What Does Heavy Pay Mean on Instacart?

Instacart offers its shoppers Heavy order pay or heavy pay for orders containing heavy items that weigh 8lbs or more and require extra work. This extra pay is meant to compensate shoppers for the additional effort needed to shop for these bulk and heavy items. Instacart determines if an order qualifies for heavy pay by scanning the items in the customer’s cart.

How Instacart Determines Heavy Pay

Instacart automatically calculates if an order is eligible for heavy pay. When a customer adds an item that weighs more than 8 lbs, it gets flagged in Instacart’s system. Once the order is placed, Instacart scans all the items purchased and calculates the effort required to shop for those products. If the overall effort exceeds their threshold, the order will have a “heavy order” icon and qualify for additional pay.

Some factors that Instacart considers are:

  • The number of heavy items weighing over 8 lbs each
  • The total weight of all heavy items in the order
  • Bulky items that take up a lot of space, like cases of water, cat litter, etc.
  • Awkwardly shaped items that are difficult to carry, like bags of pet food, large flower bouquets, etc.

So even if there are only one or two heavy items, if they are extremely bulky, unwieldy, or exceed the weight limit greatly, Instacart will usually still pay extra.

How Much is Heavy Pay?

The exact heavy pay amount is not publicly shared by Instacart. However, shoppers report receiving between $5-$15 extra per eligible order based on the effort required. The heavier and bulkier the items, the more you’ll likely receive in heavy pay from Instacart.

You can see if an order qualifies for heavy pay and the bonus amount before accepting the order. There will be a label indicating “Heavy Order” and the pay amount will be higher than normal.

It’s important to note that the heavy pay is added directly into the original payout. You won’t receive it as a separate bump after delivery. So make sure to factor it in when considering order pay.

Tips for Maximizing Heavy Pay

Here are some tips to get the most heavy pay:

  • Check the items in each order carefully before accepting.
  • Aim for orders with multiple bulky or heavyweight items if possible.
  • Avoid excessive heavy orders if you have a smaller vehicle that can’t accommodate.
  • Use carts or other equipment to make multiple trips easier.
  • Carefully load heavy items to prevent damage.

While heavy pay orders require more physical effort, the bonus can make them worthwhile. Just be sure you feel comfortable completing the order based on your vehicle space and physical ability.

People Also Ask

How much does a 24 pack of water weigh?

A 24 pack of bottled water usually weighs between 15-18 lbs on average. So it would qualify for Instacart’s heavy pay.

What items are considered heavy pay?

Examples of heavy pay items include cases of water, bags of pet food or salt, 12 packs of soda, large packs of paper towels, cat litter, potting soil, large frozen products, and more.

Does heavy pay count toward minimum guarantee?

Yes, any heavy order pay is included in the calculation of your minimum batch payment guarantee from Instacart. It doesn’t come on top of the minimum.

Can you get heavy pay for awkward items?

Yes, bulky and irregularly shaped items like flower arrangements, large stuffed animals, fishing rods, and furniture can qualify for heavy pay even if they don’t exceed the 8 lb. weight minimum.


JNVSOLAN is an industry veteran with over a decade of experience in Stamps & Postage, Open Close Hours, Restocking & Shipping, EBT and Pay, and General Topics. His expertise and dedication to these fields make him a valuable asset to our team. Trust his insights for all your niche-related queries.

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