In Amazon‘s continuing effort to maximize purchasing automation while minimizing human interaction in our lives, they released a group of devices called Dash buttons. These buttons automate the purchasing process for whatever product you want. Which takes their “1-click” ordering to an all new level. You literally press this physical button and 2 days later your stuff shows up on your doorstep.
So I ordered a couple of these buttons and after finally getting to try them out I though I would share my experience. I’ve also come up with a few recommendations to keep in mind if you are thinking about getting some of these handy buttons for yourself.
Things to keep in mind
Recommendation #1 – Placement is crucial
Placement of your Amazon Dash buttons should be somewhere out of reach of anyone too young to understand what money is. Case and point, my first Amazon Dash button order was placed my a 3 year old. Now before you think I went and broke this rule… let me say that they are 5 feet off the ground, inside of a pantry. Apparently my daughter crawled up on a chair or something and was able to reach them. Lesson learned LOL.
On the bright side we now have plenty of Select-A-Size paper towels and Puffs Plus lotion tissues.
As a safety net Amazon has thought of this, and will only place one order, even if you press the button every 2 seconds for a whole day. Basically they won’t let the button place another order until AFTER the previous order has been delivered.
Recommendation #2 – Don’t except to save $$$
Don’t expect to “save money”. Just because it’s Amazon, and their prices are normally less than most other online retailers, don’t expect these consumables to be a bargain. In fact what I have found is that most prices are the same or even a little higher than if I were to go to Kroger or Wal-Mart.
But there are some hidden savings in my opinion.
For example how many times have you went to your favorite retail big box store for product A … and left with every other product you passed on the way through the store? I’m guilty as hell. If I go to the grocery store you can bet that no matter why I’m there… I will return with a couple boxes of mini muffins for the girls, some orange juice, and probably a half cart full of stuff. So in my opinion the real savings is keeping your impulse purchases to a minimum.
Also there is the time and gas that you save by not going to the store. For me the closest retail store is about 10 miles round trip. And the last time that I tried a “quick” trip to the store it was still 30 minutes from door to door.
Recommendation #3 – Not just for home use
If you are a business owner, or just the person in charge of re-stocking stuff at your office then you need some Amazon Dash buttons. Honestly, I think Amazon should really be marketing them more to corporate customers than home users…. seriously!
Well when I actually do make it to the office (remember I mostly work from home), the kitchen area is always amazingly stocked with pretty much any kind of snack or beverage you could want, it’s awesome! But someone is in charge of that; someone has to check to see when things are running low; someone has to place an order or run to Costco; and finally someone has to actually put the stuff in it’s place when it does get to the office.
There is an easier way!
Just put a Dash button next to each of the snacks or sodas… whatever employee see’s that it is getting low can press the button and 2 days (or less) later replacements have arrived! Obviously some maturity among office staff will be required. But let’s face it, if you work at a place that provides free snacks and you’re that asshole that presses the button 100 times and ruins it for everyone… well you are now hated by all and might as well just quit (if you aren’t automatically fired).
Recommendation #4 – Order for someone else
My mom and dad aren’t quite ready for the old folks home yet, but I could see me putting these things everywhere in their home so that they can get stuff without me having to run errands for them all the time. In all seriousness though, for an older person or someone with limited mobility these could really give them a lot more independence knowing that they can easily order needed items without using a computer and without relying on someone else to take them to the store.
Recommendation #5 – Know the Product Selection
I’m sure Amazon will get to the point where they offer a button for anything you want… but right now the products that you can order from the Dash buttons are fairly limited. So before you go buy a bunch of Dash buttons make sure that they can actually order the product that you want. For example the Puffs tissue button that I have can only order the square boxes in a 24 or 48 count package… not a deal breaker for me, but it might be for others.
There is a generic “IoT” button, and you can program that for literally anything…. but intense online programming just to order Coca-Cola might not be worth it to most.
So to wrap things up I’ll just say that I will probably buy more of the dash buttons. We probably won’t use them every time we need a product, but if we aren’t planning to be at the store or just don’t feel like going out for one thing, we would. Bottom line is that they are a convenience, and if you aren’t in a hurry and don’t mind paying a small fee for that convenience then they may just be perfect for you!