Over the past three days, I’ve received 6 envelopes of varying sizes. One on each of the first two days, and 4(!) today. Three of them are things I bought during the first three days of testing; I wanted to get all of those before I started posting actual items, but I certainly didn’t expect a flood of things all at once. I’ve laid everything out and took photos, and now I’m going to share them with you. Nobody else though! Keep it a secret.
So, I’ve decided to open with a picture of everything still in the envelope in a nice little pile:
If you look closely, you may think some of them were opened already. That’s just a trick of the light. You may also notice that I am very bad at taking photographs. It doesn’t get any better from here, and for that, I apologize.
Next up we have the very first item the bot bought. I ran it manually, but it picked this out and placed the bid and won without any input from me. It was packaged really nicely in a little box wrapped in ribbons:
That hair on the envelope is mine, it was placed there in case these images are stolen, so I can prove it with a DNA test. What was contained inside the box, I imagine I hear you ask?
It’s a handcrafted (I assume) skull ring! The auction title was “SALE Skull Rhinestone Coctail Ring”, and I have to be honest, I couldn’t be more pleased with the bot’s first ever purchase. The pictures in the auction itself didn’t do it justice, and I think it sets the tone for the whole crazy experiment. I’m pretty sure I’ll keep this thing forever. Cost: $1.00 even.
Moving forward, I needed to be sure the bot could correctly parse when it won/lost an auction, so I manually had it bid on something I was sure it would lose, and then I had it run all by itself again, and it chose to buy the auction titled “Magic The Gathering Cards Fear (4 cards) 7th Edition”. That is indeed just what I got:
This was before I added filtering on already purchased from categories, which is why we’ll see another CCG card down the line. Total cost for these: $1.00 again.
This was the last thing I bought in testing. I had set up an automatic timer to start running things and wanted to double check it all worked. The auction title was “US USB Cable Data Sync Charger Cord For iPhone 3G 3GS 4G 4S iPod Touch Nano Mini”:
Now all I need is for the bot to buy me an iPod and I’ll be set! Total cost: $0.99.
Moving forward, everything I post here is going to be things that were purchased with no input from me at all. This is when the bot was truly “live”.
The very first live purchase was “Energy – Pokemon – # 93/100 – Rare”. Another CCG card, luckily not another Magic card. The category was recorded and assuming it was correctly categorized by the seller, we won’t see any more CCG cards for a bit.
For some reason the card looks bent in this photo, but I assure you it isn’t. Perfect mint condition. My photographic skills are so bad, they warp time and space. Total cost: $0.30.
Next up, “New Cabinet Hardware Black Nickel Knob Oval”. It looks super black in the photo, but it’s actually a nicely reflective dark silver. If I had a cabinet that needed a knob, I’d totally use it.
I forgot to mention but pretty much every envelope includes an invoice along with the item. If you see a random bit of folded paper, it’s probably the invoice. Or a treasure map. Total cost: $0.99.
The next one actually included a bonus item! The auction was titled “+ 1876 Bavaria German States Embossed 20pf Shield Lion Crown Revenue Fiscal Bob”, but it also included… something else! If I was a stamp collector I’d probably know. It was pretty pleasing anyway.
The seller also included a nice handwritten note. It adds to the effect of getting something in the mail considerably. Total price: $0.99.
That’s everything that has come in so far. Moving forward I plan to post about things as soon as I get them, but I’m not sure if each item should get a separate post or not. Here’s a shot of all the “chaff”:
And since that would be a pretty boring picture to end on, here’s one last group shot:
Total cost for everything pictured: $5.27. Not bad at all! Well worth the price, I think.
I’ve had people (well, one person) ask me if knowing what I won defeats the whole point. I was on the fence about it until I actually started getting things. While I wish it was possible to just let the bot run and pay for things and handle everything itself, I don’t think that’s fully reasonable. Sellers are going to have questions, maybe eBay chokes one day, maybe PayPal another. Do I want an automatic bot to have my PayPal login info? Probably not. In spite of the fact that I “know” what I will be getting, there is still a good deal of pleasure to be had simple getting a package in the mail. They don’t come every day, as in the comic, and they never would come like that. Not getting something for a couple of days and then getting 4 all at once? That’s awesome. Actually opening these things, getting to poke at them, going “What the actual hell”, getting something extra, these are all really fun. I’m glad I decided to do this, and I really look forward to getting a lot more crap!