Amazon Dash Buttons

I have always been fascinated by the idea of Amazon Dash Buttons. How much easier would life be if you’ve settled on one household product and never would worry about selecting and comparing different brands, and when you want it, just click a button an they’ll show up at your door? If you are not convinced, take a look at this ad too.

So I tried it out. I bought 4 Amazon Dash Buttons, and here’s what I found after using them for the first time.

The Good

First, as said, the idea is fantastic.

Second, Amazon Dash Buttons now are on promotion so that when you make a purchase with the button for the first time, a $4.99 reward will be applied. This cancels out the price you pay for the Dash Buttons, so they are essentially free.

Third, the buttons are really really easy to set up. Just use the iPhone app to start pairing and press and hold the button for 6+ seconds, and you are done!

Fourth, a hidden feature I figured out later is that, with Dash Buttons, you are able to directly buy some “Add-on” items that would otherwise require you to have a purchase of $25 or more.

The Bad

First, products that can be bought with Amazon Dash Buttons aren’t necessarily the cheapest. After all, low-cost and convenience can’t be friends. Some of the items are available in Amazon PrimePantry, or Subscribe-and-Save. If you weight cheaper products over convenience, then those might be a better option.

Second, for each branded Dash Button, there is only a limited selection of products you can buy, not all products for that brand. It indeed took me a while to think “do I need 18 boxes of Kleenex facial tissues piled at home, every time I press that button?”

The Ugly

The promised two-day shipping isn’t always guaranteed. For one item I ordered on Feb 16, the expected arrival date is Feb 21, which is way more than 2-days.

Another ugly part is that the button doesn’t automatically apply coupons for you. For some items, there is a small check box and a piece green text that goes “Save an extra $2.00 when you apply this coupon.” When using Dash Buttons, this option won’t be applied for you.

Summary

Before I tried out Amazon Dash Buttons, I felt it was really really cool. However, I can’t say I see Amazon’s customer obsession here. The execution of Amazon Dash Buttons fell short in either category of “low prices, speedy shipping, vast selection”. Which is sad.

For me, shipping late for a day or two doesn’t quite matter, but a large selection with reasonable price is key.

For 2 of the 4 Dash Buttons I got, I might never ever click them again, unless more items are added to the selection. For 1 of them, I’ll need to check Amazon.com first to see if there are coupons I can clip, in which case I’ll buy from the website instead from the button. Only 1 of the buttons I see some value, but I might only be clicking that button once in 4 months, because of the huge volume I have to stock at home with each click.

What could be better than an Amazon Dash Button? An Amazon Dash Button for a pre-configured Amazon PrimePantry box!