Amazon Flex: The Comprehensive Guide + Review [2017]

This guide is the “hub” in a new series that will dive into everything drivers need to know about the newest service to hit the on-demand scene; Amazon Flex. This guide will touch on the basics of a topic, then link out to an in-depth analysis of each. We’ll be updating this guide weekly, so stay tuned for more information as time goes on.


If you like driving for Uber, Lyft, Postmates, or Doordash, you NEED to check out a new service that many people haven’t yet heard of: Amazon Flex.

Amazon Flex is an on-demand delivery service that is currently recruiting drivers to instantly deliver packages to Amazon customers around the country. Drivers will deliver items from Prime Now, aiming to get them from the warehouse to customer in as little time as possible.

Drivers have much higher earning potential with Flex than with standard TNC services; Amazon is currently boldly advertising that drivers can earn $18-$25 per hour. Like Uber and Lyft, Flex also allows drivers to work when they want, being their own boss working their own flexible schedules.


How Does Amazon Flex Work?

The concept is simple in nature, and operates similar to a TNC. Drivers tell Amazon which days and hours they would like to work, then Amazon assigns them a shift (or in Flex language, a “Block”). The driver will pick up items from an Amazon warehouse and deliver them to people within the area.

There are two different types of positions available to drivers, which new drivers will need to select.

  • Amazon Packages
  • Amazon Prime Now

Amazon Packages is fairly straightfoward. Amazon drivers pick up packages then deliver them to customers in their area. Amazon Flex is a little different story, however. There are two types of deliveries that Flex drivers that choose Prime Now can choose from:

  • 1 Hour Deliveries – Prime Now customers pay a $7.99 delivery fee for this service
  • 2 Hour Deliveries – Prime customers are upgraded to this delivery speed for free

When drivers select a warehouse (Amazon Packages or Prime Now), they will be assigned deliveries from it. If they want to change, the process is fairly difficult. Emailing Amazon support will be required, and certain reports indicate this process has taken up to a month in some cases. So it’s best to select one and stick with it.


Delivery Types

When delivering for Amazon, drivers can choose between four different types of deliveries. Each one is set up for a different type of delivery, but having variation allows a wide range of different scheduling and delivery opportunities.

The four types of delivery options are:

  1. Amazon Logistics – Deliveries of regular, 2-day and same-day items. Most common delivery type.
  2. Prime Now – Deliveries of items to customers within one or two hours.
  3. Amazon Fresh – Grocery delivery service. Two day or next day timeframe.
  4. Amazon Restaurants – Fast-food delivery service similar to Postmates, DoorDash, etc..

For more information about each delivery type, check out our full guide below.

Recommended Reading:


Deliveries

The delivery process is pretty straightforward, and incredibly intuitive and simple. I’d expect nothing less from Amazon, however. Eric Kouvolo over at therideshareguy.com does a great did a great job of explaining the process in a recent writeup about his experience with Flex:

Finally it’s your turn to deliver and one of the employees calls your name. You can get one package, depending on location and time requirements, or a whole cart if there are multiple orders on a route. With the app on my phone, I scanned each package assigned, swiped “finished scanning” and loaded my vehicle. Similar to TNC apps, Amazon shows an address and name you navigate towards. I switched to Waze as Seattle traffic can be horrible and sometimes the side streets are faster than freeways.

Once you arrive, you rescan the package and see if there are special instructions (attended, unattended, call customer, check ID). Sometimes there are detailed instructions for delivery from the customer. If an attended delivery is required, you are prompted to select who was the recipient (customer, household member, front doorperson, receptionist). If there are any issues while delivering, it is easy to call Amazon support for further guidance and they were very helpful when I needed them.

Once all your deliveries are completed for this round, you navigate back to the warehouse and get back in line for the next round. If you finish early, the app also has a notification if you are requested to do a food delivery from the zone where you are located. I did not get any of these, but Amazon did provide me a temporary hot bag.

Recommended Reading:


Amazon Flex App

The Amazon Flex app is one of the most powerful tools in a driver’s toolbox. This app is how deliveries are scheduled, logged, and processed, and is the backbone behind how a driver gets their job done.

