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Can Instacart Shoppers Go to Costco?

If you are looking for a grocery delivery app then you must have heard of Instacart. Instacart has partnered with many mainstream super shops to allow customers to do their shopping from anywhere they like. But, what about Costco? Can Instacart shoppers go to Costco? Let’s find out.

Instacart is in partnership with Costco. So, obviously Instacart shoppers can go to Costco to collect and deliver groceries to your doorstep. In fact, they get some extra benefits to make their deliveries quick and easy. But you might have to pay a little extra due to the nature of how this massive grocery chain operates.

If you want to know more about Instacart shoppers shopping at Costco then keep on reading. Because in this article, I am going to talk about the rules for Instacart shoppers for shopping at Costco and what extra benefits they get from the store. I will also briefly talk about why customers have to pay extra money for buying Costco groceries through Instacart. 

What Are the Rules for Instacart Shoppers at Costco Stores?

Instacart and Costco have become partners since 2016. However, Instacart shoppers still need to follow some specific rules when they shop at Costco Stores. If you are planning to become an Instacart shopper then you should definitely give these a look.

Showing ID

As an Instacart shopper, you can shop at any Costco store. Before entering the store, you have to identify yourself. When you are hired as an Instacart shopper, they will give you a uniform, a lanyard, a bag, and a MasterCard. 

You can wear the Instacart uniform or show your Instacart lanyard to enter a Costco store. However, if you do not have any of them at the moment, you have to show an ID to prove that you work for Instacart.

There is also a scannable Instacart profile, which you can show via your smartphone to identify yourself as an Instacart shopper.

Some stores may allow you to enter the store when they see you are wearing an Instacart uniform without asking for an ID. But others may ask you to show an ID or lanyard, even if you are wearing a uniform. 

Rules of Payment

As an Instacart shopper, your jib is to buy groceries on behalf of your customers and deliver them on time. When you are done shopping for your customers, you can pay with the customer’s Costco membership card. However, if the customer does not have a Costco membership card, you can pay with the MasterCard provided by Instacart.

The MasterCard is linked with the Instacart app. So, you do not have to pay with your personal card for shopping. Instacart and Costco are also working on a mobile payment system that will allow a shopper to pay in simple steps without any physical cards or money.

No Personal Shopping

Can Instacart shoppers do their personal shopping while they are shopping for their customers? The answer is no, they should not. You might think of buying a few things with Instacart MasterCard, but this is strictly prohibited by the companies. 

The shopping you will do is either paid by the customer's Costco membership card or Instacart’s Costco account. Hence, neither the customer nor the employer will like it. However, if you have your personal Costco membership, you can pay for your groceries with the card. 

So, these are the rules Instacart shoppers have to follow while they go shopping at Costco. However, apart from these mandatory rules mentioned, the stores may have their own set of minor rules depending on the individual branch. Therefore, Instacart shoppers should do some research and know about those rules before they go shopping in nearby Costco stores.

What Advantages Instacart Shoppers Get at Costco? 

Since Costco and Instacart are business partners, Costco obviously gives some advantages to Instacart shoppers. Any Instacart shopper can get these special treatments at any branch of Costco. 

Here are the advantages you can get if you are an Instacart Shopper:

No Waiting at the Line

Why is Instacart so popular? It is because their service is fast and always on time. This would not be possible if they had to stand in a line every time they shop for their customers. Again, customers also use home delivery services to avoid wasting time shopping and standing in long lines.

As you know by now, Costco and Instacart are business partners. Costco will love to help its business partner. There is a mutual understanding between these two companies. That is why Instacart shoppers do not have to stand in long lines to check out their items. 

If Instacart shoppers are treated the same way as any customer in the store, they cannot deliver products in two hours as promised to the customers. To help the business of Instacart, Costco lets the shoppers check out as fast as possible with the groceries.

This is a common rule in the shops. So, as an Instacart shopper, you will be fast in the line, or your shopping will be checked out separately. If you are not wearing any uniform, you just have to show the staff of Costco your ID. After that, they will take care of the rest and check out your shopping first. 

Extended Shopping Hours

Another advantage the Instacart shoppers get is that they have permission to visit Costco stores an hour or two earlier than the normal operational hours. For example, A Costco store opens at 10 a.m. from Monday to Friday. But an Instacart shopper can enter the shop before this time and finish shopping. 

Since the stores are nearly empty this early in the morning, they can shop peacefully and check out the items faster. Moreover, Costco stores remain open late at night for Instacart shoppers even after operational hours. 

Special Area for Instacart Shopper

In many Costco stores, there are separate areas or counters for Instacart shoppers. The shoppers also have different paths and doors to go in and get out from the stores.

This extra treatment makes things even faster for the Instacart shopper to deliver groceries and foods quickly to the customers. 


Instacart shoppers can use self-checkout if necessary. However, they are advised to do so when it is necessary. When things are not that hectic, or cashiers are available in counters, they should use manned checkout. 

But sometimes the stores are too crowded, and the stores might be short in manpower. In this kind of situation, Instacart shoppers can take matters into their own hands and proceed to self-Checkout. You can also self-Checkout when it is early in the morning, and Costco staff are busy preparing to open the store. 

Easy Payment System

Instacart shoppers do not have to think much about the payment system. They come in the store, pick what their customers want, and go to the counters without facing any long lines. At the counter, they either pay with customer cards or Instacart MasterCard. 

As you can see, the process is simple. So, Instacart shoppers do not have to face many problems while shopping at Costco stores.

Can Non-Costco Members Buy from Costco Through Instacart? 

Customers who do not have a Costco Membership Card can also buy groceries from Costco through Instacart. It is another reason why Costco allows Instacart shoppers in the stores. Costco has many customers with Costco Membership cards, but they also want to target customers who do not have Costco membership. 

With the help of Instacart, they can have other customers buying from their stores. So, it is a win-win situation for everyone. Customers can buy necessary things from Costco ordering from Instacart. But they have to pay a 5% surcharge for shopping from Instacart. 

Again, the online prices of Costco are also higher than the in-store prices. Hence, customers have to pay more than usual to buy Costco products from Instacart. 

Why Instacart Charges More than the Usual Price?

Costco is a member-only shopping store. They charge $60 to $120 per year from the customers as a membership fee. Hence, Costco loses money by selling groceries to Instacart shoppers. 

Therefore, both Costco and Instacart try to make up the loss by setting high mark-up prices. It can be between 10% to 23%. For example, you have both a few things from Costco and calculate that the in-store price will be $32.42, but with the mark-up, Instacart gives you a bill of $42.17, which is $11.95 more than the normal price.

Besides, the Instacart shoppers are working on behalf of the company for the customers. They have to be paid for their time and hard work. Thus, Instacart charges more than usual.

So, customers have to quite a considerable amount of money if they want their Costco products delivered by Instacart. The charges can be high, but if you think about how much time you are saving through home delivery, it will not feel too much. 

On the other hand, the business is great for both Costco and Instacart. As a result, Costco stores give advantages and treatments to Instacart shoppers.

So, can Instacart shoppers go to Costco? You have got your answer by now. Instacart shoppers are not just allowed to shop in Costco stores but also get special advantages while shopping. Customers have to pay Instacart for the hard work, but the Instacart shoppers save a lot of time for the customers. 

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Author Ferdi
Written by Ferdi Vol
Ferdi Vol has been working for a grocery store for the last few years and he knows all the ins and outs of running a grocery store. He's also got great tips about what you need to know as a customer, from getting the most out of your money to knowing where everything is in the store! Ferdi loves sharing his passion with others via his blog on how to have an awesome shopping experience at your local grocery store.
About Ferdi Vol
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