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Amazon Really Wants to Sell Us on Dash Buttons, But They Make No Sense

amazon dash buttons

What if every single storage shelf in your home had a button installed on it that would allow you to send a message to a major corporation, allowing them to instantly restock whatever item you’d normally store on that shelf? As soon as you ran out of Goldfish crackers, for example, you’d hit a little button on the cracker shelf and instantly order a refill. Out of soap? Hit the button under the soap dish! Out of toilet paper? Wash your hands, and then hit the button.

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That’s the logic behind the Amazon Dash Button, and according to The Verge, 50 more brands have just partnered with the service. It all started a year ago, when I wrote about how the Tide button would signal a post-Amazon dystopia. That, uh, hasn’t happened. Because the people refuse to comply!

Amazon’s PR told The Verge that the number of people using the Dash buttons has gone up. But they didn’t specify any exact numbers. According to the Wall Street Journal, less than 50% of people who’ve purchased these buttons have actually used them. So, basically, if you think that these buttons sound good in theory but that they’re silly in practice, you’re not alone.

Instead of pressing a bunch of buttons, why not just add the items you need to your grocery list? There are so many free list-making apps out there, if you like digital reminders. Using buttons instead might be helpful if you keep forgetting to add stuff to your list, but it seems incredibly wasteful from a packaging standpoint. Why make all of these separate individual orders, rather than just buying everything at once? You don’t have to go to a store; ordering online is fine. But why not do a bulk order?

I’m clearly not the only person who thinks this, so I don’t think our Amazon-powered homes will become a terrifying reality any time soon. Maybe Amazon will come up with some way to make this concept more streamlined. Or maybe we’ll just keep buying stuff the normal way, which involves ordering our robot butlers to go to the store for us, obviously.

(via The Verge, image via screenshot of Amazon)

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Maddy Myers
Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (

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