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Trader Joe's food delivered to your door

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If the service was offered in your neighborhood would you use it?

Thru Instacart you can!

Has anyone used this service?

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  1. I wouldn't use it.

    To me, a large part of the "charm" shopping Trader Joe's is schlepping the aisles for the unique product I haven't seen before.

    1. Since I live in a community where the nearest TJ is ~1 hr away and I no longer can drive...I would TOTALLY use this service.

      Will check out the site you mentioned...

      1. Most emphatically "Yes." The Trader Joe's in Philadelphia offends me because it's oriented away from the street, yet I like some of their offerings.

        As I don't have a car, the charge is quite reasonable.

        PS I would not be buying produce as there's a year-round Farmer's Market in my neighborhood, lovely, historic Powelton Village.

        1. while i love to wander the store and shop that way, I am limited to using a wheelchair- so would love for that option to be available- in fact one of the considerations for a new place to live (not so totally car dependent) is ez accessibility and some form of delivery. so a big yes

          1. As the Oracle of Delphi once said, "Know thyself." I'd use this program in a heartbeat BECAUSE... "Look, Ma, NO impulse buying!

            What could be better than that?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Caroline1

              Well...umm....impulse buying would be better for me. Like RedTop, I like the TJ's random finds experience!

              Although I actually did make it out of there a couple of weeks ago for under $30...a new world's record!

            2. As someone who's frequently home-bound, can't carry heavy packages, and can't drive, I wish I had home-delivery of ANY local groceries as an option around here... it's a great idea.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kajikit

                I adore such programs because they are a trusty and meaningful way for me to put a cap on my impulse buying! SOOOOOOO..... *IF* you have someone who can pick things up for you, and *IF* you're a member of Sam's Club, they have a "Click & Pull" program for members through which you can put almost anything in your cyber shopping cart in the way of groceries, as well as everything else in the store, and have them *all* boxed and READY FOR YOU at the courtesy desk at the time and date you ask for! The order has to be in by something like 5:30 on the previous day for early morning next day pick-up. My Sam's club has a dedicated employee who does all of the "courtesy shopping." The courtesy desk recognizes me by voice at this stage of the game!

                I think it's an idea whose time has come! Even Walmart has a pilot grocery delivery program they are test marketing in Chicago and San Francisco (or is it Seattle?), and maybe one or two other places. It's part of their focused effort to overtake amazon.com as a "meet ALL of your needs" marketer.

                In some major metropolitan areas, there are even grocery delivery programs through which you lease or purchase a freezer through them, and they deliver your groceries AND put the frozen stuff in the freezer! It does raise the ante a bit on food costs, but for that class of double income no-longer-upwardly-mobile group because they can't go no higher -- you know, the kind with the high double income families who have million dollar kitchens only the caterer uses because all they use the kitchen for is to reheat take out? THOSE guys LOVE this program! As would I, if I were in that income bracket! (Damn! I forgot to buy that winning $500,000,000.00 million dollar lottery ticket today!)

                I suspect the "don't come to us, we'll come to you" philosophy for all things food is about to take off like wildfire in the area of both prepared and fast food. Here in the Dallas area, there is a "co-op" among some high end grocers, cheese mongers, and purveyor of fine spirits that offers home delivery. And in the realm of fast food, Burger King has a pilot free delivery service in a growing number of their marketing areas.

                I just wish it would spread faster! I suspect that if I and around 5,000 or so other souls who need to control our impulse buying in grocery stores too had all of our groceries delivered, we could pool our savings and pay off the National Debt! .......... Pro'lly. '-)

                Have you tried Googling "free grocery home delivery"? There might be programs already in your area you don't know about yet. Good luck!

              2. WHOA....!!!!

                I went to the Instacarte website and tried to place a Trader Joe's order. I "sorta" could put some things in a shopping cart, but nothing was Trader Joe's brand, and a little window at the top said, "Not currently available in your area." So I signed up to be notified when it is available......

                And THAT got me an Instacarte welcome letter...

                And THAT got me to the website with the Instacarte FAQ


                When you read the FAQ, this is NOT a service of Trader Joe's, but when you sign up and order from Trader Joe's, that STARTS a two week free trial membership for the service, and AFTER THAT, the cost of the service is $99.00 per year...!!!

                CAVEAT EMPTOR indeed...!!! Here's a clip from the FAQ:

                What is Instacart Express?

                Instacart Express is a grocery delivery membership. With Instacart Express, all your 2 hour & scheduled grocery deliveries over $35 are free. Instacart Express begins with a 14-day free trial. After that, Express is just $99/year.

                Seems you can't trust anyone these days!

                26 Replies
                1. re: Caroline1

                  Right now the service is avail in Chicago. Instacart covers the Chicago areas that Trader Joe customers in those neighborhoods can use for delivery. That's it. No scam, C1. Just a very small range of TJ customers at present. Which is why I posted the article about Chicago (Crain's) and asked the question: IF this was avail in your area would you use it. This is a fairly new company with a growing range of services; not just TJ deliveries.

