instacart logo (l) culligan water softener salt bags and a pallet of water bottles (r)

JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock r/InstacartShoppers (Licensed)

‘I thought they were chips’: Instacart shopper accidentally picks up order with 10 massive bags of salt. They each weigh 50 pounds

‘Instacancel. That shouldn’t even be allowed.’


Braden Bjella


People order the strangest things from delivery apps. From live lobsters to bags and bags of mulch, it seems that customers will place orders for just about anything, no matter how weird it is or cumbersome it may be for the delivery driver.

When an Instacart driver is offered an order, they usually get pictures of all the items they’ll be picking up. For Reddit user u/yanathebarista, a recent order offered them $22 for a double batch of what appeared to be 10 bags of chips and six large cases of water.

Although cases of water are notoriously annoying to deliver, u/yanathebarista still decided to accept the order, thinking they could fit it all into their Honda Civic.

However, after they arrived at the store, they realized to their horror that the bags of chips they saw in the order were not, in fact, chips. Instead, they were 50-pound bags of “Culligan Water Softener Salt” — meaning the shopper would have to load 500 pounds of salt into their car.

“Excuse me while I DIE,” they wrote in the post.

In the comments, users supported u/yanathebarista, with many saying they would have made the same mistake.

“Lmao it does look like chips in the pic,” said a user.

“Or maybe candies,” replied another. “Absolutely not like something that big.”

Several even admitted to making or observing similar mistakes in the past.

“I made the same mistake with mulch. It sure looked like 40 bags of chips, and who expects mulch at the Kroger?” recalled a Redditor. “It was chips all right, wood ones.”

“Lowe’s (where I work) partnered with instacart, and give the tiny thumbnails. I work fulfillment and my department has to pick the order & just give it to the [Instacart] worker. Which has caused a LOT of ‘that’s not gonna fit in my car!! I thought it was small?!’” claimed a second.

“I’ve done the exact same thing I had one order for 10 24 [waterbottle] packs and it was a dual order with 10 water softeners,” remembered a third. “Lady was rlly nice tho ended up giving me an Amazon gift card and a $20 cash tip.”

As for u/yanathebarista, everything turned out alright in the end.

In a later comment, the Redditor revealed that, despite the weight, they received a cash tip and a free car wash for their troubles. 

Still, many commenters believed that this story was indicative of some of the problems with Instacart.

“This is definitely a great example of [Instacart] not really being transparent by giving teeny tiny thumbnails with no item description on the offer screen,” stated a commenter.

“Instacancel. That shouldn’t even be allowed,” declared an additional Redditor.

The Daily Dot reached out to Instacart via email and u/yanathebarista via Reddit chat.

Update 1:01pm CT August 8: In a Reddit chat conversation with the Daily Dot, u/yanathebarista said that incidents like these happen “pretty often.”

“I said something along the lines of ‘lol hi I picked up this order thinking you ordered chips. Wish me luck,’” he recounted of his interactions with the customer. “Costco was crowded so that was sh*tty & pushing a cart 600+ lbs was sh*ttier.”

As for how Instacart can prevent these things from happening, the Redditor requested “transparency [with] ítems.”

“Maybe a sticker on the thumbnail to show it’s heavy,” he wrote. “Items over 25lbs should be known beforehand.”

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Sign up now for free
Share this article

*First Published:

The Daily Dot