Amazon Flex is a newer delivery service offered through Amazon. In addition to helping people get their packages that much faster, it’s an interesting side hustle option that can help you earn anywhere from $18-$25/hour.
Driving for Amazon Flex is kind of like driving for Uber – you’re earning with your car and picking the hours you drive – but you’re delivering packages, not people. I’m going to say that this makes Amazon Flex a better side hustle than ridesharing driving if you’re an introvert like me.
If you’re also an introvert… or not, extroverts can drive for Flex too… and want to learn how to drive for Amazon Flex, I’m going to answer some of the most common questions about driving for Amazon Flex.
What is Amazon Flex?
Amazon Flex is a service that outsources deliveries for Prime Now, AmazonFresh, and Amazon Restaurant to Delivery Partners (what you’re called when you deliver for them). Delivery Partners use their own vehicles and schedule which hours they want to work.
The Amazon Flex app is where the magic happens for drivers and is the key to making deliveries. The app is where you can:
- Schedule your hours
- Scan and load packages for delivery
- Find directions and driving suggestions
- See how much money you’re earning
Speaking of earning…
How much can you make with Amazon Flex?
You can earn from $18-$25 an hour driving for Amazon Flex.
If you want to earn on the higher range, here are tips for earning the most money with Amazon Flex:
- Using a larger car to hold more deliveries
- Scheduling deliveries during busier times of the day (higher need = higher pay)
- Delivering for Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Amazon Restaurant because customers can tip drivers
Amazon Flex drivers are paid twice a week, on Tuesday and Fridays, via direct deposit. It takes 1-2 days to receive your payments because they have to process tips. And because you’re an independent contractor, you’ll be responsible for your taxes.
Learn about filing and paying taxes as a freelancer at How to Handle Taxes for Your Side Hustle.
How does delivering for Amazon Flex work?
After you sign up to deliver for Amazon Flex, you’ll use the app to start scheduling and making your deliveries. Here are a few things to know about scheduling in the app:
- You can choose your hours, but they are generally in 3-6 hour-long blocks.
- The earlier you sign up to drive, the more likely you’ll get to claim the time slots you want.
- For same day spots, you can go to Check Available Blocks to see if there are any canceled or unfilled spots in the calendar.
Now, let’s say you’ve scheduled your time and you’re at the delivery center to pick up your packages and start making deliveries…
You are responsible for loading your vehicle, and you’ll use the app to scan the code on each package before loading it. After everything is loaded, the app takes all of the codes and creates a route suggestion for you – giving you turn-by-turn directions.
Once you arrive for delivery, confirm the address with the app and check to see if there are any special delivery instructions. You’ll scan each package again as you deliver them.
After you’ve done that with all of your packages, you’re finished for the day. If you run out of time to deliver everything (traffic, an issue with the delivery location, etc.), you’ll have to return those packages to the Amazon Flex delivery center and contact Amazon Flex support to explain the issue.
If delivering takes you longer than your scheduled time block, you will not be paid extra.
Tips for delivering packages for AmazonFresh
AmazonFresh is a grocery delivery service available in some cities, and Amazon Flex drivers may courier for this service. Because you might have cold items, you’ll need to purchase your own insulated bag or cooler.
AmazonFresh packages can weigh up to 50lbs, so having a hand truck will help you make deliveries.
What do I need to drive for Amazon Flex?
There are three essentials to deliver for Amazon Flex:
- Smartphone: So much of working for Amazon Flex happens via the app, so you’ll need a phone with GPS and scanning capabilities. An iPhone 5 or newer with iOS 10 or Android 4.4 or higher is recommended.
- Car: If you’re delivering for AmazonFresh or Amazon Restaurants, all you need is a reliable car. For Amazon Prime, you’ll need a four-door midsize sedan at least, but SUVs and minivans can hold more packages. Make to keep your registration and insurance card on you at all times.
- Background check: Amazon will run a criminal background check on you before approving you as an Amazon Flex driver. You’ll also answer a series of identity-related questions and have your driving record checked. All of this takes 2-5 days.
Do I need special insurance to drive for Amazon Flex?
Amazon is providing drivers with special commercial insurance while they are driving.
How do I sign-up to drive for Amazon Flex?
If you are at least 21 years old, have a valid driver’s license, clean background check, and a suitable car and phone, you can sign-up to drive for Amazon Flex.
The sign-up process is simple, and you can check your eligibility by answering a series of questions on the Amazon Flex website.
You will also have to download the app and complete forms to get paid (banking and direct deposit information).
Is Amazon Flex available in my area?
Amazon Flex is currently available in dozens of cities across the U.S., and you can check Flex’s website to see where they are hiring delivery partners. If your city isn’t listed, you can add your name to the interest list so they can contact you when Flex opens up in your area.
Scam warning: When I was searching for a complete list of cities that Amazon Flex delivers for, I found a listing for a website that wanted you to pay $15.99 for an Amazon Flex delivery alert for your area.
The scam site claimed:
If you do not have this alert you might not ever get hired on with Amazon Flex… Our alert greatly increases your chances of getting hired as soon as possible.
Do not fall for this scam! You do not need to pay for alerts – Amazon Flex will contact you.
Is driving for Amazon Flex a good way to earn more money?
This is a great question, and I’m a big believer in finding good side hustles… unfortunately, they’re not all the same! And like some gig economy jobs, like driving for Uber or Lyft, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows and stacks of cash in your hand.
Since Amazon Flex was released a couple of years ago, there have been a number of articles talking about the problems of driving with Flex. Everything from Amazon Flex jobs drying up as Amazon hires less expensive delivery service partners and what it’s really like to drive for Amazon Flex for a day.
Does this mean it’s a horrible gig? No, I don’t think so. But, it’s really important to weigh up the pros and cons of driving for Amazon Flex and other side hustles before you choose one to earn with.
With Amazon Flex, you can set your own hours and earn decent hourly pay. But, you’re paying for the wear and tear on your car and gas, and your ability to earn is dependent on Amazon.
As long as you know all of that going in, then you can make the best decision for you.
There are lots of great side hustles out there
I’m talking ones that let you:
- Really set your own hours (not just the ones that are open on someone else’s calendar)
- Scale your income
- Be your own boss
- Turn your side hustle into a good-paying full-time job
You can read about some of my favorite side hustle options at Best Side Hustles to Make an Extra $1,000-$2,000 Per Month and Top 14+ Legitimate Gig Economy Jobs of 2020.
The final word on driving for Amazon Flex
Side hustles are a great way to earn extra money to help you pay off debt, build an emergency fund, and save more for retirement. Driving for Amazon Flex can definitely help you with any of those goals.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to become well informed about the options and which ones will fit your situation best.
If you’ve driven for Amazon Flex, I’d love for you to share your experience in the comments. Thanks!