Leaving Uber for Amazon Flex

Caroline O'Donovan

Member
Media
Hey guys --

Caroline from BuzzFeed News here!

I'm curious to know how many of you were Uber drivers before starting to drive for Amazon Flex. Did Amazon recruit you directly from Uber? How did you hear about Flex? Which is the better gig? Does Amazon pay better?

My hypothesis is that as Amazon Flex rolls out, it will begin eating into the supply of Uber drivers, many of whom are disgruntled. But I have yet to prove it. IF that sounds like you, let me know!

- Caroline
 

UTX1

Well-Known Member
Wow Guys ! It's Caroline from Buzzfeed !

I'm jumping in here now to insist this rowdy bunch behave themselves
and post intelligently and respectfully about this lady's topic.
I cannot countenance any cyber-drooling or lascivious behavior from you all.
Please leave that up to me......

So, Caroline, what are you wearing ?:biggrin:

P.S. I'm joking with you. You're a great reporter and I enjoy reading your work.
 

gaj

Well-Known Member
I was a part-time Uber driver before going to Amazon. I left Uber because I could not make a profit after all the Uber rate cuts. (That and the insurance issues.)

I found out about Flex from this forum, I was not recruited.

As a Flex driver, I am sad to report that the money to be made isn't much better than Uber, but the perks are slightly better (no passengers, less insurance risk, less mileage, get paid for four hours when you can finish in 2-3.5 hours, etc)

g
 

UberPasco

Well-Known Member
Hey guys --

Caroline from BuzzFeed News here!

I'm curious to know how many of you were Uber drivers before starting to drive for Amazon Flex. Did Amazon recruit you directly from Uber? How did you hear about Flex? Which is the better gig? Does Amazon pay better?

My hypothesis is that as Amazon Flex rolls out, it will begin eating into the supply of Uber drivers, many of whom are disgruntled. But I have yet to prove it. IF that sounds like you, let me know!

- Caroline
Flex is SO much better than Uber it is disrespectful to mention them in the same sentence! I only Uber now in between blocks or before/after shifts when the mood strikes me. I don't think it will seriously impact the pool of Uber drivers as the number required for any Flex location is tiny in comparison. I can understand the .com guys not being as thrilled as they are making 1.5-2x less than Flex drivers. But I guarantee they are making more per mile than they were with Uber!
 

Wskunza

New Member
So as of right now I do flex mainly, and use uber/lyft to fill in gaps when I don't get a full 8hr from flex or a block at all.
 

grams777

Well-Known Member
Author
Moderator
From my experience, it's hard to get any hours from flex. I don't think anyone really leaves uber to go to flex. Maybe you pickup a few hours a week on it so you just do that for those hours instead of uber or nothing.

The positive is at least flex pays you for certain hours and limits drivers accordingly. Negatively, it's hard to get any hours. Uber and Lyft don't pay like that outside of promotional stunts with conditions and flooding the market with drivers.

I believe there is an unending supply of people to do these gigs. I see it with food delivery, courier, passenger driving, and task performing services. The economy still sucks from 10 years ago. People are still scrounging around willing to put up with wearing out their cars and taking risks for almost nothing in return just to have a positive short term cash flow.

Most of these gigs are well below minimum wage, zero, or negative once you adjust for accrued expenses and risk. These aren't really jobs. They're a new twist on an old scam. In many ways it's reminiscent of the tactics used in the old make money buying real estate with no money down advertisements.

I'm a bit disappointed in the press which seems to have done little to no factual investigating and analysis for themselves on any of this. Instead they seem to parrot whatever is given in press releases or company sources.

For the most part, the gig economy is little more than companies preying on the weak and vulnerable to get them to work for nothing.
 
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phuseche

Well-Known Member
Applied for Flex after reading about it here.

I prefer it over UBER for reasons already mentioned above by others. But Max that I have been able to work is 4 days in the same week, 4 hours each day.

I like that this allows me to work less hours with UBER.
 

Bel_din

New Member
I drove last nite for the first time with flex. If it's continues like last nite and I can get 4 blocks a week I'll switch. But the way they give blocks is a little iffy.
 

