Product: Amazon Flex
Scam or Not: Not a Scam
Overall Ranking: 7/10
The internet has had a huge impact on the potential to make money, creating many opportunities that simply never existed before. As a result, people turn to various sites and services as potential ways to make income or even to earn a living.
Amazon has already been heavily involved in this process with its affiliate program (Amazon Associates). But, they have recently entered this field again with an option called Flex (or Amazon Flex).
This post takes a look at the program and how it works for earning money. To do so, I consider the structure and how you get involved, along with the Amazon Flex reviews. After all, an approach isn’t worth it if users absolutely hate it.
What is Amazon Flex?
The Amazon Flex program itself is billed as an ‘on-demand delivery service’. The program is still in the early stages and is only available in some cities around the country.
Amazon Flex offers the chance to make relatively high income by simply delivering packages. At the same time, the job is one that has considerable flexibility, which serves to make it appealing.
The base rate is actually $18 and this doesn’t increase.
Instead, the $18-$25 per hours is based on estimated tips. Whether or not you actually get tips is unpredictable, much like any other industry.
Still, the option is an interesting one, especially as it doesn’t have the restraints of a traditional job.
How Does Amazon Flex Work?
Amazon Flex is somewhat similar to Uber, but you’re delivering packages instead of people. Like Uber, Amazon Flex makes use of an app, which you use to pick up work.
Amazon Flex makes use of delivery blocks. You can sign up for some ahead of time and others open and close during the day. So, to get the most out of the process, you have to keep an eye on the app.
It seems that the term delivery blocks refers to blocks of time and are also related to the physical area that you’re delivering too. However, Amazon is fairly vague about what the word refers to.
Beyond this, you’re basically picking up packages from the Amazon delivery station and taking them to where they need to go.
For the most part, the process works like you would expect and there is income potential there.
Being an Amazon Flex Driver
Amazon Flex is an odd type of opportunity. On the one hand, it is a way to make some money on the side and offers much more flexibility than a conventional job. But, the approach does have some hallmarks of a regular job as well.
In particular, there are various requirements that you need to meet in order to be involved with Amazon Flex.
Amazon Flex Driver Requirements
To be a driver for Amazon Flex, you need to sign up at flex.amazon.com. This site offers significant information about what you can expect and also starts you off on the application process.
The site doesn’t ask for much information initially but there is more involved when you sign up on the app. While there are few strict requirements, you do need to pass a background check to work for Amazon Flex.
Amazon isn’t clear about what it is specifically looking for but it seems likely that the requirements are similar to a conventional job.
Other Amazon Flex Requirements
Beyond the driver requirements, there are also some other criteria that you need to meet to be an Amazon Flex driver.
One set of requirements relates to your phone.
This is no surprise, as the service is app-based (much like Uber). So, if your phone isn’t good enough, then you don’t have the chance to get involved.
You also need to have a reliable vehicle, as the whole point is to deliver packages. There are no restrictions on the type of car if you are getting involved with delivering orders from Prime Now.
However, if you also want to deliver orders from Amazon.com, then you need a larger vehicle.
This difference is no surprise, as the Amazon.com orders would often be bulkier.
While there aren’t many restrictions on vehicles, it’s important to consider efficiency. To do well with Amazon Flex, you would want to be effective with delivering packages and also make sure that the items don’t get damaged.
Some cars will be better than others for achieving this.
There are also some state-specific requirements. For example, the state of New York requires that you have commercial vehicle insurance, rather than just personal insurance.
On a side note, the company also mentions that, in some areas, you can also deliver orders via bicycle. Here, your bicycle has to meet local standards and you need a basket to hold the packages.
Where is Amazon Flex Available?
Amazon Flex is still fairly new and this means that there aren’t a lot of locations being serviced. Specifically, the site offers this list as places that are actively looking for drivers.
However, you can also sign up even if your city isn’t listed and get them to send you an email when they are looking for drivers.
Now, the list above is just cities where Amazon is looking for drivers. Amazon Flex itself is actually available in more areas than this, as the list below from Amazon shows.
It’s likely that opportunities will open up in these cities again over time, especially if some people become disillusioned with the process.
Amazon Flex Reviews
Amazon Flex reviews are mixed. For one thing, the idea itself is fairly controversial. Like Uber, Amazon Flex is basically a gig-based job. This means that people are getting paid from one job to the next, rather than being a contracted employee.
As Amazon’s advertising suggests, this structure does give you more flexibility as a worker.
However, you are also at a disadvantage. In particular, you don’t get the same benefits and protections that you would through a regular job.
When it comes to Amazon Flex reviews, the first key point is that members do seem to make money, especially when you get customers that tip well.
So, the concept is certainly legitimate.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that it doesn’t work as well as it could.
For example, even the positive reviews note that there aren’t that many pieces of reserved work for drivers. This makes it harder to get many deliveries and decreases your income potential.
Other Amazon Flex reviews note that the infrastructure for the process just isn’t in place and the app isn’t reliable.
At the same time, drivers often don’t get much work, so you may end up waiting around for new tasks.
The availability of work may also decrease over time as more people join the company. After all, more people will increase the competition, especially if the number of deliveries doesn’t grow.
