Christmastime

What could be more festive than random packages algorithmically bought by a robot? For those of you wanting the bot to do your Christmas shopping, I have added an option at the bottom of the signup page where you can indicate that you are signing up for Christmas. Click here to sign up.

While packages will arrive after Christmas, you will get a snazzy certificate and illustrated explanation that you can put in your confused relatives’ stocking.

 

 

A new option this year… indicate whether your recipient should get coal (naughty) or if the bot should try to buy nicer presents (nice)!

Strong Guacamole

 

When you subscribe you can set keywords to tell the bot what sort of packages want. Since July the number of addresses with avocado selected as a positive keyword have tracked perfectly with those that want whisky. To be clear, we do not sell whisky or avocados as these are both expensive and tricky to ship. These keywords will get you accessories. Like whisky stones or an avocado slicer.

As you can see, there was a sudden selloff of whisky and avocado over the summer. Then demand for both grew slowly until a couple weeks ago when avocado and whisky keywords got deselected by dozens of subscribers, going down 33% and 59% respectively. Now the bot isn’t buying as many of those avocado slicers.

You might think, perhaps it is the same people who have both avocado and whisky selected. Perhaps they like some scotch with their guacamole. Nope! Look at the low flat black line. There have been just seven people asking for both whisky and avocados since August. All the change is in addresses which have just one or the other. Is this just noise? Probably. With thousands of keywords are there going to be some spurious correlations? I suppose so. Or perhaps both peak in the spring and fall for reasons that are hard to explain. We will have to wait to see what happens next.

Item Of The Day: Tiny Plastic Giraffe

I just came across this tiny giraffe posted by acmekat on Instagram, which apparently was labeled as fresh cut flowers!

The Chinese manufacturer must be using some reverse psychology on the customs folks. Fresh cut flowers are impossible to get through the border. A little plastic giraffe on the other hand would sail through. The only solution? Start labeling giraffes as flowers and flowers as giraffes. If anyone actually reads these descriptions they must get so confused.

Halloween Contest

Want to win $50 worth of surprise packages? There is a Halloween tagging contest going on now. Help the bot get better data so it can order more awesome packages. Nothing scary about that. Just head over to bobcatinabox.com/feedthebot to register and play. Get the most points by November 1st to win!

Top Keywords (October)

I’ve pulled together the top keywords that subscribers have selected over the past 30 days. Cats are even more popular! Star Wars has fallen far down from #2 last month to #26. Compare to the September list. Folks are also using more negative keywords to get the best packages, which is excellent.

The percentage is the fraction of all addresses that have that particular keyword selected. The P means it is a positive keyword (the bot buys it) the N means it is a negative keyword (the bot doesn’t buy it). This is a partial list – the top keywords – I didn’t include every keyword for privacy reasons… and because this is a pretty long list already.
 
Keywords with asterisks on them are discouraged by the bot, either because there aren’t many items for them or because the it arbitrarily prefers one pluralization over another (for example, the bot prefers earrings over earring*).

