Tuesday, February 17, 2009

eBay Research at UsedCameraDB.com


It has been over two weeks since I've last posted.

The good news is that my dissertation is in the revision stage, meaning I actually have some time to work on side projects. The bad news is I've been focusing more on a new project which I hinted at before: the Used Camera Database (http://www.usedcameradb.com/).

Lately I've been spending most of my time learning (re-learning?) PhP, html, and other web stuff. And, instead of focusing on making the site pretty, I'm working on some of the utilities which should make the site really great. Ultimately, I want the site to include in-depth reviews, ratings, user comments, and used camera price aggregator which provides a one stop shopping for finding which camera (or lens or flash) and locating a good for that item at the same time.

Ultimately, I want to use the site to save myself time. No more searching for hours to find that elusive review of the Sigma 600mm FD version or get the latest price on used SB-20s. Hopefully these ideas appeal to you, too!

Of course, a big project like this starts with baby steps, so the first research utility I present is the eBay Price Research Interface. It allows you to search the previous 30 days of listings and generate a histogram of prices, some statistics, and daily statistics. Of course, there are some limitations, most notably the ability to exclude certain keywords (which is critical for getting accurate price estimates in my opinion) and limits the number of searches to 1000 each month.

Still, though, the eBay Price Research script can come in handy if you'd like to know the going rate of an item. For instance, the search pictured at the top of the page shows a distinct delineation between Canon 5D and Canon 5D Mark II prices. I've already used it a number of times to price things on eBay in the few days since I've made it.

Give it a try! If you have feedback, leave a comment or e-mail me at info@usedcameradb.NOSPAMcom (obviously, take out the NOSPAM part).

My next tasks relating to UCDB are to add live listings to the utility above and make a larger/better aggregator for more than just eBay. Beyond that, I'm also building a searchable database of camera equipment which will include a price history more accurate than any other site provides (and trust me, I've been looking!).

This will all take a while, so be patient!

On the photography side, I've got two posts brewing with some actual pictures in them. Look for them in the next few days.

1 comment:

djeyewater said...

Nice job, the project sounds like it could become quite big.