Flexible hours, great pay, and the chance to work with cutting-edge technology are just some of the perks that come from delivering for Amazon Flex. But how does someone get started? This blog post will go in-depth on everything you need to know if you want to know how to deliver for Amazon Flex.
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What is Amazon Flex?
OK, so maybe you’ve heard of Amazon Flex; perhaps you haven’t. Either way, it’s essential to know what you’re getting into before you start. So what is Amazon Flex? It’s a service that allows people to sign up as drivers who deliver packages for Amazon. The company provides opportunities for individuals to make money in their spare time, and it’s a great side hustle on top of your full-time job if you’re someone looking for a work-life balance.
What Does Amazon Flex Offer?
Amazon offers several features that come with being an independent contractor delivering parcels from the comfort of your car:
Flexible schedule: Drivers can set their hours, making it easy to fit deliveries into existing commitments like school and family obligations. With this flexibility comes optionality; you don’t have to commit 40 hours a week. Some people do deliver more hours, but you’re under no obligation to do so.
Excellent pay rates per package delivered: Depending on location and the type of deliveries you do, payment can range from $18 to $24 an hour. (Of course, this doesn’t take into consideration some of the extra expenses that go into using your car for delivery services — gas, car maintenance, insurance, etc.
Hands-free: OK, so while Amazon Flex is not entirely hands-free, the packages that you deliver are small enough to fit in your car. That means that you likely won’t be required to deliver 50-pound boxes of cement to anyone’s third-floor apartment!
Low amount of customer interaction: I consider this a huge plus. I don’t particularly appreciate dealing with people, making Amazon Flex the perfect opportunity for someone who doesn’t want to talk on the phone or deal with customers all day.
No commitment: You are your own boss. Don’t want to wake up one morning? You don’t have to. Don’t want to work for a few days? You have that option while still being able to earn money with Amazon Flex!
No experience is needed: No experience is necessary for Amazon Flex drivers because you’re essentially an independent contractor who delivers shipments from your vehicle.
Requirements to Deliver for Amazon Flex
Not everyone can deliver for Amazon Flex. There are some requirements that you have to meet to start. These include:
- A vehicle in good working condition, insured, and registered
- Must be 21 years of age or older with a valid driver’s license
- Have no significant violations on your driving record for the past three years (DUI/speeding tickets)
- Proof of car insurance is required during the registration process. Your Amazon Flex app will show you step-by-step instructions based on your state requirements. Some states also need an updated photo ID to register and some proof of residency documentation such as utility bills or bank statements mailed within the last 30 days to your residence address listed on the application form.
How to Deliver for Amazon Flex: Application Process
OK, so once you meet the Amazon Flex driver requirements, you can start the application process. The first thing you need to do is download the Amazon Flex app for your phone and see if Amazon Flex is even available in your city.
So far, there are Amazon Flex drivers in over 50 cities in the U.S., and Amazon is adding more all the time. If you don’t see your city and you’re still interested in driving for Amazon Flex, you can join the waitlist so you’ll know when they open up in a city near you.
Once you open the app, enter in your basic information like your name and address. Agree with the terms of service. Then fill out the form with all of your data — including your name, address, social security number, driver’s license number, and date of birth. You will also need a bank account so payments can go through automatically with direct deposit.
The last step is to go through some training videos. They are about how to use the app, how to pick up and drop off your deliveries, and how to troubleshoot in problematic situations. There are 19 videos that range from 3-6 minutes in length. There is a quiz after each 4th video.
The final step is agreeing to a background check. It isn’t a big deal. The app says it can take 2-5 business days for this, but it might take longer than five days. If you haven’t heard back from them by then, contact them about your concern.
Have You Been Accepted?
If everything went well with the background check, you should get notified through the Amazon Flex app. There’s a chance that they might still need some info for your application, but it’s easy to update if that’s the case.
How to Schedule Deliveries
You made it! Once your background check and application process have made it through all the steps, additional options will appear on the app. These options have to do with scheduling your delivery shifts.
The life cycle of delivering for Amazon Flex can be broken down as follows:
- accept your shifts on the app
- head to the package pickup location to get your packages for delivery
- deliver your packages
- return any parcels you couldn’t deliver
Accept Your Shifts
There are two different types of shifts that you can sign up for with Amazon Flex:
With Amazon Flex, guaranteed shifts are exactly what they sound like: you get a shift, and that’s all. If there are other drivers available to complete the delivery on your shift, then Amazon doesn’t need to call you for this job, so it won’t show up in your queue. These shifts tend to go fast, AND there’s a deadline for these shifts, so you need to monitor the app and accept the shifts you want.
