PS5, XBox Series...: these bots that kill the game

PS5, XBox Series…: these bots that kill the game

Stock shortages persist and purchasing a console or graphics card is often an obstacle course. But what is behind the bots that take over the inventory? Press Magazine.

Sony’s PlayStation 5, Microsoft’s Xbox Series, Nvidia’s graphics cards… how difficult it has been to get hold of these precious high-tech products in recent months. In a detailed investigation published on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, the edge became interested in the world of bots and flipping, which are seriously disrupting the market for these products that have become rare. Starting from the observation that certain coveted goods are always difficult to buy and often monopolized by a few bot-equipped buyers, the online magazine did the research to uncover behind the scenes of these game-killing tools.

The Covid, an accelerator

asked by the edge, Fuat, the creator of a bot called Dakoza, talks about his personal experience and explains the path that led him to embark on this type of business. Knowing the world of sneakers well, he once found himself queuing to purchase a pair of limited-edition sneakers (doomed to increase in value) for a friend who offered him a commission for the service rendered.

An anecdotal story that, together with the boredom created by the COVID-19 confinements, ended up pushing the creator to approach the world of bots. With a few simple lines of code, his first shopping bot was born and an opportunity took shape in his mind.

Resellers are not the real problem

To use a shopping bot, the reseller must pay a certain initial sum ($300 in the case of Dakoza) and then pay a monthly fee ($50/month). This turns the reseller into a mere intermediary in the market, the root of the problem comes from the service.

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Far from the image of the experienced and selfish computer scientist, many Dakoza clients use bots as a way to breathe and live a little better. Fuat said he receives several messages from people who have been able to finance their wedding, his extras or simply put together a beautiful wardrobe for an upcoming newborn thanks to his solution.

the edge The question of how this type of bot works was also raised. Obviously, the creators were careful not to go into detail, but one of them was kind enough to give a rough summary of the operation.

When you purchase a product through a website, your computer sends requests to the site’s servers. These requests are instructions on what the server should do and send back to you as information.

To save time, the bot sends requests directly, simulating the actions of a human while overcoming the specific latency of a browser display. Add to cart, validation, contact details, payment… everything is sent in one package to save a human buyer a few seconds and thus win the bet.

Scarcity, goodwill

You should know that today it is almost impossible to buy one of these bots directly. A potential customer must go through an endless queue before being able to purchase a license. While this might seem strange at first (selling the bots would automatically make a lot of profit in no time), it is a well thought out trading strategy.

A service like Dakoza is not just a code. The company voluntarily reduces its number of clients to offer a quality local service. Many human moderators are also involved in the process to notify the company’s customers of the ideal time to launch the bot.

If the distribution of this program were completely open, many people would pay several hundred dollars for a program that, in the end, would not have much more chance of making a purchase than a standard Internet user. Limiting access makes it possible to offer a sustainable service and perpetuate the company. It should be noted that other sectors are taking the same approach, such as Nielsen’s consumer panel, which offers very good rewards, but can take up to a year to enter.

Another element to take into account in the current situation is the production lines. Reselling bots have been around for a long time, but the health crisis has triggered (or precipitated) the component crash, resulting in a lack of supply compared to demand. This is what allows these types of shows to be so profitable right now and make a hundred dollars of profit on a machine like the PS5. But what would happen to all these bots if the supply suddenly became plentiful again?

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