Can I track price changes on eBay with a scraper?

Yes, you can track price changes on eBay with a scraper, but you should be aware of eBay's terms of service and the legal implications of web scraping. eBay has its own API, which is the recommended and legal way to access structured data from its platform. However, for educational purposes, I will show you how a scraper could be theoretically constructed to track price changes on eBay.

Web Scraping with Python

Python is a popular language for web scraping due to its simplicity and the powerful libraries available, such as requests for HTTP requests and BeautifulSoup for parsing HTML.

Here is a conceptual example of how you might write a scraper in Python:

import requests
from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import time

def get_ebay_price(url):
    headers = {
        'User-Agent': 'Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/58.0.3029.110 Safari/537.3'}

    response = requests.get(url, headers=headers)
    soup = BeautifulSoup(response.text, 'html.parser')

    # Identify the correct class or ID for the price element; this will likely change over time
    price = soup.find('span', {'class': 'item-price'}).get_text(strip=True)

    return price

def track_price_changes(url, interval=3600):
    old_price = None
    while True:
            current_price = get_ebay_price(url)
            if current_price != old_price:
                print(f"The price changed: {current_price}")
                old_price = current_price
                print(f"No change in price: {current_price}")
        except Exception as e:
            print(f"An error occurred: {e}")


# Replace with an actual eBay product URL
ebay_url = ''

This script checks for price changes on the specified eBay product page at regular intervals (every hour by default). It uses the requests library to fetch the page content and BeautifulSoup to parse the HTML, extracting the price information.

Remember, eBay's website structure can change, which means the class or ID used to identify the price may vary. You would need to inspect the HTML structure of the eBay page and adjust your scraping code accordingly.

Web Scraping with JavaScript

You can also write a scraper in JavaScript using Node.js and libraries such as axios for HTTP requests and cheerio for parsing HTML, similar to how you would use requests and BeautifulSoup in Python.

Here's a conceptual example in JavaScript:

const axios = require('axios');
const cheerio = require('cheerio');

const getEbayPrice = async (url) => {
    try {
        const response = await axios.get(url);
        const $ = cheerio.load(;

        // Locate the price based on the class or ID
        const price = $('.item-price').text().trim();

        return price;
    } catch (error) {
        return null;

const trackPriceChanges = async (url, interval = 3600000) => {
    let oldPrice = null;
    setInterval(async () => {
        const currentPrice = await getEbayPrice(url);
        if (currentPrice !== oldPrice) {
            console.log(`The price changed: ${currentPrice}`);
            oldPrice = currentPrice;
        } else {
            console.log(`No change in price: ${currentPrice}`);
    }, interval);

// Replace with an actual eBay product URL
const ebayUrl = '';

To run this JavaScript code, you would need Node.js installed on your system, and you'd need to install the axios and cheerio packages using npm:

npm install axios cheerio

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Before you scrape eBay or any other website, you should:

  • Check the website's robots.txt file for scraping rules.
  • Review the website's terms of service to ensure you're not violating any policies.
  • Be mindful of the load your scraper puts on the website; do not spam the server with requests.
  • Consider using the official API if one is available, as it is the best way to access data without violating terms of service.

In the case of eBay, use their API for any commercial or production use, as scraping could lead to your IP being banned or other legal issues.

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