My short bio: In 2008, I created http://camelcamelcamel.com/ -- an Amazon price tracker -- as a code experiment / demo, not intending for it to be a long term project nor really anything other than something interesting to work on. People started (and kept) using it, so I kept working on it, and now it is 9 years later. I currently have two incredibly smart and talented people working with me full-time on the project.

I received a lot of AMA requests in a thread in /r/Entrepreneur, so today is the day! To pre-answer the basic stuff... here's our Quantcast profile, for traffic related questions: https://www.quantcast.com/camelcamelcamel.com ; we had our millionth user registration in December 2016; and sorry but I won't be answering questions about our revenue or other incredibly confidential info.

I will be around for most of the day, but need to launch some things today so please forgive me if my responses aren't always immediate.

My Proof: https://twitter.com/camelcamelcamel/status/838814719670525958

Edit: After a verification snafu, we are back.

By the way, we've got a fledgling sub /r/camelcamelcamel/ if anyone would like to help make it goodly.

Comments: 1495 • Responses: 101  • Date: 

TheYear30301700 karma

Thank you so much for making this site. I always check product price history before big purchases to make sure I'm not buying at a high point. Do you have any plans to expand to checking prices on other websites?

L1quid762 karma

Thank you for using it!

We have no expansion plans at the moment. We used to have a handful of sites for other retailers, but they just didn't generate the same level of interest that Amazon did. Eventually we shut them down to let us focus on one site.

Expanding to other international Amazon sites might be in our future, however.

loginigol197 karma

Please start tracking Amazon Mexico ASAP

L1quid259 karma

Would love to but Amazon requires a domestic address to participate in the Associates program there.

driver_irql_not_less94 karma

Could a remailer get around this?

L1quid234 karma

Also requires a domestic corporation or citizenship, so probably not.

Con_quest982 karma

Is there a reason you haven't plugged your Browser Addon anywhere? I'm not sure if you get the same revenue stream from it compared to the site, but it's helped me.

For all those people saying the site looks cool but will forget it, just get the Addon (called Camelizer for Firefox and Chrome) and click it any time you're on a product page! Shows you the history and allows you to setup notifications at the same time.

Thanks for this great service /u/L1quid.

L1quid758 karma

I figured plugging our site was enough spam for one AMA!

Thanks for using it. Glad to hear the Camelizer is working for you.

coryrenton487 karma

What has amazon done to intentionally or unintentionally make it harder for you to run camelcamelcamel?

L1quid622 karma

The ongoing lack of shipping prices in their API data is a common complaint from our users, as is the current problem with scammer merchants. If those two things changed, we would be a lot happier, as it would mean happier, safer users.

MuchRedditLessTime148 karma

Not directly relevant, but have Amazon responded about scammer / hacked merchants at all? Seems to be, at least in the UK, hacked accounts with decent feedback.

A lot of them have the "before you buy please contact us via [email]" in the listings.

L1quid90 karma

I haven't read anything, but have been hoping for a big response.

goldandguns54 karma

This has to be the biggest drawback to using your service; I have to stop following most things eventually because I get so many phony alerts. Is it possible to exclude items with people who, say, use the word "email" in their seller name/note?

L1quid65 karma

I REALLY wish we received any merchant data from Amazon, but all we get is the merchant name. Sellers almost always put "email" and the like in their description.

traal25 karma

Besides the merchant name, you also know how approx. long ago they launched (by how long ago your camels first saw their name), approx. how many items they have for sale, and how their prices compare to other merchants. Comparing that information between fake and real sellers, it seems like it may be possible to guess, up to a certain confidence level, whether a merchant is a fake. Also, you could try frequency analysis on the seller's name to train your camels to spot scammers.

L1quid49 karma

We do use some of these metrics to detect scammers.

Azsu12 karma

As someone not really familiar with the "scammer merchant issue" can you go into detail? Do you have a write-up or description of the problem? Detection information metrics would be useful and what is the scam that is being done exactly?

L1quid15 karma

Merchants who sign up on Amazon, list a bunch of products for significant discounts, then try to take the transaction off Amazon so they can take your credit card number.

narugawa443 karma

Are worried that Amazon will suddenly block you one day?

