New: reorder items using the Echo

New: reorder items using the Echo

Update: as June 23rd, the general public can now pre-order Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) with an “in stock” date of July 14th.

Just a quick note, because I am just on my phone.

Amazon just added ordering capability to the Echo.

Well, re-ordering capability at any rate. In the email they sent me, they say:

“Just say “Alexa, re-order laundry detergent” — Echo will search your order history and can order the item for you using your default payment and shipping settings. If Echo can’t find the requested item in your order history, it may suggest an item for your approval using Amazon’s Choice, which picks highly-rated, well-priced, Prime products. You can manage your shopping preferences and set an optional confirmation code in your Amazon Echo App.”

Update: I’ve tested this now…it’s a game changer!

Yes, it’s what some people feared…the

Amazon Echo

is another way to buy things from Amazon.

Yes, it’s even easier than 1-click.

I don’t worry about that. Really, I’m not going to give up on buying something I want to buy because I need to make a few extra clicks or taps, and I’m not so impulsive I’ll buy something I don’t want to buy.

Even with Prime, you have some time to cancel an order, so as long as your buyer’s remorse is fast enough, you’ll be okay. 🙂 With many things, you can return them later also, of course.

So, why is this easier?

It’s not just that I can order by speaking, although that is a big plus. Our Echo can hear us in the kitchen. I can certainly see being there, realizing we are just about out of something, and saying it right then and there. That’s simpler than remembering it, getting to a phone or computer and then going in and ordering it.

Another good reason is that it is searching our prior orders…and you can be quite fuzzy in asking for it.

I just tested it by saying, “Alexa, order dry dog food.”

We order a specific brand. The response I got was , “Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Dog Food, Chicken & Rice Formula, 8-Pound Bag, Pack of 1. The order total is $12.36. Should I order it?”

I said, “No, thank you.” We subscribe to it…I was just testing.

Then, it shows up in the app…which makes it even better.

  • It gives me the date I last purchased it
  • It tells me how soon I can get it
  • It tells me who ships it and who the seller is
  • I can view the product details on Amazon
  • I can search for dry dog food on Amazon
  • I can add dry dog food to our Shopping List

Oh, and it showed me a picture of the item.

I also try this one, “Alexa, reorder Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom.” It correctly found multiple matches in our past orders (we’ve ordered different formats…we give that book as a gift).

There are a couple of more interesting twists to this.

One big one is that this only works with Prime eligible items…this could be something that only works for Prime members with the Echo (which might convince more people to become Prime members). Right now, everyone who got an Echo from Amazon is a Prime member.

However, I think maybe in July (currently, it says it’s in stock on July 10th), that won’t be the case.

What they could do is give you a free month of Prime with an Echo, just like they’ve done with Fire tablets.

In terms of the consumer part of the business, Amazon really, really wants people to become Prime members. They spend more, and I’m sure they are more loyal to Amazon.

Spend a month with an Echo, being able to listen to Prime music and order things which arrive in two days, and I think many people will be hooked.

If they also get it to work with Prime video, probably through interfacing with an

Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)


Fire TV Stick (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

and that would be even more of a bond.

You ain’t seen nothing yet!

Oh, and the other intriguing item in the e-mail?

“If Echo can’t find the requested item in your order history, it may suggest an item for your approval using Amazon’s Choice, which picks highly-rated, well-priced, Prime products.”

That name, “Amazon’s Choice” was new to me. I did a quick web search…I do think this is something they may have just created, for the Echo (although that doesn’t mean it couldn’t become available on the website as well).

This could be another source of revenue for Amazon (they may get a “commission” from a company for selling their product as an Amazon Choice product…I do not believe that would mean they would sell us an inferior product, by the way), which fits right into what I’ve said for what I think Amazon’s consumer sales model could be.

They keep the prices low for consumers, and charge companies for access to what I’ve called Amazon’s most important product: satisfied customers.

Works for me. 😉

Bonus deal: recently discounted books which have or will become major motion pictures

You know I always like to do something with books. 🙂 I checked what I consider to be the best Kindle resource on the web,


One thing I noticed was a number of books which have recently been made into major motion pictures (within the last few years), or which have been announced as being adapted in the future (likely to come out within the next few years, although it’s a crowded market right now!).

