Editor's Note: The U.S. Mint emailed the following statement to industry press July 15.
To address the extraordinarily high volume of automated web robot (BOT) traffic targeted at the Mint’s online sales site (www.catalog.usmint.gov) and to prevent the type of disruptions that Mint customers experienced during the initial pre-order window for the Morgan and Peace Dollars, the Mint has now identified and implemented a solution that we expect will mitigate most of the issues caused by BOT traffic.
To further enhance the customer experience, the Mint is introducing new Terms and Conditions for all bulk purchase program members. Continued membership in the bulk program will be conditional upon agreement to the new terms and conditions, which explicitly restrict, among other things, bulk members’ use of BOTS to purchase Mint inventory reserved for online ordering. The new terms provide that:
• circumvention of any applicable Mint product order limit is strictly prohibited.
• bulk purchase program members must not make any effort, either using technological solutions or otherwise, to circumvent the Mint’s product order limits.
• this prohibition includes orders placed via the Mint’s e-commerce platform, including pre-orders and enrollments; telephone orders; and transactions at Mint retail sites, including any temporary sales sites.
• examples of circumventing an order limit include, but are not limited to, using BOTS or other method(s) to place multiple orders cumulatively in excess of the product order limit.
• acting on behalf of a company, any subsidiary of a company or any related commercial entity, or the employees or agents of the company, a subsidiary, or any related commercial entity, for purposes of circumventing a product order limit is prohibited.
The Mint reserves the right to review all orders and to cancel orders that violate a product order limit. If a company violates this strict prohibition against circumvention of any Mint product order limit, the Mint reserves the right to suspend or terminate that company’s Authorized Bulk Purchase Program status. Further, if a company with Numismatic Bulk Purchaser Program status violates this strict prohibition against circumvention of any Mint product order limit, the Mint reserves the right to disregard the company’s annual purchase levels for the relevant two consecutive years for purposes of entry into the Authorized Bulk Purchase Program.