Review

Amazon Flex Review: Driving The Gig Economy?

Even if you haven’t heard of Amazon Flex, there’s a good chance you’ve witnessed it – or even been on the receiving end of it!  Fast becoming known as the Uber of the delivery industry, Flex is internet giant, Amazon’s, contribution to the freelance driving world.

What in the flex is it?

Flex is, essentially, an on-demand package delivery service for Amazon’s UK customers.  Launched in 2015 with the aim of providing even speedier deliver to Prime customers, Flex hires drivers on a freelance basis to pick up packages from a central depot and deliver them in their local area.

How does it work?

On acceptance by Flex, drivers receive an app very similar to the ones Uber drivers use and, the hub around which the job revolves.  Through the app, the driver will accept assignments, schedule deliveries and log and process jobs completed.  The driver collects single or multiple packages from a central Amazon depot and, is then responsible for delivering those packages.   Flex drivers decide which kind of deliveries they will accept by choosing a ‘package’ from the following:

Amazon Logistics

Within this package, drivers will deliver standard packages and Amazon Prime orders.  A typical shift will run between three and six hours; during which time a driver can expect to deliver between thirty and seventy parcels.

Prime Now

Dealing with those uber-demanding Prime customers, drivers signing up for this package will be made aware of the fact that deliveries must be made within a maximum of two hours – and this will be the standard length of a Prime Now shift.

Amazon Fresh

This package deals exclusively with grocery orders which are scheduled on a strict same day or next day basis.

Amazon Restaurants

Similar to Just Eat and Deliveroo, drivers choosing this package will be responsible for picking up customer orders from local restaurants and delivering them to the customer.

Show me the money

Of course, the question on everybody’s lips is, how much does a Flex driver get paid?  According to the Amazon Flex website, delivery drivers – or partners as Amazon prefers to call them – earn between £12 and £15 per hour.  With the Amazon Fresh and Amazon Restaurants options, partners will often receive tips from customers too – every little helps, as they say!  Amazon Flex is paid weekly which is an added bonus for many.

How do I partner up?

Firstly, you need to tick a few boxes before applying to become an Amazon Flex partner. In order to be eligible, you need to have your own vehicle, an Android or iOs phone and, be able to commit to a number of hours per week.

If you fit the criteria above, you can make a start by applying online at https://flex.amazon.co.uk/.  Fill in the simple online form and you’ll be directed to the next step of the application.

The good, the bad and the ugly

So, now we’ve laid out the basics of what Amazon Flex is all about, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty – is it worth it?

The good

  • Pay – Amazon Flex’s pay rates are reasonable and, the fact that pay is weekly is an added bonus.
  • Flex-ibility – The freelance nature of Amazon Flex means that you get to be your own boss by setting your own hours and the parameters of your delivery distance
  • Technology – Amazon Flex uses pretty advanced technology for its app which means that, nine times out of ten, things run like clockwork.
  • Support – Flex provides a really strong support network via email, phone and app.

The bad

  • Penalties – Whether through a technical blip or another reason entirely, Flex drivers are often ‘deactivated’ even when they have not knowingly done anything wrong.
  • Competition – In some areas, there are a huge number of partners, meaning that some won’t always get as much work as they would like.

The ugly

  • Reviews – As with Uber, Flex partners are subject to customer reviews – which is fine unless a customer is in a bad mood or a delivery is late through no fault of the driver’s.
  • As with any job, being an Amazon Flex partner has its ups and downs but, on the whole, it’s a pretty good way to either make some extra cash as a side gig or, to make a living.

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