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Dash Cart fun with Amazon Fresh

amazon smart cart

Although I have jabbed at Amazon Fresh BB #:283186 a couple of times in this column, I must confess that I’ve grown fond of it.

Not necessarily for reasons they’d appreciate.

I just find the whole place kind of funny.

There was that time when I stopped at the one in Bloomingdale, IL, to pick up some fresh figs. Admittedly, going to Amazon Fresh for fresh figs is a sign of limited intelligence, given their range of choices. Of course, they didn’t have fresh figs.

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But I also wanted a bottle of chilled white wine. I looked around for the chilled wine section but didn’t see it. Then I asked a clerk who was stocking the beer case where it was.

“Umm . . .” she said, “I don’t think we have that.”

There was a chilled wine endcap at the end of the very aisle we were in.

The Dash Cart is impressive. You scan your Amazon app. The cart itself scans the items you put into it. At the end, you’re billed directly to the account to which the app is linked.

Then I reflected on my own Dash Cart encounter.

On one visit, as I came in, an elderly gentleman was transferring his groceries from a Dash Cart into a regular cart. Of course, he let me take the Dash Cart.

At first, I didn’t even notice that it was a Dash Cart. But that didn’t make any difference because it was out of service.

I didn’t care, although I guess I would have if I were doing a video about my Dash Cart experience.

One incidental feature of the Dash Cart: they don’t let you take it out of the store. That was why the elderly gentleman was putting his groceries into an ordinary shopping cart: so he could take them to his car.

You can see Amazon Fresh’s point of view. They don’t want to have some street person stealing their state-of-the-art Dash Cart to haul around his belongings.

Crime seems to be plaguing the bright new universe of self-scanning. I see that the Wegmans chain is discontinuing its self-scanning feature. The reason? Too much shrinkage, or to put it less nicely, theft.

“This is why we can’t have nice things,” commented The Buffalo [NY] News. 


Richard Smoley, contributing editor for Blue Book Services, Inc., has more than 40 years of experience in magazine writing and editing, and is the former managing editor of California Farmer magazine. A graduate of Harvard and Oxford universities, he has published 12 books.