These are projects posted by the students of Dr. Gove Allen at Brigham Young University. These students have taken one semester-long course on VBA and generally have had no prior programming experience

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Deal-a-Day Price Comparison

Executive Summary

Business Description

I’m a big fan of deal-a-day websites in general, but I definitely follow more closely than any of the others. If you’re not familiar with these types of sites, they exist as an outlet for manufacturers or wholesalers that either want to unload a bunch of excess stock or want to quickly introduce new gadgets and gizmos to the cutting-edge adopter—usually at a pretty steep discount.

This discount is what interests me, because the business idea I have is to find a way to discover and capture extra-large margins. I can think of two ways of doing this, but only one is scalable. My idea is to check the site’s past items, compare those items’ prices to regular market prices (sometimes this won’t apply if this vendor is being used to introduce a product and they are the first to offer it or if it’s a mystery bag), and then produce a list of the items that are good deals. If there are exceptional margins to capture, I’ll make use of this list to either find buyers who want to resell or be on the lookout for these items during Woot-offs (rapid-fire versions of the deal-a-day offerings).

System Overview

I’m using the power of my new employer’s web-scraping tool ( to quickly scrape past items offered from archive sites. I wrote a sub procedure that formats the data to be usable as part of a web URL. The next sub searches a pricing index site and grabs the prices listed for comparable items. Finally, the web data is compared to the deal-a-day price, and the final result is list of the items that are considered “deals” (determined by my standards), sorted by margin per unit.

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