During a breezy autumn two years ago, economics concentrator Jason Douglas, while studying at Harvard University, began developing a simple theory for finding great deals on eBay. Put simply, his results could be summarized as "a more powerful auction search engine", "response time is key", and "an informed buyer is a wiser buyer" (to read a longer explanation of what he found, click here). From these simple ideas, AuctionExchange was born. AuctionExchange was a great idea, but Mr. Douglas realized more was needed. The landscape of eBay was changing: overlooked items were harder to find, typos occurred less often, and eBay was being flooded by tons of new listings. Not all of these listings were necessarily good: a great number were scams, others were the on-line equivalent of infomercials or spam. Some were simply the result of an influx of Internet resellers, who realized that eBay had a far bigger audience then their on-line storefronts. In other words, eBay users were facing a new problem: information overload.

 
 

eBay wasn't the only part of the problem: the savvy on-line shopper these days knew that to get the best deals, you needed to comparison shop between more than just eBay sellers. Was it best to buy a used book from eBay? Or Half.com? Or was the cheapest book to be found on Amazon.com? What about a DVD player? Spring for an extra $10 and get a brand new one from Buy.com, or stick to eBay? Oh wait, I found just the one I want on Yahoo! Auctions... clearly, something needed to be done before on-line shoppers' heads spun right off.

So Mr. Douglas, always thinking of how to make eBay more usable and save the most money, went back to AuctionExchange, and began re-designing everything from scratch. The result? A new software program, he termed BuyBot. Because, like a robot, BuyBot could slice through all that information easily, and find the best buys. Processing thousands of listings proved to be no big problem for BuyBot, neither did crunching millions of numbers. In a sense, it was exactly what the modern on-line shopper needed: a simple way to access and organize the gobs of items for sale out there, and unify it all into one application. In fact, BuyBot is a constantly evolving product, changing to meet the changing face of e-commerce. BuyBot doesn't limit itself to just eBay, but can scour all sorts of different information from the Internet. If it's for sale, and it has a webpage, BuyBot can fetch it.

The ideas which gave birth to the original AuctionExchange program are still alive and well in BuyBot, but we've also realized that there's no one way to shop. BuyBot has unlimited databases, folders, searches, and rules so you can customize your data however you like. If you know how to program, or a friend does, you can even make your own plug-in's, to download data from your favorite websites. And hopefully when you're done, you'll share it with everyone else in the community, so they can enjoy the same benefits!

 
 

Software's goal in life is to make your job simpler, not more difficult. Many software companies forget this important rule, creating interfaces that actually decrease productivity. At Discrete Laboratories, we design all our software based on standard user-interface methodologies. And foremost in our design philosophy is simplicity. No useless features. No clutter. Just clean and simple design.

 
 

In order for an e-commerce solution to be effective, it must not have any downtime. In order to live with an eBay software solution, it has to be available 24/7. BuyBot was designed to be used in industrial settings, like data collection for academic purposes. This means the program needs to be able to run for weeks and collect millions of listings, without ever crashing. To date, BuyBot has succeeded in these respects. While any new product will have its bugs, and Windows can sometimes crash a program itself, we do our best to address any reports we receive of BuyBot crashing.

 
 

Unlike some software companies, which charge an annual license fee, or separate upgrade fees, we believe that your software purchase with us is an investment. You don't expect it to be out-of-date or obsolete in a couple months or even a year. Instead, you get free access to the latest version through our website.

Our customers who purchased the very first versions of BuyBot, back when it was named AuctionExchange, know what we mean. When AuctionExchange was redesigned and became an entirely new product, they still had access to the latest updates and the newest features, all for free. Future versions of BuyBot will also remain free for any customer who has purchased an older version.

 

 

 

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