The nice thing about gig driving is the variety. Drive rideshare and you meet all sorts of people, have interesting conversations, and often visit great destinations. Deliver food and groceries, and you know that in many cases you are delivering meals to folks who can’t get out for whatever reason. They might have physical challenges, they can’t drive, or perhaps they are still afraid of crowds in these see-saw days of the pandemic.
If you like to hustle and don’t need the company of people all the time, Amazon Flex might be the gig driving job for you. And even more appealing, Amazon Flex is one of the better paying gig driving jobs, with drivers in most areas earning a guaranteed minimum of $18 an hour, and often more.
What will we cover in this blogpost?
Your goal is to be profitable in your gig driving. Read on as we provide valuable information, including
- how much Amazon Flex drivers are making per hour
- how drivers who hustle make even more
- how much Amazon Flex drivers are making per month
- tips for maximizing earnings as an Amazon Flex driver
- the final tip: use Gridwise
How much are Amazon Flex drivers making per hour?
Gridwise posted a blog in late April 2022 titled Amazon Flex Driver Pay Q1 2022: What Is Amazon Paying Their Drivers? Amazon Flex drivers are in the top echelon for gig driver earnings, making a guaranteed $18.00 an hour in most locations. Drivers that hustle and who are conscientious, though, make even more.
According to numbers gathered through the Gridwise app, Amazon Flex drivers averaged $22.47 gross earnings per hour in Q1 2022. Looking back 12 months to Q1 2021, the figure was $20.21 an hour. This represents a healthy year-to-year increase of 11%.
Drivers who hustle make even more
Searching through blogs and YouTube videos, however, often tells a different story. Jonathan has a YouTube channel called Gig Nation, and he relates that in his first month as an Amazon Flex driver, he made $1,305. He had 18 blocks (a block is Amazon Flex talk for a group of deliveries) for the month, totaling 59 hours. Do the math and you’ll see Jonathan made just over $22.00 an hour.
But Jonathan points out that the 59 hours were Amazon’s figures, which is the time they allotted him to deliver those packages. Because he was efficient, he made those deliveries in less time. According to his figures, Jonathan finished his assigned work in about 70% of the blocked time. Redoing the math, his earnings were closer to $31 an hour.
That’s part of the magic of Amazon Flex. You may have a four-hour block, but if you finish it in three hours, you are free to go about your other business, which might include another gig driving job, or perhaps your studies if you are a college student. Everyone is different.
How much are Amazon Flex drivers making per month?
At $1,305.00 for his first month, Jonathan is obviously an overachiever. The average monthly earnings reported by Gridwise for Q1 2022 for all Amazon Flex drivers monitored by Gridwise was $363.67.
The latter figure was more than drivers made working for any other gig delivery service, and it approached the numbers reported by Gridwise for Lyft and Uber drivers as revealed in the Gridwise blog post How to Earn More as a Rideshare Driver.
Jonathan didn’t have to deal with passengers, either. That’s one of the perks of Amazon Flex. You are working by yourself. You can crank up your favorite indie band, pull up a podcast, or listen to recorded lectures if you are a student.
Because of the way Amazon Flex assigns the blocks, it is nearly impossible for drivers to make it a full-time gig. It does, however, lend itself to a good part-time pursuit for gig drivers or others with flexible schedules.
Tips for maximizing earnings as an Amazon Flex driver
How can you become an Amazon Flex champ like Jonathan? There are some strategies and tactics that you should take into consideration. Let’s take a look at some of them.
A warning up front: some of this information is contradictory. Some tips counter others. You have to decide on the tactics that work for your region and what kind of driver you are.
1. Location, location, location
Amazon Flex is like real estate. Your earnings depend on the location of the Amazon Flex distribution center. Drivers report that a large portion of their mileage is in getting to the distribution center. If you live in an area central to two or three of these centers, chances are that you’ll get blocks with distribution centers nearby. If you are not near one, consider mixing Amazon Flex with rideshare activities. Start driving an hour or so early. Both Lyft and Uber allow you to set a destination so that you receive rides only in the direction you are heading. This allows you to monetize your travel time before you get to the distribution center. Be careful, though, Amazon Flex dings drivers who arrive late for their assigned block.
