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Tue Sept 29 2015 15:54:08

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon posted on Twitter today that it's looking for drivers to deliver packages for its Amazon Flex service - "Be your own boss. Deliver for @amazon," it tweeted, with a link to the Amazon Flex career page

Amazon Flex is a "crowdsourced delivery platform" (think Uber or TaskRabbit) where everyday people can sign up to become a delivery driver for Amazon. For between $18 - $25 an hour, drivers can deliver when they want, as much as they want.

For now, Flex drivers will deliver "ultra-fast Amazon Prime Now packages" in Seattle. But the company is expanding the service geographically (Manhattan, Baltimore, Miami, Dallas, Austin, Chicago, Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Portland). 

In the future, Amazon will expand the service to other type of deliveries - "you may deliver other types of Amazon packages as well," it states on the recruitment page.

Amazon explains, "Armed with nothing more than the Amazon Flex mobile app, and using their car, an individual can go from sitting on their couch to making up to $25 or more delivering for Amazon." Drivers will undergo thorough background checks, including criminal and motor vehicle record checks.

Some of the issues that come to mind upon reading about Amazon Flex:

- What will be the impact on USPS which has grown dependent on Amazon as a customer?

- Will non-pro drivers be equipped to deal with the hazards of delivering packages to people's homes? (There are frequent news reports of delivery drivers being attacked by dogs.)

- Who will be responsible if an Amazon Flex driver hurts themselves on the job?

- What will be the impact as companies like Amazon find ways to hire people without providing benefits?

Merchants may have issues of their own - will drivers handle their packages with care? Are they trustworthy? Will there be an increase in claims from customers who see a regular Joe/Jane delivering their package instead of a pro?

Let us know what you think of the Uber-like delivery service from Amazon. Do FBA sellers have special concerns?

See Wednesday's Newsflash for more information.




Comments (30) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 29 16:38:36 2015

In addition:

Who will be responsible for misdelivered packages

What will happen when a customer
Pulls an "I received an empty box"

What will happen with damaged merchandise? can you hold one of these intermittent drivers responsible if they lose a $500 iphone?

Will the driver get paid if the package is refused?

will customers want ununiformed laymen walking onto their property ?

Will customers accept the fact that they leave themselves WIDE OPEN to legal claims, as these non professionals , slip, fall, get bitten by dogs, hurt on fencing etc

This is not the same as uber where anybody with a car can provide a ride, be paid and be done with it

This is a really bad idea

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Sep 29 16:54:46 2015

One thing I have always wondered about Uber drivers that applies to this post as well:

What happens when this type worker tells their auto insurance company that they are driving a lot of extra miles using their vehicle for work purposes.  Or in Uber - Lyft cases: actually transporting people.   I am guessing their rates skyrocket?   Maybe there are special policies written for this type use of vehicle?  

Just curious - seems like it would take a large bite out of the paycheck.  


Otherwise - I assume there will there be a tracking system that allows a scan?  What about scans showing as ''delivered'' but in reality that iThing was never received.  It would seem an employee would have a lot more to lose than someone working on call.

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Sep 29 17:14:28 2015

Only if the deliverers can some how be verified. Otherwise, it's a disaster waiting to happen.

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

by: tango This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 29 19:47:04 2015

I would not purchase a thing that isn't delivered by fedex ups or usps -  amazon is not the only place to shop online :)

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 29 19:50:25 2015

There are days I could make more delivering for Amazon than selling on Ebay.  

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 29 20:02:35 2015

Wall Street seems to love it when Amazon starts another venture that's guaranteed to lose money.

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 29 20:51:30 2015

I started to sign up for Uber- they wanted insurance info and I chickened out.
If my insurance co got a whif of that, my rates would at least double, or I would be DROPPED.

I was hit by a dominoes pizza guy 3-4 years ago and his insurance co said- NOT COVERED- Commercial driver- my company paid the car.

(He had Geico, we sued dominoes and geico).

Liability ALL on YOU- hope you never hurt a passenger or you could lose your HOUSE.

