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  1. #1
    Price check utility for affiliate programs?
    Please forgive me if this is posted in the wrong forum.

    I know there are plenty of price-search engines, however most of them pay just pennies per click or take a big chunk of potential earnings.

    So, what I am interested in, is if there is a service/script for individual bloggers/webmasters, to get price-search results shown on their sites using their own affiliate links?

    So for example, I have affiliate accounts with affiliate programs X1, X2 and X3, and the article is talking about Product Z1. Is there anything that would easily let me create a script/widget that shows the latest prices of product Z1 from retailers X1, X2, X3 automatically?

    thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    You could use popshops although it would be a manual process to do integrate each product into each post and it wouldn't really be a price comparison per say... simply a shop with merchants that sell that particular product.
    Someday starts today
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  3. #3
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    There are some scripts to do this, such as Price Tapestry and Datafeed Studio, but I find them very limiting in their capabilities. As noted, PopShops does provide somewhat "related" functionality, but it's not a price-comparison engine and it isn't generic; you must manually define each group of products as a separate "shop," and new products aren't automatically added into the shop page.

    I'm not aware of an API that provides this functionality.

    One huge problem with price-comparison systems is that it is often very, very difficult to combine/collate/assemble "relevant" product information while also distinguishing/excluding non-relevant information. The goal is to produce "all relevant, but only relevant" results.

    It's not as simple as saying, "show the prices for all OneTouch SureStep blood glucose meters" -- each merchant may have a slightly different product title (one merchant may include OneTouch but not SureStep as part of the title; another merchant may include SureStep but not OneTouch; and merchants may include or exclude important keywords like "meter" or "test strips"). And you can't just do a raw search because there are many non-meter products that include some of those keywords in the title. This means that every single product may require a complex search query, which may need to be updated as more merchants' products are brought into the source database.

    While trying to refine a page of search results for the OneTouch SureStep meter, using ShareASale merchant datafeeds, I found matches from Action Auto Wreckers (whose garbage datafeed is now completely excluded from my efforts) , plus many matches for scanners and hard disks from various computer-product merchants. It took several minutes to create a properly refined search query to match "all relevant and only relevant" products, to insert the product data into a related content page.

    The problem is worse when your keywords bring up accessories: try presenting a price-comparison for a cell phone, and you'll inevitably end up including prices for cases and batteries for that model of phone.

    And yes, I'm chugging along with my very frustrating effort to create a meaningful datafeed-management system that will meet my needs; no, I'm not planning to share or sell it.
    Last edited by markwelch; April 6th, 2009 at 07:56 PM.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the replies. I'll check the systems you suggested.

    @MarkW, that is a great point on finding the right product match, all sorts of other things could get picked as well

    One option could be to manually enter the product code for each merchant, at least for the popular items, so you can get an exact match. I wouldn't mind doing that, since it will only be done once.

    But getting, updating and maintaining prices sounds like a painful project for the average affiliate. Not to mention that most of us may not have the technical know-how or time to get this done.

    Maybe there is a business opportunity for someone to offer this as a paid service for a reasonable fee (eg price based on volume on price checks) instead of taking a big percentage of the commission?

    Of the websites that do take a percentage of the commission, are there any that take a small percentage? I haven't looked into this extensively, but the ones I have seen are either CPC (which is not good for expensive products) or something around fifty-fifty split.

  5. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1001blogtips
    But getting, updating and maintaining prices sounds like a painful project for the average affiliate. Not to mention that most of us may not have the technical know-how or time to get this done.
    I'm one of the affiliates without "the technical know-how or time to get this [i.e. up-to-the minute price updates] done."
    One way to address this is to create a text link on your web page to the product on the merchant's site that has the information:
    Click here for the latest sales update
    Something like that.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  6. #6
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    This is why we need to push for UPC inclusion in datafeeds.

    It's also why we likely won't get it
    Kevin Webster
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  7. #7
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin
    This is why we need to push for UPC inclusion in datafeeds.
    Someday starts today
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  8. #8
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    Hey, bro, You can get this only by manually. Theres no such script available. You manually update all the data with all your programs.

  9. #9
    Thanks for all the comments!

    Yes for UPC in datafeeds!

    This sounds painful :-(

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