Instacart vary based on the distance between the store and the delivery location, as well as the time of day. This scaling approach ensures that users are charged fairly based on the resources required to fulfill their order. While this transparent pricing model benefits both users and shoppers, it can lead to variations in the final amount charged compared to the initial total displayed on the app.

Additional Fees and Surcharge: Unveiling Hidden Costs

Instacart may apply additional fees or surcharges in certain situations, such as for orders below a minimum threshold or for deliveries during peak hours. These fees, while necessary for maintaining the efficiency of Instacart’s operations, can contribute to the discrepancy between the total shown on the app and the amount ultimately charged to the user.

Exceeding Estimated Quantities: Addressing Quantity Adjustments

Users may also notice differences between the total shown on the app and the final amount charged if the actual quantities of items received exceed the initially estimated quantities. In such cases, the final amount charged will reflect the accurate quantities provided, which may result in a higher cost than what was originally displayed.


In conclusion, Instacart charges more than the total shown on the app due to various factors such as convenience fees, markup on products, dynamic pricing, scaling delivery fees, additional fees, surcharges, and quantity adjustments. Understanding these factors is crucial for users to make informed decisions and manage their expectations when using Instacart.


1. Why is the final amount charged by Instacart higher than the total shown on the app?

The final amount charged may be higher due to convenience fees, markup on products, dynamic pricing, scaling delivery fees, additional fees, surcharges, and quantity adjustments.

2. How can I avoid unexpected charges when using Instacart?

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Users can review the fees and pricing information provided by Instacart, carefully check their orders before checkout, and consider opting for Instacart Express to access discounted fees.

3. Does Instacart provide transparency about additional fees and surcharges?

Yes, Instacart discloses additional fees and surcharges before checkout, allowing users to review and understand the complete cost of their orders.

4. Can I dispute charges if I believe they are unjustified?

Users can contact Instacart customer support to address any concerns about charges, providing an opportunity for clarification and resolution.

5. How does Instacart ensure fair pricing for users?

Instacart utilizes transparent pricing models, avoids hidden charges, and strives to offer competitive prices while ensuring the sustainability of its operations and services.

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