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How do Amazon Dash buttons work?

Amazon Dash buttons
In a Dash: order stuff at the press of a button

Man is genetically hardwired to press buttons – it is known. Which probably explains why Amazon Dash buttons have proved so popular, delivering anything from razor blades to toilet rolls at, well, the press of a button. But how do these ultimate one-trick ponies work? Here’s how.

How do I find the best prices on Amazon?

What is a Dash Button?

If you’ve not come across the Amazon Dash Button, then you’ve truly not experienced what the Internet of Things (IoT) has to offer. It’s an oval piece of plastic, mainly consisting of a large button, connected via WiFi, which will order a specific product whenever you press it.

Normally, these buttons are £4.99 and the first time you use one you get a £4.99 discount on your order, so you’ve nothing to lose. At the time of writing on Black Friday, they’re £1.99 each and you still get £4.99 off your first order.

Buying a Dash Button

Head to the Dash Button page on the Amazon site and you’ll immediately be presented with a choice of (at the time of writing) 104 brands – everything from Ariel to Wunderbrow (no, I’ve never heard of them either).

Buy as many as you want but, be warned, the current offer is only open to Prime customers and will only be for a short time.

How can I ease my conscience while shopping on Amazon?

Setting up your Dash Button

Everything comes in a small cardboard box, complete with the requisite over-abundance of accompanying paperwork. The button can be stuck to a flat surface, thanks to a slim sticky pad on the back, or hung with the included hook.

That’s the easy bit. Now, you’ll need the Amazon app on your phone and your Bluetooth switched on.

  • Go into the Amazon app
  • Click the ‘hamburger’ menu icon on the side and select ‘Your Account’
  • Part way down your account menu you should find an option to set up a new Dash device – select this

  • When prompted, hold down the Dash button until a blue light starts flashing

  • The app will now pair with your button and you may be prompted for your Wi-Fi password (this isn’t always the case)
  • Final thing to do – choose the product from that brand’s range that the button will order. Be warned – I’ve sometimes found that not all products are listed and there’s no way of pairing it to anything that’s not on the list

Using your Dash Button

When you want to order, just press the Dash Button once and the product will be ordered using your 1-click settings.

Nothing happens for a while and you’ll get an email confirming the order, so if prying fingers have pressed the button for fun, you have plenty of time to cancel. I’d recommend using the notification settings in your app to make sure you’re informed of any orders, just to make sure.

We’ve already covered off how to track the history of Amazon prices to get the best deal, along with how to set up a charity to receive a part of your spending without it costing you any more. But now, how about a cool £3 off a range of products from Gillette razor blades to Oral-B toothbrush heads?

About the author

David Artiss

Works for Automattic Inc., the company behind and Tumblr. Tech geek, international speaker and occasional PC Pro podcaster. Lover of Lego and video games.

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