Then check out, if you haven't seen it already, the description by Michael Eisen, a biologist at UC Berkeley, of his efforts to buy an old science book, about flies, from Amazon. Automatic pricing algorithms by used-book vendors there drove the asking price for The Making of a Fly to more than $23.6 million. Here, from Eisen, was the bidding early in the process, when the book was going for just over $2 million, plus $3.99 shipping:
For more on the general concept of out-of-control bots upsetting financial and social life, see Bill Davidow's recent book, with Katie Hafner, Overconnected. It's $18.45 on Amazon -- or a bargain at only $22 million direct from me.