However, the Alexa Perks Program is making Echo freebies a reality, with a new promotion meaning that anyone who builds their first, new Alexa Skill will get an Amazon Echo Dot, completely free of charge.
Alexa Skills are like special tricks that your Echo smart speaker can perform for you – from turning on the lights in your home through to ordering a pizza.
- Read our Amazon Echo Dot with Clock review
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Not only that, but if you publish three new Alexa skills, and "one of them is used by at least 75 unique users during the promotion period," you'll get an Amazon Echo Show 5 voucher – which is worth $89.99 / £79.99 / AU$129.
You can also earn the original Echo Show by adding Alexa Presentation Language to one of your skills, which must reach 150 unique users during the promotion period; this allows you "to build interactive voice and visual experiences across the device landscape," including slideshows, graphics, images, and videos, according to Amazon.
Is there any easier way?
The promotion period ends on November 30, so you'll have to be quick if you want a free Echo speaker; it currently only applies in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Spain. The same promotion was available last year in the US, but it could be coming back soon, with Amazon saying it will update its US Incentives for Alexa Skill Builders "in the coming weeks".
Sound like too much hard work? Don't forget that the Amazon Echo Dot will likely be discounted in the near future, with the Echo Dot with Clock usurping the company's smallest Alexa speaker.
Plus, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up very soon, with the massive sales event kicking off proper on November 29 (although you'll find that the deals start to trickle in from early November onwards).
This means that the Echo Dot, Echo Show 5, and Echo Show could all see their prices slashed, among other Amazon devices – so, if you want an easy way to get Alexa at a discount, it's worth hanging on until the Amazon Black Friday deals start rolling in.
- Black Friday vs Cyber Monday: what's the difference?
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Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.