Home Hack of the Day: Kiwi Uses API to Buy Random Stuff Everyday

Hack of the Day: Kiwi Uses API to Buy Random Stuff Everyday

Paul Hunkin is using the API of the New Zealand auction site TradeMe to realize an XKCD strip about a guy who uses a script to buy a random inexpensive from eBay everyday. In the original comic, the script buys one $1 item with free shipping each day. Hunkin’s bot gets a $1 a day and has a one in three chance of buying something each day, so that it has the chance to buy some slightly more expensive items. It also filters items by rarity to increase the odds of purchasing something obscure. Hunkins has a Twitter bot that chronicles the script’s bids and purchases.

XKCD: “Packages” by Randall Munroe

Recently, Hunkin has purchased via the script:

  • NZ International Stamp Expo FDC 1955
  • YUGIOH *SOVR-EN076 Gemini Booster
  • 5X Maxell SR626SW batteries
  • USB Extension Cable. Super handy

My favorite part is the “rarity” feature. To accomplish this, Hunkin takes his list of cheap items with free shipping and then feeds the titles back through the API and finds which item has the smallest number of results.

I would love to have something like this working for me.

Hat tip: Programmable web

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