                  So, please don't start scam alerts and trust rumors.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Have you read my complete post with any understanding? Have you gone to the Instacaarte website and read their FAQ? This IS NOT a Trader Joe FUNDED free delivery program. This is a TRIAL MEMBERSHIP service that will SMACK any Trader Joe's customer who uses it expecting the free delivery service to continue "in perpetuity" with a MEMBERSHIP FEE of $99.00 as soon as the 2 week TRIAL MEMBERSHIP is over...!!!

                    I just talked to the manager of my Trader Joes, and he says he gets regular information about ALL new programs Trader Joe's has under development, and he has NEVER heard of anything like this! He was alarmed. Tomorrow morning (Monday, 12/16/2013) he will be calling TJ's corporate headquarters to check it out, but as of this evening, he is POSITIVE it is NOT a Trader Joe's program, and that Trader Joes has NO PLANS under development to deliver groceries ANY PLACE IN THIS COUNTRY!

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      If that is true, then I hope you directed the Mgr. you spoke with to the link provided in the OP, written by Crain's Business Chicago in September explaining the program and it's tie to Instacart. That should provide any TJ's employee with information they can followup on. But, before you leap to any conclusions (as I have not) why not wait to hear back from the Mgr. you called.

                      Did you read the Crain article? Instacart is a personal shopper service. Which means personal shoppers will head to TJ's, Costco, other grocers in their shopping grid for customers. And for that you pay a fee.

                      And my OP had nothing to do with Amazon Prime membership or any other membership. I asked a simple question about a TJ's delivery service option written about in the news.

                        1. re: Caroline1

                          I have no idea what a smiling face means in reply, C1. But, I will check back tomorrow to read what your TJ's Mgr. was able to find out.

                          1. re: Caroline1


                            C1, using the Crain's search engine, it appears 10 days later Crain's did in fact retract their story about Instacart serving TJ's customers. So, it appears you are correct about TJ's and thank you for clarifying the original point & question posed in my OP however that doesn't mean the company is a scam or isn't providing personal shopping services for customers who gladly pay the fee. So that part of your posting tonight did confuse me.

                            eta: here they are on FB and expanding to MA:

                            1. re: Caroline1

                              And where in the world did you get the idea that this was a free service? I know there was no mention of FREE in the Crain's article or main website for Instacart.

                              1. re: HillJ

                                Even here, with all our supermarkets competing for home delivery service, there is a minimum and then a fee on top of that. How could there not be; a van, gas and a driver/delivery person. Tips are optional! The one I'm familiar with is $9.99 with a $60 minimum, and $6.99 with a $100 minimum. Very reasonable!

                                But for a personal shopper (which is sort of common around here), the sky's the limit, I can't see them charging bargain basement prices. That's not the clientele they're going after! Every once in a long while, it might just work out swell.

                        2. re: HillJ

                          Here is some b.g information that explains the program so that you can understand what I'm saying about Instacom. Please read it before accusing me further of being an alarmist.


                          1. re: HillJ

                            And before anyone else gets excited about
                            Amazon Fresh delivering free groceries in Los Angelus, San Francisco, or Seattle, please read THIS information about THE COST of the service WITH or WITHOUT Amazon Prime membership!

                            The old law about there being "no free lunch" has NOT been repealed, and just to keep the aphorisms rolling, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER so arm yourselves!

                            1. re: Caroline1

                              If people balk at the thought of delivery fees, they could just raise the price of everything by 25%. Problem solved!

                              1. re: coll

                                Boy, ain't that the truth! And wouldn't that make life sooooooooo much simpler! But I blame our current "modus operendi" in the business world on government deregulations! I would LOVE to go back to the days of "Ma Bell" when there was ONE low price for phone lines, and YOU determined how many extension phones you had in your home and the world was innocent and free of a gazillion price gouging "cell phone plans." I would LOVE to go back to the days of independent grocers in every neighborhood, some with "free delivery" and some not. But in today's world of "corporate greed" what we're looking at with these two "free delivery" grocery programs is a FORMER software engineer of amazon.com corporation (Instacarte) and his former employer (Amazon Fresh) in a wrestling match over market shares, and a lot of methods of presenting the information that will mislead those who think it's a REAL "free delivery" program. And *THAT* is what concerns me! There are a LOT of people from ALL walks of life who don't read the fine print, but just go ahead and sign on the dotted line, then, "Oooops! What in the hell is this $99.00 charge on my credit/debit card????"

                                THAT is my concern and reason for "alarm." Maybe I'm just too much of a consumer's advocate at heart for my own good, ya think? '-)

                                1. re: Caroline1

                                  The days of low phone prices? You mean where you paid a flat monthly fee for a limited calling area within your state then paid a per-minute fee outside that area in-state and a much higher per-minute fee out of state and impossibly high per-minute fees outside the US?

                                  I (briefly) had a girlfriend out-of-state in high school in the 70's and my parents were threatening to put me out on the street with the high cost of phone calls -- even late at night.

                                  The nostalgia goggles are a little foggy on that one.

                                  1. re: ferret

                                    When was the convenience of service ever free or a bargain? Not in my lifetime. All convenience comes at a premium. How much of a premium varies, but free lunch? Never.

