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Unsightly money cluttering up your house?
May 16, 2011 7:06 PM   Subscribe

The Amazon Used Deals Finder

Give it a link to your Amazon wishlist and it lets you know the most attractive used deals on books, DVDs, music, and video games. Includes historical price tracking! via MeFi Projects.
posted by jtron (50 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, I was liking this before it was on the front page.
posted by box at 7:14 PM on May 16, 2011


I love you for posting this.

"Unsightly money cluttering up your house?"
Yes, actually... it appears that my husband dumped the contents of his wallet out on our bed sometime this afternoon. :(

posted by Jacqueline at 7:20 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you look at the embedded links in the results page, you'll see that it includes "tag=amausedeafin-20". This is somebody's Amazon.com affiliate code. This person/company is receiving 15% of every Amazon.com order placed through these links (and associated browsing for a 24 hr period unless you've switched browsers or cleared your cookies).

Mathowie won't like that, since Metafilter is programmed to attach Mathowie's Amazon affiliate code onto any links to Amazon that are embedded in people's posts and comments. (Which he has the right to do, since MeFi is his property).

So there is a financial reason behind why this post will probably be deleted (regardless of the actual reason given).
posted by spock at 7:20 PM on May 16, 2011


It meowed at me! How precious.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:22 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah I was immediately wondering how much of my info would be going to that tag'd user - but the affiliate percentage occurred to me too. I just never checked to see exactly how that affiliate thing worked. Would have to read up more before I'd consider using this.
posted by batgrlHG at 7:24 PM on May 16, 2011


Hi spock, I made the program I apparently get 4% of profits via the amazon affiliate program. I don't really know much about it, I just signed up for it yesterday in hopes it would prevent amazon from blocking a site with irregular web-scraping patterns.

Feel free to just go directly to a book's page, and/or just strip the link down to the book's ID.
posted by Theta States at 7:25 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Spock, the affiliate code is cool with me, cause otherwise they might not be able to afford to host it.

Would be good if it had Prime support (I don't think it does?)
posted by Jahaza at 7:25 PM on May 16, 2011


(I'm doing my best to break it with my 18 page wishlist.)
posted by Jahaza at 7:26 PM on May 16, 2011


I don't know if I should have inputted my 30 page wishlist. . .
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:40 PM on May 16, 2011


Would be good if it had Prime support (I don't think it does?)

I think Amazon Prime and Super Saver Free Shipping only apply to New From Amazon products, and never apply to used or secondary seller shipping.

I could be wrong, but that's been my experience so far.
posted by hippybear at 7:46 PM on May 16, 2011


There is an option to remove the shipping costs from the calculations, in the cases where you would get free shipping. It drastically changes the economics of the cheaper books.
posted by Theta States at 7:49 PM on May 16, 2011


No amazon.ca?
posted by Harpocrates at 7:50 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


No amazon.ca?

I didn't bother because the used selection at .ca is really really small. I am in Canada as well, and I just have my books shipped to the USA and pick them up there. :)

If there is interest though, I can include an option to force .ca searching.
Currently, it just checks amazon.com (amazon.ca wishlists are all compatible with .com). If that fails, it checks amazon.co.uk.
If anyone has a wishlist on a different domain, I can set up compatibility for any other domain rather readily.
posted by Theta States at 7:53 PM on May 16, 2011


I think Amazon Prime and Super Saver Free Shipping only apply to New From Amazon products, and never apply to used or secondary seller shipping.

Nope, Amazon has a program where you send Amazon your used stuff and they handle everything from there (of course you pay a fee and stuff). All of these can be bought with Prime.
posted by BenS at 7:57 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I believe that almost anything that is fulfilled by Amazon is eligible for Prime. Some third-party retailers contract with Amazon to do their fulfillment.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:03 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's been tested with my 90+ page wishlist, y'all should be OK.
posted by jtron at 8:07 PM on May 16, 2011


Amazon has a program where you send Amazon your used stuff and they handle everything from there

Wow. I had no idea. Good to know.
posted by hippybear at 8:12 PM on May 16, 2011


Mathowie won't like that, since Metafilter is programmed to attach Mathowie's Amazon affiliate code onto any links to Amazon that are embedded in people's posts and comments. (Which he has the right to do, since MeFi is his property).

