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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Smile Price Comparison Tools
    Price comparison is pretty tricky as we all know, but I'm curious if anybody knows how Bizrate or PriceGrabber do it? I'm finding that it's difficult to impossible to do it in some markets, but others lend themselves pretty well. I'm building a comparison tool and have had some luck matching some merchants, but other merchants simply don't offer enough information to do it well. It's certainly a tricky business. Does anybody have any experience setting up an account with a comparison website? I'm just curious how they require you input your data.

    Thanks!
    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Getting the networks in bed with you as a Super Affiliate is the first requisite. Those guys all have a direct pipeline into the network product servers.
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  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I have access to plenty of datafeeds on plenty of FTP servers. The problem is that many merchants simply don't have the information necessary to make a proper comparison. They don't even have it on their own website yet alone in the datafeed. The only way I think to do it is to make a program that will attempt to identify matches based on category names and product names. Even then there needs to be some manual deicision making to determine if the assumed matches are in fact accurate. It's tricky.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Marketer Rogi's Avatar
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    What about using the product SKU or Manufacturer number or model number etc that are usually available on datafeeds, along with the product name, category, perhaps size of product, etc.

    It won't be 100% but you can get close..... or an alternative is to make a system that gets all products from the datafeed and for every 'identical product' or for every product that it thinks is the same as another (using above methods), it will prompt you (ie; a list of all items and their product names etc) where all you'll need to to is click on a checkbox button for each product to accept it as a 'identical product'. I hope I've made some sense.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Rogi,

    This is what I'm thinking. I can run a fulltext match on the product names and based on the revelvance score I get, I can automatically determine that the exact matches are solid, but the 80%+ matches will need to be listed in my administration area with the checkbox idea you suggested. I'm most likely going to take this route.

    I looked a little closely at Bizrate and PriceGrabber and they don't even do this. Unless they have a clear indiciation like the sku # match, they don't bother matching by product names. At least in the market I'm researching. If I do this well, it can put me a step ahead. I just hope it turns out well. I've already done an sku match and it works quite well, but too many datafeeds have random sku's that have no relation to other datafeeds.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I've already done an sku match and it works quite well, but too many datafeeds have random sku's that have no relation to other datafeeds.
    Not only that, sometimes the SKUs DO match other feeds. Problem is--the *products* don't! It's easy to have a SKU be, say, a book at one merchant--and the same SKU at another merchant being computer speakers.

    The UPC# of a product, unlike the SKU, should be the same no matter who's selling it. Unfortunately, I don't find that data in many feeds...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I know it can be a mess, but I'm working with a very particular niche so it hasn't come up yet. I'll be sure to keep my eyes open for mismatches. So far it's working well because the datafeeds I'm using are all related.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Marketer Rogi's Avatar
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    I'm working on the same sort of thing at the moment, for one of my sites
    and the SKU match + product mismatch that Leader mentioned is something i've had to work around as well. But by comparing brand names, sizes of item, material, etc, etc and using the checkbox idea i think it will eventually be a serious advantage if done right.

    Perhaps if i do it very well, I might make another site selling the script

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