How to Speed Things Up

When you have a long product list, analysis can take longer than you wish. This is true for both Price Checker 2’s processing itself, as well as for your own processing of the output that it produces.

These steps will help increase throughput in Price Checker 2, plus your own efficiency at the end:

  • Adjust search result settings

  • Remove data points that you don’t need

  • Use Filters to discard products early

  • Use ASIN Scoring and filter on the score

  • Enter the “Discard Reason” column

Adjust your search result settings

Unless you already have a list of ASINs, matching UPCs, EANs, other barcode IDs and keywords to Amazon listings all involve a search. There may be just a single result, but often there are multiple results, such as certain multipack products.

Using the Filters screen you can configure the number of results that PC2 returns each time:

These are pretty self-explanatory, but may require experimentation on your part: If you often find yourself with products that do not seem to match your input, it may be time to reduce the number of items being returned here.

Speed impact: Low
Reducing from 4 to 3 may cut processing time by up to 25%, but only on input rows that produced 4 or more results to begin with. And reducing by too much may end up removing secondary matches that are actually of interest.

Remove Data Points that you don’t need

Price Checker 2 offers access to well over 200 data points, which it downloads using a multitude of Amazon APIs. This power can come at a cost, because some of these APIs are slower than others.

If you do not need certain data for your particular needs, it would be wise to remove them using the Column Chooser. PC2 will smartly avoid using the respective API if that data isn’t going to be used anywhere.

Columns to remove to increase speed:

  • Hazmat and Shipment Restrictions - removing these columns and disabling the corresponding filters (see below) can increase speed by a factor of 5 (up to 10 if Listing Restrictions also removed).
    As of 14th October 2022 Hazmat and Shipment Restrictions can be used without speed penalty.

  • Listing Restrictions
    As of 14th October 2022 Listing Restrictions can be used without speed penalty.

  • Historical data - This has less of an impact now than in pre-3.0 versions, but you can try disabling this by unchecking the corresponding box just before starting your run instead of removing individual columns.

Any other columns you remove can further speed things up, but the overall impact tends to be lower.

Speed Impact: Low / Variable
Removing or not requesting data may give a speed boost by removing the overhead of using a particular part of the API.

Use Filters

The idea of using filters is to reduce the amount of work required in post-processing. As a side-effect, PC2 can also short-circuit some operations and data retrieval.

On the Filters screen PC2 includes a number of built-in filters that you can activate to reduce the amount of data to sift through after PC2 completes its work. It is also possible to create, utilising any of the data points that PC2 has access to as filter criteria.

The major brand filter for example discards items base on a curated list of brands that require approval and/or have a strict distribution arrangement. Read more about this feature here:
You can add to or remove from this list to create a black (or white) list of brands.

See also:

Speed Impact: High / Variable
Impact can vary depending on your sourcing criteria. The more detailed you can set up your filters to match your sourcing criteria, the better and more accurate your results will be. You will then also see efficiency improvements when it comes to acting on the intelligence that PC2 has provided.

Use ASIN Scoring

ASIN Scoring is a more fine-tuned way of applying filters. It works by applying a point score to certain criteria in order to achieve a weighted measure of the quality of a product.

For example, you may attach a negative value when an item is sold by Amazon, but still consider it for sourcing if other criteria are ‘good enough’ to trump this - as opposed to discarding it outright.

ASIN Scoring allows you to do this by creating criteria with positive or negative scores. You can then use the new ASIN Score filter to limit the returned products to those above a certain score. What’s smart about the ASIN Score filter (or any custom filter involving ASIN Score) is that this will automatically stop processing a product further once it realises that the desired minimum score can no longer be reached.

Speed Impact: Variable
You will notice a very positive impact on the way you post-process results, because they can be ranked by score. This allows you to focus your energy on those products which your criteria determine to be the most valuable. As a happy side effect there will be an increase in processing speed if you

Filters or ASIN Score - which is better?

Having introduced both, which should you use?

The short answer is both.

You can use filters to discard items for criteria that are big no-no's for you - conditions under which you don’t want to see an item in your output no matter what.

But filters are black or white - the item is in or out. ASIN Score on the other hand caters for cases where you weigh up the pros and cons of a product to come up with a quantified measure.

“Discard Reason”

Price Checker 2 version 3.0.0 introduced a new Discard Reason column. When you add this to your output using the Column Chooser, all items that are discarded and normally disappear will remain in the output (with partial data), and Discard Reason will tell you which filter caused the item to be discarded.

The purpose is to give you an insight into how your filters are performing or which one may need to be tweaked. You can review the partial data and re-run an item without the filter in question to fine-tune your settings.