Pct +/- Keyword
15% P cat
13% P dinosaur
13% N MTG
12% N Yugioh
11% P dog
10% N jewelry
9% P cute
9% P science
9% P dragon
9% N beads
9% N postcard
8% P steampunk
8% P adult
8% N seeds
8% N baby
7% P jewelry
7% P art
7% P Pokemon
7% P Harry Potter
7% P astronomy
7% N bead
7% P music
7% P stickers
7% N earrings
6% P Star Wars
6% P anime
6% P sci-fi
6% P candy
6% N Pokemon
5% P Lego
5% P Star Trek
5% P geek
5% P space
5% P makeup
5% P book
5% P dice
5% P random
5% N makeup
5% P kitchen gadget
5% P camping
5% P tool
5% P weird
5% P animal
5% P science fiction
5% P video game
5% P kawaii
5% P seeds
5% P Japanese
5% P action figure
5% P Marvel
5% P crochet
5% P Halloween
5% P Map*
5% N Barbie
4% P crafts
4% P socks
4% P craft
4% P antique
4% P comic
4% P game
4% P Japan
4% P cooking
4% P glitter
4% P cactus
4% N cat
4% P ancient
4% P penguin
4% P electronic
4% P awesome
4% P yarn
4% P gadget
4% P fossil
4% P crystal
4% P clothing
4% N necklace
4% P alcohol
4% P Doctor Who
4% P card game
4% P rainbow
4% P unicorn
4% N nail art
4% P bath
3% P necklace
3% P DIY
3% P knitting
3% P Disney
3% P beauty
3% P stationery
3% P travel
3% P bed and bath
3% P animals
3% N bracelet
3% P puzzle
3% P accessories
3% P Alchemist
3% N anime
3% P audio
3% N stickers
3% N iphone
3% P gem
3% P beer
3% P cute cat
3% P gothic
3% P coloring
3% P coffee
3% P corgi
3% P bottle opener
3% P plants
3% P dogtoy
3% P wall art
2% N cards
2% P elephant
2% P fun
2% P vintage
2% P usb
2% P Batman
2% P scientific
2% P history
2% P food
2% P kitchen
2% P unique
2% P funny
2% N earring*
2% P postcard
2% P apple
2% P Nintendo
2% P books
2% N manga
2% P kitten
2% P sexy
2% N children
2% P notebook
2% N ribbon
2% N seed*
2% N beauty
2% N Minecraft
2% P origami
2% P knife
2% P nerd*
2% P board game
2% P ankh
2% P Game Of Thrones
2% P beautiful
2% P adventure
2% P succulent
2% P baking
2% P gadgets
2% P fashion
2% P cat toy
2% N dogtoy
2% N card game
2% P glow in the dark
2% N child*
2% P bonsai
2% P earrings
2% P hat
2% P scarf
2% P fairy garden
2% P camera
2% P sewing
2% P brewing
2% P antique pen
2% P medieval
2% P Christmas
2% P purple
2% P cats*
2% P toy
2% P sketchbook
2% P paint
2% P physics
2% N craft
2% P retro
2% P silver
2% P bass guitar
2% P fish
2% P knit
2% P pen
2% P Minecraft
2% N led
2% P unusual
2% P Canada
2% P flowers
2% P Victorian
2% N fashion
2% P manga
2% N pendant
2% N tattoo
2% N nazis*
2% P Tardis
2% P tattoo
2% P watch
2% P plush
2% P crystals
2% P horse
2% P emoji
2% P owl
2% P witch
2% P Alice In Wonderland
2% P whale
2% P whisky
2% P Mario
2% P chocolate
2% P kitchen tools
2% N MTG rare
2% N card
2% N circuit
2% N emoji
2% P pink
2% P avocado
2% P airplane
2% P architecture
2% P rabbit
2% N sticker*
2% P hair
2% P vinyl
2% N Game Of Thrones
2% P fox*
2% N Nintendo
2% P fantasy*
2% N nail stickers
2% N Lego
2% N component
2% P bacon*
2% P pikachu*
2% N dog
2% P Hufflepuff*
2% N spicy*
2% P Holographic*
2% P whimsical*
2% P miniatures
2% P cat toys
2% N pets
2% N MTG mythic
1% P bracelet
1% P bird
1% P cards
1% N ring
1% P led
1% P red
1% P Bluetooth
1% P magic trick
1% P survival
1% P pencil
1% P robot
1% P alien
1% P magnet
1% P One Piece
1% P space ship
1% P technology
1% P balloon
1% P lighter
1% P David Bowie
1% P kit
1% P festive
1% P useful
1% P strange
1% P wildlife
1% P circuit
1% P nail polish
1% P black
1% P guitar
1% P Thor
1% P pendant
1% P bronze
1% P glass
1% P coin
1% P cute pen
1% P bear
1% P toys
1% P ephemera
1% P games*
1% N electronic
1% P fancy
1% P guitar pick
1% P movie
1% P pets
1% P quirky
1% P fluffy
1% P gremlin
1% P shiny
1% N kawaii
1% N phone
1% N sports
1% P comedy
1% P engineering
1% P tea
1% P supernatural
1% N fruit
1% N car
1% P video games*
1% P amplifier
1% P stuffed animal
1% P school
1% P 3d
1% N girl
1% N nail polish
1% N scrapbook
1% N bookmark
1% N cable
1% P keychain
1% P caffeine*
1% P sparkle
1% P usb fun*
1% P octopus
1% P minifig
1% P iphone
1% P Baphomet
1% P cosplay
1% P Harajuku
1% P punk
1% P scrapbook
1% P bone
1% P skull
1% P jellyfish
1% P squid
1% P fuzzy
1% P bicycle
1% P stone
1% P card
1% P Zelda*
1% P wool
1% P pirate
1% P battery
1% P women
1% P bag
1% P necktie
1% P scale model
1% P bee
1% P mathalete
1% P film
1% P sword*
1% P cartoon
1% P duck*
1% P hair accessories
1% P metal
1% P sex*
1% P nail art
1% P brooch
1% N hair
1% P ballpoint pen
1% P gaming*
1% P horror
1% P cosmetics
1% P PC
1% P poster*
1% N angel
1% N Disney
1% P Chemistry *
1% P magic
1% P D+D*
1% N charm
1% N food
1% P figurine*
1% P DC
1% N tea
1% N American Girl
1% N guitar
1% N adult
1% P feathers
1% P herb*
1% P office
1% N rings
1% N postcards*
1% N decal
1% P beard*
1% N magic the gathering*
1% P Dr, Who*
1% N baking
1% P Magic the Gathering*
1% P home
1% P occult*
1% P jewellery*
1% P super hero*
1% P decal
1% P my little pony*
1% P gems
1% P flashlight
1% P weapon*
1% N gold
1% P module
1% P werewolf*
1% P decoration
1% P Pipe*
1% P math*
1% P exotic
1% P ninja*
1% P nail
1% N Doctor Who
1% N Baseball*
1% P Pagan*
1% P color
1% N ribbons
1% P Heavy metal*
1% P T-shirt*
1% P Gloves*
1% P rings
1% P embroidery
1% N game
1% N keyring
1% P Bath bomb*
1% P Cake*
1% N car sticker
1% N car decal
1% N pendant necklace
1% P Sock*
1% N choker
1% N bug*
1% P knitting needles*
1% N cat toys
1% N vinyl keychain*
1% P steam key*
1% N DC
1% N 18650 battery
1% N adapter

