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Old 02-22-2012, 10:18 AM   #1
emellaich
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An author fighting the spambots and the pricingbots

Here is an interesting article by an author who is fighting the spam bots and the pricing bots on Amazon:

How Bots Seized Control of My Pricing Strategy
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:14 AM   #2
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That is very interesting. The end result seems to be that the price of the book that you or me would pay went down by $4.19. Go bot.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:54 PM   #3
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That is very interesting. The end result seems to be that the price of the book that you or me would pay went down by $4.19. Go bot.
Why would you buy a book about understanding computers from a guy who doesn't understand computers?
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:16 PM   #4
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I've been a programmer for some 30 years, and I understand quite a few complex programs, but I wouldn't claim to understand Amazon's pricing bots unless I had a copy of the code to read.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:55 PM   #5
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Tempest, meet teapot. The author is still getting paid the same by Amazon. So why does he care how the retailer is pricing his book?
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:30 PM   #6
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Tempest, meet teapot. The author is still getting paid the same by Amazon. So why does he care how the retailer is pricing his book?
Because stuff like this grossly undermines human instrumentality. Its worse on sites like eBay, though, because an auction bot can outbid someone in the last few seconds, despite the would-be winner's having placed what seemed like a safe, reasonable bid; and possibly his willingness to pay more if given the chance.

But, such is Capitalism. Try to stop it, and McCarthy's ghost will give you a nucular wedgie.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:47 PM   #7
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Because stuff like this grossly undermines human instrumentality. Its worse on sites like eBay, though, because an auction bot can outbid someone in the last few seconds, despite the would-be winner's having placed what seemed like a safe, reasonable bid; and possibly his willingness to pay more if given the chance.
Sounds like someone doesn't understand the concept of an eBay auction.
It they were willing to pay more, they should have bid more.
Anyone who bids more than once hasn't correctly worked out how much they value the item.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:05 PM   #8
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Sounds like someone doesn't understand the concept of an eBay auction.
It they were willing to pay more, they should have bid more.
Anyone who bids more than once hasn't correctly worked out how much they value the item.
Never been outbid and said, "Wow, I would've bid more, but I didn't expect the auction to go that high?"

Either way, you're just making excuses for someone else's greed and lack of ethics. Botters drive up the price of goods beyond what's reasonable, humans find themselves wondering just what the heck happened, and the lack of ethics just perpetuates itself.

Then again, being ethical and moral went out of style when economics schools began teaching Ayn Rand as gospel.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:37 AM   #9
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Never been outbid and said, "Wow, I would've bid more, but I didn't expect the auction to go that high?"
Then I would have bid more in the first place. That is how it is meant to work. Decide how much you want to pay, bid that.

Quote:
Either way, you're just making excuses for someone else's greed and lack of ethics. Botters drive up the price of goods beyond what's reasonable, humans find themselves wondering just what the heck happened, and the lack of ethics just perpetuates itself.
Your original post said:
Quote:
Because stuff like this grossly undermines human instrumentality. Its worse on sites like eBay, though, because an auction bot can outbid someone in the last few seconds, despite the would-be winner's having placed what seemed like a safe, reasonable bid; and possibly his willingness to pay more if given the chance.
So they would have been prepared to pay more, and the bots are driving up the price beyond what is reasonable? Both can't be true.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:33 AM   #10
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Tempest, meet teapot. The author is still getting paid the same by Amazon. So why does he care how the retailer is pricing his book?
Because bots are driving the pricing - not people.

On the reverse side - there was a thread here previously in which a bot system drove up an out of print DTB to over $73k (I think that number is correct) in a bot vs bot pricing war.

And guess what? None of those bots were attached to companies/people who actually had the book for sale.

So, I can understand his frustration - how is a computer algorithm dictating my pricing structure?
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:20 PM   #11
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Thank your for the article emelliach.

Funny. At the end he says of the Amazon bot: "...that old gambler's proverb: “If you can't spot the sucker, it's you.

I counteract Amazon pricing bots by not using them.


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..being ethical and moral went out of style when economics schools began teaching Ayn Rand as gospel.
Haahaha. What imaginary planet are you referring to where 'economics schools' teach anything other than fascist Keynesian economics?
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:27 PM   #12
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I don't use a bot with ebay but I do try to 'snipe' at the end. Why get a bidding frenzy going ahead of time? I decide the max I'm willing to pay and put my bid in under about 5 seconds left. If I get it I get and if I don't I don't.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:01 PM   #13
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I don't use a bot with ebay but I do try to 'snipe' at the end. Why get a bidding frenzy going ahead of time? I decide the max I'm willing to pay and put my bid in under about 5 seconds left. If I get it I get and if I don't I don't.
How does that differ from putting the same bid in when the auction opens?
If the final price is below your max price, you'll have the winning bid, at whatever the minimum value was to beat the second highest bid. If the final price is above your max price, you won't have the winning bid.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:13 PM   #14
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How does that differ from putting the same bid in when the auction opens?
If the final price is below your max price, you'll have the winning bid, at whatever the minimum value was to beat the second highest bid. If the final price is above your max price, you won't have the winning bid.
Well I'm convinced that people on ebay get themselves into a bidding war and lose their heads when it comes to the final price they are willing to pay. I don't want to add fuel to that by bidding early. But even if my theory is totally without merit, what does it matter besides the inconvenience of being sure to be at my computer at the end of the auction to put my bid in? If I find the auction is over what I'm willing to pay at that point I don't bother to bid at all.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:00 PM   #15
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Because bots are driving the pricing - not people.

On the reverse side - there was a thread here previously in which a bot system drove up an out of print DTB to over $73k (I think that number is correct) in a bot vs bot pricing war.

And guess what? None of those bots were attached to companies/people who actually had the book for sale.

So, I can understand his frustration - how is a computer algorithm dictating my pricing structure?
The author has chosen not to sell direct to consumers. His customer is the distributor. He has chosen his pricing structure and Amazon is living up to it. By choosing to use a distributor, he is giving up control on price to the end user/customer.

However, if you think that the author should be allowed to use a distributor and choose the pricing to the end consumer, then you are supporting an agency pricing model.
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