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Wednesday, January 4

My Experience Driving for Amazon Prime Now in Tampa - 9 Months Later

Back in April I started making deliveries for Amazon.  Initially I only worked a few hours here and there, but now I consider this my full-time job.

When I first started driving, I was under the impression that most of the hours I worked would be scheduled ahead of time.  I had heard that an occasional block would be offered on the same day, but when I would check the Offers page (basically the job board), there would be nothing there.  But now I've figured it out.

Getting hours is still a huge challenge.  Honestly I spend more time trying to get on the schedule than I do making deliveries.  That's because in our over-saturated market there are hundreds more drivers than we need.  Ahead of the holiday season Amazon hired many new drivers, and the competition for work is fierce.

On the plus side, a few months ago Amazon added restaurant delivery in our market.  Internally we call it Hot Wheels.  These shifts are less desirable for a number of reasons, but some days they are the only hours I can get.  They are less desirable because you make fewer deliveries, resulting in less tips.  It's also harder to "connect" blocks on Hot Wheels.

The way I work full-time at Amazon Flex is by "catching" a block, and then connecting it with other blocks that drop throughout the day.  Most warehouse blocks are two hours, and connecting them is possible.  On Saturday, for example, I worked straight from 10-6, even though I wasn't scheduled for the day.  Hot Wheels blocks vary by duration and start time, so connecting them is really hard.  On Sunday I worked Hot Wheels.  My blocks were 11:30-1:30, 2:00-4:00 and 5:00-8:00.  I only worked 7 hours, but my schedule spanned 8.5 hours.

Delivering for Amazon Prime Now via the Amazon Flex app requires patience and persistence if you are trying to make it your full-time job.  The reason I do it is because I really enjoy the work.  We have a close-knit group of regular drivers, so I get the social contact that comes from a normal office-type job.  The money is also respectable.  I gross around $30/hour with my tips.  This is significantly higher than is possible driving for Uber or any of the other sharing economy jobs in Tampa.

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