Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


How to get an Echo Dot for a buck (some weasel words apply)

We spotlight a deal -- for Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock -- that offers the best price we've ever seen.
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor

The Echo Dot is Amazon's diminutive, hockey puck-sized Alexa device. Despite its small scale, the third generation has a good speaker, and there's now a version with a digital clock on the side.

The base Dot lists for $29.99 on Amazon. I've seen it drop as low as $29.99 on sale days. The Echo Dot with Clock lists for $44.99 and I've seen it go as low as $39.99 on sale days.

But, for now, Amazon is running a promotion that includes one of the best prices I've ever seen for these Echo Dots. I don't know how long this promotion is going to run, so if you're interested, you might want to act now.

The weasel words in this offer intend to suck you into the Amazon Music Unlimited subscription service. If you sign up for Amazon Music and pay for two months of the service, you can get a base Echo Dot for $0.99 or a clock-equipped Dot for $9.99.

Now, sure, the price of the music subscription adds to the price, but even when paying for two months, the savings are substantial.

Even including buying two months of Amazon Music, the base Echo Dot comes to only $16.97. That's about a third of the normal selling price of the Echo Dot, and $13 less than the best price I've ever seen for Echo Dots on sale days.

With two months of Amazon Music, you can get an Echo Dot with Clock for $29.99. That's less than half the price of the list Dot with Clock, and even $15 less than the best sale price I've seen.

So what's the catch?

It's not bad. When you buy either of the two dots, you'll prepay for two months of Amazon Music. That's how you get from a buck to $16.97 and from $9.99 to $25.97.

But the gotcha is that you're signing up for Amazon Music Unlimited to auto-renew. So, unless you cancel after your two months, you'll be paying an additional $7.99 per month until you cancel.

After those two months, if you wish to cancel, go to your Amazon Music Settings page. Scroll down until you see your subscription, and then click Cancel Subscription. While you can probably cancel as soon as you order your device, my preferred approach is to put a note in my calendar for a few days before the renewal and assess whether I want to continue or cancel at that time.


That's it. As I said, I've been watching Alexa pricing for years now, and this is one of the best I've seen. If you want a cheap Alexa, this might be the right time to act.

You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.

Editorial standards