×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Amazon Automatic Pricing Lists Book At $23M

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the I'm-gonna-need-a-price-check-on-4 dept.

Bug 147

leek writes "An Amazon.com pricing algorithm which lets sellers set prices based on other sellers' prices led to a positive feedback loop, causing the biology text The Making of A Fly to reach $23M. Biologist Micheal Eisen writes: 'What's fascinating about all this is both the seemingly endless possibilities for both chaos and mischief. It seems impossible that we stumbled onto the only example of this kind of upward pricing spiral. And as soon as it was clear what was going on here, I and the people I talked to about this couldn't help but start thinking about ways to exploit our ability to predict how others would price their books down to the 5th significant digit -- especially when they were clearly not paying careful attention to what their algorithms were doing.' The price of the book was reset but is currently back up to $976.98."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

147 comments

Can we get this going the other way? (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942110)

Call me when I can buy a Nintendo 3DS for fifty cents.

Re:Can we get this going the other way? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942122)

That was yesterday, but since you didn't post your phone number you missed out. Better luck next time!

Re:Can we get this going the other way? (3, Funny)

JAZ (13084) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942880)

Ooh! count me in!

My number is (212) 867-5309

Re:Can we get this going the other way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942988)

Jenny!!! There you are!!!

Re:Can we get this going the other way? (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943164)

Dude, your voicemail is full. You should check your messages more often.

Re:Can we get this going the other way? (1)

Warlord88 (1065794) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944192)

If I were the algorithm writer, I would set a lower limit on the price, but no higher limit...

Price-Fixing with no collusion? (4, Interesting)

dmomo (256005) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942134)

Now that robots are setting prices, must they follow the same rules as people? I would think that, without any explicit agreement, using game theory type decision making alone, a pattern of "price fixing" could certainly emerge by virtue of different algorithms making their own optimizations.

Is this okay?

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942274)

I think in the current political environment (wholly owned by corporations), nobody in charge would have a problem with price-fixing to begin with, so good luck getting anyone to care.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942358)

So long as your price fixing loop doesn't cost an investment bank money. They're *entitled* to a profit, and if you harm that you need to be jailed and all the transactions you performed undone. I wish I had the link to that story still lying around.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942680)

No, it's ok if an investment bank loses money. The government will just bail them out so their investors don't lose anything and nobody has to cancel their house renovations or trips to tropical places.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942892)

Ah, but as the GP notes, it is far better to stick the cost on the supply chain rather than the government--after all, if the government bails the bank out, eventually the investment bank pays (through loans, etc.).

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35944802)

Which brings us back to the original post "the current political environment (wholly owned by corporations)". We need to stop voting in crooked politicians who are controlled by private corporations, and stop voting in those who wish to privatize everything (further empowering those corporations). Better yet, return the Mccain Fielgold bill which stopped companies from having the rights of citizens.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943092)

Many of the laws and regulations pertaining to the conduct of business were conceived prior to and thus without consideration of the advent of certain technologies. This notion of technology, even if it isn't apparent to our legal system, includes not only hardware and software, but business methods. These laws and regulations come about as a protection against certain behaviors we've deemed harmful to some facet of society. This cage meant to trap such behavior however is never perfect and being caged is contrary to human nature. By some mechanism of technology the caged behavior escapes through whatever breach it can find. By the time this occurs the political motivation to curtail the behavior has long since left.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943930)

Wholly owned by people, as are corporations. Dur. I know you populists can't resist your bugaboos but your lack of logical thinking is starting to get to me. Please, for the love of whatever you find holy, start deferring to people with triple digit IQs.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942350)

Of course it's okay, just don't expect me to buy anything if I don't think it's worth it!

Well, this story goes a small way towards explaining some of the ridiculous prices from some Amazon 3rd party sellers. I saw a textbook recently for hundreds of pounds and wondered wtf they were smoking when they set that price.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35944682)

The problem comes when you need something and all accessible sellers have set a ridiculous price on it - do you buy it, or do without?

Easy answer for a piece of entertainment or clothing. Gets harder for things like medicine and fuel.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942450)

"Now that robots are setting prices, must they follow the same rules as people?"

