AuctionShoppingBot -- how it works
This robot is under construction!
1) for people who
- collect or trade rare/obscure items, and
- buy and/or sell at auctions on line
2) software that you install on your PC
- shopping bot
- artificial intelligence engine
3) a totally new concept
This is software for people who want the
rare stuff -- the stuff that might come up for sale only once
or twice a year.
Here's how it works:
The software sends a shopping bot out to look for the cool stuff. The
AuctionShoppingBot can search for
hundreds of items on each trip out. Each day (or as often as
you like), the shopping bot can tell you what has come up for sale.
- Install the software on your PC
- Type in the list of the items you want.
- Tell the bot when, where and how often to go looking.
- The AuctionShoppingBot uses our exclusive PowerGrab
technology to search the listings of on-line auctions (e.g., ebay and
others), and brings back prices, descriptions, and pictures. (PowerGrab is
a trademark of AuctionShoppingBot.)
- Put your feet up, and let the robot do the tedious, time
consuming work of finding the stuff you want.
- Check the robot daily (or how often, it's up to you) to find out
about the cool stuff up for sale now.
- Over time, refine your instructions to the robot. This will allow
the robot to get only the stuff you want and ignore the junk.
- When an interesting item comes up for sale, look up prior sales
of similar items and decide on the maximum you want to pay.
- If you are considering a sale, look up prior sales of similar
items and you can know what a reasonable reserve price would be.
While it is out, the bot first looks for new stuff up for sale.
Then for the auctions that are over, the shopping bot fetches the
final price and sale details.
The shopping bot keeps a database of the stuff it found. When one of
those rare items comes up, you can look at prior sales of similar items
(for as long as you have been collecting data). In real estate
terminology, this is called "pulling the comps" -- retrieving
information on sales of comparable items.
There are lots of on-line auction sites, but ebay is currently the most
popular. Right out of the box, the Auction Shopping Bot searches the
ebay listings. Adding other on-line auction sites is no problem -- just
a data entry function. Other popular on-line auction sites (Yahoo
auctions, amazon.com auctions, whatever) as well as obscure specialty
sites will be added based on user demand.
Organization concepts (must read if you are setting up the bot)
When you type in the list of the items you want, you can follow this
The auction shopping bot was first implemented for stuff that can be
organized this way. We imagine that this organization works from
most stuff. If this does not fit for the stuff you collect or
please write and tell us about what you are collecting or trading.
you can, suggest how it might be organized. Note: in the
above, "category or type" is not the same as "category" on
auction sites. You can tell the bot to look in certain on-line
categories, but you can define your own types or categories that apply
the model numbers or names that you put in.
- model number or name,
- brand or manufacturer, and
- category or type.
For the stuff we look for, our "types/categories" are more
specific than the on-line auction categories.
Your "types/categories" tell the bot what to look for.
You should also tell the bot where to look -- this can
include in on-line auction categories.
You can tell the bot to
If you have experience searching for and finding the stuff you want in
on-line auctions, it is easy: just tell the bot to search in exactly
the same way. If you are not experienced, we recommend that you first
figure out how to search manually. The bot can do what you tell
it to do. It is best if you know what to do before sending the
bot out to look for you.
- look for you stuff in certain on-line auction "categories",
- do searches as you would do manually.
Since you know the prices for prior sales, you can
- know when a real bargain comes up
- decide how much you want to bid this time
- know what is a realistic reserve price when you put something up
- become an expert in your field -- no time or effort is required! (Not!
Did you fall for that one?! You can become an expert because the
AuctionShoppingBot will put information
at your fingertips that other collectors will not have, but you
still have to get the information into your brain! The bot cannot
do that for you.)
This robot is under construction!
We expect to release the software to beta
testers in the fall of 2003 (this year). Contact us if you want
to be among the first! The hardware robot pictured above is also
under construction and needs a name -- send your suggestions. The
person who first suggests the name that we adopt for the hardware
robot will receive a free one year license for the software robot.
We want your feedback! Tell us how to improve our
site for you.
Hits since March 1st, 2003