So now that you’ve gotten a few delivery blocks under your sleeve, it’s time to improve your delivery performance and reliability. Read on for our list of top 5 Amazon Flex tricks to help you get a leg up against the competition!
Amazon Flex trick #1: Be strategic about the blocks you accept
For the most part, Amazon Flex payout rates are fixed regardless of the time of day or the weather. What this means is that a 2 hour delivery block on a rainy Friday evening with rush hour traffic pays as much as a 2 hour delivery block on a sunny Saturday morning without any traffic. Is it really fair that you get paid the same amount of money for work that has significantly different difficulty? (Sometimes there is “surge” pricing but this is usually determined by supply of drivers vs demand for deliveries rather than externally driven by weather or traffic factors).
We’ve written about tricks like avoiding nighttime delivery blocks when possible due to challenges of navigating streets in the dark and safety risks. In addition, driving during poor weather or heavy traffic can increase your chances of an accident or late deliveries.
As they say, it’s all about risk vs reward. But if the payout amount (reward) is the same as the risk (late deliveries = termination, or even worse an accident), why take on additional risk without getting additional compensation?
Of course, in some situations you might not be able to avoid “undesirable” delivery block times because you really need the work to pay the bills or you have a job or other time commitments that prevent you from driving Amazon Flex when you want. However, be aware that you do have a choice when it comes to delivery blocks, and you can always say no to a delivery block opportunity.
PRO tip: start tracking your tips and see which delivery block time frames get you the most tips on average, and prioritize fishing for these blocks.
Amazon Flex trick #2: Make smart driving decisions
Driving in any scenario requires you to always be alert and make smart decisions, and this is even more true for Amazon Flex deliveries. The reason for this is that in addition to your responsibilities as a driver on the road, you are also responsible to Amazon and their customers.
- Before you head over to the warehouse, double check that you have enough gas, and that your car is in decent shape. Amazon Flex managers might be sympathetic to car troubles as an excuse for late deliveries, but why risk it when it can be avoided?
- Use Google Maps or Waze to check live traffic conditions. If there are any road closures or heavy traffic areas, try your best to avoid these routes as the Amazon Flex app will not necessarily take this into account.
- It goes without saying that you should drive safely and make smart decisions about minimizing the chances of an accident. Be courteous to fellow drivers!
Amazon Flex trick #3: Be smart with the Amazon Flex app
Of course there are the mythical reports of tricks and auto refresh hacks that can be used on the Amazon Flex, but this is never a reliable way if you want to stay within the rules and keep your account in good standing.
That being said, the Amazon Flex app is always a work in progress and has many issues. Some issues are specific bugs that cause your particular app installation to fail, while others are inherent to the app and cannot be helped.
For better or for worse, you must use the Amazon Flex app to complete deliveries. But, this doesn’t mean that you have to use it for everything! For example:
- Use Google Maps or Waze for your navigation. Don’t use the Amazon Flex app for navigating.
- Use the Zillow app to see photos of the actual house to better locate your delivery destination
If you have any issues with the Amazon Flex app, try these troubleshooting steps before it gets out of hand. If you have an issue with the app, pull over when you can and restart it.
PRO tip: if your budget allows, get a second phone to use for the Amazon Flex app specifically. This will reduce the need to switch back and forth between apps and may improve battery and app stability.
Amazon Flex trick #4: Keep your costs down
One of the biggest costs for completing Amazon Flex deliveries is GAS. If you drive an average 60 mile route per 4 hour block, this will approximately equate to $9 in fuel costs.
The first trick is the make sure you buy cheap gas. 10 cents per gallon may not seem significant but this will save you $1.50 for every 300 miles you drive. Another trick is to be creative with saving on gas by purchasing a Costco membership or loyalty program, or find discounts on gas by buying gift cards from eBay, for example.
Second, be aware of your fuel efficiency. Remove heavy items from your car if you don’t need them, and drive as smoothly as possible and avoid sudden acceleration and braking. And finally, make sure your tires are inflated enough as this can impact your fuel efficiency quite a bit.
Next, because you will be on the road so much, your chances of getting into an accident will inevitably go up significantly. Unfortunately, these risks are a part of driving for Amazon Flex.
What you can do is drive in a way that minimizes these risks as much as possible. Drive as safely as possible – do not speed or violate traffic laws. You might be running late for deliveries, but the possibility of receiving a ticket is not worth the risk!
Finally, you can also minimize wear and tear on your car. Keep up with the maintenance schedule for your vehicle and make sure you don’t run the risk of any high cost repairs.
These might not seem like “tricks” because they are things that you don’t expect to happen. But that is exactly the point – many of these costly repairs and traffic tickets could have been avoided with just a little bit of caution up front.
Amazon Flex trick #5: Know your legal and insurance
Don’t forget that as an Amazon Flex driver, you are an independent contractor. This means that you are technically a self employed business owner, and must track your earnings as business income and report your taxes. Additionally, this can have additional implications on your vehicle liability insurance situation.
As a self employed business owner, things are a little different compared to working as an employee. First of all you must report your Amazon Flex earnings via the 1099 form that you will receive in January of each year for the previous year’s work. Read here for our full guide on how to report your 1099 taxes.
One must-do trick is to track your miles driven using an app or spreadsheet so that you know exactly how many miles to deduct on your tax returns. This is critical during tax reporting.
Also, be aware that your legal status as an independent contractor means that Amazon Flex is not obligated to and does not provide any benefits such as medical insurance or paid time off. You are completely on your own, so your pay must cover these expenses as well as your vehicle costs.
Be very aware of your vehicle insurance policy. Many insurance policies are categorized as a personal insurance policy and not a commercial insurance policy. If you drive for Amazon Flex, many personal insurance policies will consider this a violation of their terms, and void your policy altogether.
Many Amazon Flex tricks are about being smart and minimizing your risks of getting into legal or financial trouble. Do you have any tricks or tips to share?