Background and Changes

First, it is useful to explain exactly what Amazon is changing. We communicate to Amazon through something called an "application programmer interface" or API. An API is basically an agreed upon method that computers can use to talk to each other. At the end of August, Amazon is shutting down the primary API we use to download price and sales rank data from Amazon. As a replacement, they have written a brand new, seller specific API. There are a few key differences between the new API and the old API. To start with, here are the things that will be staying the same:

All of these pieces of information are still accessible:
  • Sales rank
  • Lowest Used price
  • Lowest New price
  • Lowest Collectible price
  • Additional competitive prices based on "buckets" See Below
  • Total number of offers
  • List price


Some things that will be changing:
  • We will no longer have access to who the offer belongs to, including Amazon's price
  • We will no longer have access to "featured merchant" only pricing

And a few things are being added:
  • The shipping price as well as the listed price!
  • trade-in price (not yet supported)

Amazon Offer "Bucketing"

One of the new things Amazon has implemented with the data is a concept they are calling "offer bucketing." Basically, they take the lowest 20 offers and sort them into different "buckets" based on the various offer attributes. These include: offer condition, seller rating, FBA vs. non-FBA and a few other items. Here is the specific description from Amazon:


To better understand this, it is useful to look at an example.

Here is a book called "A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox." You can view the item on Amazon here.
Please keep in mind, at the time of this writing the data was from August 16, 2012. The live data on this website will change and be different from what is displayed below.

As of this writing there were the following offers:

Used Prices
Condition Price Seller Feedback Seller Rating Is FBA?
Used, Good $37.28 37,961 91% No
Used, Acceptable $37.28 9,887 94% No
Used, Good $37.29 16,936 98% No
Used, Very Good $37.30 117,117 96% No
Used, Very Good $37.31 198,003 94% No
Used, Good $38.32 363,333 91% No
Used, Good $39.00 96,914 91% No
Used, Good $39.03 259 89% No
Used, Acceptable $43.16 1,401,370 94% Yes
Used, Acceptable $43.38 23,087 97% Yes
Used, Good $40.00 12,674 91% No
Used, Acceptable $41.32 48,783 94% No
Used, Acceptable 41.33 2,001 94% No
Used, Acceptable $41.33 33,094 93% No
Used, Good $43.35 34,113 92% No
Used, Good $43.50 Just Launched -- No
Used, Very Good $43.87 101,445 88% No
Used, Very Good $43.99 246 100% No
Used, Like New $45.00 1 100% No
Used, Like New $45.00 2 50% No
New Prices
New Price Seller Feedback Seller Rating Is FBA
New $54.55 Amazon 91% Yes
New $52.61 363,358 91% No
New $52.62 2,990 98% No
New $53.00 38 95% No
New $53.25 201,761 95% No
New $55.11 9764 91% No
New $56.60 146 96% No
New $56.95 276,192 91% No
New $61.23 188,419 89% No
New $66.52 2074 95% No
New $68.00 33,931 99% No
New $68.00 240,294 95% No
New $69.41 27 100% No
New $71.78 505,103 95% No
New $73.84 271,750 97% No
New $73.93 41,106 96% No
New $77.94 386,726 95% No
New $78.17 228,889 95% No
New $79.04 4,017 93% No
New $79.22 2,206 99% No
New $80.08 5,937 96% No
New $80.08 5,937 96% No
New $80.08 5,937 96% No




From here, Amazon groups these into various "buckets" and returns to us the lowest priced offers in that that bucket. The buckets for this looks like the following:

Buckets
Condition Price Seller Feedback Seller Rating is FBA? Offers in Bucket
Used, Good $37.28 - 90-94% No 8
Used, Acceptable $37.28 - 90-94% No 1
Used, Good $37.28 - 98-100% No 1
Used, Very Good $37.30 - 95-97% No 1
Used, Very Good $37.31 - 90-94% No 2
New $52.61 - 90-94% No 4
New $52.62 - 98-100% No 4
New $53.00 - 95-97% No 9
New $61.23 - 80-89% No 1
New $71.78 - 95-97% No 1
Used, Good $43.16 - 90-94% Yes 3
Used, Acceptable $43.16 - 90-94% Yes 2
Used, Acceptable $43.38 - 95-97% Yes 1
New $54.55 - 98-100% Yes 1




As you can see, there are a few offers now missing from the results due to the bucketing. In most cases, however, we have seen that there is enough variety in offers to get a pretty good feel for the value of the item.

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