First it was Uber, then Lyft came along… now its Amazon Flex?? Ya something like that! But Amazon Flex might be the better choice for you. They bring something different to the table.
Amazon Flex is revolutionizing the way packages get delivered, just like how Uber came along and revolutionized the way people pay for transportation. Now with Amazon Flex delivery jobs, pretty much anyone who has a vehicle can go out and deliver packages on their own terms and make money. The good thing about Amazon Flex is that it is much newer than Uber and similar services, it still has a lot of room to grow and there is less competition, which means more opportunity for you.
Working for Amazon Flex gives you the incredible benefit of FREEDOM. You are you own boss, you work your own hours and set your own schedule, you don’t take any crap from anyone.
And one major added benefit that Amazon Flex has over Uber is that you don’t have to pick up complete strangers for money. You don’t have to worry about your next pickup being a serial killer or an axe murderer, because you are just picking up and delivering innocent motionless packages.
Some people really get uncomfortable about the whole “picking up strangers” thing, so if that is you, but you still want a job where you have the freedom that you get with Uber, then Amazon Flex is definitely something to consider.
But before you decide whether or not you want to drive and deliver for Amazon Flex, there are some things you need to know, like…
- How it all got started
- What are some benefits of driving for Amazon Flex?
- What is it like delivering for Amazon Flex?
- What are the requirements?
- Are expenses covered?
- How much money can you make??
- Are there many complaints?
- Where is Amazon Flex available?
- How to get started
And questions like these are exactly what I will be going over here today.
To start things off, let me dive into how this whole thing works first…
How Amazon Flex Got Started
A little history for you..
Ok, so way back in 2015 Amazon created Amazon Flex to help speed up the delivery of packages to their members. You know how Amazon Prime members get free 2 day shipping? Ya, well apparently that isn’t good enough. Amazon had the crazy idea of getting peoples packages to them within an hour of ordering!
Of course UPS, USPS, and FedEx wouldn’t be able to get people’s packages to customers this fast, and it would be too expensive for Amazon to get a fleet of delivery trucks.. So what they did was created this awesome opportunity where just about anyone with a car can go out and deliver, which is Amazon Flex.
Benefits Of Driving For Amazon Flex
Some of the more notable benefits include…
- Flexible schedule, you can work pretty much when you want
- Easy Work, you can turn your brain off
- Low stress
- Very easy to get hired, not many requirements
- Pay is good, & you can earn tips
- You can wear pajamas to work (no dress code)
What Its Like Delivering For Amazon Flex
With Amazon Flex you have the freedom to work whenever you want, but there are shifts… How does this work?
Amazon Flex shifts are know as “blocks”. Depending on your city, the blocks may be anywhere from 2-4 hours at a time and run from early in the morning to late at night.
The reason I say “you can work whenever you want” is because its not like you set your schedule and then can’t change it. The shifts (blocks) are something that you can pick right before you go out and work that shift. It could be 9am on Saturday and you could choose to work the 10am shift. So you are still pretty free to choose when you work.
Just like Uber, there is an app for Amazon Flex that you need to have. This is where you will get important information like where to deliver, how to deliver, when not to deliver, etc.
Its not like you just go out and drop off packages. I mean thats the gist of it, bit its important to follow the delivery instructions. Sometimes you will be delivering items that have an age requirement, such as alcohol, and you will be asked to “check customer’s ID” or “Deliver only if someone is home”.
The entire process of how it works is pretty simple…
You will start out your day by going to the Amazon Distribution Center in your area.You will pull into a designated area for Flex drivers and you will be given packages to be delivered within the next hour.
You will then go out and deliver them as the Amazon Flex app instructs you to.And once you are finished delivering the packages, you simply report back to the distribution center to pick more up.
Its easy and relaxing
Driving for Amazon Flex is a simple job. Once you are out on the road, its just you and the boxes. You can listen to music and relax as long as you get the packages delivered.
