When I am running out of toilet paper, I tap my Amazon app to order toilet paper (along with a weeks worth of groceries to make the order purchase minimum) to be delivered straight to my door within hours. For dinner, I often order on Postmates or GrubHub and about 30 minutes later, dinner is served.
When I am feeling tight, I order an in house- massage right to my doorstep through Zeel. Yes, you can also tap an app to do your laundry, mail packages and have someone walk your dog. But with convenience, there always comes a price, and believe me– it always add up. It’s like magic: the convenience comes to your front door for anywhere between $4.99 and $7.99 per order, depending on the distance and restaurant–and then like magic, it all disappears.
Where did all my money go?
How much do you really pay for having your culinary indulgences delivered at the touch of a button?
It wasn’t until I checked my Mint app that I realized the hidden cost of convenience.
According to data from Lux Research report, businesses like Blue Apron and UberEATS are developing business models that show just how much diners are willing to pay for not having to prepare or pick up their own meals. Lux’s research shows that, on average, consumers are willing to pay 11 percent more for each added layer of convenience in the food chain in anything from online grocery delivery to restaurant take-out. (https://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/16/consumers-pay-more-for-on-demand-convenience-personal-touch.html)
Sure you can keep simplifying life with tech, but make sure to keep tabs too. Apps like Mint can help you take a look at the bigger picture of how much this “convenience” is truly costing you. You can easily create budgets, and see their suggestions based on your spending on convenience and all the fees you acquire.
What I love is that Mint helps create budgets you can actually stick to, and see how you’re spending your money. If you like earning cash back (who doesn’t?), the app also gives helpful tidbits of information to find savings.
Pro Tip: I found out on Mint that you can earn 4% back on dining, 3% back on hotel & airfare, 2% back on online purchases, and more with the Uber Visa Card. Who knew?
As much as I like making my life more efficient, I was able to add up one month’s worth of convenience and found that I have been spending $598.10 on convenience/delivery fees. OUCH! Ain’t nobody got money for that!
So here’s a breakdown of some apps and fees — make sure you look through it to see what would serve you best and use Mint to help you budget.
POSTMATES COST TO CUSTOMER: They charge a “small cart fee” of $1.99 on all orders that are less than $10-15 depending on the market you are in. On their website it says: sometimes we don’t know exactly what the items you’ve ordered are going to cost at the store, so we may quote you a small cart fee but not charge it (yay!) or we may not quote it but end up charging it (boo!).
During peak times, delivery prices may surge* (or Blitz).
Service Fee: The Postmates service fee is a variable percentage based fee applied to the purchase price of your items. You will be able to verify the service fee for your order on the checkout screen.
AMAZON PRIME NOW COST TO CUSTOMER: Amazon Prime Now is included with an Amazon Prime membership ($100 a year). Two-hour delivery is free, and you can pay $8 for expedited one-hour service. A minimum order of $20 is required for free delivery.
GRUBHUB COST TO CUSTOMER: Depending on the restaurant. Once you enter your address then a list of restaurants that are able to deliver to you will pop up and show the delivery fees for each restaurant and once the items are in your bag you will see the tax that is applied. Also the tip is completely up to you.
GOOGLE EXPRESS COST TO CUSTOMER: Membership to Google Express costs $10 a month, or $95 a year, and includes free delivery on all orders that meet the service’s minimum requirements. Delivery for non-members starts at $5, but varies depending on the size of the order and the delivery time.
INSTACART COST TO CUSTOMER: The delivery fee depends on the size of your order and the delivery time that you choose. The fee for each delivery will be displayed when selecting a delivery window during checkout, before you place your order.
All orders must be $10 or more. When they experience high demand for a delivery time, a Busy Pricing delivery fee may apply.
DOORDASH COST TO CUSTOMER: The fee amount varies by region and restaurant and, at times. The site says: you may notice the fee is waived if we have a special arrangement with the restaurant.
UBEREATS COST TO CUSTOMER:
The primary cost of using UberEATS is the Booking Fee, a flat delivery fee that is typically around $4.99 but can vary city to city. The rest of the cost of your order comes from the food you ordered, taxes, and an optional tip.
So next time you’re looking for convenience, take a look at your Mint app and make sure you’re budgeting for it.
Jessica Naziri is the founder of TechSesh.co, a lifestyle website for women inspired by tech. She has been a technology news reporter for The Los Angeles Times, CNN and CNBC.com. Since then, her work has also appeared in TechCrunch, The Washington Post, Mashable, CBS, The Travel Channel, CNN, NPR, USA Today, Inside Edition, Yahoo!, and Business Insider.