Can Brickset adapt engines other than amazon for price comparing?

schwartzknapschwartzknap Member Posts: 5
edited December 2011 in Brickset.com
Hi all

I am relative new to this site, and thanks for this great site. When that is mentioned, I am really missing some data mining features. As this site only focus on amazon, it only gives a narrow perspective to the prices in other stores. You know, amazon isn't always the cheapest... :)

Therefore I suggest Brickset to look into fx, pricerunner for price comparing up front to amazon, or local 2nd hand sites like dba.dk or ebay. With the pricerunner example it is comparing local stores prices and gives a list of prices where you are able to sort them with or without shipping and some more.

If this is the wrong forum to ask please direct me to the persons/groups that is the right ones.

Thanks for making my lego even a better experience than before I found BS...

\dennis

Comments

  • MrBerreMrBerre Member Posts: 246
    @schwartzknap IMHO this belongs in http://www.bricksetforum.com/categories/bricksetcom .

    Don't forget that Brickset "earns" a bit of money if you buy at Amazon if you follow their links, which likely isn't the case for those other sites.

    Amazon also ships beyond the borders, I can buy sets on Amazon UK/FR/DE and they'll ship it to me for free as long as I spend >€25. Price comparison websites are usually country-specific.

    Second had sites are an even bigger can of worms. Each country usually has at least a couple of them, so which one would you pick? And you have to put all of that into the existing layout, plus make that country-specific. And maintain all that. Perhaps have "alert news items" for each of them?

    IMHO the only reason Huw & co would invest time into this would be if there were huge rewards from doing so -- and there aren't. The ROI simply isn't there; even all of the Amazon links only generate enough money to keep the site running (although I wouldn't be surprised if that's still a neat sum).

    In the end I doubt that people will find significantly better deals on a regular basis outside of the usual channels: Amazon for current sets, plus a couple of other retailers BS links to when you're a visitor from the US or UK (but I don't see those), and eBay for both current and past sets. When there's a bargain at a particular store beyond that, it's usually mentioned in the forum or it might even become a news item if it is warranted (TRU's sales, for instance).
  • aplbomr79aplbomr79 Member Posts: 159
    What other reputable site would you suggest?

    Other than [email protected], Amazon is a the best commercial site that offers dependable worldwide distribution for new sets...
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    IMHO this belongs in http://www.bricksetforum.com/categories/bricksetcom
    Moved.

    It's probably best to allow @Huw to answer this, although I agree with @MrBerre that although Brickset does have these links to help out it's users, it isn't cheap to run the site, so there needs to be something in it for Brickset.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,258
    edited December 2011
    Hi folks,
    Hi all

    I am relative new to this site, and thanks for this great site.
    Welcome !
    As this site only focus on amazon, it only gives a narrow perspective to the prices in other stores.
    Click on the 'buy' tab on any set page and it gives you the LEGO [email protected] prices across the globe, Amazon prices and prices for other retailers such as Argos. You'll also find an eBay tab on the set page which contains links to eBay where available, and a special section of the site lists all Argos discounts. And then there are the alerts on the Brickset front page and multiple discussion threads on the forums alerting Bricksetters to sales elsewhere. So hardly a focus on only Amazon, I'd suggest.

    As @Matthew says, Huw would need to comment on the potential addition of other retailers, but I'd tend to agree with the comments of @MrBerre regarding the sheer time and effort involved and the likely benefit that would result.



  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,440
    MrBerre has pretty well summed it up.

    I do plan to add other retailers but only when it's easy to do so (i.e they have a product feed) and it's likely to be worthwhile investing the time and effort (i.e. they run an affiliate scheme)
  • schwartzknapschwartzknap Member Posts: 5
    Hi all

    Firstly sry, for posting this in the wrong forum... I hope a Mod will move this thread to the correct forum.

    @MrBerre - Nice that we can contribute to BS by following links to amazon, but the prizes on amazon might not be the cheapest. Or, at least there might be some other shops that is significant cheaper and therefore I would chose those instead.
    Alternative if the BS site have to rely on donations, then let the founders make direct donations via fx. paypal available like other non-profit projects or open source projects do. It works for them usually if there is a huge community behind, and as far as I can see, there is a huge community behind BS as well.

    If you are seeing the tips BS get from amazon as the only way for BS to survive, try to look at it from the consumer side where we are. I don't know about you, but I'm always trying to buy a thing at the best/cheapest price possible. Therefore is it crucial to be able to compare the prices up against each other. If BS isn't going to do it, others are.... and then BS won't get the tips, if amazon isn't the cheapest.

    @aplbomr79 even if it is the best commercial site, there is some reason to buy it the cheapest place that is more locally.
  • MrBerreMrBerre Member Posts: 246
    @schwartzknap Sure, they might not be the cheapest always and every time, but every now and then they have great deals. But that isn't the only point: it's the combination of Amazon being a major retailer that will ship to a ton of places (in plenty of cases even for free), combined with the fact that it isn't too hard to program something that will crawl their LEGO offers for discounts, combined with the affiliate scheme. (Plus great/pretty decent customer service, which also helps.)

    Are there better deals at local stores/websites every now and then? I don't doubt it. But BrickSet is worldwide, so most of the times it makes no sense to display those deals to those users (I don't see the Argos deals that @drdavewatford talks about, for instance) -- and at that point you have to figure out what the ROI is for @Huw (who runs this website): is it worth his time to invest it into figuring out how to fetch relevant data from yet another store's product feed and integrate it into the website, especially when it is rather unsure that this store will regularly offer significant discounts.

    For instance: I'm pretty sure that right now there's one or two LEGO sets @ BartSmit.com that have a lower price than any Amazon store. But that information is only relevant to BE and NL users. So let's assume that BartSmit has an easy to use product feed, and has an affiliate program, and that @Huw can easily integrate this into BrickSet and display this info only to BE and NL users -- would it be worth his time and effort, considering that this information would only be useful to BS users a handful of times per year on a few sets (since most of the time BartSmit.com hasn't got offers that come anywhere near Amazon's)?

    RE Amazon funding the running of this website and donations: that's how @Huw et al run this place, and it seems to work. (In fact, how do you think those price comparison sites earn money? That's also thanks to referral commissions.)
    I don't know about you, but I'm always trying to buy a thing at the best/cheapest price possible. Therefore is it crucial to be able to compare the prices up against each other. If BS isn't going to do it, others are.... and then BS won't get the tips, if amazon isn't the cheapest.
    Then build it. Nobody's stopping you.

    My experience with price comparison sites that take into account a lot of stores is that most of the time they aren't that useful. When I see "Ah Blu-ray X is cheapest at etailer Y, but Amazon is only £0.25 more expensive," I'll go with Amazon. I just don't want to create yet another account at yet another etailer, just to find out that the fantastic price is offset by horrendous shipping costs, or that it takes them two weeks to ship anything, or that they use rubbish packaging.

    Amazon might not be the cheapest, but I like to think that the little extra I pay is a convenience cost: what I ordered will get to me fast, properly packaged, I'll even get a tracking number,... When I've ordered a couple of sets totaling €100+ I'm hesitant to send that business in the direction of another etailer that I don't really know, all to save a couple of €.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,258
    You've also got to consider the number of Brickset visitors who could potentially benefit from 'local' deals; if a couple of hundred unique visitors at most could benefit from deals available in and restricted to a certain country, would it be a better use of Huw's time to code the system to fetch and display those prices, or would the time be better spent implementing new Brickset features to benefit users everywhere ?
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