Use Alexa to Get Around Amazon’s $25 “Add-On Item” Minimum

January 24, 2017 by Kyle
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This post is about the importance of a decent pair of scissors. Oh, and of course the new Amazon Echo I got my wife for Christmas. If you’ve ever owned a pair of scissors so dull they would frustrate a kindergartner, you’ll be able to relate.

A couple weeks after Christmas I was trying to cut paper with a really crappy pair of scissors when an idea hit me like a ton of bricks. Let’s try to order a new pair of scissors using nothing but our Alexa. So I called out her name in utter desperation and told her what to buy. Lo and behold, two days later I had a shiny new pair in my hands and more importantly, a really cool Amazon shopping hack.

Turns out when you order an Amazon “Add-On Item” via Echo, which the scissors were, you’re not required to have $25 worth of stuff in your cart to get the free 2-day shipping. No seriously, you don’t. Here’s exactly how this hack breaks down so you can start doing it too.

The Amazon Echo Shipping Hack That'll Blow Your Mind

Here’s How This Amazon Hack Works:

First, go into your Alexa app and configure it for “Voice Purchasing” by following these steps:

Alexa App

  1. Enable Voice Purchasing – This is done via the Alexa app. Just tap on Settings, then Voice Purchasing.
  2. Toggle On “Purchase by voice” – Next, just slide the toggle to turn on the feature. Then you’ll want to create a 4-digit confirmation code that you’ll say aloud to Alexa so your kids can’t order 10 Hatchimals.
  3. Manage 1-Click Setting – The last thing you’ll want to do in the Alexa app is update your 1-click payment method to make sure Echo has your correct email address and credit card info from your Amazon account.

Next, use your Amazon Echo to make your Amazon purchase by following these steps:

Scotch Scissors

  1. Tell Alexa What You Want – It’s as simple as saying “Alexa”, followed by “Buy Scissors”.
  2. Alexa Product Results – Alexa will start by giving you the product category best-seller along with the price. If you tell her “No”, she’ll proceed to give you a couple more product possibilities before directing you to the Alexa app for further assistance. Obviously, the more specific you can be with her, the better results you’ll get. If you tell her “Yes”, the order will automatically be placed and details of the purchase will immediately be available in your order history in your Amazon account.
  3. My Scissors Example – I ended up buying the first pair of scissors Alexa recommended as it was a good brand (Scotch), and the price was right at $2.64 for the 8-inch variety.
  4. Add-On Items Realization – When I made the purchase, I never considered whether the scissors might be an add-on item. I was more curious how Alexa handled the order and I was desperate for a decent cutting tool. But when I logged into my laptop to check on the order status, I noticed that they were indeed an add-on item and I was NOT charged a shipping fee NOR did I have to reach the $25 minimum order threshold. My “Killer Shopping Hack” alarm sounded in my head and the idea for this post was born.

Final Takeaway

Not sure if this is simply a loophole that Amazon hasn’t filled yet, or if you’ll be able to use this shipping hack indefinitely.

But in either case, you might as well use it while you can and avoid the headache of batching your orders together when they include Add-On Items. Plus, I ain’t gonna lie, ordering something using only your voice is kinda fun too.

See Also: 6 Brilliantly Slick Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Ask the Reader: How do you deal with the Amazon “Add-On Items” dilemma? Do you immediately keep adding stuff to your cart until you reach $25, or are you patient enough to wait until you naturally reach the shipping threshold before placing your order?

By Kyle James

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