It’s hard to find good information about bots for several reasons:
1) Many BST groups do not allow any discussion of them (even though they are widely used)
2) Where discussion is allowed, such as in chat groups, most of the people do not know what they are talking about, even though they think they do
3) Newcomers are afraid to ask their BST friends out of fear because they don’t know how they will react
The result of all this is a lot of bad information being spread.
So here’s the nitty gritty truth from somebody in the business. First I’ll answer some frequently asked questions, and then I’ll address some common myths about bots.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a bot?
A bot is a “computer program” that helps you make a purchase faster than you would normally be able to, which increases your chances of getting an item with limited quantities.
Who uses bots?
Lots of people. Some of the most vocal “bot haters” who swear that they would NeVeR use a bot are actually using them. It’s just how it is.
Why would you use a bot?
The main reason why people use bots is to give themselves the best chance of being able to buy a limited item at retail value so that they do not have to pay inflated resale prices.
Common Myths About Bots
Myth #1: People who use bots just want to flip
False. I’m in a unique position because I know exactly who uses bots and exactly what they are buying, and I can tell you that the vast majority of bot users are true fans of these boutiques and just want the items for themselves.
When they do flip, the logic behind it is generally “let me buy one and then flip one to pay for the purchase,” and not “this is my new side hustle.”
Myth #2: Bots hurt market value
The business model of most of the brands that we support is to keep supply lower (often far lower) than the demand. So, while most “normal” companies will increase supply as demand increases, BST brands intentionally keep the supply lower than the demand.
They sometimes don’t like to admit that it’s intentional, but it is.
In this business model what matters is not how the items are purchased or even how many are produced, it’s all about the amount of inventory relative to the amount of people trying to buy that inventory.
In other words, it’s essential that there are more people trying to buy these items than actual items available.
Whether bots are being used to make the purchases is irrelevant.
If you want to keep market value for your favorite brands strong, help them grow so that demand remains consistently high.
Myth #3: Bots are the enemy of boutiques
False. We drive thousands and thousands of dollars in revenue to their companies and give them thousands and thousands of dollars of free advertising.
I’ve spent the past 2+ years of my life chatting about their releases, educating customers on their brands and products (which especially helps out the little guys), and even doing their customer service.
Their success is my success, so I am far from the enemy.
Some people seem to imagine me as an 18-year old Russian hacker or something, but I’m actually I’m a 30-year-old BST mom who lives in Florida. SweetCarts was born from my love of these brands, not whatever other nefarious motivations that people imagine.
There’s no way I would stay up until the wee hours of the morning chatting with ya’ll about releases, or answering your questions at 6:00 AM on a Sunday if it were any other way.
In my opinion, the true enemy of boutiques are those that sell remakes, as their purpose is to drive business away from these brands and toward themselves. My purpose is to drive revenue toward these brands, and if I make a little on the top…well I’ve got to eat.
Myth 4: Bots are sketchy/unsafe
Our bots are all available on the Google Chrome Webstore. Every version that we upload has to be reviewed by a Google employee for your safety. We’re also PCI compliant—we do not store your credit card information in any way.
What you enter into the bot is encrypted, stays only on your computer, and is automatically deleted every 3 days for your security.
When you pay on our website, your card information goes directly to our payment processor and stays there. I couldn’t access your credit card information even if I tried.
This is not the case with all bots, so you are right to be wary, but we take extraordinary measures to make sure you’re safe.
That’s all I’ve got for now. If you have any more questions, just let us know