# How In The World Are They Doing This?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by blanko, Sep 26, 2011.

1. ### blankoBANNEDBANNED

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Go check out the website gazelle*com

If you are not familiar with how this website works, it allows consumers to sell their old electronics ? such as cellphones, laptops, mp3 players, digital cameras, camcorders, gaming consoles, GPS devices, and others ? for cash.

So what you do is you type in your item that you want to sell, answer a few questions about it's condition, then they will give you an instant quote of what they will pay for the item.

What I want to figure out is how do they determine the value of these used items automatically.

I know that they have built some type of algorithm to do this. I imagine it goes out an scrapes some type of pricing data for the used items and uses the data to determine the current retail value of the used item. Then I guess they just payout a certain % of the retail value, also adjusting the price according to condition of the item.

That's just an idea of what they might be doing.

Does anyone have any ideas of what they are doing? Where are collecting their data to determine the value of the used electronics? What kind of mathematical algorithm are they using?

2. ### JohnlittleNewbie

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Are the prices super specific on a per item basis, or is it more of a generic categorical price range?

3. ### jon_xx_xJr. VIPJr. VIP

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Maybe they are scraping another site that has the products and gives an average of them?
Like ebay or something.

4. ### blankoBANNEDBANNED

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It appears to be more per item specific. Then you answer some questions about the condition of the item. Some answers will adjust the value of the item.

5. ### blankoBANNEDBANNED

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That's kind of what I was thinking. I was thinking maybe they scrape ebay and determine the average value that way. Or maybe they even scrape competing websites (there are several out there), but is that legal? Can you legally scrape data like that from competitors websites?

6. ### ardley216Elite Member

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7. ### jon_xx_xJr. VIPJr. VIP

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NOt sure if it's legal, but it's done quite a bit. I was doing it with mlb.com.
The better question is, how can it be exploited
If it's ebay, I wonder what would happen if you put up 10 products 5x the price
Probably uses a few sites.

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Definitely not a mathematical algorithm, items vary way too much for a simple formula, as complex as one might be.

The easiest way would simply be to collect data from items that they've already dealt with and check their database. With a huge database of item prices they could use these patterns to apply them to similar items.

9. ### browsing_hostsRegular Member

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11. ### blankoBANNEDBANNED

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That's it! Now, I wonder how they get these updated market prices. It can't be from just one place. For instance, what if they are getting the market value from ebay, but ebay doesn't have any listings for that item. They'd need to check from a few other sources and determine the average market value I guess.

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