No, they can even open stores on holidays, when no salesperson is there, as we learned recently.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942482)

I would think that the sellers bear any responsibility for what their automated programs do.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942518)

Price-fixing is when the sellers agree together behind the scenes on a fixed price for an item and agree not to compete - these automated algorithms are most distinctly not doing that since they are not sticking to a price at all.

There's nothing wrong with changing your prices in response to your competitors - it's secret cartels holding prices artificially high that are a problem.

It's not price fixing without collusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942620)

Now that robots are setting prices, must they follow the same rules as people? I would think that, without any explicit agreement, using game theory type decision making alone, a pattern of "price fixing" could certainly emerge by virtue of different algorithms making their own optimizations.

Is this okay?

That's exactly what's supposed to happen in capitalism. Only, traditionally, with human merchants doing the "optimizing" instead of humans.

Price fixing requires collusion, otherwise it's not fixing. One merchant exactly matching another's price is not price fixing. Two merchants deciding to exactly match each others' prices is.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942734)

It's not fixing if each actor, basing his actions on his own motivations, performs actions that happen to be beneficial to other actors. I should think that the same rules should certainly still apply.

Ignoring the fact that the algorithm here is broken, why would it matter if it's an algorithm or a person who decides how their product should be priced? In both cases, inputs of other prices of similar goods are used to set the price for yours.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942972)

basing his actions on his own motivations

Moving the action to an external algorithm makes it no longer "their own" motivation. Setting aside million dollar books, here's some interesting thoughts:

What if everyone intentionally agreed to buy PriceSetter 2000, in order that whatever the price ended up being, everyone would calculate it the same way and would come to the same result? What if they just happened to buy the same pricing algorithm? What if there's only one algorithm for setting prices (either due to a patent on setting prices with an algorithm or just due to beating all the competitors with the "best" pricing algorithm)?

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942868)

Now that robots are setting prices, must they follow the same rules as people?

No. Here are the rules for robot pricers:

  • 1. A robot must maximize profits, and may not through inaction allow profits to not be less than maximized.
  • 2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943198)

I think you got the 2nd and 3rd laws the wrong way around.

Classically of course, you are right, but not from a commercial perspective.

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35944718)

So, just based on your first rule, your robots would be paralyzed by indecision:

1. A robot must maximize profits

BUT:

"profits to not be less than maximized" means that profits must be minimized because, if you wanted them maximized, it would read:

"profits to be less than maximized".

Re:Price-Fixing with no collusion? (1)

ne0n (884282) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944920)

"A robot must maximize profits, and may not through inaction allow profits to not be less than maximized" is self-contradictory.

I'd buy it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942156)

Just to hear the call I'd get from my credit card company.

obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942158)

of course it was a science textbook.

Nice try, Slashdot (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942184)

Way to embed your affiliate code in there. You're not making anything off my purchase of a $23M book.

Re:Nice try, Slashdot (2)

MMMDI (815272) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943168)

It sets a cookie on your computer, so even if you don't buy that book (and why wouldn't you?!), you'll send them a few nickels next week when you buy a DVD... unless you click someone else's referral link in the meantime.

What!? Not available for the Kindle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942196)

I'll wait until it's available for the Kindle so I can pay an additional 12% for the digital copy.

Textbooks are too expensive (5, Funny)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942212)

This is a textbook? So are we sure it was a mistake?

Re:Textbooks are too expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942320)

It does look like a textbook. And thus I'm sure it's probably not a mistake but rather a preview of future prices. It's just forecasting out a little bit too far.

Re:Textbooks are too expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942542)

This is for the hardcover. The content is separate.

Re:Textbooks are too expensive (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942646)

US$23M hmmm given an average US textbook price of say $100 now, how much hyper-inflation would result in this price in say 10 years?

Re:Textbooks are too expensive (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944244)

US$23M hmmm given an average US textbook price of say $100 now, how much hyper-inflation would result in this price in say 10 years?

I don't know; the finance textbook is $2 million.

Re:Textbooks are too expensive (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944346)

Well, using the continuous compound interest formula:
$23,000,000 = $100*e^(x*10)
230,000 = e^(10x)
ln(230,000) = 10x
ln(230,000) / 10 = x
1.2346 = x

x = 123.5% continuous inflation.

