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If you’re using or considering getting into the world of Bots for pleasure or profit then it’s essential that you find yourself a decent proxy provider. There are some pretty amazing Bots for lots of different markets – check out the range at one of the oldest provider TicketBots.net for example. You might be surprised to see so many specific Bots for individual sites, however this is becoming increasingly necessary. Every site has it’s own security procedures designed to block or slow Bots and individual customization is essential – so the days of generic multi bots are pretty much gone.
If you’re new to the world of bots here’s some very rough definitions, these used to be different Bots but now they’re more often components in the same software.
- Spinner/Drop Checker Bots – special Bots which are normally designed to monitor specific sites e.g Ticketmaster and notify you the specific moment that tickets are released. These release times are often not made public in advance and so you have to keep checking – very time consuming but perfect for a Bot. Lots of these also purchase tickets when they are released too.
- Search Bots – takes over from the Spinners, when the release is detected. These use the feature where tickets are placed on hold when people search for specific locations. The technique reduces the number of tickets on sale temporarily while other Bots take over.
- Purchasing Bots – designed to complete the purchase, sometimes called ATC (add to cart) Bots where you can input different (or variations) on purchase and delivery addresses. Often multiple tickets are grabbed and you select the most valuable ones or easiest to sell.
- Captcha Software – sometimes built in but often you are given the option to outsource to several online firms from within the software. The amount of captchas will increase/decrease depending on the trust of your account and connection. Most software also allow you to enter these manually too, although this can be difficult on popular releases.
As mentioned there is a lot of overlap in these functions and many Bots contain all the above components. This is especially common when you’re looking as a custom Bot for a specific platform.
Using the Best Proxies for Better Bots
All bots need proxies to some extent, some even have them built in as part of a subscription deal. You simply cannot but hundreds of duplicate items from most e-commerce sites without doing it through multiple connections. Purchases are normally restricted to very small numbers usually just a couple for very popular events.
Each connection attempt made by a Bot is analysed individually by the web platform. Part of that process is an analysis of the IP address of that connection to see if it’s likely to be a legitimate customer. Simple and basic proxies are very easy to detect and will be instantly recognised and block by most sophisticated platforms. What’s worse is that accounts and payment options used via these detected proxies are also likely to be flagged or blocked too.
For most sites, with certain exceptions in 2020 you’re going to need residential proxies. That is proxy servers which use a residential IP address for every outbound connection. In many cases these addresses need to be from specific locations too as advanced geo-detection techniques often check the location of the address too. For example you won’t get far buying tickets for a US concert on Ticketmaster using residential IP addresses registered in Moscow.
Most of the decent proxy providers will know what IP addresses you’ll need for each site so ask them. One smart move is to use short trials to do test runs, for example RotatingProxies.com offer a custom 48 hour trial. Just tell them what platform you’re targeting (StubHub, Ticketmaster etc) and then they’ll create a proxy trial based that site. If you time it right you can even use the trial to coincide with a release and test it properly.
The Proxy Extends Your Digital Identity
It’s easy to take proxies for granted, after all anything you can find online for free loses something of its value. However the quality of the proxy and it’s IP addresses are crucial to any sort of online activity. Each connection made through a proxy is essentially a separate identity and anything associated with that connection can be impacted. For example it’s easy to destroy years of work by managing precious Instagram accounts via blacklisted IP addresses.
Most free and open proxies have been used for criminal or fraudulent activities at some point. If you start using them, then this is the identity you’re assuming – a cyber criminal or spammer. If you combine them with automated software for any task then you’ll simply compound the problem.
It’s amazing how people will spend $2000 on a Bot to pick up concert tickets then try and save money by using cheap or free proxies. The people who succeed, the people who make thousands don’t do this and nor should you. They use better bots because of the IP addresses that are logged into them. Most proxy companies allow you to test their service or offer smaller plans. Even the gold plated service of Luminati now offers much more reasonable options than their previous $500 minimum monthly proxy plan.