There’s no doubt 2020 has been a challenging year, especially for the job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. unemployment reached 13.3% in June 2020 — an astounding 9.7% higher than it was in May 2019.
In the face of this challenge, 2020 has also seen a surge in gig economy opportunities as households prepare for unemployment or job loss. In particular, grocery delivery services like Shipt and Instacart have taken the reins on hiring, adding hundreds of thousands of shoppers and delivery drivers to meet demand.
Amazon is another company on a hiring spree. The ecommerce giant has already hired 175,000 additional workers since March and increased hourly pay to incentivize workers. Delivery drivers and warehouse workers are a large portion of these new hires. However, Amazon is also hiring Prime Now shoppers to help fulfill grocery orders for Amazon Prime members.
If you’re currently looking for work and want a flexible job for the coming months or even for years to come, becoming an Amazon Prime Now shopper is worth considering.
Amazon Prime Now Shoppers
Food delivery jobs like being a DoorDash driver or delivering for Postmates involve shopping at a variety of fast-food chains, grocery stores, and retailers. These apps let customers order almost anything online, so your shifts as a delivery driver are ever-changing, which can help or hinder your hourly pay depending on how many orders you complete.
By contrast, Amazon Prime Now shoppers work in Whole Foods locations that are part of Amazon’s Prime Now network. Amazon grocery delivery from Whole Foods is exclusively for Prime members, which is similar to the membership-model Shipt and Instacart use.
Prime Now members can order from Whole Foods for delivery or pickup. As a Prime Now shopper, you’re responsible for fulfilling these orders. Specifically, your job involves:
- Selecting Whole Foods products to complete online grocery orders
- Messaging customers if any products are out of stock and require substitution
- Packing Whole Foods groceries for delivery
Prime Now shoppers only work in-store; separate Amazon delivery drivers are responsible for delivering Whole Foods orders to members. Prime Now delivers within 1 to 2 hours, so this is certainly a fast-paced job.
While most food-delivery jobs require having your own smartphone, Amazon provides a phone for receiving Prime Now orders. Between this and the lack of vehicle requirements, becoming an Amazon Prime Now shopper is immensely accessible.
It’s important to note that Amazon Prime Now is different from Amazon Prime Pantry and Amazon Fresh. Amazon Prime Pantry is also free for Prime members but is a special store within Amazon that focuses on bulk ordering household essentials, beauty products, and nonperishable foods. Amazon Fresh is Amazon’s more comprehensive grocery delivery service and isn’t exclusively for Whole Foods orders.
Ultimately, this means that Amazon has a variety of shopper jobs, including warehouse workers, Amazon Fresh shoppers, and Amazon Prime Now shoppers. If you want to exclusively work in Whole Foods locations, becoming an Amazon Prime Now shopper is the right choice.
In 2018, Amazon announced a $15 minimum wage for all Amazon employees. This wage also applies to Prime Now shoppers.
Amazon states that depending on your city and shift, you may earn more. However, according to Glassdoor Prime Now shopper salary data, $15 per hour is average. It’s possible to find jobs paying slightly more depending on your city, but $15 per hour is most likely.
$15 per hour is still significantly higher than the minimum wage in many states. Ultimately, this makes working as a Prime Now shopper a relatively high-paying job that doesn’t require a degree or any experience to start.
Because delivery drivers fulfill the final step in Prime Now orders, you never leave your designated Whole Foods location during a shift. Additionally, you select your own shifts as a Prime Now shopper depending on your availability.
You’re able to work up to 20 hours per week as a Prime Now shopper. You must work at least four hours per month, and shifts are four to five hours long. Shifts change based on demand, and Amazon sends shift slots as hours become available. To choose shifts, you use Amazon Moment, which is Amazon’s scheduling platform that’s available once you become an employee.
Amazon doesn’t guarantee monthly hours for Prime Now shoppers. Therefore, if you want to maximize your earnings with this side gig, it’s important to select shifts quickly when they’re available. If there’s enough demand, you can also schedule back-to-back four-hour shifts for a complete work day.
Most gig jobs involve working as an independent contractor, which has tax implications. Independent contractors often file estimated income tax quarterly. Additionally, there’s a range of tax deductions and health insurance plans for self-employed individuals that are worth considering.
However, if you become an Amazon Prime Now shopper, you’re an Amazon employee. This means you’re entitled to their minimum wage and have a much simpler tax return than if you were self-employed. Amazon pays through direct deposit, and this role is similar to being an in-store Instacart shopper.
Full-time Amazon employees have several benefits. Possible health care plans include a health savings account (HSA), dental and vision plans, and prescription drug coverage. Additionally, Amazon offers a 401(k) savings plan with a company match, paid time off, holiday overtime pay, and paid short- and long-term disability coverage.
You must work at least 20 hours per week to receive benefits. While this is possible as a Prime Now shopper, it’s unlikely because hours aren’t guaranteed and demand in your area impacts work opportunity. Additionally, all employees get an annual discount on Amazon purchases, which grants 10% off orders up to $100 per year.
