One of the ways Amazon Flex offers blocks to their couriers is on a reserve basis. This means that they will send out an invitation to reserve a block for a future date specifically for you. You have a two-hour time limit to accept the block. It was once 24 hours, but that has changed, and now you get the invitation with an expiry limit of two hours. This means that you will receive a set amount of work within your schedule (the schedule you set when you applied) that has been calculated and reserved for you. On top of this, you will see on-demand blocks which means that apart from your reserved blocks you can take on an immediate request. However, you will not receive on-demand requests when in a block.
Blocks used to be set on a weekly basis, but now you get access to blocks on demand any day of the week, and these reserve blocks come in early morning, which means you must be aware that around six or seven am you will get a block invitation. So, make sure you open your phone every day at that time and just accept the blocks you want. The other block invitation is a daily one that arises either due to the workload that comes into the system or from canceled blocks. This means that during the day you will receive a notification based on warehouse demand. If you are free from any other work, you might consider taking it. Timing your approach to the blocks is important, you have to learn the patterns when blocks are offered. Every city is different, so you should watch when the peaks and troughs appear in block invitations.
You must remember that blocks start at specific times, like 10:30 or 11:15, they always start around the working times of the warehouse staff and will not be available when the warehouse staff are on breaks, such as 11:40 am. Around 2 pm they have another block, and then at 5:30pm, they start the cleaning up blocks or deliveries that have to be delivered on that day. So, you must plan your blocks into that system and sometimes it doesn't fully fit into your daily schedules. With this, you are still flexible and self-employed, so if this is your only issue, suck it up and deliver the goods.
There are also seasonal issues to consider, times of the year when delivery is slow, and on top of that, you get an influx of new drivers that saturate the market. Then the action flares up between drivers as they scrabble for blocks. The Prime couriers are extremely competitive, and that comes from using such techniques as "ninja tapping" when you tap the refresh rate on the screen so that you can get immediate notice of a new block, grabbing it before anyone else. This is where the true competition comes into play, so you have to master the "ninja tapping" technique.
Now here comes the big tip. Social media and friends. You need to make acquaintances amongst the other couriers that work in the warehouse. You will meet them when you go to collect your block, and so long as they are normal, unlike some aggressive types, you can spark up some good working relationships. This doesn't mean you will invite them over for drinks on Sunday; it just means that you will work together as a group, cohesively, watching out for each other's backs and switching blocks between each other when needed.
By opening a Facebook page or Twitter account, your group can grow to a formidable number of members and so long as it stays like a loose-knit friendship then all is fine. Once you have these friends in place, you can start trading blocks, reserving blocks for one another and taking over block allocation by working as a team. This will ensure that as a group, everyone has enough work without fighting for blocks and will always support each other's issues with block management. Such issues can arise when one member cannot deliver a block or asks you to reserve a block for them during a block in the process, so they can immediately start a new one after.
Again, timing is the main issue with dropping and picking up blocks between friends. Since you cannot transfer a block ad hoc, you have to drop it, and then your friend has to pick it up. This calls for coordinated timing, so you sit together, maybe not together in the same place, but together online. I then count to three aloud and drop the block while my friend starts to ninja tap the screen to get the notification and accept the new block. This works out around 80% of the time, and it also depends on the time of day that you do it. If you pick a peak hour, then all the block sharks are out there, ninja tapping away at their screens or using a third-party app that refreshes the screen continuously. The chances of success during peak hours are low, so its best to arrange for slow hours and then do it. During slow hours the success rate goes up to 90-95%, so there will still be those instances when a block dropped will be stolen from you.
The Prime Now deliveries are harder to get due to the third party app refresh users, the prime now sharks are fast, and they know the patterns for when such deliveries are going to occur. Usually, weather and holidays are the best instances for generating Prime now, while warehouse surges can suddenly generate such blocks.
Bottom line, getting blocks on a constant basis is a combination of timing, concentration, refresh rates, social interaction and sometimes just luck. There are a lot of drivers out there using third party refresh apps that help them, steal blocks, I don't condone it, but understand them. The competition is stiff, and everyone wants to work. The beauty of setting up a combined effort builds close connections and enables groups of people to enjoy working together. It brightens up the workplace and actually does work well.