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Thread: Is it possible to make such a website?

  1. #1
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    Question Is it possible to make such a website?

    Hello. I want to create a price comparison website like pricerunner.co.uk and would like to know if all the functionality I want is possible. I want to compare prices of products listed on Amazon, eBay and some large retailers such as Argos in the U.K. So the for example, the user can search for a Samsung S7 and the prices of this phone will be shown from both Amazon and eBay listings allowing the user to compare between the two. However although I have permission from these retailers, I do not have access to their product database, would it be possible for this search engine to work without this accessibility?
    Also, I would like to add another component to the website and would like to know if this is viable. There are many coupon websites online such as vouchercodes . co . uk, which have coupons for product categories on Amazon and eBay such as coupons for cameras, TVs etc. The extra functionality I would like is for coupons from coupon websites to be matched with products they work for. So if there is a coupon such as "up to 50% or More off Gaming at Amazon", and the user searches for FIFA 17, the coupon will appear next to the Amazon listing of the product but obviously not next to the eBay listing unless a gaming coupon exists for eBay too. I do not have access to any coupon database. I hope you now see that essentially what I want is a search engine which finds a product listed on Amazon & eBay, and then checks if any coupons apply to the listed product on either platforms (by scanning through coupon websites somehow). These coupons are constantly changing therefore I cannot afford to create them via data entry but would rather they were "found" by the search engine. I hope everything makes sense, thank you.
    Last edited by Ronald Roe; Dec 23rd, 2016 at 08:52 AM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    The quick answer is that yes, it is possible. Unfortunately, getting something like this off the ground is going to require a sizable team of very experienced (and very expensive) developers to create.
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    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

  4. #3
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Ron gave you the short answer.

    The (slightly) longer answer: this is most commonly done via the usage of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). APIs are created by website developers to allow other sites to have access to various pieces of data, provided the other sites are programmed by developers that can get it. They most commonly send responses to API requests in XML format, although they can use JSON as well.

    The major issue with APIs is that their individual reliability and access to data can vary greatly. Some APIs are awesome (e.g. Google Maps APIs and most of their others that I've used). Some are incredibly flaky and/or have bizarre requirements for signup and usage (e.g. Amazon's APIs, Walmart's stuff). Most are somewhere in the middle. There's absolutely no way to assess in advance whether an API is helpful and reliable or not.

    You can also build web crawlers to be able to access the data you need from the various sites; the major issue there isn't always technical, but it's quite often legal. Some sites allow for crawling and reuse of the data contained; most do not. Every site is individual. So on top of at least one developer, you may need a lawyer...or at least a legally-minded developer. I've built these spiders several times in the past, and in most cases it takes me longer to get permission to use the spider on the destination site than it does to actually build it and extract the info.

    In other words, this is a nasty task. If you have a niche in mind, it might be worthwhile. If you just want a general-purpose coupon site, it probably isn't worthwhile given the retailmenots of the world.
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    Looking for some help. Trying to locate a forum to discuss a career change into web development. Looking for school advice. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by cjenkins812; Dec 23rd, 2016 at 02:12 PM.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjenkins812 View Post
    Looking for some help. Trying to locate a forum to discuss a career change into web development. Looking for school advice. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
    Start by not hijacking threads. Find the appropriate section and create a new thread.
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."


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