Used camera & lens website

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5,937
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Dan
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On filtering: would you consider adding negative values as used on other search engines? e.g. "-ebay" to drop all ebay entries from the search.

On display: I'd prefer to see a black font used for the list. Even though I'm not colour blind, I find the red difficult to read.
If you want to remove ebay results you can tick the box, the search box only looks at the product name so -ebay won't do anything. Is it only the ebay example you were considering, or do you think it has a wider benefit?

Here's a black link example, not that I'm convinced to change it, I will take the feedback onboard but I quite like the aesthetic.

blacklink.png
 
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Is it only the ebay example you were considering, or do you think it has a wider benefit?
A simple regular expression syntax would let the user home in on particular items. Just 2 modifiers would meet most people's needs as in...

m43 lens +2.8 -panasonic​

...which would resolve to

contains "m43" or "lens"
must contain "2.8"
must not contain "panasonic"​

I don't think you've told us what language you're using. If your input box is passing the text to a search function it may well be that the function has the ability to parse this sort of thing built in.
Here's a black link example, not that I'm convinced to change
That works much better for me, thanks.
 
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Dan
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A simple regular expression syntax would let the user home in on particular items. Just 2 modifiers would meet most people's needs as in...

m43 lens +2.8 -panasonic​

...which would resolve to

contains "m43" or "lens"
must contain "2.8"
must not contain "panasonic"​

I don't think you've told us what language you're using. If your input box is passing the text to a search function it may well be that the function has the ability to parse this sort of thing built in.
That works much better for me, thanks.
Ok I've made the links in the table black for now, I'm starting to grow more accustomed every time I see the screenshot :)

I'm using ColdFusion, I've written the search function in SQL

in your example you would get every f2.8 lens out there that's not panasonic, making the default expression OR would not be useful for most users their results would get worse not better.

Also annoyingly is that "m43" is not consistent either! I could do with creating a synonym table thing in SQL.
 
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in your example you would get every f2.8 lens out there that's not panasonic,
That's the idea. You could simplify my example to "m43 lens 2.8 -panasonic", which would translate to something like...

SELECT * FROM itemlist WHERE thisitem IN ("m43", "lens", "2.8") AND thisitem NOT IN ("panasonic");

(...of course, I'm assuming here that your retrieval breaks the information into individual words before inserting the rows in your table). You could then de-dup the result rows on their key columns, making sure that the count for entries is 3 for this example.

I hope this is of some use to you.
 
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OP
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Dan
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That's the idea. You could simplify my example to "m43 lens 2.8 -panasonic", which would translate to something like...

SELECT * FROM itemlist WHERE thisitem IN ("m43", "lens", "2.8") AND thisitem NOT IN ("panasonic");

(...of course, I'm assuming here that your retrieval breaks the information into individual words before inserting the rows in your table). You could then de-dup the result rows on their key columns.

I hope this is of some use to you.
By your logic not refining the search, you're broadening it.

You'll have every product that contains the word lens, every product that contains 2.8 and every product that contains m43

the search would includes thousands of products, Canon 600mm lens would be listed so would Sony 24-70 2.8, you'll never find what you're after with a default OR clause.


But ignoring the OR logic, if I look at

WHERE thisitem IN ("m43", "lens", "2.8")

A product name of "Olympus 23mm f2.8 m43 lens" is NOT going to be found in that list, the comparison logic does not work this way. The list needs to be the product name for comparison purposes.



What I am using is stuff like

AND productname REGEXP '(\\b#trim(searchterm)#)|(#trim(searchterm)#\\b)'

For which I loop each term and checks if it matches the beginning or end of a 'word' with the product name string (not the middle)

If the word is in quotes, then it's like..

AND productname REGEXP '(\\b#trim(search)#\\b)'
 
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as I don't know what your code looks like.
What I am using is stuff like

AND productname REGEXP '(\\b#trim(searchterm)#)|(#trim(searchterm)#\\b)'

For which I loop each term and checks if it matches the beginning or end of a 'word' with the product name string (not the middle)

If the word is in quotes, then it's like..

AND productname REGEXP '(\\b#trim(search)#\\b)'
Well, now I do. :D

So all you need is to add a second regular expression to drop the row if the unwanted word is present in the search string...

AND NOT productname REGEXP '(\\b#trim(notwanted)#\\b)'

(I'm guessing at the syntax here as I don't know ColdFusion).
 
