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Is an Amazon Delivery Driver Gig Right for You?

Last updated: June 24, 2019
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Are you looking for the flexibility of a part-time job? Do you have a car, but don’t want to deal with having to pick people up and drop them off like you would if you were working for Uber or Lyft? If so, one of the jobs you’re likely to come across is working for Amazon Flex as a delivery driver.

Curious about whether you’re cut out to work for Amazon’s delivery services? This guide provides you with all the information you need to know so that you can determine whether it’s a good job option.

What Is Amazon Flex?

Amazon Flex allows regular people to become their own boss while working in the delivery business. Drivers work flexible hours, which makes it a useful option for both part-time and full-time roles. The company website incentivizes people to join by saying, “Be your own boss, set your own schedule, and have more time to pursue your goals and dreams. Join us and see how you can put the power of Amazon behind you.”

Amazon Flex lets workers serve as independent contractors, earning money to assist Amazon with package delivery. Amazon has long struggled to find shipping services and delivery companies who can keep up with its ever-growing demand. And, considering that FedEx recently reduced its association with Seattle-based Amazon, Amazon Flex drivers are in higher demand than ever before.

How Does Amazon Flex Work?

There are four different types of deliveries that you could find yourself making when working as an Amazon delivery driver. Drivers can choose which kinds of deliveries they’d like to make:

  • Amazon.com: In this role, you’ll deliver Amazon packages to customers after picking them up at a predetermined delivery station. Amazon Flex drivers typically work in blocks of three to six hours.
  • Prime Now and Amazon Fresh: Amazon has made efforts to provide its American customers with instant one-day shipping. In this role, you’ll pick up groceries or other items from an Amazon delivery station and deliver them to customers. Amazon Flex drivers typically work in blocks or two to four hours when in this role.
  • Store Orders: Customers can now purchase products from local stores and have them delivered instantly. In this role, you’re in charge of picking up items from local stores and delivering the products. Drivers typically work in blocks of two to four hours here.
  • Instant Offers: Availability is limited in these roles. You’ll work in areas immediately surrounding your current location to deliver packages on the spot. Delivery can take anywhere from 15-45 minutes.

Flex drivers used to deliver for Amazon Restaurants as well. However, the company recently announced that it was closing its Restaurants service. Some drivers could view this as a perk, as they won’t have to worry about delivering hot food to Amazon customers. If you’re interested in delivering food, there are other delivery partners with employment opportunities.

Once Amazon has accepted you as a driver, you’ll receive access to the Amazon Flex app. When in the Flex app, you’ll notice a calendar feature where you can go in and update your availability. After updating your availability, Amazon will send you blocks of time during which you can work. You must accept or decline the block before you can start making home deliveries.

Amazon also offers general scheduling blocks that are available throughout the day. The company won’t release these blocks until 24 hours in advance. Typically, these are blocks that the company has not been able to assign to drivers. If you suddenly have free time and are looking to pick up a shift, this would be the way to do so.

One of the best perks about working as an Amazon driver is that there are no minimum delivery requirements. Unlike some companies who require you to take on a certain number of shifts per week or month, Amazon does not have any minimums. You could go a couple of weeks without driving for Flex and then seamlessly pick right back up where you left off.

However, one of the biggest downsides to working as a Flex driver is that blocks are not guaranteed. For instance, imagine that you indicate you’re always available to drive on Monday mornings. You receive a three-hour shift for two straight Mondays. On the third Monday, you don’t receive a delivery block. You could try to pick one up at the last minute, but there is no guarantee.

You can ask to work every day, but there’s no guarantee that Amazon logistics will have shifts for you. There’s a stronger chance of you finding shifts if you work in a densely populated area like New York or Boston than, say, the middle of Montana.

What Type of Equipment Is Required to Become an Amazon Delivery Driver?

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If you’re interested in driving for Amazon, you’ll need to provide two things: a smartphone and a vehicle. If you don’t already have these, you could deduct them as an expense from your business income. Because you need to be able to run the Amazon Flex app on your phone, there are some minimum requirements that you must meet.

Android

  • Android 6.0 or newer
  • SIM card
  • GPS location services
  • 2GB or higher RAM
  • A camera with flash

iPhone

  • iPhone 5s or newer
  • iOS 11 or higher

Furthermore, you’ll need to provide a vehicle when driving for Amazon. Since you’ll only be using the car to transport yourself and packages, the stipulations are much easier than they are for a ridesharing company. Ridesharing companies often have requirements regarding the vehicle’s manufacture date.

According to the company’s Frequently Asked Questions page, if you work for Flex as a Prime Now driver, “you can use any car that can safely and reliably transport Amazon orders to customers.” The requirements are a bit stricter for Amazon.com orders, as the company specifies that you’ll need “a 4-door, mid-sized sedan or larger vehicle, such as a truck with a covered bed, SUV, or a van.” However, there are no requirements about the age or cleanliness of the vehicle.

How Much are Drivers Paid?

According to the Amazon Flex website, drivers make anywhere from $18-$25 per hour when delivering packages. Your pay rate will depend on when you deliver. Amazon offers more to drivers who deliver during peak hours. Additionally, depending on which service you deliver for, you may be eligible to receive tips as well.

One critical thing to note is that Amazon does not reimburse for mileage, gas, or tolls. You will likely end up putting a lot of wear-and-tear on your vehicle without receiving any form of reimbursement. You can deduct these expenses from your income when it comes time to complete your taxes. However, all that does is reduce your tax liability.

Because you don’t receive any expense reimbursement, your net pay will likely be significantly lower than the gross rate of $18-$25. Many drivers have also reported that their insurance rates went up as well. Additionally, because you’re working as an independent contractor, you won’t receive health insurance from Amazon.

A perk to Amazon Flex, however, is the fact that the company pays so quickly. Flex processes payments on both Tuesdays and Fridays. Flex delivers via direct deposit, so you’ll receive your funds within a business day or two.

How to Become a Driver

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If you’re interested in driving for Amazon Flex, the first thing you should do is check to see whether the company is hiring in your area. At the time of publication, Amazon Flex was only hiring in seven regions. If you don’t see your region listed, you could choose to sign up for a waitlist.

If there’s availability in your region, you’ll answer a series of questions to ensure that you meet the minimum requirements. The company’s website will then prompt you to download the Amazon Flex app.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll need to make an account and upload your driver’s license. The company will conduct a background check based on the information you provide. You must pass this background check before you can begin driving for Amazon Flex app. You’ll also need to set up direct deposit so that you can receive funds.

Looking for Flexible Jobs?

More and more people are forgoing office jobs to work as independent contractors and freelancers. If you’re looking to make the jump into full-time remote work, be sure to check out the Gig Worker job board. We routinely update it with the latest remote jobs so that you can find one that best fits your preferences. No matter if you’re looking for Amazon delivery driver jobs or programming positions in the United States, you should have no problem finding the right fit.

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