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Here's how you can buy an Amazon Echo Dot and Amazon Tap

It's not as straightforward as you think.

I'd really like to get Amazon's smaller new Echo Dot for my apartment, but unfortunately I can't. Since I don't already own an Amazon Echo or Amazon Fire TV, I'm not able to buy one just yet.

Amazon today debuted the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap, two new voice-activated personal assistant devices. The Echo Dot is the Echo's little sister; smaller and with a small speaker for Alexa and the option to hook up an external speaker for music, but with the same features of the Echo.

Amazon Tap is a portable, rechargeable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speaker that uses the voice assistant Alexa to control the music, deliver news, get weather reports and more. The key difference with Tap is that it's not always listening like the Echo; instead you have to press a button to talk to Alexa.

But before you head over to Amazon to buy them, there are few things to know.

Amazon Echo Dot, $89.99 (approximately £64)


The Amazon Echo Dot.

James Martin/CNET

To get an Echo Dot, you need to be an Amazon Prime member and already own an Echo or a Fire TV. You have to use Alexa Voice Shopping to buy one. Say the magic words, "Alexa, order Echo Dot" and you're all set. There's a limit of one Dot per order and two per customer, and Echo Dot is currently available only in the US, though Amazon plans to sell them internationally soon.

Amazon is expected to eventually sell the Dot alone on its website, but for now you need to be a Prime member and already have an Echo or a Fire TV.

Now playing: Watch this: Good luck buying the Echo Dot, Amazon didn't make it...

Twitter user Dwight Churchill, however, may have found an easy fix. Open the Amazon app on your iPhone or iPad and search for the Echo Dot. Rather than clicking on the search result, swipe right on the Echo Dot and add it to your cart. We tested this on an iPhone and can confirm that it works, but it's unclear how long this workaround will remain active. You may want to act fast if you are interested in ordering an Echo Dot and aren't an Echo or Fire TV owner. Unfortunately the workaround didn't work on our Android devices.

Amazon Tap, $129.99 (approximately £93)


The Amazon Tap.

James Martin/CNET

Getting an Amazon Tap is far easier: you can just purchase it from Amazon's website. There's no purchasing limit as there is with the Dot, though it's available only in the US for now, retailing for $129.99. It ships on March 31.

Get our hands-on impressions of the Amazon Echo Dot and Amazon Tap on CNET to decide if either is worth buying.

Last updated on Thursday, March 3 at 11 a.m. PT: A workaround for ordering the Echo Dot has been added.