These shifts are different than guaranteed shifts in that they are shifts that pop up that anyone can take. These are also pretty popular, so you need to either monitor these closely or at least accept your guaranteed shifts so that you have some deliveries to make. You’ll likely have to keep checking back on the app throughout the morning to find the drop-in shifts.
Pick Up Your Packages
Once you’ve scheduled your shifts, you need to go pick up the packages you’re going to deliver.
The app will notify you where to go before your shift starts. You might have to show up at an Amazon pickup warehouse, a retailer, or maybe even a restaurant.
Don’t worry, though. The Flex app will notify you exactly where it needs you on the day of work, so there’s no confusion about the time and location.
When your shift starts and you’ve arrived at the pickup station, swipe “I’ve Arrived” on the Flex app. The app will show you which packages to load in your vehicle. Once you scan a package, you can see its details on the screen of your phone (you’ll also be given the best GPS route for delivering all your packages).
When loading up deliveries into your car or SUV, there may also be some special instructions attached to the individual packages. You need to make sure these are all followed. After you load everything in your car, you’re ready to start delivering.
Deliver Your Packages
The next step is delivering your packages to their destinations. This step is pretty straightforward. You’ll need to use the GPS on your phone to get there. Once you’re at the destination, swipe “Delivered” in the app when you’ve completed a drop-off.
Drop-offs are usually in the same geographical area. Though, many times there isn’t a one-to-one package-to-delivery location ratio. For example, you might have 30 packages that all need to be delivered to a single office building or restaurant.
Return Leftover Packages
Now, one thing to remember is that it’s likely you’ll run into problems at least a few times while delivering for Amazon Flex. Some of those problems could include:
- a package that doesn’t fit in your car
- a customer who refuses to accept the delivery
- an address that looks incorrect on Google Maps (when you get there, it’s a restaurant with an entirely different name or just some random family’s house)
Suppose you can’t deliver a package for whatever reason. In that case, you can call the Amazon Flex support line (although many people I know haven’t had much success with getting any support while delivering).
If you still can’t deliver a package or support isn’t any help, you are supposed to return it to the pickup location. This could be annoying, especially if your pickup location is out of the way or you have to fight through traffic to get there. That could take more profits from you as you’d be spending more on wear and tear of your car as well as gas.
If you didn’t go crazy delivering for Amazon Flex after all that, it’s time to go home and watch the app so you can sign up for your following shifts.
How to Avoid Account Deactivation
To maintain a high level of service, Amazon uses an algorithm called “standing” that calculates your performance. Standing is made up of two metrics: reliability and delivery quality. Reliability measures whether you show up for work or not while the other ensures you properly deliver all packages with no errors in transit–nothing can slip through the cracks when it comes to being reliable!
If these standards are met (or exceeded), then your standing will be fantastic.
If you meet these standards most times, your standing would be great.
Fair means there’s room for improvement but still good enough to keep going as usual without any significant hiccups.
Finally, if one of these criteria isn’t even close to reaching expectations, then At Risk status kicks in, which essentially means that you’re in danger of termination. Amazon can be pretty quick with getting rid of people, so if you want to keep delivering for Amazon Flex, make sure you take your standing seriously.
Pros to Delivering for Amazon Flex
There are some definite benefits if you decide to deliver for Amazon Flex, which include:
- the ability to work as much or as little, and on your schedule
- quicker payments than other delivery services
- control over the routes you want to work
- flexible hours and days
- ability to make deliveries from your vehicle
- you could combine this side gig with another one that entails advertising on your car
The pay is also a definite pro for this gig; Amazon pays drivers $18+ per hour with no mileage charges or deductions.
Cons to Delivering for Amazon Flex
While delivering for Amazon Flex can be a great side gig, there are some cons to this, which include:
- the pay is not hourly, but rather per delivery
- it is not easy to make money back that drivers spend on gas
- you might not make that much when considering your other expenses such as gas and car maintenance
- you have to go through an extensive application process to become a delivery driver with the Amazon Flex program
- the gig might not be for you if you are someone who likes predictability, needs set hours each day, or wants more structure from your work life.
Should You Deliver for Amazon Flex?
If you are looking for a way to make some extra cash on the side, delivering packages for Amazon might be your answer. With this service, you can work as an independent contractor and set your hours. You also have more control over which days of the week you deliver packages. However, it is only available in certain areas at the moment, so check out their website before applying.