L1quid923 karma

Sure, but that's typical of anyone who bases their business on someone else's platform.

ArmyTrainingSir131 karma

How have your interactions with Amazon been? I would think that they would prefer camelcamelcamel not exist?

L1quid348 karma

They allow us to be a member of their affiliate program, and we strictly abide by their rules. Beyond that, I couldn't really guess how they feel.

Deltadoc33332 karma

First i just want to say I absolutely love your site. Simple, spamless, and wildly efficient at what it does. From my perspective, I think it would only hurt Amazon to block you. I have purchased MANY more large items on Amazon since I have started using your site to ensure I get good deals. Heck, I have 8 or 9 things that I am tracking and will buy immediately once they are reasonably priced. I have already used your site to buy things like super quality chef knives and an awesome Dremel. I would have never purchased them online without your site.

Keep up the good work. It would be interesting if in the future your site could also expand to some of the other major online merchants to price compare and track. For example, it would be great to know that on walmart or home depot's site my product was not currently priced cheaper.

L1quid15 karma

I'm glad it is so useful to you!

shogekix264 karma

Hi,

Sometimes I get notifications that an expensive item has dropped substantially (ex: a $1200 laptop discounted to $500), when I go and check the price on Amazon the deal is gone.

Is this a strategy that resellers or Amazon use to get customers in? I figured you would know about the inner workings of the site and how it affect the data quality of your software.

Thanks!

L1quid362 karma

Third party prices are really difficult, particularly for our users. Merchants often only have an inventory of ONE item, so if it is a great price and sells quickly, the listing disappears. That makes it difficult for even the most hard-working camels to monitor.

Combine that with unscrupulous merchants who post items and then get removed by Amazon, and you have a lot of offers that don't stick around for very long.

More often than not, the old adage holds: if it's too good to be true, it probably is. $700 off on a laptop? I'd be careful.

TaciturnTactician22 karma

I encountered some very strange third party sellers when using your site to track a smartphone for price drops last year. There were 2 or 3 accounts that appeared to be Chinese, and the only things they sold were high end electronics at huge discounts. The listings always disappeared quickly, and the accounts were many years old with just a couple 5-star reviews each, no activity since 2011 or 2012. It seemed too good to be true so I ignored them.

This AMA reminded me to check those accounts again. They are now filled with dozens of angry 1-star reviews from people who bought stuff over the holidays and never received their packages. Not sure if this was a very patient scammer who set up accounts in good standing years ago to rip people off way down the line, or if the accounts got hacked to take advantage of their good reviews.

L1quid21 karma

There has been a big problem with scammers lately. Hopefully Amazon wipes them all from their system soon.

aetarnis244 karma

So, what's the story behind the name camelcamelcamel?

Knineteen177 karma

So, you're the asshole who prevents me from buying stuff on Amazon because it was 30% less for 3 days last October...and just maaaaaaaaybe it will get down to that same price again?

L1quid116 karma

Stay hopeful!

Knineteen32 karma

HA! Tell that to my wife who's still waiting for that new TV!

L1quid63 karma

That's a category where waiting will only help your wallet.

Sumidiotdude155 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA! I'm a vinyl junkie and swear by camelcamelcamel for notifications. Just wondering why you use that ASCII "THANK YOU" message when clicking-through your links? Not complaining, I love it! Just curious.

L1quid189 karma

That page loads quickly and gets our message across, and those were the two goals.

I love vinyl, too! Got a bunch of The Verve's 180g re-releases as gifts recently.

Sumidiotdude39 karma

Hell yeah! Great taste! What was your album of the year for 2016?

L1quid87 karma

Deep Sea Diver - Secrets

beley114 karma

Been using camelcamelcamel for years, always check before making big purchases.

Any plans to offer an API?

How many hours a week do you work?

Are your two employees local or remote (and do you have an office or work from home)?

Thanks for doing an AMA!

L1quid141 karma

Thank you for your continued support.

No plans to offer an API.

