The Amazon Echo might be hard to come by online, but that doesn't mean all is lost.
Amazon's Echo and the Echo Dot are both sold out on the company's online store and won't be in stock until after the holidays. However, the smart home devices are still available at Amazon's three brick-and-mortar book stores, as well as its pop-up stores at malls across the U.S., The Wall Street Journal is reporting after checking in with the stores.
The Amazon Echo, the company's smart home appliance that doubles as a smart home controller and portable speaker, has been one of the hottest gifts this holiday season. The device, which is currently on sale at Amazon for $140 (a $40 savings off its regular retail price of $180), is currently available to ship on January 19, according to Amazon. The company's $49 Echo Dot won't be back in stock in its online store until December 27.
While Amazon sells Echo devices to other retailers, it generally gives its own marketplace first dibs on new units. So, those hoping to get an Amazon Echo elsewhere will be as out of luck as their online shopping counterparts.
However, Amazon is also moving slowly but surely into the brick-and-mortar in a bid to compete with mega retailers. While those efforts have mainly focused on books and its own products, speculation abounds that Amazon will grow its retail presence in the coming years.
For now, Amazon has three brick-and-mortar locations in San Diego, Calif., Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA. The company has plans to open two more stores in Chicago, IL and Dedham, MA.
As of this writing, those open stores are all carrying Amazon Echo devices. But since they're only in a few cities, a small number of people can take advantage of that.
Amazon's pop-up stores, though, are more readily available to folks, living inside malls and shopping centers across California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York, among others. In addition to Amazon products, the pop-up stores feature customer service representatives who can answer questions for customers as they try out Amazon's wares.
Still, if you don't live near either option, consider eBay, where many owners are selling both new and used Echo and Echo Dot devices. And if you're lucky, you might just find a stray unit at one of Amazon's retail partners, like Best Buy.