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Panning for Gold! or how to manipulate Amazon's Gold Box picks.


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26 replies to this topic

#1 Afflicted

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 03:11 AM

Not sure who to give the credit for being the first to discover this would be but my first time seeing it was on slickdeals at this link :
http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=707149
so that's where I've give credit to. Now I've honestly not read the whole thread but from looking at the tips on the first few pages there are definately some quicker ways to go about this.

What you want to do is get the item you want discounted on the first page of the items that are recommended for you. To do this amazon checks the items you've bought from them in the past, items you've rated, and items in your wishlist.

First off you want to start with a clean slate. Now the fact that people have been ordering from amazon for years prolly means you've got a ton of recommendations.

So go to the recommendations link at the top of the page. Then click on see all recommendations. Then if you're like me you'll see a list of items that you may have been interested in 5 or so years ago.

Now going in and flagging these as not interested would take forever and like I said you want a clean slate. So we're gonna do it quick.

- click the "improve your recommendations" link near the top of the page
- flag everything as "don't use for recommendations"
- now search for the item that you want to purchase
- most items on amazon have a Frequently Bought Together section usually the item you want and 2 others.
- now go to the item pages of the other 2 items that amazon thinks are bought together and down near the bottom of their pages click that you own and rate them 5 stars.
- go back and check your recommendations (might take 10-15 mins to update) and the item you want should be near the top of the list.
- now you just have to wait... but it should be on your gold box quick picks within a week.

One other quick tip... like I said earlier you can add to your wishlist to get items recommended to you. The times I have tried this with everything else I've ever bought flagged as not used to recommendations and only the 2 related items on my wishlist, my quick picks were just random junk so it looks to me like wishlist items don't help in getting quick picks.

Anyway just thought it would be nice to have a post here about this.... and I'll try to update this as I play with it more.

#2 HaLLuZiNaTiOnZ

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 03:05 PM

Right now it's really flimsy though.

I looked, didn't buy or put on wishlist, at 1 single book (was bored, looked interesting) and now my Amazon quick picks are all book related except for 2.

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#3 Earmuffin585

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 11:58 PM

Nice ,try it out now!
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#4 DigitalEnforcer

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 02:42 AM

That's Awesome! I've gotta do that. So does the goldbox give you a better deal then?

#5 riseup21

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 04:51 PM

I cant get them to recommend me LittleBigPlanet to save my life. It's getting very frustrating.
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#6 seen

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 05:04 PM

The directions in the OP, are at least a couple years old and no longer work in my experience (it hasn't worked for me all this year). Also gold box discounts are normally 5% off.

#7 007

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 08:39 PM

I didn't want to start a new thread for it, so I'll ask here... I keep getting Xbox 360 Downloadable game codes in my Gold Box, but it doesn't let me add them to my cart (keeps saying my cart is empty). When I click on them and go to the product page, it's still the regular price. Any remedy for this? I mean, it's only like $.25 off, but still.

#8 henhowc

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 09:44 AM

Although this has worked for me in the past, I haven't been able to get this work lately. Anyone have any tips beyond the usual? I'm trying to get Halo ODST. Two weeks and nothing. My recommendation list has basically stopped updating...

#9 Ryuukishi

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 01:16 PM

I didn't want to start a new thread for it, so I'll ask here... I keep getting Xbox 360 Downloadable game codes in my Gold Box, but it doesn't let me add them to my cart (keeps saying my cart is empty). When I click on them and go to the product page, it's still the regular price. Any remedy for this? I mean, it's only like $.25 off, but still.

Email customer support and tell them. I've had this happen and they will just give you a refund for the amount of the Quick Picks discount that you couldn't apply.

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#10 slidecage

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 02:06 PM

Not sure who to give the credit for being the first to discover this would be but my first time seeing it was on slickdeals at this link :
http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=707149
so that's where I've give credit to. Now I've honestly not read the whole thread but from looking at the tips on the first few pages there are definately some quicker ways to go about this.

What you want to do is get the item you want discounted on the first page of the items that are recommended for you. To do this amazon checks the items you've bought from them in the past, items you've rated, and items in your wishlist.

First off you want to start with a clean slate. Now the fact that people have been ordering from amazon for years prolly means you've got a ton of recommendations.

So go to the recommendations link at the top of the page. Then click on see all recommendations. Then if you're like me you'll see a list of items that you may have been interested in 5 or so years ago.

Now going in and flagging these as not interested would take forever and like I said you want a clean slate. So we're gonna do it quick.

- click the "improve your recommendations" link near the top of the page
- flag everything as "don't use for recommendations"
- now search for the item that you want to purchase
- most items on amazon have a Frequently Bought Together section usually the item you want and 2 others.
- now go to the item pages of the other 2 items that amazon thinks are bought together and down near the bottom of their pages click that you own and rate them 5 stars.
- go back and check your recommendations (might take 10-15 mins to update) and the item you want should be near the top of the list.
- now you just have to wait... but it should be on your gold box quick picks within a week.

One other quick tip... like I said earlier you can add to your wishlist to get items recommended to you. The times I have tried this with everything else I've ever bought flagged as not used to recommendations and only the 2 related items on my wishlist, my quick picks were just random junk so it looks to me like wishlist items don't help in getting quick picks.

Anyway just thought it would be nice to have a post here about this.... and I'll try to update this as I play with it more.



did that weeks ago, one day game one day junk never the games i want though

even when i check the
recommened for you it shows all games but still get junk in my gold box : (
WOOOO I STINK

#11 gbpackers94

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 08:24 PM

How do you check your gold box?
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#12 Ryuukishi

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 01:03 AM

How do you check your gold box?

Click "Today's Deals" in the header then scroll down.

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#13 VipFREAK

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 01:07 AM

Do you have to go though each one that's tagged to delete? That will take forever in my case...

