Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Wantsfiles

Specify your wants in a machine readable Wantsfile stick it at your website's root and automatically match and purchase products
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Specify all that you want in a file at the price you want it at and have machines satisfy your bids. Sellers could do the same with sellfiles but from the other direction.

Either the seller contacts your server or you contact the seller via indexing, either way, the matching and exchange of money happens automatically.

Could advertise jobs this way too.

The wantsfile looks like this, a bit like Ansible:

---

- groceries:

- name: 4 pints semi skimmed milk

price: £1.50

- name: 100g milk chocolate bar

price: £1.50

delivery_maximum: £5

For the computer literate, we could have cloud computing that looks like this:

- static_web_hosting:

archive: dump.tgz

price: £3 flat

bandwidth: 12000rps

- database_hosting:

database_name: postgres

backups: 30 * * * *

backup_location: s3 bucket

price: £10 per month

chronological, Aug 24 2020

[link]






       Automatic matching of buyers and sellers works on stock exchanges, but that's because the things traded are clearly and rigorously specified, and the whole process is closely watched by regulators to make abuses more difficult.   

       Absent those conditions, people will game this. Consider, for example, the processes of delivery and payment. Will payment be in advance or in arrears? Either way, at least one party is taking a risk, and how will you manage that risk without a human in the loop to decide, for example, whether what was delivered really matches an acceptable definition of "milk"?
pertinax, Aug 25 2020
  

       Alright. Would this be compatible with e-mail?   

       For example, I put a wants.txt file on my domain, crawlers read it, and send advertisement offers based on the wants specified to my ads@root e-mail address. Then, I have my personal search engine that indexes those ads as opportunities, and I choose to approve what offers to approve. By approving, I update wants records, marking records as not needed for the time-frame or excluding them from wants file entirely.   

       A bit like subscriptions to offers of specific types? Advertisers will gladly use the knowledge on what your domain wants file, to spam more accurately.
Mindey, Aug 25 2020
  

       Product specification and many details can be got around by specifying brand names and a standard header with mutually agreeable generic terms. e.g.   

       Payment is immediate and to be cleared through credit card, customer retains option to chargeback.   

       Chargeback will be initiated unless: { Delivery of undamaged product within 2 days of payment. Product matches description in wantsfile. }   

       Merchant is not responsible for unsatisfactory products that match the description, where the delivered and undamaged specified brand name is found to be an inadequate product.
Voice, Aug 25 2020
  

       dontwants file
pashute, Aug 26 2020
  

       A dontwant is just a want with negative weight, or amount?
Mindey, Aug 26 2020
  

       On Monday my site could be hosted by XYZ supplier and by tuesday it could be hosted by someone else.   

       My groceries could be delivered by one supplier one day and by another the next.
chronological, Aug 31 2020
  

       [pertinax] I think you're onto something here - there ought to be some clear standards covering common household items for trade - these might initially cover simple commodity items like bread, flour, sugar, beer etc - this has been attempted in the past, as far back as Medieval times (if not further) and whilst standardisation is the enemy of the marketing department, it does provide the consumer with a solid foundation. Producers of goods lose out because they're no longer able to entice their customers with snake-oil imbued products, or invent things that their products eschew (now with 99% fewer dangerones!) in the hope of achieving shelf-prominence - but in this post-shelf based consumerism we have today - this may be the end of a lot of that nonsense.   

       No frills consumables could well be the next big thing - profit margins would be cut to near nothing though - perhaps this could be an in for state-provided supply chains?
zen_tom, Aug 31 2020
  
      
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