How The Bot Works

Bobcat In A Box is a surprise package service inspired by XKCD. We run a bot that crawls the web every day for low cost items with free shipping for our subscribers. The bot buys lots and lots of items… expect a little surprise at your doorstep nearly every day!

Quite a few subscribers have actually posted unboxing videos on YouTube, so you can see what the bot has been buying. Just click on ‘Watch These Videos’ in the menu at the top of this page. Some of the videos are pretty awesome.

What the bot buys depends on the parameters you give it.

You can give the bot positive and negative keywords – this is where the bot gets really interesting. Positive keywords describe the sort of items that you want it to buy. Negative keywords are items that you don’t want the bot to buy.

For example, you might set ‘apple’ as a positive keyword and ‘-fruit’ as a negative keyword if you only want apple computer gear.

Once you sign up, you will receive login details for a secure page where you can see what packages are on their way (although not what is in them!). Many of the items are shipped from overseas, so they take some time to arrive at your doorstep. Of course, since the bot buys somewhat randomly, some of the items will be useless – but some make nice everyday gifts – and some of them turn out to be quite useful.

One subscriber found his favorite tie through Bobcat In A Box, another got a laptop case, another got inspiration for a craft project. A world pride key ring. Fishnet gloves. Tweezers for rhinestones. A headscarf. Wayfarer glasses with clear lenses. A Magic: The gathering card. Lots of ribbon. A bottle opener that doubles as a ring. A first aid kit. They are not big, but you get one every couple days. Some of the packages are interesting, some make good gifts and some are mundane or boring. They tell stories and start conversations. The real joy is in not knowing what you will be getting.

Expect regular delivery of items that are strange, whimsical, random, occasionally useful, entertaining and interesting. We have found the bot’s packages a break in the day-to-day routine and so wanted to share it. This is an experiment in discovery and not for everyone.

This bot was inspired by XKCD, however it is in no way affiliated with the web comic or Randall Munroe. Please don’t sue me!