Monday Madness Unboxing 8

Watch the latest Monday Madness unboxing video for the Bobcat Milkshake. “Oh that’s burning, ice cream should never burn!” The surprise was a generous helping of chipotle hot sauce.

Negative Keywords

You might consider adding some negative keywords to your account. With the bot you can use either negative or positive keywords. Positive keywords are items that you want the bot to buy. Negative keywords are the sorts of products that you want the bot to avoid. Everyone has products that they want to avoid!

Make sure your negative keywords don’t have an asterisk after them. For example, add bead as a negative keyword not glass beads*. The keywords without asterisks are used more by the bot.

I took a look at the keywords selected by long-term subscribers who have been receiving packages for over a year. What jumped out was how a lot of them have added negative keywords in order to get the best packages. Here are some of the negative keywords you should take a look at…

MTG and Yugioh
These are two separate keywords, but the packages are nearly identical if you don’t play the respective card game. Of course some subscribers want to get their hands on these cards. However the bot buys from US based sources wherever it can and they are on amazon.com for under 20 cents with free shipping. Quite a few are tagged with ‘dinosaur’, ‘penguin’, ‘dragon’ and other such keywords. You might get more magic cards then you care for if you don’t add MTG and/or Yugioh as negative keywords.

Postcards
Are you only looking for three dimensional products that don’t feel like you could have printed them out yourself? About 5% of the bot’s orders are black and white postcards. The bot only re-orders designs that people like, so by definition someone is liking the bot’s postcards… but if getting any postcard will make you upset, add it as a negative keyword.

Seeds
Not everyone is a gardener and it is impossible to get good instructions for seeds ordered by the bot. Seeds are some of the lowest priced items your can find online. You also might not want to get yourself on any watch lists. Seeds are a negative keyword for all Australian and New Zealand addresses because of customs restrictions.

Jewelry
There is a lot of fairly inexpensive jewelry out there. Some folks are signed up for the jewelry. But if costume jewelry isn’t your thing you might add it as a negative keywords. This is especially true if you also have ‘steampunk’, ‘silver’, ‘gold’, ‘dragon’ or ‘dinosaur’ as positive keywords as lots of packages with those tags are jewelry.

Bead
Bead is perhaps the most polarizing keywords. Lots of subscribers want beads and lots are enraged by even the suggestion that they might want beads. If you don’t want to pay for lots of glass beads on the mail, put ‘bead’ as a negative keywords.

Item Of The Day: Japanese Brassica Seeds

The bot sent Sara in Ohio these seeds. After some digging I found this description…
 
“Special vegetable Brassica vegetables, also known as crystal, is early maturing varieties imported from Japan, including mineral -rich, low-sodium high- potassium new varieties, it has a unique aroma. Can be fried, salad, pickled, hot pot dishes is fine. Plant height of 40-50 cm , weight 1-2 kg per plant.”
 
I do wonder about the unique aroma. It might be a variety of Japanese mustard spinach. But I am not one for botany. I know some of the seeds ordered by the bot have been successfully planted with surprising results!