Setting up reasonable prices is one of the keys to a stable and profitable business. Yet to understand what is “reasonable”, you need to know about your competitors’ prices. That is why price comparison has become a part of the routine for a lot of companies. Unfortunately, it’s not always a pleasant one, especially when you need to deal with geo-based limits or the risk of being blacklisted. Still, there is a way out: combining price comparison with proxies. In this article, we will sort out what proxies are and how they could scale up price scraping. Let’s roll.

Proxies: what are they?

To understand what proxies do, first, you need to remember that every device has an IP address. It’s a unique number that is visible to every web source you visit. It gives away a lot of information about you. For example, it is easy to understand whether you are a private user or a company. It takes seconds to track your physical location as well. If there is a reason to hide this data, proxies come in useful.

When you use a proxy server, your traffic doesn’t go to a webpage directly but to a proxy server. This server then sends a request to a webpage. That way, a target site sees the IP of a proxy server and not your device, helping you hide your identity or bypass restrictions (for example, geo-based ones).

How can proxies help you with price comparison?

When you compare prices, you have two ways to do it. You may opt for manual comparison; just google and check. That works if you don’t need to compare prices often or you don’t have a lot of competitors. The other way is to use a so-called crawler instead. It is an app that sends requests to sites and collects the necessary data.

In both cases, sites see your IP and may identify you. If you use a crawler, it sends a lot of typical requests with the same IP within a short period of time. That is one more issue because it takes target sites seconds to understand that it is not a real person and that something is going on. That’s why you may face problems, for example:

  • Sites may suspect you are trying to do something harmful (DDoS attacks, for example) and ask you to enter a captcha. A crawler doesn’t understand what a captcha is and isn’t able to pass such a check. The process of price comparison would stop here, leaving you with no useful results;
  • Sites may blacklist you. If you are blacklisted, you cannot collect the data you need. Not just today — ever;
  • You cannot access sites if your location is blacklisted. As a result, you will only know about prices that you are able to check from your country. It’s not good since prices for the same product may vary depending on the country. It’s always better to check prices worldwide;
  • Some companies do not block users who scrape pricing data. Instead, they may show the wrong information to wrap competitors around their fingers. Of course, such data is of no use to you.

Now let’s look at how proxies can solve those issues.

  • Proxies to avoid captchas and ensure a seamless process of price comparison.

When connected to a proxy server, you can have your IP address changed with every request. It means that sites would not suspect you or understand that you compare prices at all. They would think that requests come from regular users. Captchas or other types of checks would not interrupt the process, and you would have the necessary price data.

  • Proxies to avoid blacklisting.

While using proxies, you switch between different IPs. Sites see you as an ordinary user — there is no reason to block you.

  • Proxies to avoid geo-based restrictions.

One of the advantages of using proxies is the ability to hide your real location. You can choose a necessary country, and a server will connect you with the IPs in that location. Target sites let you in with no problems, and you can collect the data. As a result, you have a full picture of prices around the world and can set your own.

  • Proxies to escape traps.

Since your IP gives away who you are, it is easy to hide behind a proxy server. When you surf the web with the help of different IPs, your competitors will not be able to identify you. They will think that you are a possible buyer and show the real prices. This data is what you need.

Use cases

Proxies for price comparison are especially good if you have to track price-related data on a regular basis. It works for industries where consumers have many options for the same product to choose from. Let’s take a look at several examples.

Proxies for e-commerce

No matter what you actually sell, you need to know how your competitors go about it. You have to compare prices practically every day, and it is not good to waste your time on solving captchas. You need accurate data on hand. Proxies can help you with it.

Proxies for retailers

When you have a lot of competitors, it is hard to compare prices manually. When you have a lot of goods to sell as well, it is nearly impossible to scrape prices with no help. That`s why proxies may be your allies. They help you speed up the process of comparison. Yet there will be no mistakes like a human can make when in a hurry. You would have structured data about your rivals’ prices so that you could set up yours.

Proxies for software

The software industry is another fast-changing niche. There are a lot of consumers who demand more. There are a lot of competitors. So you need to use every opportunity to remain stable. Being aware of your competitors’ prices can help you with it. And proxies will ensure you have all the data you need in time and with no headache.

How to choose proxies for price comparison

The combination of price comparison and proxies is a powerful tool for your business that opens up a whole new set of opportunities. Yet it is important to choose the right type of proxies.

There are residential and data centre proxies. There are rotating or sticky proxies. Let’s delve deeper into the topic so that you understand which is better for your needs.

Residential vs. data centre proxies

Residential proxies are the IPs of real humans’ devices. People install an app on their devices, connect to the Internet and opt in to sell a part of their traffic to a proxy provider. A provider gives this traffic to you. You connect and surf the web using the IPs of those people, as if you were using their gadgets, just remotely. A big advantage of residential proxies is that you have a wider choice of locations.

Data centre proxies are the IPs of data centres. They may sometimes be slightly faster, but sites usually identify them. That is why they are not the best option if you want to compare prices. Since web sources see that an address doesn’t belong to a real human, they may block you or show misleading data.

Rotating vs. sticky proxies

It is even simpler. When you are connecting to a proxy server, you can choose if you want to use the same IP within an extended time period (for example, during 30 minutes) or if you want your IP to be changed with every request you send. If you use the same address, it is called a sticky session. If you switch between different addresses, it is called a rotating proxy. Since you send a lot of requests while comparing prices, rotating proxies may work better for this task.

With all of that, rotating residential proxies are the first-rate choice for price comparison.

What can DataImpulse provide you with?

DataImpulse offers you an instrument to make a price comparison process fast, easy, and effective. Our target is to ensure you have accurate data with no blind spots. Here is our recipe for doing so:

  • “Clean” residential proxies

Once an IP is blacklisted, it is useless. You cannot access sites with it — you cannot have the information. That is why we check every IP we provide you with. We make sure people do not use addresses for illegal activities like sending spam or spreading viruses, and that IPs are not blacklisted. It means that you can reach everywhere using our proxies.

  • One-second — response time

We know that speed is a key component of success. It is important to know about competitor prices right now, not in a week. That is why we provide you with fast proxies. You will have real-time data and not even notice that you are using a proxy server.

  • Rotating or sticky proxies — the choice is up to you

We can provide you with both options — you choose what you need. Do you want to try rotating proxies? We have 5+ million addresses that change automatically. You do not have to switch between different addresses on your own. Just care about finding the data you need. Do you want to opt for sticky sessions? We can offer you 30-minute sessions with no need to reconnect manually.

  • 194 locations

We cover almost every country in the world, so you can track prices worldwide. There is an option to choose a specific country you need proxies from or just use all of them.

  • Send as many requests as you need

Naturally, when you compare prices, you send a lot of requests. It is important to have a stable connection and speed while doing so as well. We know this and do not set up any limits; use as much traffic as you have to.

To sum up

Price comparison is an effective tool, yet it may be hard and stressful to use it due to geo-based restrictions or the risk of being banned. Proxies can save you time and brain cells by helping you bypass all of the limitations. With proxies, you can hide your location and identity, so competitors will think that you are just a regular customer. It is a guarantee that you will collect accurate data quickly, be able to set reasonable prices and develop your pricing strategy. At DataImpulse, you can get reliable proxies from 194 countries and face no limits for speed or number of requests. Email us at [email protected] or click on a widget in the bottom-right corner to get started.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxy_server
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_address