Why would this be the case? This FPP describes someone else's site, which happens to use someone else's refcode. Are you suggesting that MetaFilter disallows links to sites which contain links to Amazon which use other people's affiliate codes?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:14 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Mathowie won't like that, since Metafilter is programmed to attach Mathowie's Amazon affiliate code onto any links to Amazon that are embedded in people's posts and comments. (Which he has the right to do, since MeFi is his property).

yes, this assertion is puzzling. The linked site provides a service. It makes some money because of that.
posted by milestogo at 8:21 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


How do you figure out your wishlist id?
posted by not that girl at 8:32 PM on May 16, 2011


Never mind, I found it.
posted by not that girl at 8:32 PM on May 16, 2011


It's the part after the "registry/wishlist/" in the URL.
posted by milestogo at 8:33 PM on May 16, 2011


I like this! I use my wish list in part to keep track of books I want to buy for my kids, and I periodically go through the list to see what is available at a good price. This turns that into a 30-second chore. Awesome.
posted by not that girl at 8:35 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Affiliate marketing like this (where a service benefits by inserting its own ID for profit) is fine, as long as it is disclosed. This isn't my opinion. It is an FTC ruling. It is also a question of ethics

Quote from the "ethics" link (above):
In order to comply with FTC rules, an online publisher must note when it links to a product or service from which it will get a commission on a sale. Again, I think that's good practice. In my experience, such notes actually have increased sales, and commissions. Loyal readers want to help their favorite websites, and such notes encourage them to click through and do their shopping there, since they know that part of their purchases will go to support a site that they believe in. In this case, disclosure not only helps keep readers informed, it pays off for the publisher.

So it isn't profiting that is the problem, it is non-disclosure of that profit angle.
posted by spock at 8:39 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't really know much about it, I just signed up for it yesterday in hopes it would prevent amazon from blocking a site with irregular web-scraping patterns.

I don't claim to understand the criteria that Amazon uses to block access to their web services, but your logic fails me. If I am Amazon, would I rather have people use a link on which I have to pay no commission or one on which I must pay a commission? I think you are more likely to be blocked by using the associate ID link. Abuse would (probably) be determined by the "unnatural" number of links coming from a particular associate's ID. After this little test, someone will probably come to work at Amazon tomorrow, look at the reports and go "what the heck is up with all these thetastates.com referrals", so enjoy it while you can!
posted by spock at 8:47 PM on May 16, 2011


"So it isn't profiting that is the problem, it is non-disclosure of that profit angle."

Well the site creator is a MeFite, so give her a few minutes and I'm sure she'll see your comment and add the disclosure.

I seriously doubt that anything nefarious was intended -- it looks like she made a tool for herself, then kindly opened it up to others. Most people who aren't in the professional affiliate marketing business don't know the laws and policies.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:49 PM on May 16, 2011


Theta States, can you please add an option to sort by just price?
posted by novalis_dt at 8:54 PM on May 16, 2011


So it isn't profiting that is the problem, it is non-disclosure of that profit angle.

From the bottom of the page, added immediately after your first comment:
"We are signed up via the Amazon Affiliates program, but that does NOT increase your costs or compromise your privacy."


Theta States, can you please add an option to sort by just price?

Yes, I can make it sort by price, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.
posted by Theta States at 9:12 PM on May 16, 2011


I apparently get 4% of profits via the amazon affiliate program. I don't really know much about it, I just signed up for it yesterday in hopes it would prevent amazon from blocking a site with irregular web-scraping patterns. --- You'll be getting more than that, I think. The more you link to and sell, the greater your percentage profit. The gallant thing to do, since you only did it to placate Amazon is to donate it all to a charity.
posted by crunchland at 9:18 PM on May 16, 2011


I'd just like to say that I see nothing at all unethical with the site using affiliate links, and I doubt Amazon will either. This seems like the kind of enabling device that affiliate programs are designed to facilitate, not shut down.

There's a weird reactionary vibe to some comments that doesn't make sense to me at all. I would hope that Theta States doesn't get pilloried for signing up for the affiliate program to make money, because that's not a bad desire, and this isn't a bad way to try and realize that desire.