TBone

Well-Known Member
I hardly work uber anymore since flex started. The packages aren't drunk and falling out of cars. I'm not driving 5-10 minutes to make $2.40 and I make at least 3 times more with Amazon than I do with ewber.
 

aeiou_-

Well-Known Member
Hey guys --

Caroline from BuzzFeed News here!

I'm curious to know how many of you were Uber drivers before starting to drive for Amazon Flex. Did Amazon recruit you directly from Uber? How did you hear about Flex? Which is the better gig? Does Amazon pay better?

My hypothesis is that as Amazon Flex rolls out, it will begin eating into the supply of Uber drivers, many of whom are disgruntled. But I have yet to prove it. IF that sounds like you, let me know!

- Caroline
Every mile we drive with uber, we lose $.54 - standard mile deduction. At the current rate of $.90 a mile and $.15 a minute.. Yeah, you bet we are disgruntled. Many will argue that it's "the driver's" fault for not waiting for surge or for not "driving smart". Let me just say that there isn't enough surge for everyone to go around. Overall, drivers will lose money on this gig.

Amazon flex is great but it's not consistent. I've been doing it for about a month and I've already noticed the difference in amount of work blocks available. Obviously, there are the same vehicles expenses but packages don't talk or interrupt Airtalk with their phone calls or aux cord requests. I would do this full time, if it were possible.
 

strongarm

Active Member
I'm from that hippy town in Texas. The one Uber and Lyft left after spending 9 mill to campaign when they forced a vote. Lost the vote and up and left the city. There are rumors they are working on a deal with city. Just giving you another story.

The rates for tncs don't cover costs. In my opinion you can make more delivering pizzas. Flex is more work but it sure beats sitting in your car for hours waiting for a ping. Much more satisfying work in my opinion. Some blocks are easy some can be tougher so there are good and bad days. The music I get to listen to is good and I don't have someone trying to change the channel to a Bieber song. Laziness won't work and summer blocks can be hot. I'm going back to school so the schedule helps. I don't see myself driving for tncs anymore.
 

dnlbaboof

Well-Known Member
flex would be a great alternative but there are never any same day blocks available in the bay area, not seen 1 in 3 weeks. also its a mystery what wherehouse they send you to
 

sofla11

Active Member
I drove for Lyft in 2014, before they started the huge rate cuts. Once that started it wasn't worth it anymore. Truthfully it was really never worth it, but it was extra money at the time.

In the fall 2015 I started working with Instacart and I was getting by on that alone, working 50 to 60 hours a week, when I heard about flex. I signed up and they onboarded me in October. I didn't get scheduled until January, and at that point I didn't realize that most of the shifts were released and picked up, not scheduled. Once I figured that out I started working exclusively with Flex, because I was able to work 40 to 45 hours and make the same as I made in 65 hours with Instacart. There have been times when I could reliably get 40+ hours with flex, and times when it's hard to get 20 or even 10, because they flooded us with new drivers. I kept Instacart as a backup for those times, but with recent rate changes/cutting tipping, Instacart is not viable for me anymore.

So this week I signed up with UberEats and Postmates. So far, UberEats is not worth doing unless in the future they decide to offer some hourly guarantee. The amount they pay out before their fee does not match what's advertised in their help documents, and when I contact them to try to figure it out, I get an email back that they did not receive my email and to contact them via the same method I used to contact them in the first place. I'm waiting on my Postmates pex card to arrive before I try them out.

In the meantime I'm still trying to work for Amazon, but in the last few weeks work has been harder to come by. My warehouse has had a flood of new drivers recently from other warehouses that are discontinuing flex, so we have more drivers competing for the same shifts. It does usually balance back out, as some drivers give up and find other work.

I'm not sure that flex is quite big enough to make an impact on Uber's driver pool. I don't know how many active drivers Uber has, but I think it's a lot more than Flex. In our Prime Now warehouse (covers all of Miami Dade county), there are about 20 to 25 drivers on the road during a normal shift. This number has not changed much in the 10 months or so I've been there, with the exception of maybe one high demand period.
 
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