Amazon dash buttons — genius or most stupid thing ever?


Have you heard about Amazon Dash buttons?  They started out as Amazon’s April Fool’s Joke but so many people said “That is genius, we want them” that Amazon put them into production.

But what are they?  Well they are small wi-fi enabled buttons that are branded and paired to a certain product.  By pressing the button  that product is delivered to you via your Amazon Prime Account.   Just like that.  At the touch of a button.

At the moment the range is limited to 40 brands but I am sure over time it will increase.  Currently you can buy them for everything from cat food to razors, from bin liners to coffee, at a cost of a fiver each, which is then deducted from your first order.

Having purchased your Dash button you “programme” it for the brand’s product and the quantity of the product you want to have delivered when the button is activated.   So for the Whiskas button we now have it set to deliver 84 x 100g pouches of wet food for seniors.  But if you preferred you could have more or less, or dry food rather than pouches.    You then stick the button near to where you use the product so as you use the last one, you press the button to re-order them and relax, safe in the knowledge you won’t run out.   They come with an attached hook, or sticky tape on the reverse.

An email from Amazon pops up to confirm you actually want to place the order which means if they fall into the wrong hands and the button is pressed multiple times you are not going to suddenly find yourself drowning in half a tonne of Catsan because it only permits one order in 24 hours.

They have sparked furious debate though, with one BBC article saying “Do we want to live in a push button world“.   And I get that.   Do we?  Well probably not and when you first think about these buttons the idea is a ridiculous one, a nonsense.   But when you think about it a bit more, well it kind of makes sense.

Well it did to us, so we bought six of them:  cat food / dog food / Dettol / Brabantia bin liners / Aerial washing powder and Finish dishwasher tablets.     Six things we use on a regular basis and six things that four of us all use independently and don’t always pay attention to using the last of.   Which means they run out or the last one gets used and there is “next time you do a food order can you get some” cry.

We have chosen to put them all together though on what I am calling “The Dash-Board”.  Geddit?  Rather than  having them dotted all over the house, I thought it was better to have them all on a lovely shiny board which we are going to mount on the wall in the utility room.   The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice there are currently only four buttons, and that is because although they are ordered not all brands have actually released their buttons yet so we are still waiting for the final two to arrive.   Having them all on a snazzy glass board though, I think, keeps them all looking neat and tidy and means we can add to the collection as more are released.   Or remove them if we fall out of love with a particular brand.   Or write notes or add other bits of info if we need to.

Running out of cat food or dog food is not something I can explain to our pets and they have claws so I don’t really want to walk past them when they are hungry because they have a habit of battering ankles.   Buying more cat food in an emergency either means I have to go out before work at 7am to do it, or do an online food shop that would deliver in the same time frame as Amazon (next day) but means I have to do a £40 minimum spend which I don’t always want to do.   Nor do I want to have to sit down, open the supermarket website and add all the items to my trolley when I am in full blown cleaning mode and realise I have used the last Dettol wipe, or Aerial washing capsule.   I don’t want to get side tracked or even worse, forget until I wake up at 4am thinking “dammit I didn’t order dog food”.    By pressing the button the job is done.  Other than a quick “confirm order” notification (on Jonnie’s phone since he has the Prime app, not me), which takes seconds.

This would have been a godsend if I had the Dash button for nappies when my three were little

The other added bonus of all of this is that on many of the Amazon items they are actually cheaper than supermarkets as you are buying in bulk.   And you also aren’t having to carry bulky items yourself, they are delivered by Amazon straight to the front door, with no delivery fee thanks to the Amazon Prime membership (which is, granted, £80 a year but given that we all make use of it is well worth the money).

Add up all the plus points and these little buttons really do start to make sense.

So whilst we might not want to live in a push button world I am really seeing the attraction of living in a world where the only dash is a button and not me in my nightie dashing to the local shops at 7am for dog food.

Board, model’s own, supplied by Boards Direct who have a huge range of boards and free delivery over £25

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • You come up with some mad ideas from time to time – BUT – I really like this one. The convenience, the avoidance of “stock-outs”, the ability to widen the range of items by adding another ‘button’ – these are great features.
    Possible snags might arise – you are locked into Amazon [at present] and price comparison vigilance could be very important
    and quality comparison ditto.
    But how much worry you’d avoid. How much free time you’d generate.

    • Hoorah! I knew you would see the benefits! But you are right about the price comparison knowledge being crucial. Supermarkets doing a flash sale or Buy One Get One Free might make it cheaper with them occasionally. Other than that though the convenience wins every time for me.

      PS I owe you an email.

  • Super convenient. Especially for the pet food, which is often the first thing to be forgotten in a busy household (hangs head in shame)! Would just have to remember to press the button though.. but, bonus, that can be any time of the day or night! Love it 🙂