Find the best book buyback prices with BookScouter.com

Posted on August 6th, 2007 in General,Programming by Brandon

A few weeks ago I posted about a quick service I put together that compared textbook buyback prices from a few of the top websites.  I’ve been working on expanding that the past few weeks, and am now unveiling a site dedicated to it.

BookScouter.com is the most comprehensive comparison site for quickly searching for textbook sale prices.   It currently scrapes prices from 21 other sites – which is all of them that I could find.  The website is written in PHP using a custom framework that I’ve developed and use exclusively now.   I found an excellent website called opensourcetemplates.org that has website templates available for free.  Their ‘Nautilius’ theme is the one I chose for this site.

The backend of the site is written in Perl.  It uses a pretty straightforward LWP to fetch the page, and some regular expressions to pull the price from the pages it obtains.  Each site was custom coded, but I got it down to a pretty re-usable script where I just customize a few of the things, like the input variable name for the ISBN and the regex that contains the price.    A few of the sites were more complicated than the others and required fetching a couple pages to obtain a session ID.

I’m pretty happy with the end result.   Please try to look up a few books and see if you have anything of value sitting around.   No registration or any personal information is ever required and it is completely free to use.

One Response to 'Find the best book buyback prices with BookScouter.com'

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  1. on August 7th, 2007 at 2:08 am

    Congratulations on the release of BookScouter.com. It looks and works great!

  2. Joe said,

    on June 15th, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Nice work! I have been looking for a site that would do a buyback comparison Bookscouter.com works great!

    Thank you,
    Joe

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