(Theta, it's okay to admit that you'd like to make some money from this, as long as the OP isn't a sockpuppet or friend of yours. Don't let them make you fear otherwise!)
posted by jsturgill at 9:57 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Test (don't mind me).
What I typed in the link above: www.amazon.com/Pentax-K-x-2-7-inch-18-55mm-White/dp/B002OEBTD2/
Still shows that way in the live Preview.
posted by spock at 10:17 PM on May 16, 2011


As you can see in your status bar, the link is changed to: www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002OEBTD2/metafilter-20/ref=nosim/

I believe this is a deprecated way of making the URLs, but mathowie must still be getting paid for it or he would have had it changed. Is this disclosed anywhere on metafilter.com?
posted by spock at 10:19 PM on May 16, 2011


If anyone cares about the true affiliate percentage at Amazon... They have two structures, Classic and Performance. Affiliates by default are placed in the Performance structure. In classic you get a straight 4% commission. In Performance, the percentage rises based on how much you sell:

Number of Products Shipped: Commission Percentage
1-6: 4.00%
7-30: 6.00%
31-110: 6.50%
111-320: 7.00%
321-630: 7.50%
631-1570: 8.00%
1571-3130: 8.25%
3131+: 8.50%

Interestingly (to me, at least), is that as you move up the tiers each month, the higher levels apply to everything shipped that month. So if you pay attention you can buy yourself some stuff at the end of the month to push your account up a tier, and it's effectively free - or better. Good times!
posted by MKF at 10:29 PM on May 16, 2011


Dammit Spock, he's a coder not a lawyer!
posted by m@f at 10:37 PM on May 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


she
posted by Jacqueline at 10:41 PM on May 16, 2011


Amazon usually gets wise to that sort of thing pretty quickly, MKF, and will not only bar you from purchasing things with your own associate link, but will retroactively deduct past associate fees gained that way.
posted by crunchland at 10:42 PM on May 16, 2011


spock, there was a metatalk on the topic a few months ago and way back when.
posted by jamaro at 10:45 PM on May 16, 2011


Thanks Jacqueline - typo! (although I could retcon and say I was talking about mathowie...)
posted by m@f at 10:46 PM on May 16, 2011


I've been buying stuff with my own affiliate link for years, and thought they didn't care. I just looked it up and you're right! Holy crap! The percentage of what I buy compared to what I make is really small, but I still didn't think they cared. (I sold about 4,000 things last year - I hope I didn't buy that much!)

"You may not purchase products during sessions initiated through your own Associates links and will not receive referral fees for such orders. This includes orders for customers, orders on behalf of customers, and orders for products to be used by you, your friends, your relatives, or your associates in any manner."
posted by MKF at 10:50 PM on May 16, 2011


spock, this weirdly pass-agg derail would be better in your own meta thread
posted by bonaldi at 4:25 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, Associates drama aside, I hope people actually like the tool for what it is.
posted by Theta States at 4:31 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like this! I use my wish list in part to keep track of books I want to buy for my kids, and I periodically go through the list to see what is available at a good price. This turns that into a 30-second chore. Awesome.

Thank you, that's exactly why I made it. And if you are checking it often, the trending data will make it even easier.
posted by Theta States at 4:43 AM on May 17, 2011


The amazon thing is mentioned in the FAQ, and, yes, if there's any need for some new discussion about it it should be a Metatalk thread.
posted by cortex at 6:33 AM on May 17, 2011


Pretty sweet. The one thing I'd love to see the inputting more than one code at a time. I have about 20 categories and would be interesting to see them all at once.
posted by jmd82 at 7:22 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


(I am not sure if it is made clear, but if you hover your mouse over a link, the "title text" should show you the historical data.)
posted by Theta States at 9:52 AM on May 17, 2011


hi everyone, I added some requested features:
- you can now sort by price (high to low, low to high)
- you can now use amazon.co.uk wishlists, I created a separate pricing database for that historical info. (amazon.ca coming soon!)
- you can now just cut-and-paste your whole amazon wishlist url in to the box if you don't want to extract it yourself.
- fixed IE6 formatting issue

Please let me know if you have any issues or feature suggestions.
posted by Theta States at 7:30 PM on May 17, 2011


I think this is sweet and if the gal who did the work gets a few $ that is fine by me. Her work, her reward, ; nice and shiny and bought to our attention. I also think spock is very mistaken in his belief that this is somehow against the guidelines.
posted by adamvasco at 11:33 AM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


amazon.ca support now added.
posted by Theta States at 10:02 PM on May 19, 2011


*ahem* check the redesign, courtesy a friend of mine! (oh and new location)
posted by Theta States at 9:59 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is really great. Thanks for sharing this with us.
posted by Kimberly at 10:47 AM on June 8, 2011


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