Re:Textbooks are too expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943754)

Maybe The Rent is Too Damn High needs to include this in its platform.

Seriously though, I'd believe the $900.

Re:Textbooks are too expensive (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944390)

Yes, it was a mistake. The book was only supposed to cost $23 _thousand_, not $23 _million_.

What really happened, I think, is that they mixed up the textbook cost with the tuition.

Did they design this system or just implement it? (1)

d6 (1944790) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942226)

Do you think they might want to flag a price for human review if it hits a certain threshold? or advances a certain percentage?

Goin out on a limb here, but I think 23 million is a bit pricey.

Re:Did they design this system or just implement i (2)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943134)

I've seen books on Amazon before that were in the thousands of dollars - books that you can find at any used bookstore for 50 cents, we're not talking ultra-rare stuff here. So this isn't a new bug and they're bound to have had complaints many times before. I think this is the first time they've let the loop get this far though.

Re:Did they design this system or just implement i (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943558)

But thw latest "Harry Potter and my Overflowing Bank Account" is worth it, isn't it?

Re:Did they design this system or just implement i (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944178)

Apparently to enough people that Amazon hasn't seen it as a bug. If people are willing to pay thousands for a pop paperback, it would be economic stupidity to fix the error. If the extreme prices had actually cost Amazon money (directly or indirectly), the bug would have been fixed long ago.An alternative explanation is that the bug has been random enough that fixing it would have merely added a few dollars chump-change to the sales - nowhere near enough to pay for the bugfix.

Hmmm. I'm definitely getting the impression, though, that it's more the former case than the latter.

Why pay $x when you can pay $x^x? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942242)

I've seen sites that answered their own question of, "Why pay $9.95? Our price: $8,478,902,736.92".

Of course, whenever it is in the customer's favor, it's always a pricing error.

Re:Why pay $x when you can pay $x^x? (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942676)

Either way it is a pricing error. It's just that in one direction, they will have more unit sales. The question is, do they lose more money by selling 0 units at the incorrectly priced $8.5b or when they sell 1000s of units at an undervalued price?

The system analyst doesn't own a credit card. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942250)

Obviously.

It happens (2)

Rysc (136391) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942290)

I added Around the World in 80 Days to my cart one day and forgot about it. Later in the week I went back and saw a notice that the price of an item in my cart had changed. When I looked I found that the movie had gone from a modest ~20USD to over 800USD. I let it sit there and a few days later it changed again, this time to ~18USD. I bought it immediately before it could get worse again.

Re:It happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942346)

That's why they are doing this! To make people buy the books after a price adjustment!

Next time they will adjust it down to a higher price then before to trick people into paying more then they originally grabbed the book at!

Re:It happens (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942514)

It's just like what department stores do. They raise their prices dramatically a day or 2 before a sale, that way they can drop them again and say 60% off when it's really only like 10-20% off if that.

Re:It happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942612)

Amateurs. Jewelry stores just leave their 50% off signs up all the time. They never actually sell at their supposed full price.

Re:It happens (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942660)

Soon you'll need HFT algorithms to get a decent price on a book. There could already be a few banks out there fast-trading book futures.

The time is right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942326)

I'm going to set up an options market for Amazon so that people can trade futures based on the expected price of a given book.

What the summary forgot to mention (3, Informative)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942336)

The summary apparently forgets to mention that the sellers in this case are not Amazon themselves, but third-party vendors using Amazon's used book sales thing.

Note: The article does make this distinction, so it's just a bad summary.

Re:What the summary forgot to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942608)

Colour me surprised.

Re:What the summary forgot to mention (1)

DiademBedfordshire (1662223) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943344)

Actually Amazon uses an automated script to change their prices to reflect changes in other sellers. They reset their own price and as you can see it is back up to over 900 dollars.

Re:What the summary forgot to mention (1)

daenris (892027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944202)

While I believe Amazon does use an automated price setting system, no copies of this particular book are being sold by Amazon directly, it's all third party sellers.

Unreal (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942338)

This is unreal. Even though two or more companies are in "competition", no one is going to pay that much for this book.

