There's nothing new about the concept of wanting to know what a good price is for something - how can you know if it's a good deal, if you have no idea what something normally sells for? There have been many options; books are one of the more common forms, although they tend to be inaccurate and out of date, especially for things that become 'popular' and increase in value. In the mid to late 90's there was also a very cool list that tracked people selling gear through the newsgroups - this completely solved the both the problems that the book had. Unfortunately the site moved around quite a bit and finally was shut down, and thus this was born - my objective was to take the best parts of both methods and expand upon them, hopefully making something better than just a combination of the two.
This information is useful to both the seller as well as the buyer - for the seller, it gives them a realistic idea of what they should get for a piece of gear, while the buyer gets a benchmark of what the average selling price is so they can gauge how good a deal something is. A variety of information is available (check out the 'What means what' section) to help you gauge how popular an item is, whether the price seems to be increasing or not, and more!
How it works
Once every night, the PrePal service goes out and retrieves any new items from several sources, including news groups (NNTP), auction sites, music sites with used gear boards, etc. After it creates a list of what it thinks could potentially be music items for sale, it tries to eliminate duplicate entries (ie; someone posting a forsale post on two different newsgroups, or on the newsgroups and a message board as well). After it's satisfied with the intermediate data, it attempts to identify manufacturers as well as products; if it's finds a sufficiently accurate match, it's added to the products entry in the database.
For those interested in seeing how much data the service runs through, and how accurately it's able to match with indexes products, check out the Statistics page, which is updated every time the site is regenerated.
What means what
Each manufacturer has their own page, which lists the products that are currently being tracked. The information is provided in a table with the following fields:
It's important to note that the average price becomes more accurate the larger the number of transactions tracked - this number is calculated by summing all of the prices, then rejecting the top and bottom 20%. The rejection is done to help eliminate extreme differences in similar products (ie; an extensively upgraded sampler or a broken synth being sold as parts); because of this it's best to wait until there is at least 10 transactions before relying on a price.
- Product Description: The model number and verbose description of the product
- Year Released: The year when the product was initially released
- List Price: The manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP)
- Average Price: The average price the product has been selling for
- Pricing Trend: Based off of the last X transactions, the direction the price is moving
- Number Tracked: The number of transactions tracked for this product
- Resale Popularity: How much demand there is for this particular product
Link to us
Like PrePal? The only thing better than telling all your friends is putting a link up on your website! If you run a larger site that lists products from many different manufacturers and would like to automate syncing your directory structure with ours, we've made an XML version of our manufacturers list available here. This list is automatically regenerated with the site each night, so it's always up to date.
If for some reason you need to contact us, you may do so via the Contact page. Please do not ask for any information about where a piece of gear was sold or if some particular item is available somewhere, this information is not and will not be tracked. If you would like to see a specific piece of gear added to the site, then please use the form located on the Contact page as well - but provide as much information as possible; the less information, the less likely it is to be added to the index.
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