Amazon Flex has actually been around for a few years that I know of. I have been working with Flex for just about one year. It is one of the best ways that I have found to make money and be your own boss.
This is of course if you don’t have your own business. Nothing would be better than that. So why don’t we start our own business? It costs too much, overhead, marketing, etc. It would make sense to be an independent contractor with Amazon until you can grow your own personal business and finally work for yourself, for a change.
How Does it Work?
Amazon will prompt you to download their utility app. Once you download it, if there is availability, you will see available blocks.
Blocks are blocks of time that consist of work to do, or a route to complete. The blocks of time range from 1-4.5 hours. For example, you might see a 3 hour block, from 5 – 8 PM, for $60 bucks.
Blocks usually start at $18 – $30/hr. Yes, I have seen blocks inflate to $30/hr when it is in high demand. What controls the demand; the amount of drivers available, and packages needing to be delivered.
It would probably go without saying, but I usually wait until a block will inflate to a top dollar block before I accept it.
How Do You Pick Up a Block?
On the app, there is an Offers tab on the main menu. Once you visit your offers, that is where you will find available blocks.
How to Choose Your Block?
I usually pick the one that pays the most, and has the closest station to me. Stations are all over the place. You will have to learn where they are in your area.
Reddit has a page dedicated to all the locations, you can visit it here: Amazon Locations
I do not like to drive more than half an hour to each location. I like to stay in a close proximity. If you pick up blocks at further locations, when you are done with your block, you could be an hour plus from home.
Are There a Lot of Blocks to Choose From?
Sometimes there are many and sometimes not. Certain days of the week, there may be more available than others.
Certain times of the year could even have an impact on this. There have been times where blocks will sit on my Offers tab all day long and the rate just gets higher and higher. Then there are the days when you have to compete with other people using the app in order to pick one up.
For example, when an offer pops up, you may have less than a second to pick it up. How is that even possible? Well, you don’t even read the block details, you just click on it and accept it before anyone else does.
Once you have the block, you can choose to drop it if it does not suit you. Amazon gives the opportunity to drop your block with at least 45 minutes before the start time. If you were to pick it up during that 45 minute period, for example, if the block starts at 5:00 PM, and you pick it up at 4:20 PM, then they give you five minutes to drop it.
Amazon is pretty strict with these rules. You will want to follow all the rules in order to maintain your contract.
What are the Rules for Amazon Flex?
Besides the ones I mentioned in the previous paragraph, there are a few more. It is pretty simple to maintain a relationship with Amazon, but you will need to take the job seriously.
You cannot be more than 5 minutes late for your block. I was 15 minutes late one time, and they did not let me into the warehouse. I was so upset. I had driven over forty five minutes in rush hour traffic to get to the location.
Not only are you forced to miss your block, or as they call it ‘forfeit’, it counts against you. They record the information on your driver history.
Other information they keep a record of are late deliveries, missing packages, and undeliverable packages. Packages usually have to be delivered by 9 PM. If you go past that time, it is late. If you are delivering Whole Foods orders, there will be a promised time such as 5:00-7:00, and if it is late, it will be documented. The promised times are on all orders, so you will know.
Missing packages happen occasionally. Sometimes when you are picking up your load, a.k.a. route, there will be a missing package in your load, for which you are forced to report it as missing. You don’t have to worry too much about this because the numbers are estimated in an overall percentage.
For example, two missing packages out of 100 packages that you may have delivered during the week will still put your accountability rate at 98%; which is still good. I know it may still sound unfair, because you did not lose the package, but that is just the way it is.
Undeliverable packages happen when you are unable to deliver due to certain circumstances. It may be that there is no safe location to leave the package, or the package requires a recipient and no one is home, or the business is closed. The way they rate you for missing packages, is just about the same for this category too.
Every week Amazon will send you a weekly summary which will include all your ratings. My ratings for the different categories usually rate from 97-100%. This includes arriving to blocks on time, delivering all of your packages, and if they were on time.
Their support team is pretty awesome. They always answer the phone when you call them. You only have the ability to call them when you are on a block. When you are not driving, you need to contact Off Road Support, and they can only be reached by email.
You can call Support, if you are having trouble finding an address, or having trouble with the app. Those are the only reasons I usually call them.
Also, if I go over my block, I call them to submit a form to request additional compensation for going over my block. For example, if my block was from 5-8:00 PM, but I did not finish until 9:00 PM, then I will put in the request. You can also email Off Road Support for this.
Can you do it Full Time?
I believe Amazon Flex is a last resort for Amazon. They have their own employed drivers, and there are a lot of them! When I go to pick up at certain locations, they are at least a hundred trucks in their parking lot.
I guess it makes financial sense for Amazon to hire independent contractors, because then again, there are hundreds of us reporting to the station on a daily basis. We could speculate why, such as expenses, equipment, benefits, but I would rather not.
I drive full time for Amazon. I enjoy it very much. It is very flexible. I make pretty good money, but it is not the be all end all for me. I do not want be delivering for Amazon until my 60s. Gosh, I am only 34!
This leads me to the next section:
What Comes Next? What is After Amazon Flex?
At the end of the day, we all want freedom. Freedom to choose where we want to work, what we want to do, how we want to do it, and when. Amazon Flex is pretty flexible, but what happens when you need benefits, retirement, and a vacation package?
One of the great things about Amazon is that if you want to earn more, you can work more. Which would be smart if you want to save for a vacation, but wouldn’t it be better if you could take your business with you?
What I am talking about, is an online business. Can you really make money online? Yes. Will it be overnight? No. The truth is it takes a lot of time to build an online business, but the good news is you can. It is pretty simple, once you get the hang of it.
There is a website which offers free training on how to build your online business from scratch, it is called Wealthy Affiliate. They can help you get started, check out my full review here.
At the end of the day, you will want something that you can depend on. Sure Amazon may not be going anywhere for a long time, but it gets tiring. With an online business, you can work in the comfort of your own home, office, or car. I am actually writing this blog post in my car.
As I work for Amazon Flex throughout the day, during my downtime, I will spend time at a coffee shop or in my car parked somewhere, working on my website.
You won’t be able to just start getting a full time income right away, but it is by far the best business you can start for yourself that will open doors for you in the future. As far as, traveling and spending time with your family.
What is the income potential? I know a few people who make over 10k per month in internet marketing. There are also many others online making more than that, over 10k. Even over 100k per month.