Without this app, drivers could not do their job, so it is vital to keep the app up and running. Mobile charger anyone?

Amazon Flex app screenshot for available blocks

The app is packed with features. These include:

  • Home
  • Offers
  • Calendar (blocks and deliveries)
  • Earnings details
  • Account information
  • Training videos
  • Help and support resources
  • Delivery and program feedback

Because this is Amazon, the Amazon Flex app is backed by powerful developers, marketing, and support. This ensures drivers have the best delivery experience possible, with the most features at their fingertips.

Recommended Reading:


Amazon Flex Driver Pay

We could go a lot more in-depth on the delivery side of things, but we can leave that for the video reviews below. Drivers looking to join Flex will be pleasantly surprised at how much they will make after joining.

Amazon pays Flex drivers a base rate of $18 per hour, regardless. It doesn’t matter if they are sitting in traffic or delivery packages like a well-oiled machine, the pay rate is set in stone. On top of the base rate, there’s a potential to earn much more with tips, hence the higher rate on their official “$18-25/hr” claim. Take one look at the reviews and you’ll see many drivers raving about the service, and rejoicing over a ton of tips given from customers.

Pay statements come weekly and are deposited into the driver’s account via Direct Deposit. A full breakdown of that week’s income is sent via email.

Recommended Reading:


Insurance for Flex Drivers

Many couriers sign up to deliver, and don’t give a second thought to protecting themselves while working. What do we mean?

Flex drivers need to think ahead and protect themselves by understanding and obtaining the right amount of insurance. If you were to get into an accident, who would pay for it? How much coverage would insurance over, vs an out-of-pocket deductible?

Like driving for rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft, your personal insurance does not cover what is classified as “commercial” use of your vehicle. That’s where Amazon Flex car insurance comes into play.

Luckily, Amazon Flex drivers don’t need to purchase special insurance, as Amazon provides specific insurance to drivers. Your personal car insurance policy will be active when you’re not delivering packages, or “on the clock” while the Amazon Flex insurance policy will be active when you’re working deliveries.

There is one known exception to this, according to ihearridesharing.com.

In New York City Amazon Flex drivers are required to have commercial insurance of their own. The Amazon Flex car insurance will not be available to them.

Even so, Flex drivers should be covered by either policy.

For more detailed information on the insurance policy Amazon provides, read our insurance guide below.

Recommended Reading:


Amazon Flex Support

Since Amazon Flex is backed by Amazon, drivers can expect a robust infrastructure that backs drivers when support is needed. Support for drivers comes in two ways:

  1. Phone support
  2. Email support
  3. Help button

Phone Support

There are two phone numbers for Amazon Flex drivers; one for drivers on the clock and another for drivers off the clock.

On the clock

To contact support when on the clock, drivers should use the dispatch number, which connects to an Amazon Flex dispatcher. Issues should include late deliveries, order issues, etc… This number is 1-877-472-7562

Off the clock

Drivers who are not working, off the clock, should use the Amazon customer service number for less pressing issues. Whether it’s a generic account question, an Amazon App glitch or bug, or anything else, support can help. This number is 1-877-212-6150.

Email Support

Amazon Flex drivers seeking non-critical issues should use online support. Support representatives are pretty good about emailing back in a reasonable amount of time, and are great about giving comprehensive answers.

The email address is [email protected]

Help Button

The help button baked into the Amazon Flex app is one of the newest features in the app. Drivers can simply tap the “Help” button and get connected to a support representative immediately.

This method is the simplest and easiest way for drivers to get help, especially while out and about delivering packages. Any of the methods will work, but this is my personal favorite.

Recommended Reading:


Drive for Amazon Flex

As outlined above, drivers looking for a good earning potential, flexible hours, and a job that’s a break from the ordinary, Amazon Flex is worth checking out. The service is currently available in over 30 cities, so take a look and see if your city is one of the ones with service.

