AuctionShoppingBot -- how it worksRobot Under Construction

New Concept, New Product Construction Zone
This robot is under construction!

AuctionShoppingBot is

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
  • database
  • 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.

robot needs a name

Here's how it works:

  1. Install the software on your PC
  2. Type in the list of the items you want.
  3. Tell the bot when, where and how often to go looking.
  4. 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.)
  5. Put your feet up, and let the robot do the tedious, time consuming work of finding the stuff you want.
  6. Check the robot daily (or how often, it's up to you) to find out about the cool stuff up for sale now.
  7. Over time, refine your instructions to the robot. This will allow the robot to get only the stuff you want and ignore the junk.
  8. When an interesting item comes up for sale, look up prior sales of similar items and decide on the maximum you want to pay.
  9. If you are considering a sale, look up prior sales of similar items and you can know what a reasonable reserve price would be.
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.

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, 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 organization:  
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 trade, please write and tell us about what you are collecting or trading.  If you can, suggest how it might be organized.  Note: in the organization above, "category or type" is not the same as "category" on on-line auction sites.  You can tell the bot to look in certain on-line auction categories, but you can define your own types or categories that apply to the model numbers or names that you put in.  

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.

Since you know the prices for prior sales, you can

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.

Robot Under Construction

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