It’s also worth noting that Amazon offers immense growth opportunities. As Amazon grows, more full-time positions become available. It’s therefore realistic to convert from a part-time, seasonal worker to full-time status if you work at Amazon for long enough and positions open up. Once you become full-time, your benefits increase accordingly.
Ultimately, this means becoming a Prime Now shopper is a flexible side gig with more potential if you choose to pursue it. This is an advantage over most gig jobs where being an independent contractor is the only possibility.
How to Get a Job as an Amazon Prime Now Shopper
Another benefit of becoming a Prime Now shopper is that the application process is fast and simple.
Requirement for Prime Now Shoppers
There are several requirements to work as a Prime Now shopper. You must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a high school, GED, or equivalent diploma
- Be able to speak and read English
- Be physically capable of shopping in a grocery store for your entire shift
This job doesn’t require previous work experience or a resume. At $15 per hour, this makes being a Prime Now shopper an excellent choice over many other part-time jobs.
Application Process for Prime Now Shoppers
According to Amazon, applying only takes 30 minutes and is completely online. You don’t need to submit a resume or CV, and you can begin working as soon as seven days following your application.
You create an account with Amazon Force to begin your application. Creating an account requires your email and phone number. After you create an account, you can apply to a variety of Amazon jobs including Prime Now shopper jobs and warehouse work depending on job availability.
Amazon asks questions about your education level and whether you’re willing to submit to a pre-employment drug test. You also complete an assessment test that takes approximately 15 minutes. This involves answering a questionnaire about your work ethic and how previous employers would rate your performance. There are also informative modules that explain Amazon warehouse rules and procedures, even if you apply to a Prime Now shopping job.
When you complete your application, you schedule a new-hire appointment and choose a start date from the available options. Amazon states that new-hire appointments fill up quickly, so it’s important to regularly check the jobs page and to book your appointment as soon as possible.
After your appointment, you also have a new-hire orientation in which you learn more about your role. You also receive your Amazon badge that you wear during Prime Now shopping shifts. Currently, the hiring process has shifted to be mostly online, so your application process might differ slightly.
If Amazon accepts your application, you then complete your hiring appointment and orientation. Afterwards, you can start making money as a Prime Now shopper once you schedule your first shift.
What to Consider Before Becoming a Prime Now Shopper
Working for Amazon presents growth opportunities and above-minimum-wage pay. However, there are several factors to consider before applying:
1. Hourly Availability
Prime Now shoppers can only work a maximum of 20 hours per week. Additionally, scheduling shifts is competitive amongst other shoppers, and there’s no minimum hourly guarantee.
Having flexibility to choose your own shifts is nice, provided you get the chance. If you want to significantly boost your monthly income with a steadier gig economy job, becoming a ride-share driver or exploring other high-paying part-time jobs might be more worthwhile.
2. Consider Opportunity Cost
Prime Now shoppers earn above minimum wage. However, every job has an opportunity cost. Before applying, consider whether there are more lucrative jobs in your city or other online money-making ideas that suit your skill set.
If you have a vehicle, working for Shipt might be more lucrative and provide steadier work than being a Prime Now shopper. Similarly, if you have an undergraduate degree, you can try becoming an online English teacher through a company like EF Education First and potentially earn more than you can with Amazon.
3. Consider Full-Time Work
Amazon has a variety of part-time positions that pay well. However, if you work more than 20 hours per week for Amazon, you gain even more benefits.
There’s nothing wrong with becoming a Prime Now shopper as a side hustle. However, keep an eye on growth opportunities within Amazon. Warehouse and delivery jobs have an increasing need for full-time employees, and depending on your current situation, making the change could be a wise financial move.
4. Read Reviews
If you’re researching Amazon job openings, it’s sometimes confusing to differentiate between roles because Amazon has so many types of jobs. Additionally, the Prime Now shopper information page is rather sparse.
Reading external reviews about what it’s like to work as a Prime Now shopper is a good idea if you’re seriously considering this job. Websites like Glassdoor have dozens of reviews from current and previous Prime Now shoppers. You can also visit the Reddit group Amazon Whole Foods Shoppers to ask questions about the job and to read informative guides on how to maximize your earnings.
Amazon is one of the largest employers in the world. Over the years, the company has come under plenty of scrutiny regarding hourly wages, working conditions, and its impact on the environment.
However, Amazon is making improvements and pays $15 per hour — a wage that’s tough to find in most part-time jobs. Amazon is also pledging millions to improve worker safety in its facilities. Finally, Amazon is investing heavily into skill development for 100,000 employees and constantly looking towards the future.
If you want to make money on your own schedule without being self-employed, working as a Prime Now shopper could be a good fit. When you consider growth opportunities within Amazon and lenient job requirements, this job is an excellent option for anyone without a degree or previous work experience.
As long as you read other reviews and accept that Amazon doesn’t guarantee Prime Now hours, this is an easy way to make extra cash if you need the work.
Have you tried working for Amazon before? What was your job and experience like?