OP
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5,937
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Well, now I do. :D

So all you need is to add a second regular expression to drop the row if the unwanted word is present in the search string...

AND NOT productname REGEXP '(\\b#trim(notwanted)#\\b)'

(I'm guessing at the syntax here as I don't know ColdFusion).
What added and just made live was :)

<cfelseif left(trim(search), 1) EQ '-' AND len(search) GT 1>
AND productname NOT REGEXP '(\\b#trim(search)#\\b)'
<cfelse>

Let me know how that works out for you

Now would you rather it not match a partial string like -pana or have to type -panasonic (currently it's the latter)

I have not added + terms though, I quite like that I can type "Leica M10" and get only matches for the entire string, something that doesn't work with +
 
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Ok, I will change it for the partial match because

Sony -Sony shouldn't really bring up any results, but it does :D

sorry, not sorry

It will be handy for filtering out sigma too, from Canon/Sony etc..
 
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I had an idea just now.

I've got a database of for several thousands cameras and lenses, and they are organised by mount. I could have a drill down system on the page to choose mount -> brand -> lens and have a custom search triggered by the lens selection.

I have been trying to do it automatically previously but was not happy with results, but I think I could create searches manually which would get the results wanted.

Yay ?
 
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Andy
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I think that would be useful, with the prevalence of different manufacturers creating lenses for different brands I guess it would be nice to see the alternatives. One of the great things about your website is that it widens my horizons about what to look for, and I find myself discovering things I didn't even know existing so therefore could never have searched for!

On a different note, I've noticed a quirk and I'm not sure if its been discussed before. When choosing to show 100 entries, the page refreshes and you get 100 results. However, the text at the bottom still maintains showing 1-10 of X amount of entries. In itself that may not be a problem, however on selecting page 2 of entries, it gives you entries 11-110, rather than 101-201, then page 3 is 21-120 rather than 201-301. So even though its giving you 100 entries in the list, the selecting of the second page is only extending the search by a further 10 entries. I hope that makes sense :) If not I can get some screenshots for you if you'd like :)
 
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Dan
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I think that would be useful, with the prevalence of different manufacturers creating lenses for different brands I guess it would be nice to see the alternatives. One of the great things about your website is that it widens my horizons about what to look for, and I find myself discovering things I didn't even know existing so therefore could never have searched for!

On a different note, I've noticed a quirk and I'm not sure if its been discussed before. When choosing to show 100 entries, the page refreshes and you get 100 results. However, the text at the bottom still maintains showing 1-10 of X amount of entries. In itself that may not be a problem, however on selecting page 2 of entries, it gives you entries 11-110, rather than 101-201, then page 3 is 21-120 rather than 201-301. So even though its giving you 100 entries in the list, the selecting of the second page is only extending the search by a further 10 entries. I hope that makes sense :) If not I can get some screenshots for you if you'd like :)
thanks I'll get right on it,

I recreated the filter for entries per page, and didn't notice the issues that came with that.
 
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Andy
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thanks I'll get right on it,

I recreated the filter for entries per page, and didn't notice the issues that came with that.
No problem, glad to help! The site is great so if I can contribute to improvements by playing then i'm more than happy to :) (also, I probably spend too much time using it to find bargains :LOL: )
 
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No problem, glad to help! The site is great so if I can contribute to improvements by playing then i'm more than happy to :) (also, I probably spend too much time using it to find bargains :LOL: )
Fixed! thanks Andy :) I appreciate it
 
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Just updated so when it compares product name and search term it removes all / in the comparison

This way you can search f/2 or f2 and bring up all the results for f/2 and f2 together.

Also I'm looking at making some alternative keyword lists, so that if you search for one it brings up the others.

These are the ones that first come to mind.. i'm open to further suggestions.

["m43,mft,micro four thirds,m4/3,4/3"],
["mark i,mk2"],
["mark ii,mk2"],
["mark ii,mk2"],
["mark iii,mk3"],
["mark iv,mk4"],
["mark v,mk5"],
["xt-1,x-t1"],
["xt-2,x-t2"],
["xt-3,x-t3"],
["xt-4,x-t4"],
["xt-5,x-t5"]

i've gone into more detail here

 
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Peter
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I used this today for the first time. Very useful.
I found the lens I was after and bought it so thank you.
One suggestion is that when you type an item into the search engine the results are 10 per page.
Many sites offer the option of All or 36 per page.
 
