Amazon delivers billions of products each year and to make shipping more efficient, especially during shopping seasons, the giant company is hiring independent contractors to speed up delivery. Before taking on any gig job seriously, it’s always worth asking – can you make money with Amazon Flex? Let’s find out in this review.
How Does Amazon Flex Work
It’s basically an app service that delivers parcels for Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Now and Amazon Restaurants orders using personal cars. Unlike the regular FedEx or postal services, hiring is done entirely online, as long as you meet the following criteria.
- You are not a current employee at Amazon.
- You are 21 years old and above and have a valid driver’s license.
- The vehicle intended for the task must be a 4-door sedan or truck with enclosed bed, and comes with insurance coverage.
- You own a smartphone that has either Android version 6.0 or iOS 10 (or higher), has a functional camera and is GPS enabled. Other brands/software will not be compatible.
The service requires the tasker to use the Flex App, but it’s not something that can be randomly downloaded through the App Store or Google Play. It has to be done through a unique link found on the main webpage so you need to follow the instructions there to apply.
After the installation, the app will ask some background check related questions as well as tax information and banking details for direct deposit. While waiting for the approval, there are 19 short videos to watch that explains how the entire delivery process works. It usually takes about 2-5 business days to hear back from Amazon and once you are accepted, there are basically two ways to go about the delivery.
First, you work on the days that you are only available. For this, you need to enter the dates in the calendar feature. Second, you can accept any shifts that are available throughout the day. Since most shifts will take about 3-6 hours to deliver, you’re expected to confirm one hour prior and there’s only 5 minutes to cancel if you want to change your mind.
Upon accepting the task, you need to drive to the nearest warehouse location to pick up the parcels that have already been sorted out by the staff. Each of those packages will be scanned using your phone and the data will be stored in the app. At any point in time, you could receive anywhere between 50 to 70 packages (if not more) to be delivered to homes and offices.
During the process, you’d follow the GPS system installed with the app to guide you to the destination and you are expected to complete all the deliveries within that given period in order to earn the net pay that’s usually within $18 to $25 dollars per hour. The task seems pretty straightforward, but like any gigs, there is always the pros and cons. Watch the video below to see what it’s really like delivering packages for Amazon or continue to read on.
- While you are on the job, Amazon does provide a commercial insurance up to $1 million in value per incident. This can help to cover for physical damage and liability for amounts, situations, and usage that are not covered by a personal auto policy.
- The nature of the job doesn’t involve a lot of contact with the customers – unlike Lyft or UberEats – because Amazon is the one that pays you. So it’s a good option if you prefer not to deal with the complications that comes with servicing people.
- You can cash out twice a week, which gives you faster access to earnings.
- You don’t really need to wear any uniforms for work – just a proper looking attire will do the job.
- There’s always opportunities to earn more. For example, you could use a bigger vehicle to accommodate more packages or accept shifts during peak hours which often pay at a higher rate.
- Like most gig jobs, you determine your own working hours so it’s pretty flexible if you don’t want to be tied down to a 9-5 type of job.
Moving on, here are some drawbacks that you should know.
- The Amazon facilities are only available in certain cities. If your area isn’t listed, then you aren’t qualified for the job. In certain areas, however deliveries can be quite competitive and if you don’t accept an offer quickly, the job will go to someone else.
- As with any gig job, the company doesn’t provide any employment benefits. That means, you may not be protected by basic labor laws or guaranteed a certain number of hours or shifts a week. When it comes to insurance, commercial isn’t the same thing as personal coverage. So in the event of an accident, you are still responsible for your own medical and personal car insurance.
- Tolls, fuel, parking and ticket fee (if you are unlucky) are expenses that must be paid out of your own pocket. Needless to say, with bigger vehicles, the maintenance fee will also go up.
- Packages get misplaced sometimes in the warehouse area and if that should happen during your shifts, you need to spend time searching for those missing parcels before you can begin delivering.
- While the app is often used for navigation purposes, some drivers claimed that it doesn’t always show the fastest routes because it is designed to cover a 3 or 6 hour shift period. This can be quite annoying, especially when the total delivery time could be shortened if you know your way around the cities or use other navigation apps that are more efficient.
- As a driver, you don’t get to choose the destinations. Home addresses are easy to locate, but apartments and offices can be troublesome due to visitor regulations, lack of parking spaces or having to carry the parcel by foot. You may also get stuck during rush hours, thus prolonging the delivery time. Regardless, you are expected to find a way and in situations where you can’t complete the delivery, the item must be sent back to the warehouse.
- When something goes wrong during the delivery, your account could get suspended. This is common where packages go missing when they are left unattended outside the customer’s home and even though it’s not your fault, the company will suspect the driver first and withheld whatever payment. Writing in to clarify could help to get your job back, but it could take time and it’s just not cool when you’ve got nothing to do with it.
- Whether you like it or not, delivering parcels can be physically demanding. Amazon parcels come in all types of sizes and you need to make sure that you are fit enough to load, unload and carry the packages to their destinations. Can you perform these tasks 3 to 6 hours a day, efficiently, on a regular basis? That’s something to think about.
So, Is Amazon Flex Worth Your Time?
It’s true that you can make money with Amazon flex as long as you have a car, a phone and some spare time. For those who are highly organized and can react quickly to different situations, this gig job can be an option to try out.
But don’t be quick to assume that you can become your own boss simply because you are free to choose your hours. It doesn’t change the fact that you are still being paid hourly and a lot of the tasks are dependent on a system that you have no control over. At the end of the day, you are still an independent worker who needs to compete for offers and don’t get any employment benefits.
If you want to make the most out of your time without all the physical hustle, consider starting an online business instead. You can still leverage from the Amazon consumer market while doing something that you actually like. Want to know how that works? Check out this robust training platform for some free courses and dive into the lucrative world of affiliate marketing.