Amazon’s $5 Dash Buttons debuted in 2015, allowing you to buy a $5 button that you could place anywhere in your home so that you could instantly order refills from Amazon simply by pressing a button.
Need more dog food? Press a button and it’s delivered within days (or hours). Out of laundry detergent? There’s a Dash button for that.
Or at least there was. CNET reports that Amazon has decided to stop selling Dash buttons. If you already have one, it’ll continue to work normally. But you won’t be able to buy any new ones from Amazon anytime soon.
Why the change of heart? Basically because there’s no shortage of ways for you to order stuff these days.
Have an Amazon Echo or another device with the Alexa voice service baked in? You can order stuff by asking Alexa to add it to your cart.
A growing number of third-party internet-connected devices also make use of Amazon’s Dash Replenishment service. So you don’t even need to press a button. Your washing machine will know when you’re running low on detergent and it can place an order for you. Your printer can order ink. And so on.
Personally I’d rather do things the old fashioned way and spend hours looking for someone selling the same ink or toner cartridge for 25 cents less than the competitor, agonize over the decision, and then maybe think about placing my order.
Actually, having never actually used a Dash button, I think I just came close to selling myself on the concept of automatic refills.
In other news, hackers have been doing interesting things with Dash buttons for as long as they’ve been around. So if you were hoping you’d still be able to purchase a wireless button for non-shopping purposes, Amazon’s got you covered. The company is continuing to sell 1st-gen and 2nd-gen AWS IoT buttons for $15 and $20, respectively.
They’re basically dash buttons that are designed to be used by developers rather than shoppers.
Amazon is also continuing to offer “Virtual Dash Buttons” for folks that like the idea of a button, but don’t necessarily need it to exist outside of a screen.
I bought 5 of these buttons when they had the promotion. Paid $1 each and got a $5 credit each when they were activated. I made $20 profit for buying them. 3 are sitting in the drawer and 2 I took apart to see the circuit board. Looks like they cost $5 to manufacture. I bought the 2nd gen design with the atmel microcontroller. Great IOT devise design. Runs for 5 years on a single alkaline AA battery.
Sorry AAA battery device.
“Personally I’d rather do things the old fashioned way and spend hours looking for someone selling the same ink or toner cartridge for 25 cents less than the competitor, agonize over the decision, and then maybe think about placing my order.” Ha ha – perfect. The joys of hunter-gathering in the internet age.
I used to do that way before the Internet was a thing. I remember when shopping for new clothes in Southampton in the UK back in the 80’s I would start at one end of town and go into every department store to checkout the stock and prices all the way to the other end of town, before inevitability deciding the first place I went into had the best deal.
Oh, the joys of being frugal…
If you’re talking about the toner cartridge the savings can be 25%, not 25 cents. And that’s why I’d never use a Dash button for anything.
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