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Old 27th April 2011
J65nko J65nko is offline
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Default Amazon algorithms price bio book at over $23m

From http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04...ng_algorithms/

Quote:
An algorithmically induced pricing spiral drove up the price for a popular biology reference work on Amazon.com to an astronomical $23.7m.

Amazon allows third-party retailers to set their prices using algorithms that take into account what other booksellers are charging for the same title. In this case, the title was The Making of a Fly by Peter Lawrence, and the Amazonian booksellers whose pricing algorithms drove its price to ludicrous levels were bordeebook and profnath.
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Old 27th April 2011
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I think that's a bug
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Old 27th April 2011
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This is the important part and why it happened.
Quote:
"Once a day profnath set their price to be 0.9983 times bordeebook's price," Eisen writes. "The prices would remain close for several hours, until bordeebook 'noticed' profnath's change and elevated their price to 1.270589 times profnath's higher price."
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Old 27th April 2011
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Hmm, I guess automation has it's fawls :-).

Notice of course that it did not result in a price that's <= free || <= 1 cent!
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