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 Post subject: Suggestion for an added feature to the puzzle database
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:34 pm 
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Hi all, my first post at the new site (had a couple from the previous site)

I was just wondering since most of us use eBay as a big source for getting pieces for our collections, would it be possible or fissible to add a $ value to each puzzle listed. I know some may have a range based on condition and rarity but a fair market value can usually be calculated based on previous sales. Maybe just listing prices of auctions for the item would be good. This way when bidding on an item we would know if its overpriced or underpriced for that matter.

I hope someone gets what I'm trying to say here :)

Gabe
Riddler17


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 1:48 pm 
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Location: READING, ohio
I think this is a good idea

when i was new to this fourm I had to ask in post fourm various times what to pay for a certian puzzle. with this option people like me who have no idea what some puzzles are worth can just check the data base to find out :D

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 2:16 pm 
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Location: Montreal, Canada
I too have thought of this "feature" for a long time...
Why not add (if possible and if it's not too much trouble) in the puzzle database DESCRIPTION the initial price of the puzzle when it was for sale,
and maybe an estimated price range of its price now.
And while we're at it, maybe include it's patent number.

i.e Dogic
Inventor:  Unknown
Producer:  Vesco Toy-Manufacturer Ltd.
Year:   Unknown
Mechanism:  20 Armed Spider
Section:  N-Sided Puzzles: Twenty
Initial price: 40 $
Actual price estimate: ~ 300-400 $ US
Patent Number: HU214709

And maybe a category that includes ALL puzzle modifications regardless of which category it's already in. A showcase of ingenious puzzle modifications.

My 2 cents...

Michael
:idea:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 3:23 pm 
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Location: Arvada, CO
I also think thats a great idea.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:54 am 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
Michael wrote:
Initial price: 40 $
Actual price estimate: ~ 300-400 $ US
Patent Number: HU214709

And maybe a category that includes ALL puzzle modifications regardless of which category it's already in.


These are all great ideas. I have moved this thread to the "Comments & Suggestions" forum to remind me about them later on.

I have been planning to implement a method of including a "current price" field in the database. If I did it "right", it would be a lot of work to create, and a lot of work to maintain. It would require a public method to input eBay item numbers much like the "add a new puzzle" form. Then some other script would check into the auction after it ended and automagically add the value to a "FinalSalePrice" table in the database. Then every time someone loads the puzzle page for that puzzle, a third script checks that table for all matching entries and averages them.

There are at least a hundred twisty puzzle auctions ending on eBay every day. Is anyone going to input all of those item numbers?! I'm not, that's for sure. It's been over two months since I've even searched eBay for my own collecting purposes.

Is this method of data collection any good if people only tend to enter the auctions that stand out because they have either been missed or have been bid far too high? In a perfect statistical world, these "outliers" would be either ignored or simply become more and more irrelevant as the data grows, but there would certainly be a normalization period in which price estimates on certain puzzles would fluctuate wildly. Perhaps a whole new page showing the auction item numbers, dates, number of bids, etc would be a decent way of helping people decide manually which values are more pertanent to their search. Yikes. This just gets bigger and bigger as I think it through.

All that said, I could take the lazy way out and just make it a text field in the db, and input whatever I want in it. This is a decent start, but if/when I go to the system above, my time creating the "lazy way" would have been wasted. I don't have the time to waste, and I want the site to be as good as it can be. Bottom line, consider this item on the "to-do list", but don't expect it anytime soon.

Patents. I have also wanted to add a patents section to the database complete with links from each puzzle page to their original patent(s) for quite some time. There are a few people out there right now building patent collections, and I'm not really sure what their future plans are, and I don't want to step on any toes. I keep meaning to ask them if they would like to help me do this, but haven't yet gotten around to it on that infamous "to-do list" yet.

Finally, if you would like to search through all the custom puzzles do the following:

- Menu: Puzzle Database > Search
- Advanced Search form
- Select "Producer or Author" in the first field
- write "custom" in the text field beside the "Simple Search" button
- click the "Simple Search" button!

I have tried very hard to avoid creating over-lapping categories. These custom puzzles are a perfect example. It would be nice to have a "custom" category, but the Dogic 2 (for example) really should appear next to the Dogic in the 20-sided category as well.

