News update: Amazon’s Dash Buttons are no longer
Amazon’s physical dash buttons are no more. As of 28 February 2019, the US ecommerce giant has stopped selling its unique, tap-to-order shopping buttons. The devices allow customers to quickly order necessities such as batteries, detergent, hand soap and more at the touch of a button, as soon as they run out.
Such a move was almost inevitable: the rise of voice-activated smart speakers such as the Echo Plus, Google Home Mini and more has made hands-free shopping an even simpler process in recent times.
Amazon has promised to continue supporting existing Dash Buttons, though. In a company statement, a spokesperson stated “we (Amazon) look forward to continuing support for our customers’ shopping needs, including growing our Dash Replenishment product line-up and expanding availability of virtual Dash Buttons.”
Have you ever wished you could order something at the touch of a button? I’m not talking about a couple of taps on your smartphone. I mean a real, physical button, with no passwords, no logins, and no pesky credit card information. Well, Amazon’s new Dash Button service is here to do just that, but what exactly is it and how does it work? In this article, I’ll explain all, taking you through how to set them up as well what pitfalls to avoid in the process.
Amazon Dash Button: What is it?
That’s simple. They’re dinky devices, designed to be dotted around your home so you can reorder your favourite products with a click. They’re only available to Amazon Prime customers at the moment, and you’ll need to buy one button for each specific brand of product you use around the house. For instance, if you get through a lot of Kleenex tissues, you should get the Kleenex Dash Button. They’re £5 a pop at the moment, and right now Amazon’s offering a £5 discount on the next item you buy with it after the first press.
Amazon Dash Button: How does it work?
The idea is to place the button where you tend to use that item – so you might put the Andrex Dash button in your loo or bathroom, for example, or the Ariel Dash button on your washing machine – and then press the button when you know you’re getting low on that particular product.
Once you’ve pressed the button, you’ll get a push notification on your phone from the Amazon Shopping app a couple of seconds later detailing your order. Since Dash Buttons require Amazon Prime membership, you’ll get your order the next day, so it’s a pretty quick and easy way to top up household supplies without trekking down to the supermarket
You can also use the app to cancel the order before it’s dispatched if you press it by accident. You don’t need to worry about your kids playing around with it, either, as each Dash Button is set to only order a single item by default, preventing you from inadvertently ordering another one until your first order is delivered.
You can set it to order multiple items, which will order something with each button press regardless of whether the last one’s been delivered or not, but if you live in a house with a busy family, you’d be wise to leave that option well alone.
Amazon Dash Button: What brands can you get?
There’s only a limited number of branded Dash Buttons currently available, but Amazon has recently updated its Dash Button-supported list to well over 65.
New brands include; Mentos, Wellwoman, Mr Muscle and Duracell, complementing the existing brands launched late last year. The list is always getting bigger, so check this page regularly to find out which of your favourite brands have made the leap to Dash. Lord knows why you’d need to order Mentos in bulk, but I won’t judge.
Click the link below to go through to Amazon’s Dash Button order page, where you’ll see the full list of Dash Buttons available.
Amazon Dash Button: How do you set it up?
First of all, you’ll need to download the Amazon Shopping app from either the Google Play store or Apple App Store. Tap the menu button in the top-left corner and select Your Account. Scroll down to Dash Devices and tap “Set Up A New Device”.
Select Dash Button and tap Agree & Get Started. Next, press and hold the Dash Button for six seconds until it flashes blue. Then tap Connect on your phone. You’ll then need to enter your Wi-Fi password in the app and hit Continue.
You’ll then be taken to a list of items you can order from that button. Annoyingly, you can only select one item per button, so if you like ordering multiple items from one brand (such as multiple packs of Dolce Gusto coffee pods), you’ll need a separate button for each item.
Some Dash Buttons only let you order in bulk, too. My Kleenex button, for instance, only lets me order a 12-box pack of Balsam tissues (960 tissues in total), a 24-box pack of Mansize tissues (1,200 tissues in total), a 12-box pack of Original tissues (864 tissues in total), 96 pocket packs of Original tissues (also 864 in total), or a 10-box pack of Oval Collection tissues (560 tissues in total). That’s a lot of tissues if you don’t live in a big household.
Once you’ve selected your desired item, hit Next. You may need to enter your card details and delivery address and turn on Amazon’s 1-Click delivery feature if you haven’t got that set up already, but otherwise you’re good to go. Just tap Complete Setup and you can start using your Dash Button straight away.
Amazon Dash Button: Are they any good?
Yes and no. For large households, they’re a great fit, as it lets you order items in bulk very quickly without much hassle. It saves you a trip to the supermarket, too, allowing you to get on with your schedule. However, it would be great if there were a wider range of item options available for smaller households: not everyone wants to buy more than 1,000 tissues in one go.
Likewise, the Dash Buttons I was sent for review didn’t actually stick to my fridge very well. They use the same gooey adhesive you find stuck on the back of new credit cards in the post, and mine were forever falling off, barely lasting a couple of hours before they clattered back onto the floor again.
I also made the mistake of assuming they were magnetic (which they’re definitely not), and so made the grave error of actually peeling the adhesive off my Dolce Gusto Dash Button, which is worryingly easy to do. Luckily, each Dash Button also comes with a plastic hook so you can hang it somewhere, but this is pretty impractical too, as you’d need a pretty sizable hook for it to lie flat against a wall.
That’s because the grooves on the Dash Button that let it snap into the plastic frame are near the surface, so you’ve still got about 5mm of Dash Button sticking out the back, making them unfriendly devices for pinning to corkboards.
Amazon Dash Button: Verdict
Despite the foibles, though, Amazon’s new Dash Buttons are a worthwhile purchase if you’re forever running out of loo roll or washing tablets, or you find it difficult to get to the supermarket regularly. It’s a shame they’re not magnetic, and there isn’t a wider selection of items to pick from, but as long as you can find somewhere to put your Dash Button without it becoming a nuisance, then it could be just what Dr Amazon ordered.