Whether you’re a consumer who is looking to get a better deal on a product or a corporation looking to gain an edge against your competition, price scraping is an essential tool for your financial wellness.
Price scraping is the process of automatically monitoring prices of particular items, and using them and other essential data for many different purposes.
Making your very own price scraper is not an easy task, though, and is going to require some expertise. Below, read more on price scraping, it’s implementation, and whether building your own tool is worth it.
While this might be a little overkill for consumers, the implications of price scraping for businesses are immense and indisputable. Through price scraping, companies can:
- Find essential information on products, trends, and pricing.
- Gain an edge over the competition through competitive pricing.
- Do a detailed product analysis.
- Collect critical data and information on businesses in the niche.
Making your own price scraper might seem like a challenging but manageable task. While this might be the case, the actual amount of effort, time, and money that it takes to set up your very own price scraper is considerable.
Coding and programming are both reasonably tricky, and price scrapers aren’t the most straightforward projects. If you’re not well-versed in the development of monitoring software, you’ll have to hire a developer.
Developers can be quite expensive, and they’re not the only cost associated with making your very own price scraper. Price scrapers themselves provide many benefits but can result in an ultimate loss if their funding gets out of hand.
If you’re scraping prices from a particular eCommerce website, you’ll have to invest a significant amount of time into refining that data. Sadly, for cooperative implementation, monitoring just one site isn’t going to cut it.
Even if you manage to design, implement, and use your price scraper entirely, you’ll still have to worry about data management, storage, refinement, and analysis. Setting up your own price scraper will be a significant initial investment, and will require a constant stream of maintenance.
Required skillsets to pull it off
If you’ve decided to go the full DIY route, you can completely cut the development costs from your equation. But, you’ll have to know how to create, code, maintain, and implement your price scraping software.
A price scraper bot can be created through coding and building it from scratch, thus linking it to your database and aiming it at the competition, or you can utilize the services of many platforms available for price scraper creation.
We’re not going to discuss any coding details, as they’re very available all across the internet. Data scraping itself isn’t the toughest thing to program itself, but you have to take into account all the other things that come with it.
If you’re well versed in coding, then publishing and maintaining a data scraping software won’t be an issue. And if you’re knowledgeable when it comes to collecting, refining, and analyzing raw data, you’ll have a relatively easy time making your own price scraper. However, you have to take into account all the related expenses.
Costs compared to getting a pre-built scraper
Creating your own price scraper doesn’t always have to be from scratch. Plenty of services offer semi-prebuilt price scrapers or completely pre-built tools ready for implementation. A lot of services also market themselves as “data collection” or “web scraping” software providers.
Most of these are price scrapers, which are named differently due to the illegality of price scrapers themselves. Purchasing a pre-built price scraper isn’t as expensive as making your own, and might be the better option for consumers and smaller companies.
In the cost department, it’s far cheaper to solicit the use of a “web/data scraping” solution rather than creating your own.
Even if utilizing the services of a web scraping solution for your price, scraper needs might be cheaper; it’s far less extensive and elaborate. Often when companies utilize price scrapers, they’re looking to monitor more than one eCommerce website, and that can get quite expensive when you’re using a pre-built web scraper solution, or even outright impossible.
The answer to the question of whether making your own price scraper is worth it is solely dependent on your personal or corporate needs. If you’re looking for a less sophisticated, simple scraping software, you’re much better off purchasing it. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more elaborate piece of software, making it yourself or hiring a developer to make it for you is the way to go.