Amazon Dash Wand Makes it Convenient to Spend Money on Overpriced Groceries

Amazon dash wand
Amazon/YouTube

It’s 2017. You’re in the kitchen zesting a lemon and realize you’re running low on paper towels.

The good news is, the future is now. Low stock of paper towels? No problem.

“Order paper towels,” you say.

And TA DA! Your Amazon Dash Wand automatically places an order for you.

The newest gadget from Amazon costs a mere $20 and comes with multiple benefits — but is it a smart choice for consumers?

The Danger of the Amazon Dash Wand

Amazon’s introduction of the Dash Wand this week caused quite a buzz throughout the interwebs.

The new gadget lets you order items with voice command or bar code scan. It even has a magnet so it can hang out on your refrigerator.

Noice.

The Dash Wand is specifically for Prime customers — and is free, sorta. You pay $20 upfront and receive $20 off your next purchase after registering the device.

The initial $20 investment seems like a small price compared to spending thousands of dollars on a smart refrigerator with the same functions.

But just how much risk is associated with this tiny but convenient device?

The major pitfall in recent reviews of the Dash Wand is that it leads to overspending.

Of course, the Dash Wand doesn’t tell you how much products cost when it adds your requests to your cart. It just chugs right along and adds whatever you tell it to.

Buying paper towels doesn’t sound so dangerous, but what about those purchases you make after having a little bit of wine?

“Hey Alexa, buy me an umbrella hat!!!!! It’s raining!!!”

(This actually happens. Did you know 1 in 3 Americans shop online while they’re intoxicated?)

Even if you don’t drink and shop, there’s still reason to be wary of how much that little gadget is spending for you.

CNET reports that some items were “overpriced at times.” When the reviewer scanned the bar code of his normal stick of deodorant, the Dash Wand placed a single stick in his cart that cost more than $6; he usually buys a two-pack of the same deodorant in stores for around $4.

Moral of the story? Pay attention to how much you’re ordering — and check your cart before finalizing the order.

Not all orders are created equal. While buying from Amazon is usually pretty convenient, you might not always be able to get the same deals you get shopping in a store.

And if you’re someone who gets spend happy, it might take a little extra self-control to keep your spending within budget.

Kelly Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.