                                    1. re: ferret

                                      But! Stamps at the Post Office were 2 or 3 cents. Nobody was in such a rush to communicate back then.

                                2. re: Caroline1

                                  On the link you provided, Amazonn Prime Grocery delivery system states:

                                  Free delivery on orders over $35. Place your order by 10am and have it by dinner, or by 10pm and have it by breakfast.

                                  I've never used the service.

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    It's "free" as in no added charge over the $299 annual fee, so it's not totally free. But it's clearly a service that has value, so I don't think that you get screwed by subscribing (just like I have never once questioned the value of my Amazon Prime service).

                                    You get a shopping and delivery service for $25/month or less than $6/week. For people for whom finding time to shop for groceries is a chore this is a great deal. And presumably the cost of groceries themselves will be extremely competitive.

                                    I can see using this for my office where we regularly purchase soda, paper goods, coffee beans/milk.half and half, etc. Far more convenient and easily worth it.

                                    1. re: ferret

                                      If it's not something people desire, they will go out of business. Simple as that.

                                      1. re: ferret

                                        Good points, ferret. I have no doubts that service is valuable to enough customers that Amazon is still offering it. I'm just not personally familiar with Prime. My son used Prime while in college for text books and supplies and was pleased.

                                        I guess I was thinking of the idea suggested by others that there is an expectation of free, when the program clearly states what you pay for. So this hardly seems like some scam or intentional omission to me.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          I don't see it as a scam at all. I'm not in a targeted are so can't comment on it's practicality in real-life conditions. I've used Peapod in the past and it was just okay, essentially just having a third party shop at you grocery store and deliver it. If, on the other hand, this yields consistently competitive pricing with the convenience of Amazon it could be a winner.

                                          1. re: ferret

                                            Nor did I. The mere mention of scam kinda threw me. Say, what? The Peapod program is advertised by Stop & Shop quite a bit around my community but I don't know anyone personally that used the service. Well, I'll be interested to learn more about the Trader Joe's tie in/tie off with Instacart. I called their PR dept myself this morning.

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              I doubt there is any. Trader Joe's has put the kibosh on efforts like this in the past. They don't want their image diluted by 3rd parties. I think this company jumped the gun (or maybe the shark).

                                              1. re: ferret

                                                Could be since the announcement was on, then off (according to Crain's) in a 10 day public notice period. I recall the story about the Canadian grocer who was bringing back TJ's from the US for sale at his CAN store and this set off all sorts of alarms. However, the Chicago neighborhoods ID in the original announcement regarding Instacart did have a 10 day window... wonder who tried to use the service.

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  The Canada situation was a little different since Trader Joe's doesn't operate there and also the Court had no jurisdiction over the matter. It would be different here hwere Trader Joe's has a brand to protect, so if you end up with an unsatisfactory product due to handling issues it reflects unfavorably on Trader Joe's more so than the delivery service.

                                                  1. re: ferret

                                                    Oh you're right, the two examples are different, I was just referring to TJ's reaction to both examples. The company is very tight lipped about operations, announcing new locations, how they source and very quick to avoid image dilution (as you mentioned above).

                              2. InstaCart lost the ability to deliver from TJ's in the Bay Area. I would expect the same issue in other states as well.

                                The problem is they didn't have an agreement with TJ to do this, so independent shoppers presented some issues when stock or pricing changes. It was interesting that they did have many TJ products on the website, with professional photographs on the packaging.

                                In NY, TJ's has contracted a delivery service for a fee, based on your area. It's wonderful, but groceries are transported in private vehicles with coolers, not in temperature controlled trucks.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: sugartoof

                                  According to the PR person who emailed me back, TJ's was of the opinion that if they wanted to be in the at home delivery business, they'd do it themselves.

                                  However, InstaCart did not lose the business of others currently under contract ie: Costco, Safeway, Jewel, Shaws, Whole Foods. And according to the phone chat I had with InstaCart this evening, they are still delivering in San Francisco, Boston and Chicago. Just NOT for TJ's.

                                2. I would love it. The nearest TJ's takes a long busy freeway trip.

                                  1. Instacart is now in nyc but does not include TJs- considering what a hot mess the manhattan TJs are (and i mean there was even a crazy 25min line to check out at 10:30am on a tuesday!) its likely just too much time/effort for Instacart compared to whole foods or food emporium or costco which they also offer (at a premium-most products are $1 or more from instacart than in the store, then there's a delivery fee and of course you're expected to tip)

                                    1. Where I live, TJ's doesn't offer that service. If it did, I might use it if I'm sick. But since TJ's is constantly adding and discontinuing products, I'd rather shop there in person - always when buying perishables.

                                      1. I use it to shop at Costco and Berkeley Bowl in Berkeley. It's a great service. After paying the $99 fee deliveries over $35 are free. Someone else goes into Costco, picks good produce and meat and delivers it to me in a couple of hours. I shop at Trader Joes too, but I don't have the time or energy for Costco anymore. Most of their prices are a bit higher, though some are lower, but my time and gas are worth far more to me. They also have great customer service. if there is a problem with produce say, they will offer to replace or refund the purchase. I'm more than pleased.