How to Deliver Amazon Prime Now As Amazon Flex Driver
When you get approved as an Amazon Flex Driver to deliver for Amazon, you will need to select a warehouse. There are two major different type of warehouses:
- Amazon Packages (no tips)
- Amazon Prime Now (tips)
Amazon packages are fairly straight forward. You get a list of packages and you go out and deliver them. The ETA for the packages may be tight and if you are going to be late delivering some of these packages, call Amazon Flex support through the app and explain why. Don’t let late deliveries sit on your account without explanation since they can deactivate you for late deliveries. When you are delivering packages, you will not receive tips, but you will if you deliver for Amazon Prime Now. I believe the pay is the same here ($18/hr weekdays, $20/hr weekends) on both, but with Amazon Prime you get tips. I’m averaging just under $22 an hour (take home), which is pretty good since I’m guaranteed 18/hr.
If you deliver packages and would like to switch to Amazon Prime Now, you will need to change warehouses. It is difficult to change warehouses but it is possible if there is openings at the other warehouse. You will need to email Amazon Flex support or speak with the Amazon Flex warehouse manager to see if there are openings. I have heard this process can take up to a month so be patient. I know of a few Amazon Flex driver who moved to a different city and stayed on as an Amazon Flex driver.
Amazon Flex Support
There are two layers of Amazon Flex Support as an Amazon Flex driver:
- Phone support (for current deliveries only)
- Online support (for account issues, etc)
You can only access Amazon flex support via telephone directly through the application. It requests Amazon flex support to call you, so there is no official Amazon Flex support phone number that I am aware of. If you have any issues with current deliveries, contact them via the menu on the top right and click on contact support.
Types of Amazon Flex Driver Deliveries
Working as an Amazon Flex driver delivering Amazon Prime Now is a completely different type of warehouse and job altogether. Here are the three main jobs as an Amazon Flex driver for Amazon Prime Now:
- Amazon Prime 2 hour deliveries
- Amazon Prime 1 hour deliveries
- Hot Wheels (restaurant food delivery)
Depending on the day, Amazon Flex will give you any of the above jobs in any order to meet demand. Read below about the different types of jobs and routes.
Starting a Shift
So for most people, they will start their shift at the Amazon Flex warehouse you picked. You go to the Amazon Flex warehouse and when you get close enough, there will be an orange button that you can click to check in. It is critical that you check in on time or you will lose your entire block! On my first Amazon Flex block, my app didn’t have that option to check in so I lost the block by the time I figured out what to do. There is an option on the top right that allows you to check in if the application doesn’t let you check in. I’ve used this option a few times when I am at the location. It saves me a few seconds to a few minutes to proceed to delivering or checking in to the location.
If you are doing Hot Wheels as an Amazon Flex driver, they may have you check in at some random location. My first Amazon Flex block had me checked in at the corner by the Seattle Center, which has nothing there. I was confused as where to go and by the time I figured out it was just a waypoint, it was too late to get back on shift. So make sure to get there on time (that means right at the start of your Amazon Flex block or even early) and check the top right corner for a menu item that says “At location but GPS not working.” A few minutes isn’t worth losing your entire Amazon Flex block.
Also, if you are working more than a 2 hour block as an Amazon Flex driver, you will be going back and forth to the Amazon warehouse quite often. Most times, you go out to deliver and then come right back to the Amazon Flex warehouse, which involves driving back and checking back into the warehouse. You’ll do this a few times during a shift so you’ll get quite used to checking into places. Unfortunately, it is also an important part of the Amazon Flex process and if you mess up, you’ll lose your Amazon flex block.
Amazon Prime Warehouse
At the Amazon Prime Warehouse, you’ll see a bunch of things. Typically, you check in on the Amazon Flex app, go inside, then check in again on the tablet that is near the racks. If your Amazon Flex app isn’t buzzing (I’ll get to that later), wait until you are called by the Amazon Flex warehouse manager for your route.