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5,937
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Dan
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I used this today for the first time. Very useful.
I found the lens I was after and bought it so thank you.
One suggestion is that when you type an item into the search engine the results are 10 per page.
Many sites offer the option of All or 36 per page.
Thanks Peter,

If you go to filter options (below the table) you can choose how many to display at once, all 55,000 will be a bit extreme :D
 
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Paul
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Is there a way to maybe filter out the stores you don`t want to see?

I have a look now and then, just to see how it`s doing, and as I loath ebay, I have to skip a few pages to get to the *retailers*. It might be just me, I dunno ;)
 
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5,937
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Dan
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Is there a way to maybe filter out the stores you don`t want to see?

I have a look now and then, just to see how it`s doing, and as I loath ebay, I have to skip a few pages to get to the *retailers*. It might be just me, I dunno ;)
I assume it’s just eBay, Tick the hide eBay box In the filter section
 
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Jason
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The Amazon Marketplace ones are a candidate for me - especially as they all say "see for prices" or similar... Can also see the value in being able to filter out retailers that I would rather die than shop with :cool:
 
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Currently in the middle of a new development

Video Link (overriding countries manually)

The browser will detect country automatically and set a cookie.

It will show you results for your country first (so by default you won't see other countries), if there are none (which could happen for some countries in Europe) it will instead open up results from Europe that ship to your country and then you can even go worldwide (inc. United States).

If a retailer/product doesn't ship to your country it won't show.

Not sure how many people from UK will use it though due to shipping costs and import duties, might be good for finding something a bit more rare.
But it's almost ready for me to add retailers from across Europe and United States now!


The Amazon Marketplace ones are a candidate for me - especially as they all say "see for prices" or similar... Can also see the value in being able to filter out retailers that I would rather die than shop with :cool:
I will look at future options!
 
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Jason
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Even if the retailer doesn't ship to country X, there are always ways & means... For example I used to travel to the US with work so frequently that I had essentially a PO Box available to me...
 
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Ian
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This is going to sound like a stupid question (and I wonder if a "common search abbreviations" thing needs adding or a "how to search") but if I want to find a 35mm lens and I don't want a 135mm lens, what do I put in search?

It's mostly a problem with

35 & 135

and then all the zooms & prime mixes

18 and 18-55
24 and 24-105/24-70
28 and 28-lotsanumbers

Great resource btw. Are you picking up traffic now?
 
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Dan
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This is going to sound like a stupid question (and I wonder if a "common search abbreviations" thing needs adding or a "how to search") but if I want to find a 35mm lens and I don't want a 135mm lens, what do I put in search?

It's mostly a problem with

35 & 135

and then all the zooms & prime mixes

18 and 18-55
24 and 24-105/24-70
28 and 28-lotsanumbers

Great resource btw. Are you picking up traffic now?
Thanks Ian,

Yes I probably do need a search guide!

I hope this helps for now.

for 35 and other primes you can search "35mm" with quotes.

You could also search 35 -135 which will remove any matches for 135

Traffic has some way to go before world domination, but if you build it they will come :D gets about 400-500 product link clicks a day
 
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Good work on the site. Is there a way you can insert a column to show if a price has/hasnt changed from previous day or the average price for each lens so we could see trends?
cheers.
 
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5,937
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Dan
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Good work on the site. Is there a way you can insert a column to show if a price has/hasnt changed from previous day or the average price for each lens so we could see trends?
cheers.
Can’t do the average price for each lens because there is no practical way to identify them all for what they are. Used lenses are one offs for many sites, they don’t have uniform naming and don’t have a unique identifier. They also have varying conditions, attachments and accessories.

I did mean to record the price on insert as original price, but that got lost somewhere along the way and I will readd that in the future, so you can see if it has been reduced.
 
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5,937
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Dan
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I didn't want to mention this at the time, but i can bring it up without mentioning names and I just wanted to get it off my chest.

Off the back of the website I was offered a job in web development, which was great because I've had no income since March and my wife was coming to the end of her contract.

When the job offer came though, it was conditional, I'd have to shutdown usedlens.co.uk - As you can probably tell I chose the site over a stable income.

Fortunately that week my wife had a new contract offer, so she can continue to pay the bills.

.. maybe I'm just feeling extra bothered right now due to this heat.. argh..
 
