Echo, Dot, Tap Registration Gotcha

Echo and Amazon Tap are in stock on the Amazon site and the Echo’s being sold by bricks-and-mortar retailers too, but that isn’t stopping many consumers from buying one from a classifieds ad. Amazon is still trying to limit Dot ordering to existing Echo owners and even then, as of this writing (on 6/2/16) the Dot’s not due back in stock till mid-July, so it’s not hard to find plenty of Dots for sale secondhand.

If you intend to buy an Echo, Tap or Dot from eBay, craigslist or a classified ad, or if you intend to sell or give away your Alexa-enabled device, there’s a very important GOTCHA that can make the device useless to the new owner: registration matters.

Many consumers have learned this the hard way by buying a secondhand device and finding they were unable to register it to their own Amazon account. No Amazon account registration, no Alexa.


Haven't Registered


Every Alexa-Enabled Device Must Be Registered To A Single Amazon Customer Account
When you go to set up a new Alexa-enabled device, once it’s plugged in and connected to your WiFi network, the very next step is registering the device to your Amazon account.

The system is set up this way to ensure Alexa’s personalized features (like shopping list, to-do list, integration with Google Calendar, access to Prime Music and Amazon Music Library, access to Kindle and Audible books you own, etc.) are tied to the correct Amazon customer.

A single Amazon account can have multiple Alexa-enabled devices registered to it, but each device can only be registered to a single Amazon account. If it were possible to register multiple Amazon accounts to a single Alexa-enabled device, Alexa would have no way of knowing whose content is supposed to be accessed through the device.

Once the device is registered to an Amazon account, NO ONE ELSE can register that same device to their own Amazon account. This means if you buy an Alexa-enabled device that’s already registered to the seller’s Amazon account, you won’t be able to use it.

Similarly, if you sell or give away an Alexa-enabled device that’s already registered to your Amazon account, the new owner won’t be able to use it.


DeRegister in Alexa App


You Must Ensure The Device Is Deregistered First
It’s very easy to de-register an Alexa-enabled device. As shown in the screenshot above, there’s a Deregister button right in the Alexa app.

Go to Settings > [Device Name], then scroll down to the Deregister button. Click it, confirm the change when prompted, and your device is now ready to be sold or given away and registered to a different Amazon account.


Only The Current Owner Can Deregister
If you’re intending to buy an Alexa-enabled device from anywhere other than Amazon or another retailer, be sure to verify the device has been deregistered from the current owner’s Amazon account FIRST.

Many sellers don’t realize they must complete this crucially important step before passing the device on to a new owner, but it makes sense: when you use the Alexa app, you’re logged in to the Amazon account to which your device is registered, and only someone with your Amazon username and password would be able to go into the app and click that Deregister button for the device.


Be sure to check registration status to avoid disappointment.


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