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Subject: Real-time Boardgame Price Comparisons? rss

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Mario Lanza
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Something else I was thinking about:

BGG offers tons of awesome features, so when anyone comes up with a good idea for a new games-related site it had better offer something very worthwhile to draw in the users. One feature that BGG lacks and that I considered implementing was a price comparison chart on boardgames. Basically, you select a game from a database of all games and it returns a list of the vendors carrying said game with their respective price and shipping costs.

The only real way to get this to happen is to work with the top vendors to create web services that run on their servers. Said web services could be queried from any other website in order to obtain current prices for a game. Unfortunately, having to work with the vendors is the obstacle. I'm thinking that many vendors pride themselves on other aspects of their service and won't feel good providing real-time pricing information thus reducing a potential customer's selection to price alone.

If enough vendors agreed to such a web service integrating a price comparison section into The Geek would be no more difficult than it would be for me to create a site specifically for this.

Comments? If you happen to work for a boardgame vendor I'd be especially interested in your comments and an indication about whether or not you'd consider providing the said "pricing" web service.
 
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Tom "Snicker Daddy" Pancoast
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You are talking about taking it a step beyond this, but if you don't know about this site, it is relevant:

http://www.michaelareed.com/boardgamesearch/
 
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Jeff Carey
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I think this would be a VERY valuable feature of BGG (or an independent site, if BGG has no interest in hosting it), and I've played around with the idea myself (as a .NET learning exercise). Although web services would be the "best" way to implement the feature, it would certainly be possible to do this without the cooperation of the vendors via "screen scraping". Considering the limited number of board game retailers we'd be dealing with, and the limited changes they'd likely make to their page layouts, in this case it might not be the maintenance nightmare that it tends to be in other situations. I can't make any guarantees about time commitment, but count me in if you'd like someone to at least collaborate with.
 
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Stan Mamula
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Here is a site that finds comparisons based on online advertised prices.
http://www.michaelareed.com/boardgamesearch/

It essentially saves a person the effort of typing in the same game name over and over again at different retailer websites.

It's definitely not as useful as the feature you've descibed, but it's something.

 
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Stan Mamula
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Too slow. tpancoast beat me to it.

 
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Mario Lanza
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Ahh, useful...
http://www.michaelareed.com/boardgamesearch/
Thanks.
 
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Karl Deckard
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Maybe Derk and Aldie could make some cash from the deal and retire early (i.e.- manage BGG full time).
 
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Problem with all of these comparison sites is first off, they don't include everyone (some of the best priced stuff is ignored, among other things, the "going rate" on eBay). Secondly, it cannot take into account shipping policies. Free shippers will look more expensive than the others despite a possibly better overall value.
 
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David Brafman
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Shipping can be taken into account. See for example dvdpricesearch.com for a well done version of this for buying dvds.

One issue is that the stores that are generally not the cheapest aren't going to voluntarily participate in this. In fact, this tool will drive people away from stores that aren't the cheapest. Yet some of those stores are valuable in providing, for example, reviews.
 
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Jeff Carey
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Quote:
Shipping can be taken into account. See for example dvdpricesearch.com for a well done version of this for buying dvds.

One issue is that the stores that are generally not the cheapest aren't going to voluntarily participate in this. In fact, this tool will drive people away from stores that aren't the cheapest. Yet some of those stores are valuable in providing, for example, reviews.


That is certainly a valid concern, and a barrier to full participation by all retailers. More valuable than a simple "price comparison" tool would be a "purchase evaluation" tool which would compare several key factors in the purchase decision, including price (to include tax and shipping), availability, delivery time (based on the user's zip code, and broken down by available delivery methods), and quality of service (measured by customer feedback).

Such a system would be more useful to consumers, and more attractive to retailers who feel that they have a competetive advantage in areas other than price. At that point, a retailer might feel that being completely excluded from the tool might be more of a disadvantage than being included, with somewhat higher prices than the competition.
 
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Darren M
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I think it's a great idea as well and when I first looked at BGG...maybe 2.5 years ago now...I thought that would be a great addition to the site.

If a feature like this were to be implemented it would be great to have representation from American game stores as well as the European game stores from Germany,France,Netherlands including the various international Ebay listings.

I think a truly international real-time boardgame price and availability engine would be extremely useful and would make it a lot easier to acquire games we are all interested in.

This would also be very beneficial to the boardgame designers and boardgame companies because the easier it is to find and purchase the games...the more sales there will be. I know for certain that the only thing holding many purchasers back is that many games are tucked away in a dark corner on the net on sites that are not easy to find unless you dig pretty deep.

The downside is that this would be like giving even stronger crack to a group that is already very addicted to purchasing games.


 
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