Hey, it’s Joe Crump. This question is from
Rott Tetbelik from Rochester, New York. Rott says,
“Hi Joe, will your autopilot email system work even though Craigslist scrapers no longer
work?” By this question, I’m not exactly sure what
he’s saying. Is he saying do my scrapers not work or is it that scrapers don’t work with
Craigslist and that’s what he’s heard – that nobody’s able to accomplish that, which is
what I think he’s saying here. And that’s true – it’s very difficult to make a scraper
work with Craigslist because of the way they set their system up.
But we have a way to scrape that system and it’s consistent and it works and every time
Craigslist makes a change to their site, we have to make some modifications on our end
as well. Sometimes it creates a little bit of down time, a day or two or whatever – we’ll
drop down while we have to rebuild the scrapers so that it continues to work with that system.
But so far we’ve not had a problem and we’ve been doing it for several years now and it
seems to be working fine. Every once in a while, we have a few head scratchers that
we have to deal with. We understand why Craigslist is trying to do that – they’re trying to keep
spam from happening on their site and we agree with that – we don’t spam.
The only thing that we’re doing with the Automarketer is making offers to people who have properties
for sale. So they say, ‘I’m looking for a buyer for my property’ and we’re saying, ‘I’m
a buyer. I want to buy your property’. So we’re doing exactly what Craigslist is designed
to do – we’re responding specifically to the specific ad that they’ve got – we’re not trying
to go out there and spam other people. So Craigslist isn’t upset with us. What they’re
trying to do is to keep other spammers from getting through their process. At least I
don’t think they’re upset with us – they’ve never contacted us.
So it is possible for us to scrape. We are scraping it regularly. We do limit how much
you can do. We say up to five cities for each Automarketer account, so you can go into five
different areas if you choose to do that. And we ask you not to scrape areas that you
don’t need because it just puts an extra load on our system and we don’t want that to happen.
We want to keep the system up and running and fluid and going all the time.
Now, the reason that I built this system in the first place was for my own use and for
my own business so that we can do the marketing. And after using it for a while, I decided,
‘You know, this really works well, I can’t possibly do all the business that’s out there.
I can’t possibly do every city and town and state that’s in Craigslist or in eBay Classifieds
or all the other sites we scrape, so why don’t I make this available as a piece of software
as a subscription base to the other people that I teach and make some money doing that
as well?’ So that’s what we do. Now I know as a software designer and owner
and working with coders that there are problems sometimes with software, especially when you’re
set up to react to another site. If you’re trying to pull data, and there’s a lot of
other data aggregator sites out there. Like if you look at Travelocity or any of the sites
that are aggregating information, foreclosure sites or whatever – they’re all pulling it
together, aggregating it and making it available for that person. That’s essentially what we’re
doing with the Automarketer – pulling together the ads of the people that are selling their
houses and are renting their houses out from around the internet, and by doing that, we
have to be reactive tot the changes that they make to those sites. They don’t give us warning
in advance that they’re going to make changes. They don’t feel responsible to us, so when
those things happen, we have to go in and we have to make tweaks for that to happen
and that takes time and sometimes the system doesn’t work during that time that its down,
the day or two or three days that it happens. Now, I know as a software designer that I
expect those things to happen and it’s not a big surprise to me. But sometimes when you’re
paying $199 a month for an Automarketer you think that it should be up and running every
single day and every single second of that day. I can tell you right now that that’s
not going to happen – it’s not going to be up every single second of every single day.
Even though we have a very high percentage of up time, there is some times that it drops
down (and I know that that can get frustrating for people sometimes).
You have to make the decision: do I want to use this tool? Nobody else has a tool like
this by the way. I got a question a time or two on my videos – how do you scrape these
things? We have a very smart coder with a Ph.D. who understands how to do this stuff
and we build these systems so that it works. We pay a lot of money to make these systems
work. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to accomplish
the same thing, that you’ll be able to build the same kind of system without spending the
hundreds of thousands of dollars that I’ve spent on this system to make it work and to
keep it and maintain it. So what I’m saying to you is that there may be some downtime
as you use this thing. It’s the same downtime that I’m having but it’s still profitable
even if there is some downtime. Expect the downtime because that’s the nature of the
beast. On the other hand, we’re going to do our very
best to get it up and running for you. The expense and the cost and the effort to make
it happen -that’s on our shoulders, not yours. And the cost of $199 a month is very cheap.
We’re actually considering raising the price because we keep adding new features to it
so we may be raising the price here before long, but for right now, at this cost, plus
getting the websites and the training and some other things that you get in this system
– it’s a phenomenal value for your money. I hope that answers the question. We can make
this work and we don’t have to worry about Craigslist and scrapers and things like that
– we know what we’re doing. Okay, thanks.