It seems like you could even exploit this.
  1. Offer not-so rare book.
  2. Watch prices go up.
  3. Have accomplice try to buy book for $23,000,000
  4. Raised the price of your book to several thousand.
  5. After they've paid for the book from you, have accomplice disappear.
  6. Profit

Re:Unreal (3, Funny)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942992)

So just to be sure I'm reading this right, your plan is to find an 'accomplice' to 'buy' a book from you for 23 million dollars and then have them 'disappear'?

Re:Unreal (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943560)

Almost.
  1. I offer a book almost nobody wants for a small amount.
  2. Two book sellers keep trying to upbid each other in the manner described in TFA
  3. My accomplice offers to buy the book from one of those sellers
  4. Before that seller can acquire the book from me, I raise the price
  5. The seller pays my price. (He may offer to buy it from the other seller, but that guy doesn't have the book either.
  6. Once one of them has paid my inflated price, my accomplice disappears
  7. Profit

*Note: All the above (:-) for the humor impaired.

Re:Unreal (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943922)

Better not do this in any context where sales tax could be involved, especially from tax-hungry states like New York!

Re:Unreal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943370)

no one is going to pay that much for this book.

You don't say.

Not so bad (1)

creativeHavoc (1052138) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942468)

The price isn't so bad when you consider you are able to sell it back to them after

Sell This Book Back for $2.34 Whether you buy it used on Amazon for $158.90 or somewhere else, you can sell it back to our Textbook Buyback Store at the current price of $2.34. Restrictions Apply

Oh... wait...

Re:Not so bad (1)

jonescb (1888008) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943780)

I wish the book store at my college paid those rates! They wouldn't even buy back the one book I tried selling to them.

not the only book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942598)

Yesterday I was looking at a book on spectrum analysis by Marple: it was (and still is as of 4-26-11) listed as 1 new for $99,999.99.

http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Spectral-Analysis-Applications-Processing/dp/0132141493/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1303830929&sr=8-1

I thought it was some kind of mistake!

Re:not the only book (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943016)

I'm going to buy all the used hardcovers for $40 and paperbacks for $200 and sell them all for $90k each! MUAHAHAHA >:-)

Almost bought a book for $500 on Amazon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942638)

Placed a large order for some used and new trashy SF paperbacks. Didn't pay much attention to the prices, they were all going for about $10 give or take. Noticed the total was awfull high so I went through the list and saw one of my $10 books was listed at $500. This was NOT a collector's item.

Buy Back (1)

jshackney (99735) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942772)

Anyone notice that the buyback price seems to imply that the book is utterly worthless? I've had better returns on college textbooks (at the campus bookstore) and at used book sellers around town.

Re:Buy Back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943020)

Used Price $158.90
Buyback Price $2.34
Price after Buyback $156.56

Speculation based pricing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35942802)

Does this mean whenever theres a conflict in some middle-east country or hurricane in the gulf the price of books will go up?

Feedback loop? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942816)

If you read the fine article, it seems that this price is based on an automatic price-fixing scheme. If they raise their prices, I can raise mine too etc. etc. until their books are astronomical in cost. In a good market, this would be the other way around where prices automatically go down until it gets to break-even prices as competitors race to get customers. But in a monopoly or duopoly market (as books, music, movies, cable, internet and other media often is) the prices go higher and higher in order to maximize profit for both competitors since neither is working to get a share in the market as they already have a share of the market that keeps them in business.

Re:Feedback loop? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942978)

Except it isn't just that hald, if's also "if my competitior lowers their prices, I need to lower mine".

When one half of the loop is setting there price to be *higher* than the competitor you have the potential for some strange feedback loops - it's a wierd pricing scheme (though it can make sense under a few models).

One vendor has the usual approach approach that economics expects: undercut my competitors price by a small amount.

But the other vendor has the strange: charge more than my competitor.

And since the charge more has a higher percentage difference than the charge less, the prices cycle up. if the charge less guy had a larger percentage difference then the prices would cycle down.