Here are the two different types of deliveries out of an Amazon Prime Warehouse:
- Amazon Prime 2 hour deliveries
- Amazon Prime 1 hour deliveries
2 Hour Deliveries
This is the most common route or type of work as an Amazon Flex driver if you sign up for an Amazon Prime location. At the start of your Amazon Flex block, they will start bringing out items for 2 hour deliveries and then assigning Amazon Flex driver to a route. You may get a good route or bad route. It just depends on luck. These are manually assigned, typically in the order you checked in. Here is the typical workflow of the routes:
- Once an Amazon Flex driver arrives, say “you’ve arrived” on the Amazon Flex app
- Check your Amazon Flex app and make sure you do not have stops on your current itinerary except for the Amazon Prime Warehouse
- Go into the Amazon Prime warehouse and check in on the tablet
- They normally do a roll call of Amazon Flex drivers who are checked in before handing out routes. If you hear your name, just yell out that you’re here
- They will start handing out Amazon Flex routes after they confirmed who is checked into the warehouse and present
- You get your route and load the packages into your car
- Return the cart
- Start delivering
You will typically get a cart with items on it but when it is really busy, you may be allowed to go to the staging racks and pick the deliveries for your route. The items are grouped into routes on the computer and once you scan one bag, your application will automatically pull the route for you to go, along with a list of the other bags or boxes for you to scan. If you are unsure about what to do, just wait for instructions or watch what everyone else is doing. They used to prevent Amazon Flex drivers into the staging area, but recently we have been going in there to grab the bags for our routes.
Once you are done with your route, follow your Amazon Flex app. For me, it typically sends me back to the warehouse. However, if you have delivered to a busy downtown during the lunch hour, expect to get re-routed to do Hot Wheels. Typically in this case, you will get a location to go to, not just some vague waypoint (but I have heard waypoints do happen). You will also be given a time to get there and a time to have it delivered. I happen to be always late for pickup but the only thing that matters for Amazon Flex driver is the delivery (see below). If you get an extra two stops, it can be either Hot Wheels, or a 1 hour delivery (see below).
1 Hour Deliveries
For 1 hour deliveries, Amazon Flex driver will get a notification on your Amazon Flex app that you have one or more stops added onto your itinerary. I always check my Amazon Flex app every few minutes when I’m at the warehouse for this type of delivery so I don’t miss it. I also go to the scan packages screen too to make sure I don’t have packages assigned to me. If you don’t have packages assigned to you, the scanner page will be blank and just the barcode scanner on top.
It will first ask you to acknowledge the added stops. Then, you will need to check-in again into the Amazon Prime warehouse on the Amazon Flex app, so make sure to do that or your Amazon Flex Block will end. Once you check into the Amazon Prime warehouse, you will go to the “current stop” screen and it will also tell you when the order is ready to be picked up. The application will either say “stay outside” or “come inside to get your Amazon Flex packages.” You can choose to stay in your car, but I’m often inside the Amazon Flex warehouse since I don’t want to spend that much time in my car.
Once you hit “Start Scanning,” it will show you which order you have to deliver. There will be racks that say “1 Hour” delivery on it and look on these racks for the bags. Each bag is labeled with a giant 4 letter code so its easy to find, unless it is not ready yet. I typically deliver only one Amazon Prime 1-Hour order but its possible that you deliver two or more one hour deliveries if they are all very close to each other. Once you are done, hit start driving and then go to the destination and then wait for where you need to go after.
Hot wheels is a term either Amazon Flex created or other drivers did. This is the term for hot food delivery, just like Postmates. If you are assigned to a Hot Wheels route as an Amazon Flex driver in the middle of the shift, you will get a notification that a stop has been added to your itinerary and where to go. You will get a time range to arrive by and it will also list the time that the food is ready by. This isn’t always a guarantee that the food will be ready by that time, but it is a nice estimate. I know of one restaurant who is always late by 20-30 minutes. For other services, I will just refuse to deliver from them, but since I am being paid hourly on Amazon Flex, I don’t mind waiting for it.
On the application, it tells you to call Amazon Flex support if you have to wait more than 10 minutes. I would go in and ask how long the food will be and compare that to the “Food Ready by” time. If it is over 10 minutes, call Amazon Flex support to explain the situation. They typically say that you are affected only if the delivery will be late. Go to google maps and see where the drop off is and how much time it takes to get there. If you are well within the time, I wouldn’t worry about calling them, but if its within 10 minutes, I would call. I normally deliver 15 minutes before the end of the time limit to account for traffic and delivery delay, such as the time it takes to find parking and go up to meet with the customer.
When you are on Hot Wheels as an Amazon Flex driver, you may get additional stops added during an Amazon flex delivery. Just ignore the added stop until you are done with the current delivery. Due to the timing of the stop, make sure to finish the current delivery first and then go to the next stop. Each and every delivery should be done independently before going on to the next Amazon Flex delivery. The Amazon Flex app may show the next stop before the next drop off sometimes, which may cause you to think to go to the next stop before delivering the food.
