If you’ve been looking for legitimate home-based business ideas, then you have a lot more options beyond filling out surveys for pennies all day. Some mainstream freelance opportunities like driving for a ride-sharing service or house-sitting for other people might not be a good fit for your personality or job needs, and other popular freelance gigs like writing blogs or designing graphics might not meet your income needs, either.
Fortunately, Amazon is expanding its empire of independent contractors through its up-and-coming Amazon Flex program, which allows individuals to pick-up and drop-off deliveries similar to how Uber and Lyft work (except with Amazon orders instead of human passengers). If you’re more of an introvert who wants to make decent money without new people constantly getting in and out of your car, then delivering packages for Amazon Flex could be a preferable alternative to working for a ride-sharing service.
Amazon Flex isn’t offered in all cities (or even states) in the U.S. yet, but if you’re eligible to apply for the program, here’s what you should know before getting started earning extra income.
Deliver for Amazon Flex
Simply put, Amazon Flex involves making order deliveries for customers who use Amazon Fresh, Prime Now, or Amazon Restaurants’ services. Regular deliveries for Amazon.com purchases also need Flex members to get from the warehouse to the customer’s front door. Depending on what you decide to deliver, you could either go to local Amazon delivery stations to pick up groceries or packages to take directly to customers or you might pick up meals directly from participating restaurants and deliver food to customers.
For Prime Now orders, you simply need a reliable vehicle that can safely transport items from the warehouse to customers’ homes. For other Amazon orders, you may be required to have a 4-door sedan, SUV or truck (with a covered bed) to qualify for certain deliveries. Since a majority of Amazon Flex operates through a smartphone app, you’ll also need a relatively new iPhone or Android with functional GPS location services and a camera with flash.
Set Your Own Schedule
A great benefit of Amazon Flex is that you get more freedom over the hours you will work. Typically, you can choose 2-4 hour blocks of time to make deliveries or you can set your calendar of availability and Amazon will offer you blocks of time on days you list as available (you must accept or reject these offers). There are also periods throughout the day in which open blocks of time might be available to claim (assuming nobody claimed those slots beforehand). If you make deliveries during high-demand timeframes, you could possibly earn more money on those deliveries.
Although Amazon Flex is not intended to replace a full-time job income, it’s still a good opportunity to supplement your income and work only during the hours you want to work.
How Much Can You Earn?
Amazon Flex’s website claims you can earn anywhere between $18-25 per hour by making deliveries from Amazon warehouses or partner restaurants. You’re not considered an employee of Amazon through the Flex program, so you’ll need to sort out your tax situation and business expenses (e.g., mileage) on your own.
Although you’re responsible for your own taxes and vehicle maintenance, Amazon offers additional benefits to its freelance drivers, such as commercial auto insurance (auto liability coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and comprehensive and collision coverage).
Amazon’s platforms also allow customers to tip their delivery drivers if they so choose – be sure to enable tipping on your account before making your first delivery.
Can You Bring Helpers?
If you decide to deliver items through Amazon Flex, then you don’t have to go alone! With the exception of Amazon Fresh orders, the Flex program allows you to bring along a passenger (whether you want them to help with deliveries or you simply can’t leave your young child at home alone).
You can even bring your cat or dog, as long as they do not accompany you to the customer’s front door when making a delivery (excluding service animals).
How to Get Started with Amazon Flex
Whether you’re a college student seeking side income opportunities or a retiree who wants to supplement Social Security and pension payouts with some extra money each month, Amazon Flex is a great way to make decent money by delivering items between warehouses and customers in your community. If your area offers Amazon Flex, then you’ll need to undergo a background check prior to setting up your account.
Once your account is all set up, just download the Flex app to start receiving delivery offers. You won’t get rich any time soon, but it’s a relatively easy way to make about double the minimum wage with minimal effort beyond carrying packages and driving around town.