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There are plenty of options for drivers who want to make some extra cash while on the road. Whether it’s Postmates or Instacart, there has never been a better time to drive than now. But rising up among the established rideshare players is one new service that drivers are falling in love with.
Amazon is letting independent contractors complete their deliveries through the Amazon Flex program. This program allows drivers to make extra income while still being able to take control of their time.
Today we’re diving into the basics of what drivers need to know, and outlining the Amazon Flex driver requirements necessary to get on the road.
There are many different types of Amazon Flex Jobs (you can see a complete list here), but the premise of the service is pretty basic: Amazon Flex drivers pick up packages from stations and deliver them to the intended recipient by taking directions from the Flex app.
The shifts are usually in four-hour blocks, which can be scheduled ahead of time or as they become available. These blocks are becoming harder to get a hold of due to a large number of drivers fighting for them, but with a little patience, there’s still plenty to be had.
The Amazon Flex driver pay ranges from $18 to $25 per hour. The pay is dependent on the time of the shift, the region, and the difficulty. The good thing about Flex, though, is drivers will know how much they will earn from a shift before they sign up for it. This helps you decide if it’s worth it to take a particular delivery, something you can’t know when you drive for rideshare apps or even some food delivery services.
Occasionally, Amazon also offers incentives to its drivers such as gift cards for certain blocks completed within a time frame. Although there is still no permanent incentive or bonus system, they send out bonus opportunities via email.
The application process to be an Amazon Flex driver is pretty straightforward. However, a driver must first meet the following requirements:
- Be 21 years old or older
- Have a Social Security Number
- Have auto insurance
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Pass a background check
- Have a bank account capable of receiving direct deposits
In addition, the applying driver must have access to a qualifying vehicle. This can either be a four-door sedan, a minivan, or a pickup truck. Unlike with Uber or Lyft, the vehicle requirements for Amazon Flex delivery drivers are far less strict. As long as your vehicle is reliable enough for you to make deliveries on time, you can use it.
Finally, you’ll need an iPhone or Android phone in order to download the Amazon Flex driver app.
Flex drivers are assigned several types of deliveries. The Flex app will let the drivers know which type they are going to do and how to complete it.
- Amazon Packages – These are regular package deliveries.
- Prime Now – These are more timely deliveries and come in bags instead of boxes.
- Amazon Locker – Drivers will deliver packages to Amazon boxes, which are like PO boxes.
- Merchant Pickups – Instead of picking up the package from an Amazon station, the driver will pick it up from the merchant.
- Amazon Restaurants – These are food orders from restaurants.
There are also some possible special deliveries that can come up such as:
- Attended Delivery – The customer or an authorized person must be there at the time of delivery.
- Chilled and Frozen – The item will be placed in a cool bag with a dry ice box. The item must be pulled out of the cool bag upon delivery and the cool bag must be returned to the pickup station.
- Alcohol – The recipient or customer must present ID as a proof of age. The ID is scanned via the Flex app.
Passing the application process doesn’t guarantee the driver a slot to drive for Amazon Flex for a lifetime.
Amazon Flex may deactivate a driver if they are constantly missing or late for scheduled shifts. Bad customer service, stealing or damaging packages, and failing to attempt to deliver packages are also reasons for Amazon to fire a driver.
Likewise, not scheduling a shift for 180 days can lead to forfeiture of the slot in Amazon Flex. So be sure to schedule shifts regularly to avoid getting deactivated. After all, working as an Amazon delivery driver a lot better than most part-time jobs you could be doing.
Finally, be aware that the total supply of Amazon Flex driver jobs is limited. The service tends to see greater demand during busy times such as the holiday season, leading to large hiring pushes on Amazon’s part. Once the holiday rush has passed, however, it’s not uncommon for drivers to find themselves getting way fewer hours than before. This isn’t technically “deactivation,” but it’s something to watch out for if you’re relying on Amazon Flex for a large percentage of your income.
Know the Amazon Flex Requirements Before You Apply
If you own a car, you now have a lot of options to make extra income. Driving for Amazon Flex is a good choice, as it allows you to work on your own schedule and lets you see how much you’re going to earn before you take on a shift.
It can also be a good alternative for rideshare partners who don’t feel like driving for passengers that day. Drivers who are interested to learn more about Amazon Flex can check out their website for answers to frequently asked questions.
For a step-by-step tutorial for Amazon Flex drivers, check out this video from The Reality of Andy:
Would you want to apply as a driver for Amazon Flex? Let us know in the comments!
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.