In terms of an insulated bag, you can either use your own, or take one from the Amazon Prime Warehouse. There will be many bags lying around in the warehouse and take one if you need one. I may try to borrow the larger purple Amazon Restaurants insulated bag since I had some large orders before on Amazon Flex and it would look much more professional to use one of those bags instead of a mixture of Postmates and Uber insulated bags.
Amazon Flex Blocks (Shifts)
Amazon Flex blocks are made up of 2 hour shifts, from 8am to midnight. You typically arrive at the start of a 2 hour block, get a 2 hour delivery route, and then come back. It could take you 30 minutes or it can take you 90. I typically spend anywhere between 20-40 minutes at the warehouse per 2 hour block. However, the last 10pm block tends to be “tight.” They typically have just enough or not enough drivers for that block so they usually pack the routes as close to 2 hours as possible, resulting in late deliveries for that time slot. Again, call support if this happens since trying to make 10 deliveries in 2 hours can be tough and you are not paid for the time beyond your Amazon Flex block.
If you are done with your Amazon Flex block early, you may get assigned Hot Wheels for an order or two. Even if they have you back at the Amazon Flex warehouse a few minutes after the next 2 hour Amazon Flex block, they may still have a 2 hour route for you to take. It may take 15 minutes for all the 2 hour routes to get assigned and sometimes I have seen 2 hour routes sit for 30 minutes until more Amazon Flex driver can come back to pick them up. The 2 hour amazon flex block schedule starts falling apart later in the day once it gets really busy.
You may also get the 1 hour deliveries to fill in your day as opposed to Hot Wheels. Again, they may have you do a 2 hour route, then a 1 hour delivery, then back to 2 hour route in the next 2 hour Amazon flex block. If it is very busy, they will keep you busy with anything they have, which can be any of the three jobs I listed above and none of it will conform to the 2 hour Amazon flex block.
If it is really busy, Amazon Flex will not stay on the 2 hour schedule since there may be so many unclaimed 2 hour routes that you will get one even 30-45 minutes after the 2 hour block has started, which may mean late deliveries. If this is the case, call Amazon Flex support and explain the situation.
The only thing Amazon Flex really tracks are late deliveries. It normally doesn’t matter if Amazon flex driver are late for check-in or arrival (except for when you first check-in for your block. That is ultra important to get there on time!), but as long as you deliver on time, it is fine. Typically, if you are late showing up for the warehouse, you may have a late delivery so try to get back to the Amazon Prime warehouse as soon as you can. Amazon Flex typically gives Amazon Flex driver enough time to get back to the Amazon Flex warehouse, but sometimes delivery times are almost impossible or late due to warehouse issues.
If you think you will be late for a delivery, call Amazon Flex Support and tell them the reason why. Here is a few I’ve heard of or experienced:
- Warehouse messed up finishing the 1 hour delivery bags
- One customer wasn’t there to accept his package
- Bad Route (included a lot of back-tracking)
They have to file a support ticket for every call they get and this get reviewed by Amazon Flex. I have a few late deliveries and haven’t yet get the dreaded email from Amazon Flex support about being on time for my deliveries so make sure to call every time this happens. There have been other Amazon flex driver who didn’t do this and got multiple emails about late deliveries. It can be difficult to explain the situation afterwards, but seems to be easy to do it before an issue arises. I have also know a few Amazon Flex driver deactivated for late deliveries. Amazon has so many Amazon Flex drivers that they can afford to lose a few.
If the customer isn’t there for the Amazon Flex delivery or respond to your phone calls, then you will need to bring the items back to the Amazon Flex warehouse. I haven’t had this situation yet, but I see a few items every day that comes back, out of the hundreds that go out. It could have been too early or some unintended situation where the customer isn’t there anymore. There have been a few times where I called the customer and they said it was ok to leave it on their front door. This is typically in a nice neighborhood where the front porch isn’t expose to the sidewalk. It’ll be a judgement call on your part to leave it or not, even if the customer says it is ok. If you are not sure or the customer doesn’t respond to phone calls or text, just mark them as unavailable and bring the items back.Have more questions about Uber or Lyft? Head on over to our Rideshare Driver Training Course!