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Auction robots

The biggest shopping assistants, which are equipped with functions comparable to that of negotiation, are the robots which are able to take part in auctions. Attending an auction by Internet is very simple but also very time-consuming. Imagine that you've chosen a trip to Hawaii, advertised at $30 on Hawaiian Air's website. Two hundred people want to buy this flight, but there are only 20 places available. To be among the 20 chosen, your final offer must be among the 20 highest. When bidding opens, you offer $60, to be well ahead. But you know that the other participants will re-bid, and to be certain of having your seat you have to reconnect regularly to the site the check where your offer stands. You obviously do this via your computer at work, as the auction takes place between 9am and 5pm, and you plan to reconnect seven or eight times to the site. This doesn't please your boss too much, who would already have made a few pointed remarks about your lack of productivity, if he wasn't himself competing for a plane ticket to Venice on another site. The worst moment of the day for your business is during the half-hour which precedes the auction's closure, between 4.30 and 5pm, as the bidding speeds up, and you have to stay permanently connected in order to stay among the 20 leaders. Help is at hand, in the form of a shopping assistant which represents you at auction. You tell it what you want to buy, the maximum price you want to pay, and how much to increase your bid (by $10, $20, $30 ...) is one of the biggest robots specialising in auctions sales. It belongs in the category of secondary service providers, since it can carry out a survey of auctions (primary service) on the web and present just those it chooses. It thus represents an additional intermediary which takes on a selective role in relation to the overall choice.

A few auction robots :

Table summarising intermediaries of electronic commerce


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If you enjoyed this site, we obviously share values: we have written it in 1999 !

We haven't updated it online as the vision still is more and more relevant: the more the internet matures, the closer it gets to our vision.

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