I have had numerous other suggestions about creating categories like "Rubik Puzzles", "Meffert Puzzles", "Tony Fisher Puzzles", etc. All of which can (at least partially) be satisfied by using the Advanced Search form correctly.

Assuming I want to continue to organize everything via shape/mechanism, and to avoid having puzzles appear in more than one category, I just don't see a better solution than refining the data and using the advanced search like this.

It would be a VERY simple job to create a list of "quick searches" that would include all of the above examples, and which would essentially appear to be categories.

For example: Custom Puzzles

Sandy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 10:58 am 
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Michael wrote:
Initial price: 40 $
Actual price estimate: ~ 300-400 $ US
Patent Number: HU214709


I added these fields today. I've only bothered to input the values for the Dogic that Michael suggested above. Please feel free to start populating!

Sandy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 4:52 am 
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Well, I ended up going all out. Since I posted my previous message (about 17 hours ago), I've been working on this task pretty much non-stop.

I added a whole new price tracking system to the database. Try out the ever-popular Dogic as an example. Click the "view all data" link in the "Current Price" field to get the goods.

To get the system started, I inserted about 700 of the puzzle prices I had been keeping track of manually for the past few years. This was only about 70% of what I had, but the other 30% were either bad data or the puzzles weren't in the DB yet.

The information in this system is updated in REAL TIME (unlike all other user contribution systems on this site). If you fill out the "add a recent sale price" form (at the bottom of each item's page), your data will go directly into the database and will instantly contribute to the statistics on the puzzle. I have built in a mechanism for manually weeding out bad data... which will have to suffice for now.

After all, I've been up for 23 hours straight and since I've been staring at this monitor for most of it, I think my eyes are starting to bleed!

Sandy


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:44 am
Location: Leicester. United Kingdom.
Quote:
After all, I've been up for 23 hours straight and since I've been staring at this monitor for most of it, I think my eyes are starting to bleed!

Sandy


You are the man!!!
This is a fantastic feature. Very well done Sandy.
Now, you can go back to sleep.

Richard


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 10:29 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
Added another part of this feature today. Check out the "Price Tracking System" in the "Site Features" menu above.

Suggestions for further improvements on this theme are encouraged at this point. I think I'm out of productive ideas.

Sandy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 2:26 am 
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Location: Leicester. United Kingdom.
This is getting better and better.

Lazy thought............

I buy a number of puzzles in Europe in GBP and Euros.
To aid conversion into US$ for the benefit of the data entry (and vice versa when considering prices) would it be difficult to integrate a converter into the page eg http://www.xe.com/ucc/ ?

.....end of lazy thought.

Rich


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:45 pm 
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Michael wrote:
And maybe a category that includes ALL puzzle modifications regardless of which category it's already in. A showcase of ingenious puzzle modifications.


I added this in the form of the Quick Searches thing I was talking about in my original response above.

Check it out on the top right of the main Search page. Please make suggestions about other quick searches to include and any improvements that could be made to the existing ones. (I realize they are far from perfect right now. This may always be the case, but it's worth a try.)

Sandy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 12:39 pm 
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Richard Fish wrote:
To aid conversion into US$ for the benefit of the data entry (and vice versa when considering prices) would it be difficult to integrate a converter into the page eg http://www.xe.com/ucc/ ?


Good idea. At this point I don't see myself going all out and integrating it directly into the pages (which i think is what you are suggesting). This would require another form for a user to set up their preferences, another user setting saved in a user-side cookie, and then some new code to tap into XE.com's free services to convert the values on the fly.

However, I have added links to XE.com in all four places where I have forced USD onto people. Hopefully this is a decent middle ground.

I don't know about you guys, but even as a Canadian I just find it easier to keep track of everything in USD since almost every puzzle I deal with either goes to or comes from there.

Sandy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:31 pm 
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Quote:
I have added links to XE.com in all four places where I have forced USD onto people.


Thanks Sandy, that's helpful.
Richard


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2001 12:30 am
Location: Montreal, Canada
Sandy,

This wedsite is great, and with all the updates you have done lately
it`'s even better !
All this hard work, is very appreciated.
Thanks !

Michael
:wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2001 12:30 am
Location: Montreal, Canada
Sandy,

This wedsite is great, and with all the updates you have done lately
it`'s even better !
All this hard work, is very appreciated.
Thanks !

Michael
:wink:


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