When it comes to delivery driver gigs, DoorDash and Amazon Flex are two of the most popular side hustles. Both apps involve picking up and delivering things to customers for money. But there are quite a few differences when it comes to what you deliver, how you set your hours, and how you get paid.
This review article will cover what you need to know about working for either delivery service – the sign-up process, delivery process, app experience, and market demand.
DoorDash vs. Amazon Flex: Services
An absolute giant in the gig economy game, DoorDash is known for its fleet of Dashers who collect restaurant orders and bring them to hungry, at-home diners.
DoorDash is available in thousands of cities across the United States, Canada, and Australia, and connects diners with over 300,000 chain, local, and fast food restaurants.
Drivers make deliveries via car, or by scooter or bicycle in select markets.
Scheduling is much more flexible, as Dashers are paid per order and they can choose which orders to accept or decline as they are offered to drivers in the app. From shift to shift, there is variability with the type of orders available, how much you’ll have to drive, and your earning potential. Peak pay, earned for deliveries during high-demand hours, and tips can boost wages significantly.
Amazon Flex gigs are available just about everywhere Amazon deliveries are made. You’ll find it in thousands of cities throughout the United States and other countries around the globe.
Flex drivers schedule themselves to complete delivery blocks, which typically consist of shifts that are 3 to 6 hours in length. Amazon tells you upfront how much you’ll make per block.
Drivers can sign up to deliver Prime Now packages, Amazon.com packages, Amazon Fresh orders (grocery food delivery service from Whole Foods or other supermarkets), local store orders, or instant offers.
The work structure is a bit more rigid since you do have to commit to a set delivery block, but the upside is you know all orders that need to be made, where they are going, and how much you will earn for your time.
DoorDash vs Amazon Flex: Pay
DoorDash pay varies from shift to shift, and for gig work, it’s one of the best-paying hustles you’ll find.
Drivers earn a base pay for each delivery they complete, with base pay being based on estimated completion time, driving distance, and any peak pay, or promotional pay (i.e., driver challenges) factored in. Tips, paid out on top of base pay, are also an integral component.
Dashers keep 100% of any customer tips.
According to Amazon Flex FAQs, the Amazon Flex pay for most drivers comes to $18 to $25 per hour.
Drivers are offered different delivery blocks they can sign up for in the Amazon Flex app. Pay can commonly range from $60 to $150 for blocks that take 3 to 6 hours to complete.
More specifically, Amazon may offer $60 for a 3-hour block. Breaking that down, Amazon estimates that it should reasonably take a driver 3 hours to complete the deliveries in the queue. If it takes you less time you will still earn the full $60, and drivers will not be paid anything above $60 if it takes you longer.
Tips are much less common with this delivery gig, and for many of the deliveries you’ll pick up customer packages at Amazon warehouses or fulfillment hubs.
DoorDash vs Amazon Flex: Sign-Up Process
Drivers at least 18 years of age with a valid driver’s license and clean background check can sign up to drive for DoorDash. You can sign up on the website’s Dasher registration page.
DoorDash, like many other rideshare companies, will run continuous screenings. So even if you pass the initial background check, if a new felony or serious conviction is entered onto your record your account will be deactivated.
There is a large demand right now for Dashers and other food delivery drivers. There are commonly generous sign-up bonuses and incentives for new drivers who sign up.
DoorDash is one of the best delivery apps because it pays a minimum rate per delivery (DoorDash will make up the difference if your pay per delivery is below their threshold!), and encourages generous tips that you keep fully.
An Amazon Flex delivery job is a more competitive gig. Drivers are still independent contractors, but the work perks are quite attractive. An Amazon Flex schedule gives you a defined shift with defined pay, but still the flexibility of choosing when and where you want to work.
Drivers must be at least 21 years old to sign up for Flex, have a clean driving record, and pass a background check.
To get started, drivers can download the Flex driver app and fill out an application. Depending on where you live, the onboarding process may include an interview and there may be a waitlist.
DoorDash vs Amazon Flex: Driver Requirements
DoorDash drivers must be at least 18 years of age in the United States, and in certain states or cities, the age requirement may be even higher.
Dashers can deliver via vehicle, or by scooter or bike in select markets.
Any car, truck, or van — in any condition — will qualify. This includes 2-door cars and older vehicles.