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#14 llNorcalSharkll

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 10:19 PM

I cleared all my history and I'm still getting nothing but junk, not even one video game shows up in my quick picks.

#15 suibhne

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 05:09 PM

Same here. My Recommendations have been pretty much perfect for weeks, but my Gold Box is absurd junk like outdoor grill covers, water filter parts, and live animal traps. On one day last week, Amazon even recommended both a Norelco men's shaver and a women's flat curling iron. GG.

Before I "optimized" my recommendations by narrowing my rated product history, my Gold Box deals were pretty close to my actual preferences - but they included only books and comics, never games. Now that my recommendations have been optimized to games only, all I ever get is housewares...even I have no housewares in any Amazon wishlist, have no housewares rated in my purchase history, and even turned off my browsing history so that it wouldn't affect my recommendations even if I do end up browsing non-game products.

From what I've seen, Amazon's system for Gold Box Quick Picks is about 99% useless. At the very least, it appears to have little or nothing to do with its Recommendations.

Otoh, I keep up some slight hope because a friend of mine got a few upcoming games in his Gold Box, including Uncharted 2 - and his Recommendations page looks pretty similar to mine, and he's been shopping at Amazon for non-game stuff for just as long as I have. Our customer records are similar, in other words, and this appears to have worked for him (at least somewhat - he's still getting a lot of random housewares) and not for me.

#16 henhowc

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 05:20 PM

From what I've seen, Amazon's system for Gold Box Quick Picks is about 99% useless. At the very least, it appears to have little or nothing to do with its Recommendations.


Maybe Amazon smartened up? Although there seem to be people in the ODST thread that have gotten it to work fairly recently. In my case, I just don't see any recommendations at all when I select Halo related items. Big brother is watching? heh

#17 luxarific

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 10:42 PM

I've been getting my wishlist games much more frequently now after I:

1.) removed all non-game items from my wishlist;
2.) went through the "see your recommendations" cycle several times (five or so) and rated all games of a similar type to my wishlist games as five stars;

and most importantly

3.) put all my wishlist games into my cart (not in the "saved" area); Note: I didn't remove them from my wishlist though.

After I did all the above, I now usually get a wishlist game in my goldbox at least 1-2 times a week. YMMV

#18 gbpackers94

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 10:56 PM

One day I got all video games in my goldbox but they weren't what I was looking for. I did get ODST in it though. (I don't have a Xbox)
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#19 Ryuukishi

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 03:49 PM

My Picks have been pretty off-the-wall for the past few days, just random stuff that has nothing to do with my Recommendations. That's happened before though, and then it's gotten back to normal. I think they just randomize it once in a while.

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#20 suibhne

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 06:02 PM

I think the wishlist items were key for me. Even tho I'd marked *everything* on my wishlists as "Do not use for recommendations", Amazon was still apparently using them for Gold Box Quick Picks. The Gold Box system may draw on the Recommendations system for data, in other words, but they're two totally separate systems and there seems to be no way to exclude any wishlist item from being considered for Gold Box picks.

Things make a little more sense now that I've axed all of my wishlists. (That includes the gaming wishlist; my Recommendations list is pretty much perfect right now, so I'm not sure whether I want to upset everything by experimenting with a wishlist again.) It's only been two days, but I've already gotten a few games including Halo ODST, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll eventually get upcoming games that I actually want. I'm looking at you, Uncharted 2 and CoD:MW2.

#21 Ryuukishi

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 02:42 PM

I think that adding something to your wishlist prevents it from showing up in the Quick Picks. I've seen exceptions though-- I think that after a certain amount of time, the wishlist entry "expires" wrt Recommendations, and the item becomes eligible to show up in your Quick Picks again. Another interesting wrinkle I've encountered is that if an item is ordered or shipped, it won't show up in the Quick Picks, but in between those two statuses, when it's "Shipping Soon," it is eligible to show up in Quick Picks! I was able to take advantage of this back when Amazon still had their post-order price guarantee.

I've sort of gotten to the point now where I've given up trying to cajole certain games into my Recommendations and then wait for them to show up in the Picks. It's just too inconsistent and too much of a hassle. If something good shows up, great, I'll take the discount, but I'm done waiting on Quick Picks to order something that I want.

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#22 icedrake523

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 04:25 AM

Probably a dumb question but I went through stuff and did "Don't use as recommendations" for a lot of non-gaming stuff. But I have a good amount of video in my purchase history. Should I leave those? The stuff I left unmarked is X-Men Origins Wolverine, Halo 3. Kirby Super Star Ultra, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Punch-Out, Wii Sports Resort, Batman Arkham Asylum, Resident Evil 5, and Elder Scrolls 4.

Also, can something I already bought appear in my Gold Box? I bought RE5 on Amazon for a friend. But I may want to get it myself. Will it ever appear in my Gold Box or not b/c I bought it? I don't really mind since it'd be $36 w/ ECA now.

#23 icedrake523

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 04:15 PM

New Super Mario Bros Wii and Super Mario Galaxy showed up in my Gold Box today but when I went to pre-order them, their price was what Amazon normally charges (46.99 and 49.99 respectively). No Gold Box promotion discount shows up during check out.

#24 VipFREAK

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 08:33 PM

I've done everything to make Halo ODST come up... can someone post a pic where it's suppose to show up?

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#25 lllGurulll

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 10:21 AM

OK, I've wiped everything out. What kind of things do I need to do to get God of War Collection or III, ODST, Uncharted or MW2 to pop up.
PSWii60 FTW!!!

#26 icedrake523

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 05:30 PM

Check those items' pages on Amazon. See the "Frequently Bought Together" part below. Go to those items and check "I own them" and rate them.

#27 VipFREAK

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 07:54 PM

Did that...

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