Question About Messing Up The Bot’s Logic

I got a question by email yesterday from a subscriber who just got this product in the mail. 

Q: Is there any way to prevent ordering from a specific seller in the future, to exclude them, or to know who/where an item came from?  I received an item today I really would have loved but the bottle broke in shipping.  It was nail polish, so no chance to save it.  It was not packaged well for a glass bottle.

I understand if that’s beyond the bot’s code.  I still rated it as positive because I don’t want a negative rating to mess up the logic.
A: Good to hear from you! That does sound disappointing.

The best way to prevent the bot from ordering from a specific seller is to give the product a negative rating. It won’t mess up the logic. Negative feedback make the bot a lot less likely to re-buy a particular product. Right now the products aren’t categorized by specific sellers. But it is certainly possible for products to get blacklisted if they get negative feedback.

The product was sold by Chic Beauty, a store on AliExpress.com based in China. The item you got is this one.
This nail polish has been ordered by the bot 14 times so far, gotten 5 positive ratings and no negative ratings. The bot really likes products with 100% positive feedback. If you switch your rating the bot will not buy it nearly as much and hopefully there will be fewer broken bottles in the mail.

Question About Making Changes

I got a good and fairly specific question by email a few days ago that provides a bit of a glimpse into the bot’s inner workings with some colorful charts.

Q: I was just wondering when changes to budget and number of items go into effect. I’d assume that the budget changes when the next billing period hits. However I’d assume that keyword changes go into effect immediately (or daily), and I’m not sure when a change to the number of packages would happen (hopefully not until the budget change happens too). Just curious as to when all of these things happen.

A: All these changes get complicated surprisingly quickly.

Keyword changes get implemented once or twice per week, but obviously there is a delay caused by shipping. Packages you get today will probably be based on last month’s keywords.
On your account you can set how many packages you want the bot to buy for each address. Here you are actually setting the bot’s “package preference” for the address, which is a number from 1 to 10. That number tells the bot how long it should wait before ordering another package. The bot uses the below colorful eye charts to figure this out. For example, if you have the slider set dead in the middle and your budget is $30/month the bot will generate a new order every 2.2 days with a target budget of $2.16 per package. If an item is bought for less than the target budget, the bot rolls over the balance to the next package. The slider on the site will read 9-18 packages per month and the bot will aim for 13.9 packages per month. Changing the number of items increases or decreases the package preference, which in turn changes the time between new orders and target budget.
In generating packages the bot only looks at budget changes that have gone into effect. For example, if you set your budget to $0 for all addresses the bot will stop charging you but will keep generating packages until the funds run out.

Increases in your budget go into effect immediately, but you are only ever charged once per month. A pro-rated amount is added to the next billing cycle after you made the change. So if you signed up for $30/month and increased your budget to $40/month halfway through your first month the bot would tack on a $5 pro-rated charge to your next renewal.

Decreases in your total budget go into effect at the next renewal date. The idea here is that someone adding addresses or budget likely doesn’t want to wait to get packages. Usually decreases are cancellations, and in those cases the bot needs to spend the rest of the funds.

Item Of The Day: Cat In A Box

Who says the bot doesn’t send out cats in boxes! These stickers go out to anyone who selects keywords cute, animal, kawaii, Korea, 3d or sticky note. It is one of many cat-themed stationary products that I only recently discovered after the bot dug them up and started buying quite a few. As you can see from the below picture, the cat/box arrives flat and is quickly assembled into a little cat-shaped sticker dispenser!

First Bought
Feb 29, 2016

Keywords
cute
animal
kawaii
Korea
3d
sticky note