It took me about a full day to figure out how to pull prices from eBay, but it was honestly fairly simple thanks to some pretty good documentation on eBay’s part (kudos guys).
So now in addition to the Amazon, Professor-Oak, Troll and Toad, and Collector’s Cache prices, the lowest eBay price will also show in the price listings:
Here’s basically the way it works:
- It does an eBay search for the card name, set, and number within auction titles.
- It then pulls the price + shipping from the auction with the lowest combined price + shipping in the search results.
- If there are no search results for the original query, then a different link will appear at the bottom of the prices list. This link doesn’t show the eBay price, but if you click it, it’ll search for just the card name and number (not set this time) within auction titles AND their description.
My goal was to make the search results accurate when pulling up the prices, and then if no results were found to give a link you could click to rummage through a wider search scope.
The problem is that eBay users sometimes don’t title their auctions well. For example, the default search query on here for Yanmega Prime is Yanmega Prime Triumphant 98. However, some of the less intelligent eBay users don’t title their auctions that well, and don’t include Triumphant or98 within their keywords.
I tried doing broader search terms by default, like just doing Yanmega Prime Triumphant (excluding the number), but that will bring up bad results depending on the card you search. For example, there are 2 Basculins in Emerging Powers. So a search like Basculin Emerging Powers would bring up both of them, and that is no good when trying to pull up the correct price.
Then there is the option of just searching for the card name and number. There are issues with that when you search for cards with low numbers, like Jirachi 1 (from Unleashed). If you use that as your query, Jirachi 31 from Legends Awakened will appear in the results, and the price could end up being really skewed.
Finally, there was the option of searching title and description with the name, set, and number, but again, some people threw extra keywords in their descriptions, and the results again sucked.
The results that show up with the eBay prices should be accurate, but you can also try altering the search by excluding keywords or including a description search, and you might find a card at a better price.
When there is no eBay price shown and it just says click here, it’ll show pretty wide search results which you can try to narrow. It only shows that link when no search results were found with the default query, meaning the card might not be available, or it is oddly titled.
Regarding the Other Prices
The prices from the other sites are all pulled automatically, so sometimes the links might go to the wrong card. If you ever notice any duds, let me know and I can manually fix them.
I decided to organize the prices by lowest price + shipping first. The lowest price that shows isn’t really the lowest price, but price from the lowest price + shipping. I think it makes most sense to display things that way, so I wanted to clear that up incase you were confused.
Also, prices update every 2 days. I have to cache the results to keep the pages on the site loading fast. Every time we have to check the prices, it’s a relatively slow process. I’m going to see if I can alter the code so it retrieves prices in the background (so you never feel the load time), and if I can figure that out, I could potentially have the prices update more often (like once a day maybe).
Like I just mentioned, I’m going to try and have the prices retrieved in the background so you don’t have to endure the load time. If any pages ever are loading slow right now, that’s why. The site overall should speed up a bit if I figure that out.
I’d also like to improve the rating system in the future. Ideally I’d make you leave a review with your rating, as to reduce spam and have everyone contribute some content to the site. Explain WHY you think Hoppip is a 10.
Along with that, I’d also like to create achievements or badges if you rate/review a certain number of cards. I think that would be kind of cool and make the site a little more fun. I honestly have no idea how to do something like that right now, but it would be neat!
And 1 bug to make note of… if you type R in a search on Firefox, it takes you to a random card. Chrome and Safari work fine, but for some reason Firefox is trippin. I’ll look into that when I have a chance.
For now, use Chrome or Safari, or avoid using the letter R with Firefox.
Anyway, THANK YOU for the support with the site so far! I’m glad it’s being used and I hope to keep improving it over the next few months. When I see people using the site, it makes me happy and gives me a lot of inspiration to keep working on it.
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