Ammo Price Finder Website?


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heypete
December 16, 2007, 09:08 PM
Greetings all,

I've been pondering setting up a price finder website, sort of like GasBuddy.com...but for ammo, not gas.

There's a sticky thread at AR15.com that's updated frequently and shows the prices for various 5.56mm/.223 Rem ammo types available at a small number of online vendors. I find this to be incredibly useful, but at the same time it's a bit limited in many respects (needing to be manually updated by the admin, small selection of types and calibers of ammo, only a few stores, etc.).

I'm envisioning a site where one can locate their town (either by entering their postal/ZIP code, or navigating from Country-->State-->County-->City...with adjustments made for various countries, like "Province" instead of "State") and search for local vendors and their current selection and pricing. That, and being able to search online vendors and their prices.

Users would be able to limit their searches by different criteria: caliber, price, distance, etc. and be shown any requests that match their search.

Additionally, the information would be user-writable like GasBuddy -- users (or vendors/site owners) would be able to update the pricing at various locations so as to share this information with other users. Listings would "expire" after a certain timeframe, say a week or month, so old prices won't be displayed.

To limit erroneous listings, users would be prompted to enter various information about the ammo they're listing: manufacturer, caliber, bullet weight, etc. If known, a manufacturer's ID code for that product (like Federal's "XM193", or Winchester "Q-3131A") could be entered. Other information (like if the price is a regular or sale price, how long such a sale will last, number of cartridges available for that price, any vendor fees [like CTD's $3 ammo fee], etc.) could also be entered.

I have the resources to host and administer the site at a gun-friendly host, but don't have the knowledge of PHP and MySQL to get it setup myself. If there's anyone on THR who might be able to help out, I'd be much obliged if you could contact me privately.

For everyone else: If there's a specific feature you'd like such a site to have, please let me know in this thread. While I can't promise I can include it immediately, I'll definitely keep all comments in mind.

Cheers!
-Pete

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dodge
December 16, 2007, 09:18 PM
You can check out http://gun-deals.com . This maybe what you're lookin for.

heypete
December 18, 2007, 04:57 AM
Hmm...sort of, but not quite so. I'll have to look into it a bit more, though.

baz
December 18, 2007, 09:29 AM
Actually, it already exists at that site:

http://gun-deals.com/ammo.php

brighamr
December 18, 2007, 11:55 AM
I like the idea. You could have the search "cheapest ammo within 100 miles" and or "cheapest ammo online". Have it update dynamically from all your sources with real time "in stock", "backordered" etc.

Sorry, I don't know enough of mysql to set this up. A simpler idea would be to use RSS from the different vendors sites and have your page preformatted. It could update when the search is processed...

squeky
December 20, 2007, 09:50 PM
Hey guys, site owner of gun-deals.com here.

The more you can help people find stuff easier, I'd say go for it. I have learned some things from running my site. I'll share my observations.

1) Gun and ammo vendors generally don't like competing directly on a price comparison site. They have their systems set up (which range from full suites to simple html) and let the message boards do the job of promoting. Good luck getting cooperation from them.

2) Local stock would be a daunting task, no matter your programming knowledge. You need a TON of visitors to keep everything updated. I mean a ton. I'm getting 2,000/day and it's still not enough. If you let users do all the editing, the site will eventually drift out of accuracy. I get flags all the time from people that don't read correctly.

3) RSS feeds from a vendor are rare (I don't think I've seen one yet). You could try a regex expression to parse data, but ANY change to their system would require a complete rewrite of your parser. Huge time waster there.

4) Expiration dates get tricky. Some deals last for 6 months before a price change and some sell out in 2 days. I think a universal "expires after X days" will cut out a lot of deals. My site has a price history, which I think is a good feature to have.

5) There is not as much demand for a gun finder as there is for a gas buddy. What I'm saying is--if you're trying to venture and make lots of money, make a better gas buddy :uhoh: Most good ad networks won't touch gun sites, leaving you looking for your own funding. IMO you won't find many vendors willing to sponsor your site because the only purpose of the site is to compare prices of their competitors. It's a hobby for me and fun when people like the site. That's why I do it. Making back the hosting money through donations is all I ask for.

Good luck either way.

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