Another DoorDash driver requirement is insurance. The DoorDash app will verify your insurance documents upfront when you sign up to deliver. However, numerous Dashers report that DoorDash does not re-verify your coverage — they only check it once.
Amazon has stricter vehicle and driver requirements than the DoorDash delivery app.
Drivers must be at least 21 years old and covered by auto insurance that meets minimum state or local insurance requirements.
Similar to DoorDash, many drivers report that Amazon does not consistently verify insurance coverage. However, it’s prudent to follow the rules. If you are in an accident during your shift and you do not have coverage, you’ll run into a whole host of problems — the least of which is being terminated from the Flex app.
There are specific requirements for the vehicle type used to make Flex deliveries. Amazon Flex drivers must have a mid-sized or larger vehicle, and in some instances an SUV, van, or truck with a covered bed.
DoorDash vs Amazon Flex: Delivery Process
Dashers will collect your order at the restaurant and then bring it to the specified home or workplace address. In some instances, they may have to place and pay for the order for you at the restaurant with a special, prepaid Dasher card.
Most deliveries are contactless — they just leave it at your front door or the reception desk. In some instances, a direct hand-off (possibly with a signature in the phone app) may be required.
Delivery shifts are available 24/7, although most DoorDash orders will come in during the lunch and dinner hours. Dashers can sign up for shifts in advance, but most commonly drivers log into the food delivery app and select the option to “Dash Now.”
Even if you do have a pre-set DoorDash schedule where you sign up to work a certain shift (i.e., breakfast on Saturday morning), there’s no required number of hours you need to work or a minimum number of deliveries. You could sign in, make one delivery from a local restaurant, and then log off.
Flex drivers work delivery blocks. Sign up for delivery blocks when dropped or made available in the app. It’s a first come, first serve set-up.
Drivers can choose the type of blocks they want to work on, whether it’s regular warehouse packages, Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, or store orders. Vehicle requirements may dictate the type of shift you take. If you do have a mid-size sedan, for example, you may be more limited in the types of deliveries you can make.
In some areas, you can pick up Instant Offer shifts that last around one (1) hour or less.
When you commit to a block, you are expected to work all of it and make all of the pre-assigned deliveries. If you need to cancel, you can do so without penalty up to 45 minutes before your shift starts.
Another key difference from DoorDash is the hours. Amazon Flex is not 24/7, but shifts do start as early as 4 o’clock in the morning. Additionally, Amazon does observe Thanksgiving with no deliveries made on this date. And on other federal holidays, like Martin Luther King Day or Memorial Day, Amazon work schedules are not released.
DoorDash vs Amazon Flex: App Experience
The Dasher or driver app is well-reviewed in both the Google Play and iTunes stores. In Google Play, the app does have a lower rating, and more glitches are reported. But overall, it has a good 4.3-star rating based on over 250,000 reviews.
In iTunes, the Dasher app has a 4.7-star rating based on over 2.4 million reviews.
You must log in to the DoorDash driver app and use it continually throughout your shift to make deliveries.
The driver app is also central to your work for Amazon Flex. You’ll need it to scan packages that you collect, take pictures of items delivered, and get block updates.
You must download the Android Amazon Flex app directly from Amazon’s website. Apple users can also scan the QR code on Amazon to install the correct app on their phones.
DoorDash vs Amazon Flex: Demand
In terms of demand for drivers, DoorDash easily edges out Amazon Flex. The app is always in need of extra drivers. Many Dashers do it part-time to earn a little extra cash, but some do it full-time.
With Amazon Flex, you are an independent contractor and can in theory work as little or as much as you want. You’re your own boss with your own vehicle. However, you have to commit to specific delivery blocks that may not align with when you can work, and in most markets, more people want to drive for Flex than open jobs available.
When comparing Amazon Flex vs DoorDash, there are pros and cons with each. Either app provides a casual way to earn extra money and has age and background check requirements. The choice that’s right for you depends on your age, vehicle, and scheduling preferences — not to mention what’s available in your market.
Amazon Flex requires drivers to be older and has specific vehicle standards, however, drivers feel that it offers higher pay per hour. There is no official hourly wage, but when you break down a block’s pay by the number of hours to complete it, Amazon usually comes out ahead.
DoorDash, however, may be a better choice if you have an older vehicle or want to make deliveries by bicycle or scooter and have greater flexibility with work hours.
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