Yesterday I said I’d let you know how I knew that Toys R Us were selling the jumperoo (one of my target toys) at the same price as Amazon. I didn’t go trawling through lots of sites to find that out, which is what most people end up doing.

For me it was easy.

One of my developer partners, Paul, has been working on and has almost completed a price comparison routine.

We have it working with Amazon UK, Amazon US, and Affiliate Window (AW).

In case you didn’t know (I didn’t until a few days ago), Affiliate Window have a lot (most?) of the big UK toys gifts and gadgets sites on their books. So if you sign up to Affiliate Window, you get access to most of the main sites that are running affiliate schemes.

Toys R Us use Affiliate Window for their affiliate scheme.

So Paul now has a panel working where you enter your affiliate details with Amazon and AW, and then create a data object called a Comparison. You then search for your keyword (in my case jumperoo) and it goes off and searches the merchants who stock products with jumperoo in them.

It then returns the price of each one, and you can then click the ones you’re interested in to add them to your comparison.

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Once you’ve added them to your comparison, they’re clickable and have your affiliate link embedded inside them.

You can then add products from another affiliate source. As I said, we currently have Amazon UK, Amazon US and Affiliate Window working. You can also add merchants who don’t stock the item at all and have them show in your comparison, again with your affiliate link embedded to the merchants home page.

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So even if a visitor to your site decided to click through to one of the out of stock merchants, you’re still cookieing them, and if they decide to buy something else while on that site, you get to earn a commission for it.

BTW, in that second image, notice that Amazon have now dropped their price by 50p since yesterday. That’s very slick! I reckon amazon must monitor all competitor prices and drop theirs automatically (based on internal rules in their system) to always be the lowest price, even if only by a few pence.

My guess is their system noticed that Toys R Us had dropped their price to match Amazon, so the Amazon system reduced it by a further 50p to remain at the top on price comparison sites. Wow! I can’t imagine for a moment there would be any human intervention there at all given the huge amounts of products Amazon hold.

Anyway…

So the next step is to generate the code to insert on your site to pull the daily changes to prices.

Paul has templated this so that you can create your own template for the snippet of code to match the rest of your site. Isn’t that REALLY cool?

He’s created a default one to use out of the box, and it currently looks like this:-

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It’s all very easy to use.

At the moment it’s an almost fully working version and I wanted Paul to let me do a video showing you how it works but he won’t let me do that until he has everything working correctly. He’s nearly there, and as soon as he’s dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s, I’m going to install the comparison code snippet on my jumperoo site and unveil it.

So how important are price comparisons on your IPK site? Or any affiliate site for that matter?

As I said yesterday, I believe they’re absolutely vital.

They earn you trust and they earn you gratitude. You’re saving time and trouble for the person doing the searching for the product, and time is one the thing that most of us don’t have enough of.

So if you can supply useful information on the product, plus a list of locations and prices for people to buy, they’ll trust you and be grateful.

I believe that if someone has had a good experience with one of your IPK sites then they’ll likely be interested in your other sites too. This is where you benefit from having toy suggestions and links to your other sites.

Let’s also not forget the SEO side effect of having changing prices on your site. The search engines will love it, and that little change each day or every few days will register.

Okay, where am I going with this?

In the next day or so when we know it’s all working correctly, I’m going to ask a few people to try the comparison out for themselves as a trial.

Would you like to be one of the triallists?

When it all goes live, the service itself will be a monthly subscription. Your IPK site will more than pay for the subscription so it’s nothing to worry about!

It’s like… er… you need an autoresponder service right? The cost doesn’t matter if it makes you money.

So if your site was making $50 / month and adding price comparisons improved the performance by 50% to $75 / month, and it cost you $5 for the automated comparison, the $5 is irrelevant isn’t it?

Don’t worry, it won’t be $5 per comparison!

You know me. Value for money is what you get.

So if you’re interested in this service (I would be if someone else was offering it to me!) let me know. Leave a comment.

-Frank Haywood