It depends on the week. The first 5ish months of every year seem to be my "let's see if I can burn myself out" phase. So right now I put in probably 6-8 hours every day of the week. Then summer is sort of a lull where I'm visiting family and enjoying the outside world, and fall has us busy again while preparing for the holiday shopping season. So, the answer is "sometimes a lot, sometimes a little."

Two of us used to work and live together, with a third being remote. Now, two of us live in the same city and my former roommate is remote, but we all work from home.

John-AtWork24 karma

No plans to offer an API.

That's a shame, why not?

L1quid162 karma

Exporting data from Amazon's API is against their terms of service.

Iviscape107 karma

How do you profit from the site?

L1quid217 karma

Primarily affiliate marketing, but some ads too.

RokBo6772 karma

Pardon the intrusion but how well do you do? Is this a full time job that pays the bills for you three?

L1quid216 karma

It is a full time job for the three of us. And I am well, thank you for asking.

pumbump104 karma

First, Thanks for doing this.

My question: What happened to PriceZombie and why have you been allowed to keep CamelCamelCamel alive? I read a lot of your responses and it seems you've been in contact with Amazon about CamelCamelCamel, and they don't seem to mind. Was there a lesson learned that is pushing CamelCamelCamel in a different direction or plain luck? Been thinking about this for about a year now, glad I have the opportunity to ask.

EDIT Here's a link to the post about PriceZombie shutting down to save anyone some time.

L1quid200 karma

My theory -- and that's all it is, obviously, as a third party -- is that PZ broke one of the cardinal rules: do not compare Amazon's prices with other retailers. This has been a huge no-no since day one for us, so we have never done that, and PZ was doing comparison shopping with tons of retailers on one site. We strictly abide by all of Amazon's affiliate rules to avoid meeting a similar fate.

AeroElectro40 karma

So someone could, in theory, take CamelCamelCamel data somehow, and make their own site with CCC/Amazon data compared to other retailers? Would that break affiliate rules?

L1quid49 karma

Comparison shopping is against the rules, as far as I know.

deathstryk102 karma

Why'd you call it camelcamelcamel?

L1quid311 karma

I had a domain name with no site, and a site with no domain name.

And an extreme lack of foresight.

elieazar907109 karma

You mean foresite

L1quid254 karma

An upcamel for you.

SherSlick88 karma

(to the tune of The Dreidel Song)

Camel Camel Camel, I made you out of clay

Camel Camel Camel, what's the price today?

L1quid111 karma

Not going to lie, I have mentally sung this more than once before.

Isit198185 karma

I assumed it was because the chart showing the peaks and troughs of a product's price looked like the humps of a camel or three... Apparently not. Oops.

L1quid179 karma

That is a convenient and unexpected result of our charts, true.

AZImmortal20 karma

What made you decide to register that domain in the first place?

L1quid39 karma

The name popped into my head and I grabbed it.

SC80328 karma

Was "camelcamel" taken already?

L1quid39 karma

Looks like someone is currently squatting it.

Ilovemygf291 karma

What's up?

L1quid199 karma

Just had breakfast and petted my cats.

Mafiya_chlenom_K102 karma

I'm skeptical. Can we get some proof of said floofs?

swabfalling43 karma

No Ricky?

L1quid56 karma

We adopted them together. If only they had a third roommate at the ASPCA.

InnerQi87 karma

Thanks for creating this site, I've saved so much from using the price drop alerts.

How long does it take for the site to realize there's a price drop and send the notification out?

L1quid95 karma

We aim for about 4 price checks per day for any product with at least one price watch. Ideally, this would be much more frequent, but we monitor so many products that we can't do hourly checks...

call_me_butt_love74 karma

Does the frequency of price checks change as a function of how many watchers it has?

L1quid96 karma

It does.

Piklikl19 karma

What's preventing you from checking more often?

L1quid57 karma

Limits placed on the number of API requests we can make, limits on server resources (less so than API requests.)

memebuster75 karma

Sometimes I have old price checks running on CCC that are discontinued products, I no longer want, or already bought. You could send occasional email reminders and then an easy way to click them off, I would be happy to clear some out then your load would decrease.

