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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    October 26th, 2006
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    The Backend/programming of a Price Comparison engine
    Hey everyone,

    I have read through the forum for about a year now and there is one thing I am still not 100% sure on.

    I know almost everyone in this section of the forum know how to code/program; unfortunately I don't know how.

    I am in the process of starting a price comparison/marketplace site for a small selection of items. I will build the site in a modular fashion so I can add features on later without bugging the code up and as revenue hopefully grows.

    My main question is this..
    How exactly does a price comparison script work with API's, datafeeds, and a spider code? Do the API's keep a communication with the site so it is as updated as the acutal site? Those kind of questions.

    Like I said this is my first online business and I am planning on spending about $1,500 on the first modular of the site (price comparison and marketplace) if possible. I want to get my own script written for now, can I get a decent price engine for that much? Like I said it will mainly be dealing with one type of item right now.

    I also was told that using a crawling type of tech with the engine is bad and only leads to trouble, is this true? or is there a way to use both the crawler and other methods to benefit the overall comparison.

    Lastly, is there anyone that can build what I want for $1500 or less? and what exactly would it include? I would want something nicer than the kaonsoftware or pricetapestry. I think I would want PHP/Mysql for the coding, this would probably be the most compatible with browsers and users settings, right?

  2. #2
    Newbie
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    November 27th, 2007
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    Oklahoma City
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    I'm new to affiliate marketing as well and haven't written anything like that, but I think I can offer some insight anyhow. If I'm wrong on this hopefully someone will correct me.

    How exactly does a price comparison script work with API's, datafeeds, and a spider code? Do the API's keep a communication with the site so it is as updated as the acutal site? Those kind of questions.
    I would get a datafeed and import it into a database.

    I also was told that using a crawling type of tech with the engine is bad and only leads to trouble, is this true? or is there a way to use both the crawler and other methods to benefit the overall comparison.
    I might be wrong, but the potential to get inaccurate data is a lot higher then just using a datafeed provided by a merchant.

    As far as getting it done for $1500 I'm sure you can find someone that will be able to help you.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Price Comparison is quite a beast to tackle and you might have a hard time finding somebody to do it for as little as $1500. Using datafeeds as a foundation with some scraping to double check the feeds would be ideal, but that's a bit tricky.

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

  4. #4
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    January 27th, 2007
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    I'd suggest taking a little time and write a statement of work. List all of the features and functionality you want. Be as specific as you can. A generalized SOW is what usually causes conflicts with freelance programmers.

    Take a look at some of the freelance coder sites just to get a feel for it. You'll see quite a few people asking for what you are looking for. There will be postings for shopping,com and pricerunner clones, or kaonsoftware clones. Take a gander at some of the prices there.

    Keep in mind that if someone does write it for you, they'll probably use it themselves and become your competition. Some freelancers do one job, make modifications and resell the same stuff over and over again, hunting for similar jobs.

    Good luck with it. Let us know how the search goes.

  5. #5
    Newbie
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    October 26th, 2006
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    25
    Thanks for the quick replies,

    I do have about 3 pages of detailed features and planning I want from the price comparison script. I have also legally covered myself with what you mentioned mack; I am requiring a NDA as well as a non competing contract. Basically the source code of the script will give me 100% ownership;as well as they cannot compete with me.

    I know $1500 is not much right now, but I fiqure I could buy the kaonsoftware for about $500, so buy spending 3x's that should atleast give me something better for a foundation.

    I still am not sure the exact process of how the programming works. I know that data feeds are just imported into a websites server database; but what about API's, due they update as the affiliate site updates? What is the exact terminology used for components in a price comparison engine? Those are the things I need answered.

    If anyone has a good source of the building of a price comparison script or something besides the usual Google results I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    November 9th, 2005
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    As Snib said, true fully automated Price Comparison is a very large undertaking. Anything you have written for 1,500 is going to be crap. You might try a shopping.com Javascript widget for ppc

    https://partners.shopping.com/ShopWidgetsProgram.html

    or maybe an eBay editor kit widget:

    http://affiliates.ebay.com/ns/EditorKit.htm

    I've been amused by others on this board claiming they were going to write a comparison script. In my opinion a comparison engine is never a script.... Its a ton of code in language such as java or c# with a whole lot of SQL database logic.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  7. #7
    Newbie
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    October 26th, 2006
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    I understand that $1500 is not a lot; but the fact is that I don't have $50,000 + to put down, I'm only in college.

    I am not trying to compete with say shopping.com,pricgrabber.com or anything like that.

    I am only starting off with one type of item, and the total databases will not include 1,000's of types of different products. I know I could create a decent site using the kaonsoftware, activeprice, or price tapestry engines but I would rather have my own right now.

    I would want to due something similar to bigwords.com and campusbooks.com. What are all of ya'lls opinion on those sites and their complexity?

    Once again thanks for the replies, I am really learning a lot about the PC aspect of a site

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