Automated Bots Buying Up Online Goods May Soon Be A Thing Of The Past — Here's How
Photo Credit: Hiraman

Automated Bots Buying Up Online Goods May Soon Be A Thing Of The Past — Here's How

The time has come to put an end to bots purchasing and reselling online goods at ridiculous amounts!

According to a press release, House and Senate Democrats have reintroduced the “Stopping Grinch Bots Act” to lay down the law when it comes to bots that capitalize off of purchasing goods on the internet. 

“The bicameral bill will crack down on cyber Grinches using ‘bot’ technology to quickly buy up whole inventories of popular holiday toys and resell them to parents at higher prices,” said the lawmakers in an official statement.

Stop Automated Bots

U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) are the lawmakers behind the push to stop those bots from buying up all of the goods.

If approved, the legislation would prevent the use of automated bots when it comes to purchasing retail goods that include video game consoles and graphics cards, from websites.

“The average holiday shopper is unable to compete with the light speed of the all-too-common Grinch bot and are then held at ransom by scalpers and third-party resellers when trying to buy holiday presents,” continued Schumer in the announcement. “After a particularly trying year, no parent or American should have to fork over hundreds—or even thousands—of dollars to buy Christmas and holiday gifts for their children and loved ones.”

Continuing The Fight

Although this legislation is a continuation of an earlier law that was passed in 2016, the goal is centered around all online retail sites.

The previous outlawed automated bots from finding a way around control measures to buy up ticket sales for public events that included music concerts and sporting events. It also made it illegal for scalpers to resell any tickets that were secured through bots.

With The Stopping Grinch Bots Act, the same principles apply to all online retail sites and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission would be in charge of enforcing the rules.

“Our Grinch Bots Act works to level the playing field and prevent scalpers from sucking hardworking parents dry this holiday season,” said Tonko. “I urge my colleagues to join me in passing this legislation immediately to stop these Grinch bots from stealing the holidays.”

While the latest attempt to pass the bill appears to have been stalled in Congressional committees, many believe that ongoing supply chain issues in the U.S. may leverage more support for the bill (only time will tell!).