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Attila Toth
3 Mins
November 26, 2019

The Power of Price Scraping: Unveiling the Best Free Tool to Extract Pricing Data

Price scraping is an essential technique for anyone looking to extract valuable pricing data from various online sources. It might initially seem like a minor technical detail, but in reality, mastering the art of efficient price scraping can save you considerable time and effort. In this article, we delve into the world of price scraping, demonstrating its crucial role in gathering pricing data and making informed decisions in today's competitive business landscape.

Why would you want to scrape prices?

If you’re at the beginning of your web scraping journey, here are some examples to give you inspiration on how price scraping can help you. Price scraping opens up a wealth of opportunities for businesses and individuals alike. For starters, it allows you to monitor pricing data effectively, offering insights into your competitors' strategies and enabling you to fine-tune your own pricing strategies for better deals. Moreover, scraping prices provides a window into the world of online marketplaces and e-commerce websites, enabling data-driven decisions that can attract price-sensitive buyers and, ultimately, boost your revenue.

1. E-Commerce Competitor Monitoring: Gaining an Edge in the Market

In the bustling world of e-commerce, businesses are constantly seeking ways to boost their margins, reduce expenses, and most importantly, display prices that maximize their overall revenue. To achieve this, competitor price monitoring is indispensable. No successful online retail seller can afford to overlook this crucial task. Price scraping becomes a significant part of the process, enabling the extraction of real-time data from millions of price points on a daily basis.

2. Brand Monitoring: Maintaining Consistency and Compliance

Another vital application of price scraping lies in brand monitoring. When your brand is visible across various online platforms, ensuring price compliance for your product is just as critical as monitoring your competitors' prices. Scraping the product pages of your resellers, as well as your competitors' product data, allows you to maintain a competitive effective pricing strategy and keep violators of your pricing policy in check.

3. Market Research: Key Insights for Informed Decisions

Whether you're conducting a one-time market research project or an ongoing study, price scraping is essential. Scraping prices from multiple web pages with different price formats is crucial for acquiring relevant data to inform your decisions and stay ahead in the market.

The quickest way to clean price strings

At Zyte (formerly Scrapinghub) we’ve developed our own open-source library for price scraping. You can find it on GitHub, as price-parser. It is capable of extracting price and currency values from raw text strings.

You want to use this library for two important reasons:

  • Robust price amount and currency symbol extraction (tested on 900+ real-world examples)
  • No more struggle handling decimal and thousands of separators

Install

pip install price-parser 

Usage

  1. Select the HTML element which contains price (if you're not familiar with Scrapy and/or web scraping, check out the Scrapy documentation)
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>>> price_string = response.css(‘span.price-tag’).get() price_string
"22,90 €"
>>> price_string = response.css(‘span.price-tag’).get() price_string "22,90 €"
>>> price_string = response.css(‘span.price-tag’).get() price_string
"22,90 €"

2. Use this library to clean up the string

Normally, at this point, you would need to write a custom function to get the numeric value from the string. Using regex or some python code. However, with price-parser, you just need to import the library and use the same function every time:

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>>> from price_parser import Price
>>> price = Price.fromstring(price_string)
>>> from price_parser import Price >>> price = Price.fromstring(price_string)
>>> from price_parser import Price
>>> price = Price.fromstring(price_string) 

Then we can retrieve the amount and currency values using attributes:

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>>> price.amount
Decimal('22.90') # numeric price amount
>>> price.amount_text # price amount, as appears in the string
'22,90'
>>> price.amount_float # price amount as float, not Decimal
22.9
>>> Price.currency # currency symbol, as appears in the string
'€'
>>> price.amount Decimal('22.90') # numeric price amount >>> price.amount_text # price amount, as appears in the string '22,90' >>> price.amount_float # price amount as float, not Decimal 22.9 >>> Price.currency # currency symbol, as appears in the string '€'
>>> price.amount
Decimal('22.90') # numeric price amount
>>> price.amount_text  # price amount, as appears in the string
'22,90'
>>> price.amount_float # price amount as float, not Decimal
22.9
>>> Price.currency # currency symbol, as appears in the string
'€' 

The library has been tested with 900+ real-world price strings, see some of the supported cases here.

It's important to note that while price scraping is a valuable tool for acquiring pricing data, its legality may vary depending on the jurisdiction. It's crucial to understand the legal implications and ensure compliance with the law when engaging in price scraping work.

Optimizing Pricing Strategies for Attracting Price-Sensitive Buyers

In the competitive realm of e-commerce, attracting price-sensitive buyers can significantly impact your revenue. Price scraping allows you to analyze competitors' prices and adjust your pricing strategies accordingly to offer better deals and ultimately attract price-sensitive buyers.

  • Realizing the Power of Analytical Decisions

    By scraping prices and analyzing the extracted data, businesses can make analytical decisions that guide their growth strategies. Whether it's adjusting your pricing to keep prices lower than your competitors or analyzing the pricing information from various online marketplaces, data-driven decisions can transform your business.

  • Overcoming Challenges: Price Scraping and Web Scraping Best Practices

    While price scraping is a powerful technique, challenges such as dealing with website slowdowns and human interactions can arise. Employing price scraping tools and web scraping best practices can help mitigate these challenges and ensure the seamless flow of data into your systems.

    Conclusion: Harnessing the Power of Price Scraping for Business Growth

    In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, access to accurate and up-to-date pricing data is crucial. Price scraping provides businesses with the means to stay informed about price changes, optimize pricing strategies, and ultimately maximize their revenue. Utilizing advanced price scraper bots and embracing a dedicated bot management solution can put you ahead of the competition, allowing for a fully equipped and competitive online store.

    By leveraging price scraping effectively, you not only gain access to critical pricing data but also pave the way for strategic decisions that can shape the future of your business. With just a few clicks, you can extract valuable price data from competing sites, enabling you to make data-driven decisions that drive your business towards success.

    Remember, price scraping is not just about gathering data; it's about gaining insights, optimizing strategies, and ultimately achieving growth. Stay informed, adapt, and thrive in the ever-evolving world of e-commerce.

    If you feel like you need a helping hand in your data extraction project, learn more about our price intelligence solutions and how we can help you build your own product based on web data.