Benefits include:

  1. Set your own schedule – tell Amazon when you want to make deliveries
  2. Pick up packages – scan and load your packages when you arrive to pick them up
  3. Reach your destination – The app directly drivers where to deliver and offers directions for the quickest and most efficient route
  4. Check earnigns – The app will display real-time earnigns, so you always know how much you’ve earned

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, then sign up today. Meet a few simple requirements, and you’ll be delivering packages before you know it.

  1. Be over the age of 21
  2. Pass a background check
  3. Own an Android smartphone
  4. Have a reliable, working vehicle

Do you meet these requirements? Great! Sign up today and start earning!


Bonus: Amazon Flex Driver Reviews

Before you drive, you probably want to see the service in action, and you can in a few of our favorite Amazon Flex reviews. I picked a few of the most in-depth and helpful reviews from YouTube and then summarized them below the videos. As more and more people publish reviews, I’ll add my favorites below.

The first Amazon Flex review comes from Luke Ducklow, a popular presence on YouTube. Here’s his thoughts on the service:

Overview: 

In his video, Luke takes viewers through his first day on the job as an Amazon Flex driver. As one of the first drivers in the region, he has the opportunity to work out the bugs in the program and work on the front lines of a developing program, a fact he is obviously very excited about.

The video gives some insight into what drivers can expect during a normal day as an Amazon Flex driver. Throughout the video, he talks about why he is driving, the process of delivery driving for Flex, and a few tidbits of comedy here and there. In this case, it only took 2 hours to complete his 4 hour delivery block. He spent most of the day within a tight area, which eliminated dead mileage and had minimal issues with the Amazon Flex driver app.

What he liked:

  • The ability to set flexible hours
  • The good pay
  • The technology behind the platform
  • The tips he got while driving
  • The people were helpful and “cool”, helping him troubleshoot issues and get on the road

What he didn’t like:

There wasn’t a whole lot that Luke didn’t like during his shift. He said there were a few problems with the app, but Amazon support staff were helpful in quickly getting his issues resolved. He also mentioned that he had to call a customer to get clarification on where to drop off a package, but quickly moved on after the call.

His take: The overall theme that I gathered was that Luke likes Amazon Flex, and is so far pretty happy being a delivery driver. He speaks highly of the service, and recommends drivers sign up.

Luke loved Amazon Flex, but our second reviewer did not. Paul Yeo, another YouTube personalty, has another opinion.

Overview:

Paul starts out the video by saying he was going to do a positive review on the service, but couldn’t come up with a whole lot of positives, so he decided to do an outline of the negatives.

What he liked:

  • The flexible hours – while he said getting blocks is difficult, they are worth it when you can get them, and is a great way to increase side income.

What he didn’t like:

  • Availability of blocks – scheduling blocks with a calendar leads to less delivery time behind the wheel. In saturated markets, drivers have a hard time to get delivery blocks and there is a lot of competition to get these.
  • The Amazon Flex driver app is faulty – Paul was not happy with the performance of the driver app. It froze during navigation, scanning items, etc…
  • Getting deactivated randomly – many drivers are apparently getting randomly deactivated for no reason, without doing anything wrong. Supervisors have the ability to reactivate your account.

His take: Even with his gripes about Amazon Flex, he still encouraged drivers to sign up. However, he strongly suggests only driving for Amazon Flex as a side job since there is so much competition among drivers.


My Take on Amazon Flex

After doing extensive research into how the service works, the opportunity for driver growth after signup, and using existing Amazon Flex driver reviews as a benchmark, I think driving for Amazon Flex is a good side gig.

Like Paul outlined in his review, I think Amazon Flex is still in the early stages of growth, and drivers should tread lightly on this. In the past, tons of Uber and Lyft drivers quit their full time jobs and rushed to become full-time rideshare drivers.

When Uber and Lyft slashed prices last year, these drivers were devastated. It would be unfortunate to see this happen again, but the best thing to do is treat these types of jobs as a nice added cash flow and pursue something more lucrative full-time.


Are you an Amazon Flex delivery driver? What do you love about the service? Any tips and tricks you can’t wait to share? Drop us a line and let us know what you think!

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