Do you have a reasonable sized car? Some spare time? Need to earn some extra money? If yes, then is Amazon Flex the answer?
It may well be, yes, but equally is it more trouble than it's worth?
Ok, so what is Amazon Flex? Flex is an official Amazon programme which has been designed to allow people to get paid between £12 and £15 per hour, to deliver Amazon orders direct to the customers.
There are two ways to do this, you can either work for Amazon Prime, or Amazon Prime Now.
Amazon Prime is the next day delivery service from Amazon and Prime Now is the same day delivery service, sometimes delivering your order within one hour.
So basically you sign up to the program, and download an app. Every day a list of available shifts, known as blocks, are made available for you to choose what suits you in regards to your availability.
You select the block you want to work and you then are booked. You need to arrive before your block starts and then you scan the parcels using the app on your phone you are delivering and load up your car. The app on your phone will then schedule you a route to deliver all the parcels in the most logical manner.
The number of parcels you will deliver depends on whether you are delivering Prime or Prime Now orders. Amazon Prime will normally mean that you are delivering a larger number of parcels, however normally this will be within a smaller delivery area. Prime Now will normally consist of a smaller number of deliveries, but the delivery area can be much larger.
The number of parcels you are given to deliver will depend on how long your block is. If you have a four hour block, you will have more parcels than if you have a 2 hour block, needless to say!
The hourly rate sounds pretty good, however this rate also includes your petrol expenses, so if you have a long route you will be using more fuel and so the amount you have earned during your block will be less as petrol is expensive.
The job is fairly easy to perform, however it can still be quite stressful as you need to get all your orders delivered within your block and doing this can be difficult if there is lots of traffic or bad weather etc.
If you are unable to deliver all the parcels you are then expected to return them to the depot. This is fine unless you find yourself miles away from the depot and have to then go all the way back! Many a time I found myself with my block finished, all my parcels delivered, but then being half an hour from home, which is annoying and obviously wastes time and fuel money.
I have mixed feelings about the program. I like the flexibility of being able to pick up shifts that work for me, however there is no guarantee that you will be able to pick up a shift when you want one as obviously there are many other people who also want the same shift and the shifts can come and go very quickly and it's easy to completely miss out!
Although there is no guarantee of shifts, you can normally pick up something and the extra money is convenient. There are many people who use this system as a full time job. Being that you're not guaranteed work, this is not necessarily an ideal way to pay your bills, as there is no way to ensure and that you will get work from one day to the next. It is designed as a way to make some extra cash and not advertised as a full time job.
At the time of writing this Amazon give you free insurance to deliver the goods. Your normal car insurance will not normally allow you to use your vehicle for making deliveries, or working. You normally need goods in transit insurance for this and getting this separately can be VERY expensive.
Amazon say that the insurance that they supply will cover you should you have an accident while working for them. You are only insured by Amazon while working for them, so this does not give you ongoing insurance for delivering goods for other companies etc.
There is talk of Amazon making a small charge for the insurance at a later date, however this has been an ongoing subject for a good couple of years now and still no charge!
So all in all this is a decent way to make some extra cash if you are not afraid of working to a time sensitive schedule and you enjoy driving.
You need to be reasonably customer focused as you will be delivering direct to the customer and will be communicating with them. You also need to be aware that you may find yourself delivering sometimes reasonably heavy goods and sometimes you may need to walk up several flights of stairs to deliver to a property and so you need to be able to be fit enough to do this!
One last thing to remember - You are working for Amazon on a self employed basis. You are responsible for declaring your income and paying your taxes. Amazon will not make any deductions for tax or national insurance etc. You are an independent contractor and responsible for your own tax affairs...
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