Consumer Reports: The Bot That Stole Christmas - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Consumer Reports: The Bot That Stole Christmas

It's not illegal, but many feel that bot users should go on the naughty list

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Bot That Stole Christmas

    It's not just Black Friday parents that are snatching those hard to find Christmas presents up before you can find them, but hi-tech software. (Published Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017)

    Many parents know that feeling of dread when you can’t get your hands on the hot toy of the holiday season.

    What you might not realize is that it’s not just high demand that’s making these items scarce — it’s actually hi-tech, high-speed software robots that snatch up the sought after toys before you can get them in your cart. Once they buy up as many as they can, they turn around and sell them on the secondary market at a premium.

    Scalpers have used this technology for years to snatch up tickets to concerts or sporting events. The BOTS Act — or Better Online Ticket Sales Act of 2016 — tried to end that practice, but the law only applies to tickets, leaving scalpers to move on to things like toys or sneakers.

    It's not illegal, but many feel that bot users should go on the naughty list. 

    Drone Saves Two Swimmers Caught in Rip Current

    [NATL] Drone Saves Two Swimmers Caught in Rip Current

    In what local authorities are calling a "world first," a drone helped save two swimmers struggling to reach shore in Lennox Head, Australia on Jan. 18, 2018. Two teenagers were spotted struggling against rough waves when a drone was deployed to drop off a life raft.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018)

    So how do you get the must-have toy without getting played? Bree Fowler, of Consumer Reports, said you won’t beat the bots, so try to get ahead of the trend.

    When there are pre-orders for things like Nintendo systems, you can get online and try your best. It also pays to shop early. Get in before the hype. CR also recommends finding out what the actual retail price is so that you aren’t gouged by a reseller.

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