L1quid82 karma

That's a good idea. We actually have a small-ish problem tracking products like that, as it does indeed take up our scarce resources.

gusmoreno1564 karma

What should I give my girlfriend for our one year anniversary?

L1quid212 karma

Have you considered a tasteful Camel figurine?

sonixinos62 karma

Is there an official app? If not is there one in development?

L1quid110 karma

No app. We plan on making our site more mobile-friendly this year, but don't have any plans to release a native app.

iNeedAnAnonUsername24 karma

Would you consider crowdfunding an app? I'm sure many would contribute.

L1quid136 karma

It's less about funding and more that Amazon keeps a tight rein on affiliates and mobile apps.

KosherNazi58 karma

I'd really like a feature that allows me to export my list of tracked products. I essentially use your site as my Amazon wishlist and track hundreds of products, and i'd be really bummed if it ever disappeared. I currently have no way to back it up.

Also, every once in a while a message pops up that asks me to reprice hundreds of price alerts at once, which is something i never, ever want to do. I set my alerts at certain prices for a reason and every time that alert pops up im worried that i'll misclick and ruin my entire alert list. Please kill that message -- or at least make it much clearer what the buttons do. Currently they're labeled something like "okay" and "dismiss" which isn't entirely intuitive given the wording of the message. A way to turn that message off entirely would be very welcome.

And because this subs idiotic automoderator will delete this if i don't stick a literal question in here somewhere: Why is the sky blue?

L1quid54 karma

How do you imagine this backup being presented? A CSV of ASINs and desired prices? XML?

I would be interested to see what your desired prices look like, as that message should only appear if the system thinks they are too low to ever generate an alert. Good feedback! I have passed it along to the camelino in charge.

solofatty0940 karma

In a nutshell, what is camelcamelcamel and why should I care? I seriously, until I saw this post, have never heard of it.

L1quid123 karma

camelcamelcamel is a website that helps people save money when shopping at Amazon. You can receive email alerts when prices drop to levels you're willing to pay, and view charts of historical prices to help you decide if the current price of a product is good or not.

If you shop at Amazon and like saving money, you might care. If you hate camels, you might not.

zoglog39 karma

I have only ever gotten a desired price alert like 1 out of 10 times... Am I just a cheap ass who puts the desired price too low ;)?

L1quid44 karma

Ever the optimist, zoglog.

blackburn00939 karma

Going to be honest I've never heard of this before, looks like something in that'll be added to my bookmarks but might be forgotten about (sorry OP), at what point did you realise that this was more than just a coding exercise?

L1quid42 karma

Maybe after 6-12 months after official launch? I was creating a lot of stuff at the time, so it was just another thing I was making. Eventually there was fairly consistent (if low) traffic, so we figured we should really push and see what it would turn into.

itwasquiteawhileago28 karma

How easy would it be for Amazon to block you from doing what you do? How easy would it be to tweak it so it works again? I'm actually somewhat surprised they haven't tried to thwart you. Usually big companies don't like when stuff like this happens (i.e., harvesting data in anyway). I use your service on and off, so I support it (much like I do Brickseek), but any time I feel like something is good for the consumer (and especially if someone like you is indirectly profiting from it), then people get all litigious.

Is this at all something you worry about?

L1quid110 karma

They are well aware of us, as we work "with" them through their affiliate program. They provide data via an API, rather than us "harvesting" it. So I think it's a pretty friendly relationship, such as it is.

Still waiting on that lunch invite with Jeff Bezos, though.

itwasquiteawhileago20 karma

I'm glad to hear it. Hopefully that won't change any as your popularity expands. Good luck!

L1quid19 karma

Thank you.

PowerOfTheirSource14 karma

Rather than blocking you, I feel the tactic would more likely be "embrace, extend (and hopefully not extinguish)". So on that note, how large of a private island are you holding out for? On a more serious note, do you think Amazon would ever be likely to make your service more "official" and what do you think that would look like?

L1quid22 karma

Could I have a camel ranch instead of a private island?

Hard to say what Amazon is thinking...

Try2Relax2 karma

Jeff likes the breakfast octopus.

