Pricescape.com is an online shopping center offering hundreds of thousand of products for day-to-day use. The site operates in the style of malls wherein several vendors can sell their goods under a single roof. While affiliate datafeeds too can be used, the basic business model of the site is to invite merchants or vendors to upload their products via datafeeds (most convenient when a merchant manages thousands of products) and sell on the site.
For this service the site charges a nominal subscription fee from each merchant. AdSense or another similar advertising network can always be a secondary source of revenue and income.
Technology Behind the Site
Built based on PHP/MySQL, it uses a custom script to import the data into MySQL and display in various formats. One can search for products based on keywords, or browse by merchant, category or brand. Displayed list of goods can be formatted further by relevancy, ratings or price – higher or lower price first. Whenever there are two similar products from different merchants, price comparison is automatically shown. Users can leave reviews and rate products which is shown on the site after Admin approval.
All URLs are “statically” generated for search engines. Each merchant, each category, each brand, and each product has its own “static” URL. Featured products can be displayed on the front page. New datafeeds can be set-up to be downloaded automatically in most cases, as frequently as you wish – daily, weekly, monthly. These can be further imported into the site’s database automatically. Once set-up, all updates can, in most cases, take place without human intervention. Of course, where automation may not be possible, the job can always be done manually – a simple procedure and anyone familiar with using a web browser will be able to handle it.
Based on the minimum amount ($10.00 per month for up to 100 products) that the site currently charges (you can set your own subscription prices), if you have just 10 merchant subscribers, you will make $100 per month; if you have 50 merchant subscribers, you will make $500 per month; if you have 100 merchant subscribers, you will make $1000 per month. The maximum subscription currently set is $200 per month for up to 10,000 products. If the median is, let’s say, $50 for 50 merchant subscribers for up to 500 products, you make $2500 per month. You can, of course, do your own permutation and combination – optimistic, realistic, pessimistic.
Site’s Overhead Expenses
While you will decide on the marketing budget to promote the site, there are minimal overheads in running it – all you pay is for hosting and renewal of the domain name. SSH facility in hosting is recommended for importing large datafeeds manually when required.
Pricescape.com – Domain Name
Pricescape.com – short, relevant, easily remembered and brandable domain, would be worth in high 4-figures for the name alone. While it may be possible to build another similar site, a domain name like this doesn’t becomes available everyday.