#1357 ✓closed

Fantasy Feature Suggestion

Reported by BugMagnet | February 1st, 2011 @ 04:27 PM | in Features

when item update shows current bid is higher than the snipe amount, have option to notify user by email or text to alert them to the fact that they have been outbid and need to raise [or cancel] their snipe.

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • Morgan Schweers

    Morgan Schweers February 10th, 2011 @ 06:59 PM

    Notification by text message is kinda hard; there aren't very many
    SMS-Internet gateways that will operate for, essentially, free. The most
    popular, Clickatell costs about $0.06/message, other places charge
    $0.15/message! Heaven forfend if I wanted a Shortcode, so you could respond and update your snipe. Those cost $900/mo. plus a $1700 startup cost.

    Actually Twilio, whom I have an account with, appears to be the most
    reasonable at about $0.03/SMS. Still, it would require notifying my server,
    and having my server send out the SMS. (Otherwise I'd have to embed code
    and passwords to send SMS's in JBidwatcher, and that would lead to someone
    being able to use my number and password to send spam SMS's and use up all
    my 'credit'.)

    Still, that's something that I'd have to charge for; even at $0.03/SMS, with
    10,000 users, that can become a lot of money. Sorry.

    Email is easier, although it runs into the potential of being marked as
    spam, and causing me problems that way. (Sending email directly from the
    app usually requires a bunch of configuration, which sucks as a user
    experience.) Again, there are services (costing a cheap $0.10/thousand
    emails) which would make that more palatable.

    -- Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!

  • BugMagnet

    BugMagnet February 10th, 2011 @ 10:23 PM

    My idea would be for jbidwatcher on the users system to do all the notifying.
    Someone in one of my classes wrote some utility to text him if anyone sent an email to his webpage contact address. I don't know how it works, but I would never suggest the notifications be sent out by any of your servers.

  • Morgan Schweers

    Morgan Schweers February 11th, 2011 @ 01:36 AM

    Sending an SMS when an email comes to his contact address is exactly sending an SMS from his own server.

    It's possible he's using Twilio's API; they're generous with the free credits. Also for a low volume tool like what you described, $0.03/SMS is probably not relevant if they get 1-2 a day.

    It's scale that makes this hard; 10000 users, let's say 10% use the feature, getting notified of 2-3 over-snipe notices a week... That becomes 8-12 thousand SMSes a month. There's no gateway out there who's going to allow that much traffic for free. At $0.03/SMS that's between $240 and $360 per month.

    It's not a matter of sending from my servers or not; it's a matter of the traffic to the SMS gateways. They (reasonably) want to get paid for the traffic. So to provide a feature like that, I'd need to charge some kind of subscription fee.

    It's not impossible and it's something I've been exploring but, unlike many other things online, when you deal with the telcos, it's just not free.

    -- Morgan

  • BugMagnet

    BugMagnet February 11th, 2011 @ 10:35 AM

    I guess I am not understanding. I don't see why any of your servers would be involved in the communication.

    As I am seeing it JBW on my computer gets an update, indicating my pre-set snipe amount has been overbid by someone else, so is indicating (#.##). This triggers jbw running on my system to initiate an alert/ to send from my computer the warning email and or text message.

    I don't see any need for your servers to do anything at all. What Am I missing?

  • Morgan Schweers

    Morgan Schweers February 11th, 2011 @ 11:42 AM

    I'll try to break it down; the part you're missing is the actual
    implementation of jbw running on my system to initiate an alert/ to send
    from my computer the warning email and or text message
    . There are NO free
    direct SMS gateways. If I put the code (essentially an account and
    password) to use one of the for-pay direct SMS gateways into the desktop
    JBidwatcher application, it opens it up to the ability for someone to
    extract that information and run up my bill. That's not acceptable to me.
    The only direct SMS solution is to have the desktop app notify MY servers, and have my servers (where the account and password information is
    securely stored) send the SMS out.

    Email is another issue; it's entirely possible to add email support, we have
    no disagreement there, but the user would generally have to know their SMTP
    server address and port.

    (With email support, it's also possible to add SMS support via an email-to-SMS gateway, that still requires email setup and then configuration
    from a large list of email addresses to send to dependent on your carrier.
    Look at the length of this table: http://www.tech-faq.com/how-to-send-text-messages-free.html ; and if you
    change carriers Email->SMS support will quietly fail if using an email

    I hope this has helped you understand; direct SMS messaging is not something
    that the application can do itself, and SMS to Email gateways are
    non-trivial to establish. Setting it up so you can email yourself when the
    price goes up IS doable, however. And, if you're an advanced user, you
    could set up the email to go to your SMS gateway if you identify it from a
    list like the one above.

    Given the troubles folks email me about regularly with the simple
    JBidwatcher setup already, adding an SMTP configuration tab isn't something
    I look forward to, but it would work.

    -- Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!

  • Brandigan

    Brandigan February 12th, 2011 @ 08:14 AM

    SMSs might cost, but I have CCTV equipment that sends me emails when specific events occur. They cost nothing to send, it's all handled by my PC and they include a photo of the trigger event.

    I fill in the To/From details to effectively send emails from myself to a throwaway hotmail account that I pick up on my mobile phone.

    Can't you do something like that, considering so many people have email enabled phones?

    Only half a solution. People still need to go in and manually adjust/cancel the snipe, but a useful half... ;)

  • Brandigan

    Brandigan February 12th, 2011 @ 08:17 AM

    Oops, that's what you already said... tl;dr. :)

  • Morgan Schweers

    Morgan Schweers April 25th, 2011 @ 02:28 AM

    • Tag changed from fantasy feature request, outbid alert, email, sms to fantasy feature request, outbid alert, @feature, email, sms
    • Milestone set to Features
    • Milestone order changed from “248” to “0”


  • Morgan Schweers

    Morgan Schweers March 8th, 2017 @ 04:39 PM

    • State changed from “new” to “closed”
    • Tag changed from fantasy feature request, outbid alert, @feature, email, sms to fantasy feature request, outbid alert, @feature, email, old, sms

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