L1quid5 karma

Too inky.

dukeofism27 karma

I ABSOLUTELY love you your site. Have you every considered developing an API (to automate accessing price histories)?

L1quid26 karma

THANKS! We have no plans to publish an API.

zoglog23 karma

I'm guessing this would be against the affiliate rules?

L1quid42 karma

Correct.

KamikazeRusher23 karma

Which is better:

Tabs?

Spaces?

L1quid82 karma

Better? Dunno. But I'm a 2-spaces guy.

And I put my braces on their OWN LINES.

PhtevenHawking19 karma

I've noticed that historical price tracking does not display special discounts such as black Friday, cyber Monday etc., and the alert is not triggered when discounts happen due to these amazon in house promotions.

Is this something they have coded intentionally so it is invisible to camel? Could you explain why this would be the case?

Thanks for the great site!

L1quid35 karma

I doubt Amazon considers us when making decisions. More likely is that they have separate systems for lightning deals / special prices and regular prices, and their affiliate API only ties into the latter.

Strel0ka18 karma

Thanks for the AMA!

At which point did you decide that it was worth it to invest in your little test project? And what were your steps to get to the success you have today?

I'm asking because while i often have some nice ideas, i never go through with it. I have no idea how it would be profitable in the end.

L1quid55 karma

When I started working on it, I had almost no expenses. I lived in a warehouse in Oakland and paid very little rent. I was just writing code because I loved it, and it was interesting; the projects I created were also useful to me, which I think is an important quality.

Make stuff you need, focus on solving a problem. If you have the luxury of doing so, ignore thinking about the money, as that often appears by itself if the project is useful to enough people. Just because you can't see the profitability now, doesn't mean it won't eventually be there, and you can turn away from a lot of potential projects if that is your main concern. That's an easy trap to fall in.

DerivativeOf018 karma

What is the purpose of blocking VPN users?

L1quid26 karma

Preventing abuse by users on their networks. We really dislike blocking VPNs but they are a source of constant problems for us.

ShatteredVisage7 karma

What kind of abuses, out of curiosity?

L1quid31 karma

Using all our bandwidth / resources to scrape our site, usually.

I-fart-on-tacos15 karma

Whats your most embarrassing "fart in public" story? Involving yourself or just something you witnessed.

L1quid36 karma

Anyone who runs on treadmills at the gym in public or misjudged their potency while in or near an elevator can probably imagine.

ExpatTeacher14 karma

What was the first item that you wanted notifications for?

L1quid48 karma

Product ID #1 in our database is The Beatles (The White Album).

The first item we ever sold was a book on creating diceless role playing games.

memebuster16 karma

Which item has the most concurrent trackers?

L1quid36 karma

Amazon Echo is in a close race with the Instant Pot pressure cooker.

ExpatTeacher2 karma

Could I make the assumption then that the White album was the reason you wanted this kind of service? The reason you started camel camel camel?

L1quid10 karma

That's probably a stretch. I started the site because it was an interesting project to code, primarily.

And I'm really more of a Help! guy, anyway.

looper3312 karma

Great product. Saved me tonnes of money. Thank you!!

How about scraping through a wishlist or shopping cart for items, and automatically creating pricewatches on all found items at a certain percentage off? I know that there is a "products on this page", but it's overly inclusive (I just want items in saved for later, or shopping cart or wishlist) and doesnt let me auto-create-watches.

L1quid28 karma

After logging into your Camel account, go to http://camelcamelcamel.com/wishlists

jrutz11 karma

Congratulations on your millionth user! I've been using the site for years (back when you did Best Buy and Newegg too) and wondering, any way to tell which number user I am?

Thanks for a great site, and keep on trackin'!

L1quid15 karma

PM me and I can tell you.

driscoll4211 karma

What do you view as CamelCamelCamel's primary ad vantage over Keepa? Seeing as they seem to do basically the same thing.

Also, is there any way we could filter new/used 3rd party pricing based on the number of reviews, star ranking, and age of the 3rd party customer?

L1quid28 karma

I like our interface and charts better, and I believe we have longer term historical data. But I haven't spent too much time on their site. You would have to decide that for yourself.

