It’s Easier Than Ever to Accidentally Order Junk from Amazon

“Dash Button” sounds like either a minor character from Star Wars or a fantastic new feature on the 1964 Ford Thunderbird. While stupid, either of those would be better than what a Dash Button actually is: a little smartphone-connected device that can be used to automatically order stuff from Amazon. Push the button, place an order—it’s just that easy to end up with a house full of crap you don’t need.

All This for Only $4.99!

Available only to Amazon Prime members (lucky them), Dash Buttons are linked to specific brands, mostly household products like Tide and Bounty, though there’re also dedicated Dash Buttons for Kraft, Gatorade, and the like. Amazon offers 18 different Dash Buttons in all.

The devices are brand-specific, but not product-specific; users can set a Dash Button to order whatever individual product they want from that particular brand—a case of 32 ounce Lemon-Lime Gatorades or SpongeBob mac and chee, for example. If one regularly uses more than one product from a certain brand, it appears as though one would need to order most than one Dash Button for said brand.

An actual, factual Amazon Dash Button.

An actual, factual Amazon Dash Button.

At five bucks a pop, Amazon will likely make a killing with their Dash Buttons, since anything that lets people be lazier than they already are is pretty much guaranteed to be a success nowadays. They’ll also probably get plenty of FOMO folks who mustmustmust be the first adopters of any new technology. (The same donkeys who line up for days to get the newest iPhone every. Single. Time. I believe they try to church things up a bit and call themselves “early adopters”.) You just know there are going to be scads of people who buy every available Dash Button just because they can.

(Too) Easy Ordering

Expected to arrive in Prime Members mailboxes this very day, Dash Buttons make ordering easy too easy. Users manage their Dash Buttons through the Amazon app on their smartphone, with which one can already order products with minimal effort. “One Click” ordering clearly requires too much effort, so the process has now been reduced to One Button.

Push the button, order the product—Amazon is going to make so much money off of accidental button pushes it’s not even funny. On top of that, Dash Buttons take away the comparison-shopping advantage that using Amazon like a normal person offers; Amazon’s prices, especially those on “everyday” items, fluctuate quite a bit, so users won’t be able to see that, “Hey, these Tide Pods cost $7 more than they did last time, maybe I’ll check out a cheaper alternative.”

Drunk Amazoners are in luck: Dash Buttons do include a feature that prevents accidental multiple orders. Only the first press of the button will order the item, and it won’t reset until the item has been delivered. However, there is no way to prevent, say, one’s smelly child from hitting the button and ordering another carton of Larabars.

Orders are placed immediately, and, although you can cancel Amazon orders fairly easily, the speed with which they process orders (especially for Prime Members), makes it highly likely that users will end up with much more of their Dash Button products than they need.

Dash Buttons are only available in limited quantities at the moment (though tens of thousands is hardly “limited”), so if want to get lazier, you’ll have to act fast.

Photo credit: Matthew Petroff / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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