With all of these issues, it isn’t too surprising that Amazon Flex gets a fairly poor average rating on Glassdoor.
For that matter, I noticed that even the positive Amazon Flex reviews on there mentioned at least some negative things about the approach, suggesting that it can be a frustrating process.
Benefits and Advantages
One of the biggest advantages with Amazon Flex is the flexibility that it offers. You have the ability to pick up jobs as you see fit, providing that they are available. This means that you can tailor the amount of work you do based on what you want.
At the same time, even the negative Amazon Flex reviews suggest that people do get paid and that the pay is relatively decent.
So, the service is an income opportunity and it is more flexible than a conventional job.
Additionally, the design means that you could do this on top of what you currently do, which may be a plus for some people.
Issues with Amazon Flex
Amazon Flex is still its very early stages and the concept itself is also fairly radical. In effect, this means that you’re beta testing the process and things aren’t likely to work perfectly.
For that matter, Amazon doesn’t really know whether Flex will be a viable approach in the long-term. So, you might find that they close down the program altogether at a later date or decrease the potential to make money.
The Amazon Flex reviews that I mentioned earlier discussed a number of issues that are currently involved with the process, including limited support for drivers.
Theoretically, such issues would be resolved over time. But, it’s hard to know if or when that would actually happen. In the meantime, it’s clear that Amazon Flex doesn’t work as well as the marketing suggests.
Now, these issues don’t necessarily mean you should avoid the company. However, they do suggest you should be wary.
In particular, you probably shouldn’t quit your job to make more money with Amazon Flex. After all, there is no guarantee that the option will stick around anyway.
Another disadvantage is that you are effectively a contractor.
As I mentioned earlier, this means that you don’t get the same protections that you would from a regular job.
In fact, it can be difficult to get insurance if you’re involved in deliveries. Even if you could get insurance, you’d probably have to pay more to do so.
Figuring this out first would be critical, and the answer is going to vary depending on your local area and insurance company.
One final thing to note is that the pay isn’t necessarily as good as it sounds.
In particular, the base rate is $18. That’s decent enough but you have some additional costs, like the wear and tear on your vehicle and higher insurance premiums. Additionally, one reviewer comment on the lack of tips and overtime compensation.
Indeed, the payment system is designed based on estimates on how long deliveries should take. If they take longer, you don’t get compensated for the difference.
In theory, you can get tips from the work. But, as you might expect, that depends on the customers. So, you might get extra income from tips but you may also find that you don’t get many tips at all.
Is Amazon Flex a Scam?
Amazon Flex may be somewhat frustrating and still in the early stages but it certainly isn’t a scam.
Realistically, Amazon is well-known for finding unusual ways to outsource work and to market products and services. So, an idea like Amazon Flex isn’t all that surprising.
Nevertheless, it isn’t entirely clear whether the service will work in the long-term. Amazon is still trialing it out and it is clear that some drivers are frustrated. So, it’s going to be a matter of waiting to see how the service works in the future and whether Amazon improves it.
Can You Make Money with Amazon Flex?
Both positive and negative Amazon Flex reviews suggest that you can make money. In fact, the pay scale is pretty good, especially when you compare it to many other methods of making cash on the site.
Nevertheless, it’s also clear that the approach isn’t as profitable as it first sounds and there are still some major limitations with the system.
It’s also worth considering the wear and tear on your vehicle, along with the frustration of running around to deliver packages.
Finally, the service doesn’t seem to be a great one for long-term income, at least not right now. Many of the Amazon Flex reviews mentioned that there simply isn’t enough work, even though the company continues to hire more drivers.
My Personal Amazon Flex Review
In time, Amazon Flex might be a good way to make money. However, the current state of the service and the Amazon Flex reviews suggest that the approach might not be worth doing right now.
Even if you did make money from it, there doesn’t seem to be enough work to offer full-time income. This might be okay if you only want a little extra money but the issue is worth considering.
One alternative would be to stick to a method that is already tried and true, which is the idea of affiliate marketing. Unlike Amazon Flex, affiliate marketing is an online process, which takes advantage of the wide audience that you can access through the internet.
With affiliate marketing, you promote products and earn commission from sales. The design gives you considerable flexibility and lets you be in control of your own income.
In fact, as I mentioned before, you can be an affiliate for Amazon, via the company’s Amazon Associates program.
This is a much more powerful way to earn money with Amazon, especially as so many people regularly buy products from the Amazon store.
At the same time, you can take advantage of the company’s reputation and demand for the products.
But, you don’t have to stick with Amazon. There are thousands of different affiliate programs out there and many offer a range of products.
Affiliate marketing is also a good approach for beginners. After all, you don’t have to physically manage stock or drive anywhere. Plus, the system has been around for many years, so it is already refined and effective.
To get started with affiliate marketing, I suggest a training site called Wealthy Affiliate. This site teaches you the skills you need to know to turn affiliate marketing into a profitable approach. At the same time, the training also focuses on other areas, including creating a site and getting traffic to it.
The end result is that you get all the information you need to build a profitable online business, even if you have never attempted to do so before.