2. Show up early for the shift
A common complaint from Amazon Flex drivers is the wait time at the distribution center to pick up their assigned packages. Some report lines as long as 45 minutes. This is a two-fold problem. First, you don’t get paid for the time you’re waiting. Second, and this is weird, Amazon Flex may ding you for being late, even if you were waiting in line. Solve this problem by arriving 30 minutes early. Bring a book or listen to music or a podcast.
3. Use Google Maps or Waze
Like all companies that partner with gig drivers, Amazon Flex is always improving the app, so this may not be a problem for you, but there are complaints of bad directions on the Amazon Flex app. Consider Google Maps or Waze as your backup if you encounter this issue.
4. Keep Your Amazon Flex app updated
If you’re a seasoned gig driver, then you know the value of keeping your apps updated. These updates allow for upgrades, improvements, and new features, and they also allow the company to fix bugs. Some apps, if they are not updated, will over time cease to work. Rumor has it that the Amazon Flex app is most likely to update on Sundays and Mondays. Update regularly.
5. Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle
As an Amazon Flex driver, you are generally not putting on the 250 to 300 miles per shift that a full-time rideshare driver often does. With gas prices the way they are, though, you need to conserve. Use a car that gets decent mileage. Amazon Flex requires a four-door sedan, van, or covered truck. Using a four-wheel-drive monster truck is probably not the best choice.
6. Organize your packages
Once you load your packages, pull out of the distribution center and take a few minutes in a parking lot to sort the packages, putting them in order. It is much easier than digging through your car on the route or finding a package at the end of your shift that should have gone with an earlier delivery.
7. Keep boxes in your car
Sort your packages by neighborhood or recipient, whichever works best for you (this might change from day to day and block to block). Boxes make this more efficient. Some drivers go to the grocery store and get banana boxes for this purpose. Others like boxes they can fold up and stow away, which relieves space issues.
8. If you can’t make a delivery, try again at the end of the shift
It might be a mean-looking dog, no parking, or emergency vehicles in the area—for some reason you can’t make a delivery. Regardless, Amazon Flex tends not to listen to excuses. They just ding you for non-deliveries. Circle back later and try to make that delivery again. It’s also less time-consuming than returning the package to the hub.
9. Wear your Amazon Flex vest
There are stories of Flex drivers getting harassed by residents and others because they weren’t clearly identified as they walked up to someone’s porch. Prevent this by wearing the vest. It saves time and hassles.
10. Schedule shifts during the holidays and Amazon Prime days
Much to the dismay of retail stores, the bulk of holiday shopping takes place on Amazon. Online shoppers also save up their purchases for Amazon Prime days. These are times when there are lots of shifts with deliveries close together. Drivers report good earnings.
11. Keep records of the most profitable blocks and use Amazon Flex Rewards
Certain time slots and areas are more lucrative than others. Schedule it right and you miss the congestion of rush hour. Some neighborhoods generate clusters of orders that cut down your driving time. Take note of this and find the patterns. Then use Amazon Flex Rewards (one point for each delivery and ten points for each completed block) to earn preferred scheduling privileges and the ability to set delivery preferences.
12. Monitor social media
Reddit and Quora feature discussions and threads by Amazon Flex drivers. Reddit tends to draw a lot of complainers (even though they continue to do Amazon Flex). The YouTube channels lean toward positive and helpful information.
13. Check out Amazon Fresh
Check out this Gridwise blog post, Amazon Fresh: A Ripe New Delivery Job for Gig Drivers. It turns out that when you register as a driver on Amazon Flex, Amazon allows you to deliver orders from any category. The only stipulation is that you and your vehicle meet the requirements specified for that category of deliveries. Amazon Fresh, by the way, will get you tips, also increasing your income.
The final tip: use Gridwise
The Gridwise app makes life easier for thousands of gig drivers. Features include the best mileage tracker available, which also happens to be the best Amazon Flex mileage tracker. This is important for keeping exacting records when it’s time to do your taxes. The Gridwise mileage tracker also lets you see which Amazon Flex blocks were the best for miles driven.
If you drive multiple gigs, combining Amazon Flex with rideshare and food delivery, the app allows you to see which activities are the most profitable for you.
Gridwise is unique in that you also get gas discounts as much as $50 per month. In this time of high gas prices, Gridwise Gas can help Amazon Flex drivers keep more of their profits by lowering expenses.