CamelCamelCamel: Amazon Price Tracker with Daniel Green

CamelCamelCamel is a tool for tracking prices on items on Amazon.com. The company was launched eleven years ago and is built off of the Amazon Product Advertising API. Daniel Green is one of the founders of CamelCamelCamel, and he joins the show to describe his experience building the product.

Amazon and CamelCamelCamel (C3) have a complex relationship. C3 makes its money from referral listings. When a user tracks the price of an Amazon item using C3, that user will probably eventually click on the referral listing on C3. If the user purchases the item on Amazon, C3 gets a percentage of the purchase from Amazon.

C3 has millions of product listings where they are tracking the price of items on Amazon. They have created a directory with a large subset of Amazon’s items by leveraging an API that was originally meant for advertising. Whether or not this is a proper use of the API, C3 arguably leads to more purchasing volume on Amazon–which is ostensibly why Amazon lets the company continue to operate.

In today’s show, Daniel gives a history of CamelCamelCamel, including his own background as an engineer working in finance and how he wound up working on C3 for the past decade. We also talk through how C3 is architected.

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Transcript

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