I wish we had more merchant data available to us, but all we get is the merchant name. No merchant or product ratings, no merchant age, etc.

mepornfapacct11 karma

THANK you for saving me thousands over the years. How best can I support the amazing work you guys do?

L1quid35 karma

If you use our site, you already do support us and we very much appreciate it.

212NATH10 karma

Why have you not got a mobile site yet? I'd find it very useful to check the site on my phone

L1quid33 karma

We are cavemen and have no excuse for the lack of mobility. But it is on our todo list for this year.

alexotica8 karma

Thanks for your site. I've used before, will use again.

My default when placing a purchase is to go to smile.amazon.com so they make a small donation to charity.

Would/does replacing the www with smile in the URL circumvent/replace your affiliate fee with the donation or do they coexist? If the latter, would you consider using smile instead of www?

L1quid11 karma

If you have a Camel account, you can change your user settings to use Amazon Smile. Thanks for your support.

memnoch34347 karma

Have you considered a chrome extension for your product? I think the idea is great but I know I will forget to check unless something blinks at me.

justscottaustin5 karma

Would you rather fight one camel-sized duck or 100 duck-sized camels?

L1quid13 karma

I think camels are far more rude than ducks, so I'm gonna have to go with a camel-sized duck. Throw a loaf of bread at it and you're golden.

Dymo3425 karma

[deleted]

L1quid6 karma

We're thinking about it, definitely.

SmithersCory4 karma

Not many questions yet. For or against the toes of camels?

L1quid14 karma

Camel's gonna camel.

varcas4 karma

Has Amazon ever contacted you directly regarding your site?

L1quid5 karma

As members of their affiliate program, we hear from them occasionally. No calls from the big man, though.

MarkHuntsPRGuy3 karma

You mentioned in another answer that you were working on other projects during the first 6-12 months of starting camelcamelcamel, would you mind giving us a brief rundown of what types of projects they were?

L1quid5 karma

At that time, I had a windows app for capturing screenshots / editing images / uploading and sharing images, which also allowed multiplayer drawing.

We ran a fairly large (for the time) free file hosting site that eventually got overrun by brazilian spammers posting javascript naughtiness to Orkut.

This one is fun https://github.com/L1quid/Explosivo

CraniumFornication3 karma

I really just came here to say thanks so much! I've been using camel for years and always recommend it to my friends. However I have to have a question to post so the obvious question is which is your favorite ninja turtle?

L1quid5 karma

Thanks.

I could never choose a turtle. I identify with each of them at different times.

rotub3 karma

Will you support Amazon Australia when it is released?

L1quid6 karma

If we can join their program remotely, rather than needing a domestic address and incorporation, absolutely.

I will be tracking the prices of Coopers Dark.

BankshotMcG2 karma

Thank you so much for saving me cash!

Is there a reason the price alerts are less often accurate from New by 3rd-party vendors than New by Amazon?

L1quid5 karma

Lower inventory for third parties means offers disappear when they are purchased, whereas Amazon offers tend to be longer lived.

And the recent merchant scams haven't helped.

somjuan2 karma

What's the best deal you've gotten as a result of using your service?

"Best deal" being a personal preference, and not necessarily the highest percentage off.

L1quid2 karma

Most recently, I used it to get a slammin' deal on cat food. World's most interesting man material there, for sure.

gallyjh2 karma

First off, thank you for making this. I use it a ton! My question is, do you plan to ever release an app (on android hopefully) to allow us to add things to watch for? You could utilize the "share to..." ability to share the link to the app so you can grab the ID.

L1quid2 karma

No plans for an app but we do have plans for a mobile-friendly site.

no_not_me1 karma

Hi camelfarmer, I only have one question.

Is it cold there? Perhaps....Icey?

L1quid2 karma

You have earned yourself an upMaynard.

samwise09121 karma

On a personal level, what are a few of your favorite films?

L1quid2 karma

Lord of the Rings, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Big Fish are some I like and would still watch. I really enjoyed Garden State when it came out but don't really get the urge to watch it anymore. John Wick was great and I am looking forward to seeing the second film.

zxo0oxz1 karma

Hey there, I like your site its very useful, but I end up getting a lot of false notifications. Essentially, I'll get an alert the price has dropped beyond its lowest ever, and when I look it's a third party seller whos profile always says "please message me before purchase", from what I've heard those are usually scams. Any plans to weed out these users from third party price watches?

