When bots go shopping

Habitual readers will know of my love and appreciation for xkcd, it inspires and awes those of us of lesser wit and intellect in equal measure. Now xkcd #576, entitled “Packages” has inspired a very practical application.


Programmer Paul Hunkin has created a Python script that searches $1 NZD items in the New Zealand auction site TradeMe. Paul explains how the bot works here. You can even follow the bot on Twitter.

I’ll leave potential legal questions about contract formation and the legality of bot trading for another time.

Comments 5

  1. An perfect blog and well worth reading. I have been reading your blog for a while now and have to say it is one of the best about. Every time I see a good blog post I usually do one of three things: 1. Forward it to all the relevant friends. b. Bookmark it in some of the best sharing sites. 3. Make sure I re-visit the site where I came accross the post. After reading this post I’m seriously thinking of doing all 3. Keep it coming !

  2. This reminds me of our holiday family gatherings. As a tradition, each member of the family would bring five $1 items (gift wrapped) and place them in a box near the Christmas tree. We would then gather around the table and take turns shaking dice. Each person that shook a pair could pick a gift. Once the all the gift were disbursed, a timer is set and now it is time to win the gift you really wanted….taking turns again rolling the dice for pairs, but now you win gifts from anyone around the table. When the timer goes off, everyone opens their gifts. This game is a lot of fun and most of the $1 gifts purchased were from dollar store or thrift stores. You never know what you will end up with. Great cartoon!! Thank you for sharing!

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