The app is your only boss, which I think is a lot better than having a real person there tell me what to do.
Amazon Flex Driver Requirements
If you want to driver for Amazon Flex you must meet the following requirements… Don’t worry. Its about as lenient as it could possibly be.
- Must be 21 years of age
- Must have a dependable 4-door sedan or larger (trucks must have an enclosed bed to protect from weather)
- Must have a smartphone (Android or iPhone) to download the Amazon Flex app
- Must be able to pass a criminal and motor vehicle background check
- Must have a valid driver’s license
- Must have a Social Security Number
And that is it. If you aren’t a convicted felon, have a smartphone, a car, haven’t been in any bad accidents recently, and are at least 21 years old then you are good to go.
Are Driving Expenses Covered?
What if your car breaks down? What if you get a flat tire? What about the gas you will have to put in your car?
These are all possible expenses that will come with driving for Amazon Flex. But will Amazon cover any of these for you? Do you get reimbursed because you are working for Amazon?
You don’t really work “for” Amazon, but rather you work “with” Amazon. You are considered an independent contractor just like you would be if you worked for Uber or Lyft.
Because you are not considered an employee, Amazon Flex isn’t required to treat you as nice as they would be if you were. This is an are of controversy and there are attorneys fighting for employee rights for Amazon Flex drivers.
But as for now you have to pay for gas, you have to pay for vehicle upkeep, you have to pay for all of that. This is definitely a downside of it all, but the pay is still pretty good and you will see below in the next section that you will be able to get money back for driving expenses when you file your taxes as well.
How Much Money Can You Make Driving For Amazon Flex?
Amazon claims that you can make $18-$25 delivering for their Flex service, but how true is this? Companies like Uber and Lyft are well known for exaggerating their drivers’ earnings, so is it the same way with Flex?
The truth is that Amazon is telling the truth!
If you want to realistic expectation as to what you can expect for a salary, there is no better place to look than Glassdoor, where people can post Amazon Flex salaries anonymously.
As you can see the average salary is right around $18.
What About Tips?
A way to boost your pay a little bit more is through tips. Amazon allows its customers to tip you through their online portal up to 48 hours after you have delivered their package. So make sure you are kind and courteous when delivering!
Drivers receive all (100%) of the tips left for them.
Whats The Pay After Taking Out Expenses?
This is what is important. You need to factor in the tips and then take out the driving related expenses to see what you really make and can take home. I have already written a that goes over how much you can realistically expect to make as a Flex driver that you can read by clicking the link below…
What About Support? Is There Any?
Support is a must. And when you are working by yourself like Amazon Flex drivers do, you really need to be able to get in touch with someone if something were to come up or something goes wrong. Because you might not know when you need an apartment access code or a gate code or anything where you need support.
Luckily, there is support!
There are 2 separate support phone numbers, one dispatch number for when you are working and another number for when you are not on the clock.
And besides phone numbers. Amazon Flex also runs daily Q & A sessions where you can get answers that you are looking for and they have an email support address which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where Is Amazon Flex Available?
Having just came out in 2015, it is still relatively new and has more room to grow. Currently (as of February 2017), Amazon Flex is available in 37 cities across the US which include…
- Arlington (VA)
- Las Vegas
- Greater Los Angeles Area
- Minneapolis/ St Paul
- New Jersey
- New York
- San Antonio
- Greater San Francisco Area
- Springfield (VA)
- Tampa Bay
- Virginia Beach
If you city didn’t make the list then unfortunately there is no opportunity to work for Amazon Flex. However, I suggest checking here for an updated list because, as I said, this business is still growing.
And also just because Flex is available in your area doesn’t mean that there are positions open.
Amazon Flex Complaints
As with any job, there are going to be complaints no matter how good it is. And Amazon Flex is no different. There are complaints, the most common being…
Hard To Get “Blocks”
As I mentioned above, when you work for Flex you have to schedule your shifts at least 2 hours in advance. These shifts, or blocks, can be hard to get because of all the other drivers that are also trying to get them. Just because you sign up for a block, doesn’t mean you are going to get it.
