$1 bills priced at $2 w/free shipping.. the hook, the bills are listed by birthdates contained in the serial number. heh
We tried buying them a thousand at a time from banks. One time a manager came out to talk to us about it and asked what we wanted them for. We explained and his response was, "So we're going to get them all back."
"The immediate bank deposit of $1 coins ordered through this Program does not result in their introduction into circulation and, therefore, does not comply with the intended purpose of the program."
"There is a 4-box $1 coin limit for every 10-day period on any and all $1 coin orders. Beyond that your credit card will not be authorized. If you need quantities greater than this, please send an e-mail before placing your order to firstname.lastname@example.org explaining why your order should be exempted from the limit."
You should see dollar bills purchased for hundreds of dollars at least.
"The only way to win is not to play the game." </wargames>
The name is misleading, it actually works this way:
1) You buy "bids", the right to do a single bid
2) Every auction has a timer that ends the auction when reaches zero
3) Every bid placed on an item increases it's price by 1 cent and resets the timer
Products get auctioned for values below 20 bucks, which may seem like a great deal, but every cent costed one buck from the bidder.
Actually, "site:news.ycombinator.com swoopo" goes on for a while on Google, and that's just one such site...
Edit: Ah, and from http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=978097 we get http://www.pennyauctiontraffic.com/ . Yow.
The lazy part of me figure it is too much work.
Maybe then you start putting bizarre titles and explain what you're selling in a field his bot doesn't worry about.
And don't forget you can calculate how much money the bot has available from its Twitter feed, so you can price accordingly!
If only I could hover my mouse over items around my house to discover what they are worth on eBay!
1. The WoW auctionhouse has a finite set of goods that can be sold and the titles and identification of the goods are unambiguous.
2. The cost of failure is much much lower if something goes wrong with the tool.
It would be very interesting to see if you could get some heuristics that choose products that are at least moderately useful instead of screen protectors and (exploding) batteries for various mobile phones.
and, oh BTW, people are already doing this ;_;
1) If you make something like 3 intra-day trades (buy and sell on the same day) in some defined period (a week?) the SEC will classify you as a "pattern day trader". To be allowed to do that, you need an account with something like $25k USD min.
2) There are a few items that people often forget in simplified models that will completely eat any theoretical profits: brokerage fees, taxes, and currency-exchange effects (e.g. if you're a Canadian trading US stocks).
3) After all that, you're competing with the big guys who have a deep knowledge of how trading works, and fast access to more information than you do. It's an insider's game.
So, the process of buying or selling moves the price, which is another reason why trading with real money against competitors is different from training against historical data.
Any questions, or suggestions for smarter ways to select items to buy, feel free :)
Recursion, profit, AI - what's not to like? You can see its latest auction at http://atooltodeceiveandslaughter.com and more about the artwork at http://caleblarsen.com/projects/a-tool-to-deceive-and-slaugh...
He didn't actually make the $1-buying ebay bot from xkcd.
He made a completely different buying bot for some new zealand auction site: trademe.
Why does most blog software fail at simple tasks like delivering static content? Apart from comments and quick corrections, blog articles _are_ nothing more than static content. And I'd be happy to not see any comments due to high server load, as long as I can read the article.
It's one reason why letting someone manage all that for you makes sense. (Shameless plug) At Weebly we spent a lot of time making sure that our blogging engine is very optimized. We have free users -- they don't pay us any money, we don't place any ads on their site, and they even use their own domain -- hit the front page of Digg/Reddit/HN all the time, and we can easily handle it in stride.
And yeah, I'll be investigating why it's so slow tomorrow after the heat dies down. I think this is the first time that wordpress instance has served more than a few hits per day, so I'm kinda not surprised it's gone horribly wrong.
Mirror at http://bieh.net.nyud.net/2010/11/08/xkcd-576/
What I found was that the biggest savings list:
Needs to be quite intelligent to filter out a lot of product noise.
A lot of this is due to pricing manipulation whereby a price is low but the shipping is high. Also a lot of the products with the biggest savings aren't that useful :)
We've managed to improve the value of the list but are constantly tweaking it to get a good balance of savings and useful products listed.
Its especially important as we use a bot to auto-tweet the best saving of the day through twitter & facebook. Trying to get a bot to do this sometimes produces unintended (and often interesting) results.
My plan is to have it wake up every hour, check if it's won something in the last 24h, and if not then do a search for items to bid on that are closing in the next hour.
See #19 on the section list for a description:
(Not affiliated in any way.)
Didn't try very hard, but I was unable to determine whether the Android Market has an API for purchasing paid apps. In that case, the Android phone could be the bot! "Bzzzzztt. I bought this app for you. Hope you like it."
No, seriously, I like his crazy optimistic attitude. Probably get some fun stuff out of it. Non the less, there are really people selling this kind of enlightened service on eBay, not for $1 though.
Should be the best of both worlds.