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Amazon is Now Charging $5 for Dash Buttons: Would You Buy One?

The push-to-order buttons were free at launch, and the paid versions tout no new features.
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Amazon Dash

Although they were initially mistaken for an April Fool's Day joke, Amazon's push-to-order Dash buttons turned out to be a legitimate product. The key fob-sized device packs a tiny WiFi chip and syncs with Amazon's mobile app to let you order a specific product with the push of a button.

Now Amazon is banking on users being willing to pay for the convenience; the site has started selling its Dash buttons for $4.99 each.

No New Features Since Free Trial

Not much has changed since Amazon first released Dash into the public. There are still only 18 Dash buttons to choose from with each button corresponding to a particular brand. You can configure which product you want from that brand via the mobile app, but otherwise the Dash Replenishment Service is still very limited in terms of features.

Back in April, Amazon was offering these buttons for free on an invite-only basis. Today, it appears the trial is over and Prime members can buy Dash buttons for $4.99 each.

You Don't Know How Much You're Spending With Dash

As I mentioned in our original coverage, there are numerous downsides to Amazon's Dash. For instance, you can't see the price of the item you're buying until after you receive a confirmation email from Amazon. That essentially means you can't compare prices before buying an item. Likewise, if there are any active coupons available, there's no way to apply them via the Dash button. Still, Amazon is betting Prime members will pay $4.99 for this convenience.

Personally, I've used my Dash buttons no more than three times since April. While I absolutely love the simplicity of ordering something without having to log on to my account or fire up my tablet/laptop, I hate not knowing if the item I'm buying is cheaper elsewhere, because let's face it — Amazon doesn't always have the best price. These days, competition is lurking everywhere.

Will You Buy a Dash Button?

What do you think readers? Would you pay $4.99 (per button) for the convenience of one-touch ordering or is this just a gateway product to a bigger project Amazon is working on?


Senior Writer Emeritus

With over a decade of experience covering technology, Louis Ramirez has written for CNET, Laptop, Gizmodo, and various other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @louisramirez.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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12 comments
The Oracle (DealNews)
I like r9blake's idea. Maybe it could also show you the last price you paid for it, so you could see if the price has gone up or down since then.
r9blake
I'd rather have an Amazon Dash app on my phone, showing my personal preselected list of products I reorder, and the current price of each. Launch; tap the items I want from the list; adjust quantity if desired; select shipping method; click Buy. I would not be able to comparison shop, but at least would see Amazon price, and could order any and all items from my shopping list at once. This app could be free.
blueii
Do most of my buying at ebay, same price or less and most offer free shipping. Amazon is on the way out.
R1one
absolutely not....perhaps those who are not concern about how much an item cost in the market. Busy folks.
byebyegravity
I would be willing to try, but certainly would NOT buy.
C'mon Amazon, your customers are savvy shoppers, and not the demographic that would fall for this.

And yes, "Dash" is definitely a gateway product to something bigger. The $4.99 price is just a trial balloon.
jcauthorn
I can't think of a single thing that I have to order that regularly. Soft Drinks? Milk? Orange Juice? Eggs? Other groceries?
Less regularly - toiletries? Shampoo/Soap?
Anything I'd want to push a button just to order?
Still drawing a blank.
I'd love to know what it's being used for if Amazon would let us know.
LonnieMcClure
I expect Amazon is charging for these to prevent the CueCat effect, where people picked up that device Radio Shack gave away for free, only to use it for other purposes.
goanddo
Perhaps I would be interested if not only the price were kept secret until after purchase, but the product as well. Otherwise, I agree, I wouldn't have a use for this even if it were free. Now if they paid me $4.99 to use it... nah, not even then.
smusherface
I would not use it even if it was free for the same reasons listed in the article. You'd never know how much you are paying and since Amazon's pricing can vary pretty significantly from day to day or even hour to hour, you could end up spending much more than you want to and you'd also miss out on savings from coupons or other special promotions. I like convenience and appreciate anything that makes everyday life a little easier, and I love gadgets, but not more than I like saving as much of my money as I possibly can. The pros definitely do not outweigh the cons on this one - not by a long shot. If I could somehow lock in a price, such as they do on HSN or QVC, and know I'd be paying that price every time I used the Dash button, that would make it a different story entirely.
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)
(That said, I don't think I would ever want to place an order for JUST floss, haha. Perhaps something like a bulk pack of paper towels is a better example.)
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)
I wouldn't pay for these, no. BUT, the concept is an interesting one. There are a ton of items in my home that I run out of, but only remember to replenish when I go to get it and see, once again, that I'm out. I went a month without floss, for example, because I kept forgetting I needed to buy it except when brushing my teeth. I'd remind myself to stop at the drug store on the way home, or to put together a Soap.com order before bed, but I'd forget. That said, a better solution to me would be to make a verbal note of it, at the time of realizing I need something, and set up a reminder that way. Like saying to the Echo, "order floss" or "remind me in an hour to order floss." Because a tool like the Dash button, that can only solve this problem for one item and one item only, isn't very helpful.
wildwestgirl
I wouldn't want one at any price. Utterly pointless product.