Blocks Are Too Short
The length of these shifts will vary depending on the location you are delivering for. I have seen them range anywhere from 2-4 hours.
People that are relying on income from driving for Flex do not like the 2 hour shifts because they don’t provide enough money.
No Reimbursement For Car Expenses
Again, with Amazon Flex you are considered an independent contractor, not an employee, so they do not have cover on the job related expenses such as gas, maintenance, repair, etc.
This is a very controversial topic. It has actually been taken to court in an attempt to sue Amazon Flex for not considering drivers employees.
This goes hand-in-hand with it being hard to schedule blocks. Since you never really know what blocks are going to be available or not, you can’t really count on a certain income to bring home.
The pay is good “when you get blocks”, but when you get them you don’t know much in advance.
It has been suggested that Amazon should use a ranking system that gives certain drivers preference when it comes to choosing blocks, but this has yet to be seen in action.
You might get some strange looks from customers when they see you (in plain clothes) delivering their package. I creeps some people out, but Amazon Flex is getting more noticed and people are starting to get used to it.
Not a big deal, just something I thought I’d mention.
Pros & Cons
- Easy to get hired, not many requirements
- Flexible schedule, you choose your hours
- Good hourly pay, $18 minimum per hour + tips
- Easy work
- No dress code
- Unreliable hours, won’t get every shift you want
- You pay for your car expenses
- Some shifts are only 2 hours (location dependent)
Amazon Flex can be a good side job, and that is how I recommend you treat it. Making $18 (minimum) per hour driving around your car in your spare time sounds like a pretty good idea. Just don’t try to make this a full-time job, the hours just aren’t reliable enough for you to be able to count on it.
Some areas will be better than others. This depends on the amount of Amazon Prime Now deliveries there are and the amount of competition from other delivery drivers. If you start out part time and there is opportunity to get more hours, then go for it. All I am saying is don’t count on this being the case.
How To Get Started
If Amazon Flex fits the bill and is what you are looking for, and you meet all of the requirements, then you need to know how you can get started right away.
Applying is very simple and is all done online. There is no face to face interview or anything of that nature.
Step 1: Sign up
You can visit the sign up page here. It will only take you a few minutes to complete this. You will choose your location, answer a few simple questions just to make sure you are qualified (Ex: “Are you at least 21 years of age?”), and fill out some personal information including your name, email, etc.
Step 2: Wait To Hear Back
It might take up to a month for you to hear back as to whether or not you are being considered for the job.
Step 3: Fill Out Survey
If you did end up getting passed the first qualification step, you will be emailed a survey that you are to fill out and you will be invited to attend an online information session to learn more about the job.
The survey is just to further make sure you are qualified for the position. It will ask you about your vehicle, your insurance, your smart phone, etc.
Step 4: Download The App
If you make it passed the survey they will invite you to download the Amazon Flex app to your phone. A link will be provided.
Finding where to download the app can be tricky and varies with whether you have an Android or iPhone. You can learn more about how to download the app Here.
Step 5: Submit Identification
Log into the app and submit your driver’s license and Social Security Number for the required background check. It will take several days for the background check to clear.
Step 6: Submit Payment Info
They will pay you via direct deposit so you will be asked to link your checking account to the app. You will also be asked for your W-9 for tax reasons.
Step 7: Watch Training Videos
There are 19 different training videos that you are supposed to watch. These videos will go over different situations that you may encounter on the job and how to deal with them.
After all of the training videos have been watched and the background check is cleared, a “Welcome to Amazon Flex” screen will pop up and you will officially be an Amazon Flex driver.
Is There A Sign Up Bonus?
You won’t be receiving anything even close to what you will receive when you sign up to drive for Uber or Lyft (up to $1,000), but many people do receive a $50 Amazon gift card, which is nice.