Many cheaper items on Amazon are a “Add-on Items”, which you can only buy if your total order is $25 or more. However, here’s how to get around that using an Amazon Echo or other Alexa-enabled device.
Update: The Alexa trick no longer works, but you can now use Amazon Day shipping to bypass the $25 minimum and accomplish the same thing.
If you don’t know what we’re talking about, take a look at almost any item priced under $5 on Amazon’s website. It will likely bear a blue badge next to its price that says “Add-on Item”. At first, it’s rather confusing as to how this kind of item differs from others, but it means that in order to purchase that item, your order cost must total at least $25 worth of items shipped by Amazon.
However, if you don’t necessarily need to spend $25 and just need that one small item to get to your doorstep pronto, you can use Alexa to bypass the $25 minimum.
Set Up Voice Purchasing First
You’ll first need to enable Voice Purchasing from within the Alexa app on your smartphone. We have a guide that takes you through that process, but the gist is that you’ll had into Settings, select “Voice Purchasing”, and enable it. You can also set up a four-digit PIN code so that not just anyone can use your Echo to order stuff from Amazon.
You’ll also want to make sure that your 1-click settings use the right shipping address and credit card that will be used with voice ordering through Alexa. To do this. tap on “Payment Settings” at the bottom within the Voice Purchasing screen.
Order Your Add-On Item Through Alexa
Now that you’re all set up, you can order your add-on item by saying “Alexa, order (product name).” For example, I need to buy these cheap pair of pliers to replace the ones I lost recently, so I’ll say “Alexa, order Stanley Bi-Material Slip Joint Plier.”
Alexa will tell you the top search result for your inquiry, which if done right, should be the right item you’re looking for. She’ll tell you how much the order will be, including tax, and will ask whether or not you want to buy it. Say “Yes.”
If you have a voice PIN code set up, you’ll say that next, and Alexa will place your order with no $25 minimum required.
We’re not sure if this loophole is intentional by Amazon, but it’s certainly a nice hidden feature that Alexa users should know about. By the way: if you choose the “Subscribe and Save” option for add-on items when buying on the website, the $25 minimum also doesn’t apply. So there are a few ways to get around it.