The bot has started to buy items from Etsy.com across a number of keywords, from cloth swatches to guitar picks to vintage buttons to wooden dice. These are all at the lowest price range Etsy offers, usually around $5 including shipping.
You are always in control of the keywords, how many packages the bot buys, and the total amount the bot spends every month. With those parameters set, the bot tries to find the best package mix possible. Sites like Etsy help the bot find items for new keywords like manatee. It has been pretty much impossible to find manatee items for $1 or less with free shipping. They are endangered after all. But add a couple dollars to the budget and there are manatees for sale everywhere.
How can I get the bot to buy me somewhat fancier packages from Etsy?
Simply login to your account and make sure that your budget is at least $4 per package. (Note: If you have your account set at $1 per package, that is great too! The bot is still buying tons of dollar packages)
How does the bot ever have the funds to buy these expensive products?
Subscribers can login and change the target number of packages that the bot orders per month. Some folks have the bot set at 2-4 packages per month and so the bot has a bit more walking around money to spend on each package. The bot also rolls over funds that are not spent from one order to another. For example, one order might have a budget of $3 but the bot might buy something that costs just $1.25 from a Chinese wholesaler like Aliexpress. The bot will now have a budget of $4.25 for the next order and might be able to afford something from Etsy.
How are you actually buying the packages?
First the bot matches each order with a corresponding product in the database. Then the orders are processed either automatically or in batches by hand. The Etsy check out process is a bit different for different sellers, so I haven’t fully automated the buying on Etsy. It should go without saying that this is not any kind of official partnership with Etsy and I doubt Etsy is aware that the bot is buying through their site. Hopefully some day we can get the bot plugged in directly to their system!