How to Turn Amazon Flex into a Money-Making Side Gig

Amazon Flex

We could all use a little extra cash now and then. Hundreds of people have turned to the ever-popular “side gig” to make the most of their free time and make some extra cash. 

Whether you’re saving up for that dream car or simply finding creative ways to make ends meet, Amazon Flex could be a great way to earn some extra income.

Amazon Flex Overview

Since its debut in 2015, Amazon Flex has launched in over 50 cities across the United States. Amazon Flex is a courier service for — you guessed it — Amazon. This service allows regular people like us to deliver for Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, and Prime Now.

As a driver, you work as an independent contractor for Amazon. During your shifts, you will perform the “last-mile” part of the delivery process, which is the delivery from the regional centers to customers. 

If Amazon Flex isn’t located in your area, don’t despair! Sign up for their waiting list and you’ll be notified when they start delivering in your area. 

What do I need to work for Amazon Flex?

To work as an Amazon Flex driver, you’ll need to meet the following requirements.

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have a valid driver’s license and social security number
  • Have a mid-sized or larger vehicle ( many deliveries require you to have a 4-door, midsize sedan, or truck with a covered bed)
  • Have an iPhone or Android smartphone 

How to get started with Amazon Flex

To get started as an Amazon Flex driver, you’ll need to check that you meet the eligibility requirements on the Amazon Flex website. If so, you can go ahead and download the app. 

The app will inquire about your availability and information for direct deposit. You will also need to submit to a background check. These may take two to five business days to complete. 

Once your background check has cleared, you will be directed to watch a series of instructional videos in the app. These videos will walk you through proper delivery etiquette and give you an idea of what your first shift will be like. 

After you have finished the videos, you’re ready to start scheduling shifts and making deliveries. 

Shifts are called delivery blocks and last anywhere from two to six hours. They can be picked up in two ways:

  • Shifts offered to you based on your availability: After you input your availability in the app, you will automatically be offered shifts within this time zone. You’ll find these in your Calendar. These shifts expire, so claim them quickly. 
  • Claim last-minute hours: If you would like to work on a day to day basis, you can find same-day shifts in the Check Available Blocks section of the app. These shifts can be claimed on a first-come, first-served basis, so keep an eye out for the ones you want. 

Once you lock in a shift, the app will send you a reminder one hour before your scheduled shift time. They will provide you with the pickup location for the deliveries, so make sure you’ve arrived before the start of your shift. 

What to expect as an Amazon Flex worker

Your block will begin by arriving at the pickup location. Depending on the type of deliveries you will be making that day, you may find yourself at a grocery store, distribution center, or restaurant. 

An attendant will have you scan your personalized QR code to check-in, and show you your assigned packages for your shift. You need to scan each package individually and load them into your vehicle before you begin to deliver. 

While the Flex app does provide you routes for your shift, locals may know shortcuts and better routes to avoid delays. In these situations, feel free to use your directions to navigate. Each delivery package must be scanned and confirmed before moving on to the next one. You can do this by simply taking a photo and checking off its delivery location. 

Deliveries will occasionally have specific requirements for the courier. For example, if you are delivering alcohol, you need to check that the recipient is over 21 years old. Some packages may require that the recipient physically be there to accept the package. Whatever the requirements, do your best to follow them to keep your shifts running smoothly. 

Pros & cons of being an Amazon Flex worker 

Pro: Choose your hours 

The ability to choose your hours is one of the main selling points for many workers looking for a part-time gig. You can work at your main job during the day and pick up extra shifts on the Amazon Flex app for nights and weekends. Many college students may find it convenient, as this job allows them to work around their class schedules. 

Con: Delivery can be confusing 

Every housing and apartment complex is different, and this can be very stressful when trying to find addresses in unfamiliar neighborhoods. Although you try to make deliveries quickly, you can get slowed down trying to hunt down apartments and townhomes that don’t have addresses marked. Don’t even get us started on those highrises. 

Pro: Ability to work independently 

You can kiss those annoying coworkers goodbye! Amazon Flex workers typically work independently, meaning that you don’t have a direct boss you answer to daily or annoying coworkers to deal with. 

Con: Amazon won’t reimburse expenses 

Parking, gas, and car maintenance will quickly add up with all the driving you do as a Flex worker. Unfortunately, Amazon will not reimburse any expenses you incur, so be careful that you don’t get flagged with any parking tickets. It’ll be coming right out of your pocket.

How much can you make as an Amazon Flex worker?

Most delivery partners earn an average of $18-25 per hour when delivering with Amazon Flex. However, this number can fluctuate depending on your location, tips you receive, and how long it takes you to complete deliveries. 

Each block assigned to you has a set amount that you can earn, regardless of if you finish before or after your shift ends. Most workers will do an average of two blocks per day, if possible.  

How to make the most money working for Amazon Flex 

One of the easiest ways to maximize your earnings working for Amazon Flex is to use a bigger car. A larger vehicle will allow you to deliver more packages. You can also try to schedule yourself to deliver during busy block times, which are marked in the app. Other workers prioritize deliveries with Prime Now and Amazon Fresh since they give customers the option to give you tips. 

When scheduling your blocks, pay attention to surge times. These are blocks that are available at an increased rate. These surges happen around especially busy times, like around the holidays, long weekends, or even the Super Bowl. Some Flexers have even seen the hourly rate go up to $32 an hour during these surges, so don’t waste time! Grab them when you can to make the most out of your shifts. 

Amazon Flex FAQ

How long does it take to sign up for Amazon Flex?

The signup process only takes a few minutes to complete. Once your background check clears, you can sign up to start delivering at your earliest convenience. 

Is Amazon Flex available in my area?

Amazon Flex is currently available in over 50 U.S cities, with more being added every day. To check if they are available in your area, visit their recruiting cities page to see which cities are hiring.  

What kinds of deliveries can I make?

Amazon Flex drivers have the opportunity to make four different types of deliveries:

Amazon.com: Typically appear in delivery blocks of three to six hours. Consists of picking up orders from an Amazon delivery station and delivering them directly to customers. 

Amazon Fresh and Prime Now: Available in delivery blocks of 2-6 hours. The driver will pick up groceries or household items from an Amazon delivery station and deliver them to customers.

Store Orders: The driver will pick up items from local stores and deliver them directly to customers. Delivery blocks are available from 2-4 hours.

Instant Offers: Only available in some areas.  Instant offers are deliveries that begin near your current location. They generally take about 15 – 45 minutes to complete. 

Are there car requirements for delivering with Amazon Flex?

If you plan to deliver with Prime Now, any car that is safe and reliable is acceptable. 

For Amazon.com orders, you’ll need to use a larger vehicle that has at least four doors such as a mid-sized sedan, truck with a covered bed, minivan, or SUV. Smaller cars or trucks with open beds do not qualify for these orders. 

They also do not accept drivers with scooters, motorcycles, or motorbikes. 

Can I have a passenger in the car with me when doing deliveries?

Some deliveries and packages may cause you to be away from your car for long periods. As a result, it’s not recommended to bring pets or passengers with you when doing deliveries. Keep in mind that Amazon’s commercial insurance won’t cover any passengers if there is an emergency or accident

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