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Lets say I run a website about a specific kind of a product — for example, computer headphones. So the visitors could use my website to compare headphones and make buying decisions. Many of them would then go to online retailers such as Amazon, B&H Photo Video, NewEgg etc. to purchase the models they previously chose on my website.

I'm exploring ways of intelligent monetizing of such a website by offering the visitors a list of retailers carrying a specific product with a "Buy" link and price. This could be valuable for users, and would potentially generate some revenue through affiliate programs.

The problem is, it'd be very time consuming to gather affiliate links for thousands of products manually. Moreover, some models may eventually run out of stock and I don't want to send the visitors to retailers, where the product is out of stock.

So it has be somehow automated. I can imagine a Google AdSense type of a service with an API, which would take a search string containing brand and model, like "Sennheiser HD25", and return the "Buy" links with a price. Unlike conventional contextual ads, such a service should not try to sell just anything it thinks is relevant to the visitor's interests. If a product is not available or not found, it simply shouldn't show anything, or at least, allow me to configure it not to.

Do such services exist? How are they called?

I was directed to this site from Webmasters@StackExchange by their Moderator who decided that my initial question was offtopic.

  • I can imagine [] type of a service with an API, which would take a search string [] and return the "Buy" links with a price. But if that existed, why would they offer this to others instead of monetizing it themselves? – user416 Jun 14 '16 at 6:20
  • @JanDoggen They wouldn't be able to monetize it themselves without the help of others as efficiently. Why did Apple open up its iOS platform for other developers instead of creating all those apps like Instagram themselves? If your question is what would they gain from doing so -- they could get a cut from affiliate paybacks. – Dae Jun 15 '16 at 9:56
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To monitorise the site you will need to get the online retailers agreement that they will pay you for the redirect - usually this is done by having some kind of referrer ID in the link that the purchaser clicks.

If you are contacting given retailers to get their agreement to pay you then you will also be able to ask them for an API - there are some common ones but a lot of retailers are using custom in-house ones still - that you can use to get the price for each specific model, check the stock levels countries or areas delivered to, you would be amazed how often this is neglected, taxes, etc.

Many of the usual APIs area REST & SOAP based but you may find others. Unless you get the agreement that you will be paid by the retailer you will not be making any money so you cannot skip that step.

You will find that a number of systems exist for querying the various APIs including of course python ones.

  • Thanks for your response. I wouldn't need to get separate agreements if there was some sort of an intermediary. E.g. I don't have any agreements with online retailers which advertise on my sites via Google AdSense, because I let Google do it for me. Do such intermediaries exist? The only problem with AdSense is that it offers less value for the visitors than it potentially could, if it was a little smarter. – Dae Sep 17 '15 at 18:25

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