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Amazon.com is a household name these days. What began as an online bookseller in Seattle, Washington in 1995 is now a massive online retailer. Forbes reports that 64 percent of U.S. households have Amazon Prime memberships, and the company continues to expand its operations (like the company’s 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods).
As the company has expanded, so have its delivery offerings. In order to offer two-day or even same-day delivery, Amazon has turned to independent contractors. This has created a host of Amazon delivery jobs that almost anyone with a reliable vehicle can take advantage of.
Working as an Amazon delivery driver is an exciting opportunity to earn extra money on a flexible schedule. With a reliable vehicle, phone, and a willingness to work, you can earn a decent wage and make Amazon’s various delivery services possible.
Amazon’s independent contractor delivery program is called Amazon Flex. It’s a broad term that encompasses several different sub-services. The program is quite easy to participate in, with no special training or equipment necessary.
Before becoming an Amazon Flex driver, there are a few common questions that both prospective and current drivers should know about the program.
We’ve created this comprehensive guide on driving for Amazon Flex to help answer them, and broken the guide down into the following sections to make it easier to find the answer to your questions.
- What Is Amazon Flex?
- Where Can I Deliver for Amazon Flex?
- How Much Do Amazon Flex Drivers Make?
- What Types of Amazon Flex Jobs Are Available?
- What Are the Amazon Flex Driver Requirements?
- How Do I Contact Driver Support at Amazon Flex?
- How Do I Increase My Amazon Flex Earnings?
What Is Amazon Flex?
Unlike food delivery apps or courier services, Amazon Flex contains five different categories of deliveries. These all exist to enable different services available to Amazon customers.
The five categories of Amazon delivery jobs are as follows:
- Prime – These are regular package deliveries. While Amazon makes many of these deliveries via USPS or UPS, using contractors allows the company to increase delivery times or offer delivery on Sundays.
- Prime Now – Available in select markets, Prime Now is a service that allows Amazon Prime customers to receive two-hour delivery on household essentials, everyday items and select Amazon products.
- Amazon Locker – Drivers deliver packages to Amazon Lockers, which are like P.O. boxes that Amazon operates in order to provide alternative pickup locations for customers.
- Merchant Pickups – Instead of picking up the package from an Amazon station, you pick it up directly from a merchant. This is how Amazon can offer services such as AmazonFresh, as well as deliveries from local small businesses and other brick and mortar Amazon partner stores.
- Restaurant – These are food orders from restaurants as part of the Amazon Restaurants service.
As a Flex driver, you’ll have the chance to deliver for all of the above services. When your shift begins, you’ll open the Amazon Flex app and follow its instructions. The app will tell you where to get the delivery, how to handle it and where to deliver it. All you have to do is drive and follow the instructions. Deliveries occur during set delivery blocks, which are like shifts.
Where Can I Deliver for Amazon Flex?
Amazon Flex jobs are currently available in most large and medium cities – over 50 cities across the U.S. The specific types of deliveries available will depend on the market, as services such as Amazon Fresh and Prime Now currently have limited availability. However, if you can get Sunday delivery, Same-Day delivery, or have groceries delivered through Amazon, then Amazon Flex definitely operates in your area.
Here are just a few of the cities where Amazon Flex is available:
- New York
- Los Angeles
- Washington, D.C.
- San Francisco
Amazon is constantly expanding its operations, so if it is not already, it could be in your city soon. If you want to get notified when Amazon Flex is available in your city, you can fill out the waitlist form on Amazon’s website.
Speaking of the waitlist, we should note that Amazon Flex jobs are extremely competitive. Unlike other delivery apps where all you need to do is meet the requirements and fill out a few forms, Amazon Flex jobs have a waitlist in most markets.
At the time of publication, Amazon Flex jobs are available for a limited time in the following areas:
- Chicago (Mundelein)
- N. Virginia / S. Maryland
- New York
- San Francisco Bay Area
However, it’s worth noting that Amazon Flex ramps up hiring during busy times of the year. The busiest time by far is in the months leading up to the winter holidays, when the number of available delivery blocks also increases to keep up with the increased deliveries of Amazon packages. This means that even if your city isn’t available now, it’s worth checking back as the winter holidays approach.
How Much Do Amazon Flex Drivers Make?
Unlike other delivery services such as Postmates, Amazon Flex pays a set rate per hour. Amazon Flex pays drivers a base rate of at least $18 per hour or higher in some markets with especially high costs of living. That number can go as high as $25 per hour during peak season or other times of high demand. However, $18 is more typical, so don’t get too excited.
In addition to the hourly rate, drivers delivering for Prime Now also have the chance to earn tips from happy customers. These aren’t guaranteed, but they can be a significant boost to your income. Be sure to provide excellent, prompt customer service in order to raise your chances of getting a tip.
