Amazon is the biggest online shopping in the world which millions of products are displayed. The website becomes the most potential resource of information especially for competing retailer. They might want to keep the database of pricing data by web scraping Amazon. But is it work? There is some information you must to know before start scraping.
Learn about Web Scraping
Web scraping, also known as web harvesting or web data extraction, is a technique to extract all the data/information from website which usually contain of a group of html code, java script, CSS, etc. Web scraping is focused on the unstructured data transformation, usually in the HTML format, to structured data that can be stored and analyzed in the central local database or spreadsheet.
For example, you can try to open any website and right click on the page, choose views source or Ctrl+Shift+I. then in the bottom of page will appear a group of code. This group of code that will be extracted with scraper, it is a computer software for scraping. By web scraping, you can take important data from multiple pages in the website and store it on a single page like online pricing ratio, contact scraping, monitoring data, analysis, web data integration, etc. You can also reformat data in a way that doesn’t provided by the website.
Amazon Scraping Policy
Basically, Amazon policy doesn’t allow you to do web scraping of their website data. It is written in their terms and conditions policy point 9.2 which outlining that Amazon provides the confidential and proprietary of pricing or discounts, but copy or use any data mining, scraping, or other information gathering and tools for extraction is not allowed. If you still curious and try it, you will end up with your IP get banned. Or for the worst is that you get to court after go beyond the boundaries.
Does It Still Work?
Yes, it is, but under some conditions. If you are low-scale web scraping Amazon, they might let you go or at least ban your IP but you can avoid to get caught by filtering your IP. The website will see you through your proxy server, so you need to prepare numerous proxy servers in case one of your proxy get banned. Amazon website is very good at detecting bots, so you must vary your actions, your timing, and your IP. The behavior of poorly programmed bots are repetitive, they keep doing many actions like request as quickly as possible.
Actually, data scraping isn’t violate any laws unless you don’t harvesting their private data. When you do the scraping, you better to act like a public visitor and avoid as much as possible to scrape their internal data that break their policy. When you finally get the data, don’t ever try to make it profit for yourself like sell it to the third party or even use it for the base of your business.
You better be smart and careful when try to web scraping Amazon. Not only careful with the policy, but also with the scraper. There are so much scraping software can be purchased online, but you need to be careful with buying the right one. Not all the pricey software are good, you can get the cheap one with the same quality.