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Ian
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When the job offer came though, it was conditional, I'd have to shutdown usedlens.co.uk
That seems like a really strange request... I guess I could understand if mpb or Wex offered you a job - moreso if your job was to improve the front end to their shop (which would be in direct competition with your current site). By saying "off the back of the website" I assume it's someone in the industry? (no probs of you prefer not to say!)

Perhaps you should create "cosmeticspricebuster" where you do the same for eyeshadow palettes. Then when Urban Decay come to you you can drop the site like a hot potato and grab the cash!

Either way - if you can look at it as a form of flattery and take it as a compliment it'll do wonders for you. You must be doing something very right. :)
 
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5,937
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Dan
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That seems like a really strange request... I guess I could understand if mpb or Wex offered you a job - moreso if your job was to improve the front end to their shop (which would be in direct competition with your current site). By saying "off the back of the website" I assume it's someone in the industry? (no probs of you prefer not to say!)
You understand just fine :)



Perhaps you should create "cosmeticspricebuster" where you do the same for eyeshadow palettes. Then when Urban Decay come to you you can drop the site like a hot potato and grab the cash!
Now, I don't understand :D i must have missed something in the news..


Either way - if you can look at it as a form of flattery and take it as a compliment it'll do wonders for you. You must be doing something very right. :)
Indeed, thanks, if only I could cash in flattery lol.
 
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Dan
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Whilst I'm not quite there with the retailers, I'm thinking I might launch the code soon so that I can introduce a few small updates at the same time.

In the filters section there is a copy URL with filters button, but I figured I can (as you type and choose filters) update the URL with your search criteria if you wish to copy and paste that.

So the URL bar you see here, just automatically keeps updated as you search things.

urlupdates.png

Performance with Europe/Worldwide was a huge sticking point - and in the end it came down to the two queries which counted the filtered results and total results, those were taking way too long. So I removed any need to count and used PREV/NEXT pagination, the performance is good! I coded it so that the 'local' search would be unaffected by the global updates, and continue to function as normal.


pagination.png
 
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Toni
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I didn't want to mention this at the time, but i can bring it up without mentioning names and I just wanted to get it off my chest.

Off the back of the website I was offered a job in web development, which was great because I've had no income since March and my wife was coming to the end of her contract.

When the job offer came though, it was conditional, I'd have to shutdown usedlens.co.uk - As you can probably tell I chose the site over a stable income.

Fortunately that week my wife had a new contract offer, so she can continue to pay the bills.

.. maybe I'm just feeling extra bothered right now due to this heat.. argh..
I suspect that used equipment sellers don't like people comparing prices between different businesses, and giving you a short-term job that might make their site better was much better value than trying to cope with your website as the user-base grows.
 
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5,937
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Dan
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I suspect that used equipment sellers don't like people comparing prices between different businesses, and giving you a short-term job that might make their site better was much better value than trying to cope with your website as the user-base grows.
That's definitely the angle my wife is coming from :) she was pretty angry about it.
 
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I didn't want to mention this at the time, but i can bring it up without mentioning names and I just wanted to get it off my chest.

Off the back of the website I was offered a job in web development, which was great because I've had no income since March and my wife was coming to the end of her contract.

When the job offer came though, it was conditional, I'd have to shutdown usedlens.co.uk - As you can probably tell I chose the site over a stable income.

Fortunately that week my wife had a new contract offer, so she can continue to pay the bills.

.. maybe I'm just feeling extra bothered right now due to this heat.. argh..
Good for you. If they had nothing to hide, they should not fear the competition. The lowest price does not necessarily mean the best buy. Perhaps they need to up their game.

I have only looked at your site once, it is obvious that you have put in a lot of work and I wish you every success.

One observation, which has probably been covered above, is that the landing page is not particularly exiting.
 
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5,937
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Dan
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Good for you. If they had nothing to hide, they should not fear the competition. The lowest price does not necessarily mean the best buy. Perhaps they need to up their game.

I have only looked at your site once, it is obvious that you have put in a lot of work and I wish you every success.

One observation, which has probably been covered above, is that the landing page is not particularly exiting.
exciting?

I tried to make it as much about the tool, avoiding fluff. But i'd be interested to hear more about this, what suggestions you might have or examples.
 
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5,275
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Ian
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I tried to make it as much about the tool, avoiding fluff.
This is one of the things that makes it appealing to me. It is a tool, not a site trying to sell anything. IMO it works extremely well as it stands.
 
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