Instacart has long been criticized by shoppers for its confusing payout structure. While shoppers can occasionally be given reasonable rewards for nearby orders, payment for heavy orders or orders with many items can be lackluster.
For example, a user on TikTok recently sparked a discussion after saying she accepted an order for which Instacart paid her $20. That order was for over $800, took several hours to complete, and included numerous heavy items like 26 six-packs of soda.
Now, another user has set off a wave of discussion after sharing a similar video. In a clip with over 110,000 views, TikTok user @xcannablissss shows an order she was offered via Instacart.
The order includes, among other items, 150 bags of mulch. The payment for this delivery would be $15.91 from Instacart, plus a $22.21 tip from the customer.
“Instacart. You have to stop putting these orders on the platform,” the TikToker says. “Lowe’s has delivery. There will be guys in big trucks that have the equipment they need to deliver your 150…bags of mulch — not us shoppers in our sedans, SUVs. I drive a Prius!”
@xcannablissss #greenscreen #instacartshoppers #instacart #badorders #stopthis #instacartdelivery ♬ original sound – birbmom
So could the TikToker actually accept this order if she wanted to?
The bag in question appears to be “Scotts Nature Scapes Color Enhanced 2-cu ft Deep Forest Brown Mulch” from Lowe’s. This bag contains 2 cubic feet or 56.63 liters of mulch. A similar listing from Home Depot puts the weight of one of these bags at around 40 lbs.
The customer ordered 150 bags of mulch. This means that Instacart would pay a driver who accepted this order just $15.91 to deliver 6,000 lbs of mulch—or 3 tons.
As the TikToker expected, this well exceeds the amount that a Prius can carry. In fact, it’s significantly over what a Ford F150 can carry as well, and it’s unlikely that any commercially available civilian vehicle would be able to hold without towing the cargo.
Additionally, there were other items in the order, such as 4 bags of manure and numerous other gardening accessories. These would add to the weight and size, making it even more unlikely that any average Instacart shopper would be able to transport such an order.
Needless to say, the idea that this order was available to the average Instacart shopper came off as ridiculous, according to several commenters.
“Lowes charges $79 for deliver and its on pallets and the machine takes it off,” wrote a user. “I can’t even believe they allowed anything over 20 bags on orders.”
“I have a Highlander and can only fit 10 maybe 15 bags of mulch in our car with the back seats laid down,” offered a user. “150??”
“I tried to get 10 bags from sam’s club and they told me no,” added a third. “I can’t imagine having the audacity to order 150.”
A few users simply shared similar stories of delivery woes.
“once had a pet store that wanted me to deliver 50 bags of dog food for $25 on UberEATS,” recalled a user. “lady asked me why every driver cancelled.”
“My boss once made me order 20 pumpkins on instacart for a work Halloween party,” remembered a second. “I’m so sorry. I tried to tell her it literally wouldn’t fit in cars.”
“I do Shipt and sometimes people will order 30 cases of the 32 packs of water,” stated a further TikToker. “Ain’t no way I’m EVER taking an order like that”
The Daily Dot reached out to Instacart via email and @xcannablissss via TikTok comment.
Update 11:22am CT June 6: In a TikTok DM exchange with the Daily Dot, @xcannablissss offered her thoughts about Lowe’s and Instacart.
“Lowe’s has delivery options available with the necessary trucks and equipment to handle these loads, so why are we contracting Instacart instead?” she asked. “Lowe’s has delivery available, for bulky items as well. Customers are trying to get around the high delivery fees by going through Instacart and saving a bit of cash. What they’re not realizing is that the orders are being sent to average, everyday drivers like you and me — and I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t own a semi!”
“Either Instacart needs to remove the entire store off of the app or set item caps on the customer end to where they CANNOT order more than 20 bags on one order,” she added. “Even 20 is excessive because that’s still 400-600 pounds.”