That accident allowed me to sit on my sofa for a year- DID NOT LIST A SINGLE ITEM and it WAS THE BEST YEAR OF MY ADULT LIFE (2013).
I was sore but happy.
MH

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

by: tango This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 29 22:01:29 2015

btw... background checks - if the problem the Driver had is over 7 years ago (meaning he just didn't get caught in the past 7 years) - it will not show up on the 'background check'  I sure want some slimeball staking out the property where delivering for Amazon is his part time job when he is not hitting those homes for theft or worse...see Attorney General of San Francisco - case filed against uber.  NOT just NOT needed!  I mean how friggen messed up does your life need to be to rely on an uber like driver to deliver to your home????  really...lol not

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Sep 29 23:18:05 2015

@Basset - I found this information on the internet:

"While you’re driving for Uber, you’re covered by their insurance. While the app is turned off, you’re covered by your personal insurance. But while the app is on and you’re looking for a customer, you’re covered by neither. And in some cases, personal auto insurance policies are being canceled once the insurance companies find out that the driver works for Uber or Lyft, so they’re stuck with no personal auto coverage."

As far as the question asked, I agree with everything Orwellwasright states. If you open a box and there's nothing inside, how can you prove that it was empty when delivered? Amazon better do serious background checks on these drivers or there's a potential for serious issues.

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Sep 30 09:29:08 2015

Thanks Jacksparrow - I knew there HAD to be an insurance catch.

Looking around for the person to be picked up is probably distraction enough to run into something - while in insurance limbo.  


Maybe Amazon will provide some insurance for their delivery ''on call'' people.

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Sep 30 09:58:46 2015

This will turn out to be just like Uber where drivers make $9 an hour to put excessive wear and tear on their own vehicles.

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Sep 30 12:54:10 2015

Looks like Amazon gets two for the price of one here; they get to dump even more liability on somebody else _and_ attack the USPS, pleasing the liebertarian crowd to no end.

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Sep 30 14:36:34 2015

RKTOYS says "they get to dump even more liability on somebody else"

It's the eBay and Amazon way.  :)

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 1 00:40:33 2015

No, I would not like some non professionally affiliated person lurking around my home. I get deliveries here by ups,fedex,usps. The last thing I need is some stranger dropping off a 20.00 amazon item and taking my other packages, customer returns or general mail while staking out the place.
Some of these big cities delivery drivers are actually killed when criminals think there may be money on them. Who is that going to be on?

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

by: Coolstraps This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 1 04:38:57 2015

I like the idea. Many of the issues raised, like background checks, apply pretty much everywhere, from Uber drivers to school teachers. As to packages not delivered or delivered damaged, anyone tried to collect on USPS insurance lately? :-) I think most people are honest and conscientious and this creates a way for them to make money and provide a service and wearing a uniform or driving a truck with a logo does not assure that person is any more honest or conscientious than the person driving his/her own car.  

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 1 05:41:42 2015

Bad idea, esp when the first package comes up empty.  Which reminds me -- I was walking down the street and passed an apartment bldg and at the foot of the steps was an AMZ box in full view.  I could have easily taken the box.  Easily, and no one would know.  This was a Sunday in the afternoon.

I do believe thieves are going to have a field day this holiday stealing packages.  AMZ should do like UPS and install lockers, customers enter a code and get their packages out.  We have only a few UPS lockers in the city, but they are very nifty.

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

by: felyne This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 1 07:29:57 2015

I only want bonded people sending or delivering my items. Packages will go missing. If you steal an orange from a fruit basket at the PO, the feds are on you in a minute. I know this happened once. No to satellite PO's in Staples, too. Bonded USPS workers only. This is a rediculous idea they will regret.

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

by: topdog This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 1 07:41:46 2015

While I do see tons of potential problems with delivery reliability, I'm not going to sweat it. Presently if there's a delivery problem for an item sent from their warehouse, they cover it, and we're not liable for any negative feedback. Will this cause them to lose some money? Likely. Will they care? Heck no. They already lose an obscene amount of merchandise at their warehouses (we've had weeks where 20% of our $ came from lost item reimbursements). They seem quite happy to open up their deep pockets in exchange for more market share.  

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 1 11:02:28 2015

Just look at the FedEx business model. Other than Express, FedEx parcels are delivered by independent contractors and they seam to make it work. I imagine the only difference is that FedEx Ground, Home Delivery, etc. vehicles are marked with the FedEx name and logo even though they are not owner by them.

What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?   What Do You Think of Regular Folk Delivering Amazon Packages?

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 1 11:14:43 2015

Another good reason I don't sell on Amazon. What next??  FedEx Home/Ground is a complete nightmare. Drivers get paid per package they deliver. They don't care if your package gets damaged by them or not. I don't and won't ever use them either. I can see this Amazon mess working the same way.

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