Here are some that I noticed:

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand
4.8 stars out of 5 | 23,758 customer reviews
$4.99 at time of writing

Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn
3.9 stars | 39,601 reviews

by Veronica Roth
4.5 stars | 20,396 reviews

by Veronica Roth
4.5 stars | 13,354 reviews

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
4.7 stars | 37,419 reviews

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
4.3 stars | 4,375 reviews
Tim Burton directing, 2016 announced release

Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline
4.6 stars | 5,692 reviews
Steven Spielberg directing

If I Stay
by Gayle Forman
4.2 stars | 5,639 reviews

The Maze Runner
by James Dashner
4.3 stars | 6,060 reviews

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


8 Responses to “New: reorder items using the Echo”

  1. Phink Says:

    Bufo, I can’t remember which post consisted of our conversation about music on the Echo or I would have put these remarks there instead of here. I did go ahead and pay $25 to have my music imported to the Amazon cloud. For those that don’t know one is limited to 250 songs that can be imported to the cloud unless they are willing to pay $25 a year and then it’s 250,000 songs. Since I love music almost as much as reading I decided to try it for a year. I wanted to let anyone interested know how the process worked.

    I had quite a bit of music I have bought from Amazon so they were already in the cloud. I had another 4400 songs that were purchased from Apple, or ripped from my CD’s, back in the day. I was going to just add those 4400 songs to my playlist if they were available for Prime members for free but real quick realized there were too many not available. I want my echo to be able to play all my music you see.

    I paid the money and then quickly downloaded the software (Amazon Music Importer). It scanned my hard drive and found 4,497 songs that were in need of importing. It searched all my hard drive files evidently to find music. It even imported compilation CD’s I made way back when MP3’s were first getting popular. I had the song title and artist info in the metadata so I guess that’s what it used to import it. The CD name of those still says stuff like ‘Phink’s Phavorites’. It took about a song a second to do this. Then, when it got somewhere around song 3,100 it changed from saying ‘importing songs’ to saying ‘importing songs not matched to Amazon’s catalog.’ I am guessing those are MP3’s I have that are not sold in Amazon’s music store and they are physically uploading the song’s one by one. It has really slowed down at this point. I think when it matches songs it simply finds that song in the music store and allows me to play it on Amazon devices or through their app. Much like a Prime song for Prime members. For songs not in their music store I guess it actually has to upload it. That’s fine. I was worried they’d not do anything with those.

    I have tested it with the Echo and the imported songs work just as well as those I have purchased. I know this is a long post but just wanted folks to know in case they are interested. And I cannot say how much I love my Echo. I still say a lot of folks will not speak to it after the new wears off in a couple of weeks. But, I use it all the time. The speakers are fantastic and my music, or audio books (through Bluetooth) sound incredible for such a small machine.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!


      I really appreciate you providing this detailed field report! I’m sure a lot of my readers will appreciate that as well.

      I don’t have a lot of digital music (I still have music on reel-to-reel tapes…and unfortunately, when money was tight, I did sell a bunch of LPs), so I haven’t done all that. I would like to get TV theme songs I purchased legally into my music library (I have them as MP3s) and haven’t done that yet…not sure how many I have of those.

      I don’t see myself paying an annual fee to store music…there seems to be enough for me that can be stored or accessed for free (or as part of Prime), but I certainly understand.

  2. Doug A. Says:

    I am looking forward to them linking to the Echo. I cannot imagine that they wouldn’t at some point as Amazon owns them and it would encourage people to listen to and buy more audio products.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Doug!

      I do think they’ll do that, even though you can do it now through Bluetooth from, say, a Fire tablet.

      However, I would guess that there may be some negotiating over rights that may have to happen first. Even though, as you note, Amazon owes Audible, that doesn’t give them carte blanche to do whatever they want with the files.

  3. Zebras Says:


    The one item I regularly re-order is not prime eligible, so that’s a little disappointing. Also, for a while now, they have been offering a $1 credit for choosing the slower shipping good towards books and movies, I had to order a lot of household items to stage our condo to sell, so I’ve been doing that to save credits up for books that aren’t discounted or available for free, and I think you aren’t going to get that offer when you do it through the Echo.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Zebras!

      I suspect it will open up later. For now, I don’t think you can get that $1 for slower shipping…but there’s really no reason that couldn’t also happen eventually. The Echo would just have to offer it to you.

  4. Lady Galaxy Says:

    Just curious. Is there an “add to shopping list” or “add to cart” option so if you were in the kitchen, you could add several items before placing an order, especially since so many food and kitchen items seem to be add ons.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      There is a shopping list option, but you can’t buy directly from Amazon from your shopping list…at least, not yet. That should be the standard answer for capabilities the Echo is missing at this point: not “no”, but “not yet”. 😉 So, add to cart? Not yet. 🙂 That may come. I think having it update your regular Amazon cart might be more of a challenge, but I could see it being able to create a shopping list and then order from it.

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