You May Be Fighting a Scalper Bot

Trying to find the hottest items at Christmas is being made harder by “scalper bots.”

Haven’t heard of them? It’s software that allows a user to search thousands of websites in milliseconds, make a purchase and faster than you can blink an eye post the item for resale on another website like Ebay or Amazon Marketplace. Retailers hate them. So do shoppers.

But they aren’t illegal, and you can buy one…online, of course.

Scalper bots virtually attacked the instant Sony’s PlayStation 5 went on sale. Walmart reports there were 20 million hits from scalper bites at their online site within the first 30 minutes they went on sale. Humans don’t stand a chance.

Scalpers also use the bots to scarf up the newest sneaker Nike puts on sale, but in the age of Covid, they’re also targeting impossible to find items like Clorox Wipes and toilet paper.

Retailers are designing software to try and stop the march of the bots, with mixed results.

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