For a short window on Friday, Amazon appeared to be giving away these devices through an unadvertised promotion. Most orders have since been canceled.
For a short while on Friday, Amazon.com was apparently giving away Echo Dot smart speakers for free.
The devices, which typically sell for $50, were offered for no money with free shipping thanks to an "Audible Promo" that wasn't advertised and only appeared at checkout.
An Amazon spokesman didn't have an immediate comment when asked about the price change Friday.
After the spontaneous device giveaway, the Echo Dot was unavailable for sale through Amazon for a short while. It then appeared to be back on sale at the regular price.
Update, Aug. 19: Perhaps unsurprisingly, Amazon canceled the free Echo Dot orders. Customer service sent me an email Saturday saying a "technical error" caused the drastic price drop and my order wouldn't be fulfilled. The company did offer a $5 credit on my next purchase, though.
I did hear from one lucky reader who said she and her fiance received five free Echo Dots in the mail today. I can't confirm this information, but if it's true -- nicely done!