Re:Feedback loop? (1)

eyrieowl (881195) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944022)

which would also be a funny result...look at all these books that only cost 1 penny! The charge more competitor isn't really that strange...they're probably not maintaining any stock and need to go buy the book when ever they make a sale...so they have to charge more to provide room for buying the book elsewhere + some profit. Isn't going to get very many savvy shoppers who, say, price compare, but it could rope in some buyers who are in a hurry or aren't paying attention (of course, that's all assuming the prices stay at reasonable levels).

slashdot affiliate reference in URL... (1)

MichaelKristopeit409 (2018828) | more than 2 years ago | (#35942856)

real classy, rob malda... post stories about amazon and add your affiliate code to the URLs...

slashdot = stagnated.

Re:slashdot affiliate reference in URL... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943268)

Advertise on Slashdot to peddle your book for $23M. Marketing genius!

Buy 1 book... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943068)

... get the whole edition for free.

Not even remotely the only, or even the first (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943090)

From the summary:

It seems impossible that we stumbled onto the only example of this kind of upward pricing spiral.

While this is an extreme example, this kind of crap has been going on since (aided and abetted by Amazon and Alibris) the amateur commodity booksellers burst onto the web in the late 90's.
 
Scrapers and ratings manipulators like 'bordeebook' are one of the multiple ways that the 'net has made the professional used and rare bookman nearly extinct.

Bad headline/summary (1)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943252)

This was not Amazon's pricing algorithm. This was the individual pricing algorithms of third-party robots selling on Amazon's marketplace, working together in a delightful feedback loop.

Re:Bad headline/summary (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943804)

But in order for this to happen, each one has to have "price X% higher than seller Y's price, with no maximum" as its algorithm.

I'm not sure how that's supposed to be a profitable system.

Anyone looking on Amazon is going to buy from X because their price is lower. Raising your price above someone else's means you lose the sale.

So why are these people doing that to themselves?

Re:Bad headline/summary (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944734)

Faulty assumptions, I'd guess. Going from the premises that the market will regulate itself well and that some people will pay a slightly higher price it's a viable strategy to sell your book a bit higher than the market average. Of course this goes down the drain when unchecked robots follow this strategy in large enough numbers to distort the average price. In that case the first premise no longer holds and the model spirals out of control.

must of used the collage book store pricing code! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943256)

must of used the collage book store pricing code!

that right class the book is $1000 for this class.

Supply side only? (1)

cadience (770683) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943424)

It's not the listing price but the sale price that matters. Making decisions on the list price makes no sense. Of course it is a one-sided feedback loop. [insert analogy on cars or housing market here.]

Re:Supply side only? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943818)

If it's the sale price instead of the listing price, it would never get this far.

Or did someone pay $22 million elsewhere?

Personally, I wouldn't pay. (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943926)

I wouldn't pay more than a million for that book especially with that cheesy cover (worst photo-micrograph ever!). And before I forget, "I welcome our robotic price-fixing overlords..."

And in Canadian Dollars (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943952)

...the book will be priced more by 20 percent.

Even though the US and Canadian dollars achieved parity in December of last year and the US dollar is on the low end.

http://www.x-rates.com/d/CAD/USD/hist2011.html [x-rates.com]

Oh the days when I could go shopping in Canada when the Canadian dollar was 1/3 less (really, 33 percent - 400 bucks got me 600 CDN) than the US dollar.

--
BMO

No Free Shipping! What up with dat!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35944058)

Got no free shipping!
We got to pay!
Oooh weee... What up with dat! What up with dat!
Oooh weee... What up with dat! What up with dat!
Oooh weee... What up with dat! What up with dat! ...

Great book! (1)

base_chakra (230686) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944184)

How many slashdotters clicked the link not just to see a high selling price, but because the book actually sounds damned interesting?

How About Negative Feedback Loop? (1)

InvisibleSoul (882722) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944256)

Surely there must be examples of negative feedback loops as well then... where two sellers repeatedly set their prices lower than the other, causing an item to drop to a really low price. Someone go find those items! Group buy!

Fly Sex (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944322)

Did you ever stop for a moment and think that maybe people are willing to pay a huge amount of money for some info and pictures of hot, hot fly on fly action? Worth every penny.

robot pricing/selling meets robot buying (1)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944640)

Wonder how the buying robots (i.e. inventory replenishment, etc.) will react to the run-away pricing robots...in this fully automated loop!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...