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Why can't we be scalpers for good?


dumpster
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16 minutes ago, Gabe said:

What is their incentive for putting such measures into place (which will take some level of cost and effort) , I guess is the answer.


I dunno - goodwill from your customers? Being able to sell them other stuff at the same time, like games and controllers and charging docks and the like?

 

I mean, Currys did that thing where they charged £2000 for a PS5 then sent you a discount code, so there must be some desire on the part of retailers to stop scalpers from buying up all their stock. 

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11 minutes ago, Gabe said:

@K If that factored into the decision then, to go back to your question, why don't they? The fact they haven't, anywhere (pretty much), must demonstrate they don't feel there is enough value in implementing something.


I assumed there’d be some technical or logistical reason why that wouldn’t be feasible. It seems odd to me that at least one retailer wouldn’t want to make their competitors look like twats, and scoop up some goodwill and publicity from cutting down on parasitic resellers - it’s not like it’s an obscure issue.

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Isn't the issue that to the retailer, these bot purchases just look like normal purchases? I don't really understand how they work, but I assumed it was just automating the payment process with details you've provided (name, address, card details). So it refreshes for stock constantly and then auto orders for you. I dunno though, that might be not what it's doing. 

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9 minutes ago, Hylian said:

Isn't the issue that to the retailer, these bot purchases just look like normal purchases? I don't really understand how they work, but I assumed it was just automating the payment process with details you've provided (name, address, card details). So it refreshes for stock constantly and then auto orders for you. I dunno though, that might be not what it's doing. 


Correct for the most part. If a bot is doing its job it should be undetectable, or at least very hard to detect and any measure you put in to do so will be ironed out so it isn’t any more. Things like captcha were created to try to stop them but circumvented so that bots can now solve them too. Imagine you spot that bots always press the add to cart and checkout buttons 10ms apart so you flag those orders for checking in some way. Well the bot makers will now just randomised that time between the events to hide again.

 

Limits like number per address or per card are (I’m sure) easily circumvented I imagine by anyone who really cares to do this. And end up just annoying the edge case real buyers who fall foul of the limits.

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2 minutes ago, Popo said:


That’s fascinating - how do they circumvent them? 

 

Nothing clever in terms of AI primarily because that's a loosing battle. Imagine each time the captcha style is updated the AI needs fixing too.

 

So... they send them to people to solve.

 

So your bot sends a picture of the captcha to their service which routes it to a human who solves it and then returns the result to caller (the bot) to apply to the page.

 

I've dabbled with this one before for a pet project:

https://2captcha.com

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12 hours ago, K said:


I dunno - goodwill from your customers? Being able to sell them other stuff at the same time, like games and controllers and charging docks and the like?

 

I mean, Currys did that thing where they charged £2000 for a PS5 then sent you a discount code, so there must be some desire on the part of retailers to stop scalpers from buying up all their stock. 

 

Generally the scalpers are happy to buy bundles, because it's all still profit.

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