Still, those respectable earnings are both higher than the minimum wage and higher than what many other industry-leading delivery services pay. At the very least, it’s a good supplement to other delivery or transportation jobs.
What Types of Amazon Flex Jobs Are Available?
Though we tend to talk about working for Amazon Flex as one type of job, it actually breaks down into a variety of different deliveries. You’re eligible to do all of them as a Flex driver, and we encourage you to do so in order to maximize your earnings. Still, it can be useful to understand the different types of jobs before you start your first shift.
Amazon Flex breaks down into the following categories:
This involves picking up packages from the Amazon warehouse and delivering them to customers. Package delivery is the most straightforward. Just follow the Flex app’s instructions for where to deliver packages at each drop-off point.
Prime Now Delivery
Amazon Prime Now is a service that delivers items to customers in hours instead of days. These tend to be products that customers want or need under a particular time limit, such as chilled items or alcoholic beverages (though any item Amazon offers is a potential candidate for delivery). One major benefit of delivering for this service is that customers have the option to leave drivers a tip.
Amazon Locker Delivery
This is very similar to Amazon Packages, except you make the delivery to an Amazon Locker. These are essentially P.O. boxes that Amazon owns — convenient pick-up points like Whole Foods Market, 7-Eleven, or Rite Aid. Lockers make life easy for customers who’d prefer not to leave their packages on their porch.
These involve picking up items from local delivery partners like grocery stores and clothing boutiques and delivering them directly to customers.
Amazon Restaurants Delivery
This is Amazon’s attempt to compete with other food delivery services. You’ll need to go to the restaurant, pick up the food, and deliver it to the customer. This delivery type also has the potential for tips.
This is Amazon’s grocery-specific delivery service that enables consumers to order groceries from their local Whole Foods Market. This is similar to Prime Now delivery except it’s only available in select cities where a Whole Foods store is present.
What Are the Amazon Flex Driver Requirements?
While it’s not difficult to become an Amazon Flex driver, there are certain minimum requirements that you’ll need to meet. In brief, the requirements are as follows. You must:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license
- Have a Social Security number
- Pass a criminal background check
- Have a bank account capable of receiving direct deposit
- Have the minimum auto insurance required by state law
- Have an iPhone or Android smartphone capable of running the Amazon Flex app
You should also understand the vehicle requirements you’ll need to meet to start making deliveries for Amazon. For Prime Now, delivery drivers can use any car that can safely get them from A-to-B.
When it comes to delivering orders for Amazon.com, you’ll need to have a four-door vehicle that’s at least the size of a sedan. You can also use SUVs, trucks, or vans as long as you have a cover for the bed of the truck. You won’t be able to use a smaller car or a truck that doesn’t have a bed.
You can even use a bicycle to make deliveries in select cities. If you’re in a city that accepts bike deliveries, your bike will need to be street-legal and equipped with a basket and a helmet.
How Do I Contact Driver Support at Amazon Flex?
There may come a time when you need to get ahold of Amazon Flex support. Maybe a customer claims they didn’t receive a package, even though you delivered it. Maybe you’re having trouble making a delivery to an apartment complex. Whatever the reason, Amazon Flex representatives are in place to answer your questions when you need assistance.
To contact support quickly, your best bet is to call the support phone number. The number is (888) 281-6901. A rep will get back to you as soon as possible to help you with your issue.
How Do I Increase My Amazon Flex Earnings?
One of the benefits of being an independent contractor is that you’re in control of your earnings. If you want to earn more, you can work more or work more creatively. We recommend the latter approach, although a combination of both is necessary to reach your maximum earning potential.
There are two main ways to boost your Amazon flex income. The first is to pick up more delivery blocks. The more deliveries you make, the more you earn.
The other way to boost your earnings is to pick up delivery blocks that can get you tips. This means either Prime Now, Amazon Restaurants deliveries, or Amazon Fresh.
Of course, it isn’t enough to just get available blocks that have tips available. You also have to provide a high level of customer service. This comes down to being on time, being polite, and getting the order correct. As long as you do these things, you’ll have a much higher chance of a tip.
Start Your Amazon Flex Journey Today
You should now have all the information you need to become an Amazon Flex delivery driver. As you can see, Amazon Flex offers a well-paying opportunity to make money delivering packages and other goods for the world’s largest e-commerce company. The jobs aren’t easy to get, but keeping an eye on the waitlist and seasonal hiring can help give you an edge when the jobs do open up.
Of course, Amazon Flex is just one of the many opportunities available. If you’re looking for other driving jobs that offer flexible hours and the ability to set your own schedule and be your own boss, then we suggest delivering for Postmates or driving for Uber and Lyft.
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.