Amazon's $23 million book - algorithms gone wild

Amazon's $23 million book - algorithms gone wild

Summary: UC Berkeley evolutionary biologist Michael Eisen uncovered a robot price war between two Amazon booksellers that got out of control.

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  • An associate of UC Berkeley evolutionary biologist Michael Eisen wanted to buy an extra copy of The Making of a Fly by Peter Lawrence but found the price on Amazon.com a little steep, $1.7 million - plus shipping. Eisen tracked the price and discovered a robot-driven price war between two Amazon booksellers that actually raised the price until it passed $23 million. For more, read Larry Dignan's blog.

    Credit: it is NOT junk by Michael Eisen

  • Here's the peak selling price. Notice the deal on profnath. Eisen figured out that the two booksellers were automatically adjusting their price based on the other, i.e. one was 1.27059 times higher than the other's selling price. And computers did the rest.

    Credit: it is NOT junk by Michael Eisen

Topics: Emerging Tech, Amazon

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7 comments
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  • RE: Amazon's $23 million book - algorithms gone wild

    They fixed it.
    Now it is only $976 dollars..

    Price + Shipping
    bordeebook
    $976.98
    + $3.99 shipping
    natmax
    • RE: Amazon's $23 million book - algorithms gone wild

      @natmax Hey, don't forget Super Saver shipping!
      Blurgle
  • Loved those reviews...

    Imagine what could have been requested from the FedEx guy who delivers such delicacy.

    There's the legend that when the first Gutenberg Bible hit the states, <i>"...the officers at the Customs House were to remove their hats on seeing it: the privilege of viewing ...(it was) vouchsafed to few..."<sup>[<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/10183029@N00/3631902258">*</a>]<sup></i>
    cosuna
  • lol

    Rofl
    ZazieLavender
  • RE: Amazon's $23 million book - algorithms gone wild

    He could have bought it foe $35.54 useed.
    DadsPad
  • RE: Amazon's $23 million book - algorithms gone wild

    Imagine the demand that creates this kind of market-driven price war. I'll bet the oil and pharmaceutical companies are studying this VERY closely!
    guywayne
  • RE: Amazon's $23 million book - algorithms gone wild

    It's back up to $10,000 today!
    CasiBK