Hands-Free Shopping

If Adam Smith were alive today, he might rely on InvisibleHand for his online shopping. The service, a Firefox add-on, notifies users if a product is available for less elsewhere, eliminating the need for price-comparison websites. The invisible hand never worked so quickly. [%comments]

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  1. Caliphilosopher says:

    On what page of his book did Adam Smith actually use the phase “The Invisible Hand”? Can someone find that for me?

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  2. asmith says:

    @Caliphilosopher – just go to the etext version of “Wealth of Nations” and search for the word ‘invisible’:

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3300/3300-h/3300-h.htm

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  3. Grant says:

    If you search for Wealth of Nations in google books, click the first link, and then search within that you can find the first reference to an invisible hand on page 32.

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  4. DaveyNC says:

    It might be kind of hard to see. ;)

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  5. Caliphilosopher says:

    Thanks everyone! I appreciate it. :-)

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  6. Avi Rappoport says:

    It turns out that I shop on more than lowest price. I want confidence that the product description is accurate, that the product is well-made, comprehensible checkout, receipt and packing list, timely service, and someone to call if things go wrong.

    I’m willing to pay a bit more for items from a vendor with reliable service: I buy stuff from Lands End, Small Dog Electronics and REI for those reasons. It’s been cost-effective: I spend less time dealing with errors and their products last for decades.

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  7. Dave says:

    I believe that Smith mentions the invisible hand once in all of _Wealth of Nations_ and once in all of _Moral Sentiments_

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  8. Riz Din says:

    From James Buchan’s short (but what I found to be quite unreadable) biography of Smith:

    ‘The phrase ‘invisible hand’ occurs three times in the million words of Adam Smith’s that have come down to us, and on not one of those occasions does it have anything to do with free-market capitalism or awesome international transactions.’

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