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Amazon makes Dash button effectively free, expands to more brands

When Amazon unveiled its Dash dongle earlier this year, many observers chuckled at the idea that that the company had created something you had to buy so that you could buy more stuff on Amazon. Well, chuckle no more – they’re now effectively free.

The one-touch shopping button for Prime members still costs $4.99, but that now comes with a $4.99 discount on your first purchase meaning you can get the diminutive dongle for the princely sum of nothing. However, in tiny print on its website Amazon says it’s a “limited time offer,” though doesn’t state how long it’ll run.

Related: Want to track something? You can repurpose Amazon Dash buttons

When the e-commerce giant launched the Dash device at the end of July, 18 brands – among them Tide, Maxwell House, Kraft, and Gillette – offered their own button. Eleven more have now signed up, including Ziploc, Hefty, Dixie, Depend, and Orbit, because you never want to run short of gum.

Amazon’s mobile app lets you configure precisely what product a brand’s button links to, meaning the 29 currently available Dash dongles let you choose from around 500 different products.

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Don’t know anything about Dash? It’s a little button that lets you order a particular item from Amazon with a single press. You’re supposed to put them in convenient spots around your home, so stick the Tide button on the washer, give it a press when you run out of laundry detergent, and wait for the delivery. What could be simpler?

An order confirmation is sent to your phone, at which point accidental orders can be canceled (useful if you have a toddler who thinks the button’s a toy).

We’re only a few months in with Dash and already 29 brands are on board. With many more no doubt clamoring to join the club, we can expect to see the online retail firm roll out more buttons in the coming months, giving you the chance to do your weekly shop simply by strolling about your home.

To find out what DT made of Amazon’s Dash button, check out our in-depth review here.