What do a Bugatti Veyron and Price Intelligence have in common? Well apparently it’s possible to build both on your own. Last year, a 25 year old Florida Native, Mike Duff, set out to build his own Bugatti Veyron. He started out with a 2002 Mercury Cougar Coupe, and made several enhancements to it, transforming both the interior and the exterior to resemble the real $1.5 million version. Apparently, it took him 9 months to complete the project – certainly much longer than just buying it and driving off the lot. It does appear that it didn’t cost him nearly as much to complete, as he is selling his project for $89,000, less than a tenth of the price of the real deal.
All of this sounds like a rags to riches, dreams come true kind of story, until you realize that the engine and internal parts of the car are still that of the Mercury, and although his car looks like a Veyron, it doesn’t have nearly the performance, and achieving 260 mph is highly unlikely. So after all that time and money spent, Duff is really only getting the performance of a 2002 sedan. Similarly, it is possible to build your own price intelligence solution. Simply creating a data collection tool that ‘scrapes’ the internet for prices may not seem all that difficult. But the question is, how well are you doing it? How accurate is the data? Are you getting the performance of a best-in-class product, or of one built in someone’s garage? There are countless things that you may not be considering when you build your own solution, and although it may appear like you are getting competitors’ prices, you may not be factoring in items such as shipping costs or mail in rebates. Not to mention that many sites you have to create a user account and proceed all the way to check out before you actually see the price. Just some of the other common problems faced by those trying to collect competitive pricing information:
- Sites search tools are not standardized, and cannot be used to search the product for the site
- Many sites don’t use UPC or universal model numbers, making product matching more difficult
- Some sites limit the number of price requests you can do per day
- Some sites put up other technical barriers to prohibit data collection
So, like Mike, you could build your own solution, but you need to ask yourself: What’s really under the hood? Am I going to get best-in-class performance that will help me achieve my goals? Will my mechanic suddenly become my new best friend? For a deeper look at the 3 most important considerations when deciding to build or buy a retail price intelligence solution, keep an eye out for our upcoming whitepaper.