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Instacart launches on Long Island with 1-hour retail deliveries

Retail delivery company Instacart will begin offering service

Retail delivery company Instacart will begin offering service to 110 Long Island ZIP codes on Aug. 1, 2017. Credit: Instacart

Retail delivery service Instacart, whose shoppers hand pick and deliver items from selected local stores, will offer delivery on Long Island starting Tuesday.

Instacart is expanding to 110 new ZIP codes, covering more than 825,000 homes across Nassau and Suffolk counties, company representatives said. The company said it will contract with more than 150 “personal shoppers” on the Island.

Instacart, launched in San Francisco in 2012, serves more than 90 markets nationwide.

Residents in the new service areas will be able to order from partner retailers, including Whole Foods Market, Petco, Costco and CVS, and have their orders delivered to their doorsteps within an hour or two, the company said.

To order, customers go to the Instacart website or open the mobile app, select their city and store, add items to a virtual cart, and then choose a delivery window, which can be within one hour, within two hours, or up to seven days in advance.

Then, an Instacart personal shopper accepts the order on a smartphone, does the shopping, and delivers the order, using his or her personal car.

The service charges a $5.99 delivery fee on orders over $35, or customers can purchase an Instacart Express membership for $14.99 a month or $149 a year, which gives them unlimited free one-hour deliveries for orders over $35.

New Long Island customers can get $20 off an order of $35 or more plus free delivery on their first order, by using the code HILONG20. The offer expires Sept. 4.

Customers can tip their shopper through the online platform, or in cash. The platform also charges a service fee of 10 percent of the order total. This fee is used to provide guaranteed commissions to shoppers, according to the company’s website. The service fee can be removed if customers choose, the website said.

On Long Island, Instacart said it will contract with people to serve as shoppers and make deliveries to customers. These contracted workers are similar to Uber drivers, who use their own cars and are compensated per delivery.

Contractors must be at least 21, be able to lift more than 30 pounds and have a recent smartphone, such as iPhone 5 or Android 5.0 or newer. A background check is also required.

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