Edit: just saw your blog. I guess leave it to amazon is the answer.

L1quid4 karma

We wish we had the data available to filter out such merchants, but all we have access to is the merchant's name. That is not a lot to go by.

My suggestion would be to track the Amazon price only. We will then alert on any Fulfilled by Amazon / Prime offer, be it Amazon or Third Party. This should avoid the scammers, as they do not bother with FBA.

22snappy1 karma

I tried to find a bunch of other sites that are similar to camelcamel... and it seems like if you change things so that you do the best price across multiple platforms you are immediately shutdown by amazon. Is that true?

For example, if you answered this question "Where is the cheapest price to get this item from amazon, walmart, home depot, lowes?"

L1quid5 karma

In my experience, no retailer likes being listed on a comparison shopping site. That is why we stick to a single retailer.

22snappy1 karma

Have you considered forking your code and making a brand new website for other platforms such as home depot, walmart, lowes, etc?

L1quid3 karma

We supported other retailers in the past, but they didn't generate nearly as much interest as Amazon. Hard to dedicate the resources to those when camelcamelcamel uses up all of our time already.

UglyMuffins1 karma

1.)Can I use this site for amazon.ca too?

2.) Does it ever concern/worry you that your business is entirely reliant on another company and that Amazon can just decide to shut down your business' ability to interact with their site on a whim (maybe make the API private)

L1quid2 karma

hamsisthehate1 karma

What's the strangest/largest price fluctuation you have seen on Amazon?

L1quid12 karma

The classic example is one in which two auto-pricing bots got into a war of escalation, causing a textbook to eventually be listed for over a million dollars.

abhi_shek19941 karma

Why this name?😊

L1quid1 karma

Why not!

Stuifiee1 karma

Do yoy have any association with the guys from Crowscrowscrows? Your names are similar.

L1quid2 karma

No but I am a fan of the Adelaide Crows.

KosherNazi1 karma

What's your relationship with Amazon? I'm aware that you guys are prevented from tracking prices in certain categories, but how extensive is it? Are you able to track any of Amazons special sale prices, or are they all precluded? Can we expect "instant coupon" tracking as well, or is that also off limits? How about the "collectible" book category?

L1quid1 karma

We are regular affiliates like anyone who joins the Associates program. They don't prevent us from tracking certain products or categories, they simply don't list those things in their API. We don't take it personally.

As I mentioned in another answer, I think the coupon and special prices are distinct systems inside Amazon, so that data isn't available in the affiliate API.

We collect "collectible" data but don't publish it, as it seems like it isn't available for the majority of products.

yesman_851 karma

Every product I check always seems to have a graph for it, are you literally checking and storing a history for every item? What's the size of your DB?

L1quid4 karma

We don't have a complete list, but we do track all products users discover via search. The last time I looked, our products list was over 40 million.

That took a long time to count.

CrazyPupil1 karma

As an economics student, your website offers some pretty interesting data.

On your end, have you looked into creating some sort of demand curve using the alert prices users set? That information seems like it would matter more to amazon than you, which brings me to:

Do to have a working relationship with Amazon beyond just using their data? If so, is it more friendly or adversarial?

*on a personal note, I have fond memories using your website back in high school to buy GBA games, so thank you.

L1quid1 karma

That data does seem like it would be useful to Amazon, or any retailer.

We're just members of their affiliate program. Certainly isn't adversarial.

midclaman1 karma

What other applications do you see for the algorithms employed by your software? For instance, sales at the local grocery stores. A shopper could request that an item at several local stores be watched for the lowest price by a given day. Based on bar code info. Anything else come to mind? Remember, you heard it here first?

L1quid1 karma

Anything with non-static pricing where users want a better price than is currently available.

GrizzlyManOnWire0 karma

Why are business owners so cagey with their revenue and profit info? If it's good, why not share it?

L1quid1 karma

Why keep any information private at all?