Why pay for a web scraping service rather than get it for free

136Free has a price

We have all heard of the saying “There is no free lunch” and no matter how many times businesses come around giving us something for free, there is always a price.

So you use Google for free or Gmail for free or any of the companies that fall into the following 2 categories
1. Venture Capital subsidized service that stays free for a few years but has to make money for its backers right after.
2. Ad supported businesses that sell your personal data and access to you in return providing you “free” service.

Startups that fall in the first category eventually have to end up in the second category or start charging you because VCs aren’t a particularly philanthropic bunch.
They “invest” money to get more money – it is very simple.
They really do have to make money!

The category 1 companies also take the tactic of providing services for free to run competitors that do charge for their services out of business.
Once they have a monopoly the consumers eventually lose because they end up paying a higher price for the service.

Why pay for service … good service?

Now back to original argument on why to pay for web scraping services anyway when you can use self-service free services that advertise incessantly and get VC funded PR so much that you think they are the only ones in this business as opposed to the little guy.

  1. You get a better service – you pay for it and as a result you are paying us to do a job for you and in the interest of good business you will get good service.
  2. Now comparing ScrapeHero service to free self service. ScrapeHero has people doing the work that you would do. You get the data, not end up monkeying around with software, servers, browser extensions, ever changing XPaths, CSS selectors, Javascript and Ajax, programming, proxies and settings etc.

No matter how simple self-service is touted to be, it just is not simple.

No, a caveman cannot do it either (a popular US based commercial/ad reference).

  1. We will call or email you back – you pay us to do that. You don’t pay free services anything, so they don’t owe you a call back.
  2. We don’t have a monopoly and have no plans for world domination either. This will keep our prices affordable and competitive.
    If we don’t do that, we go out of business – simple.
  3. We have one master – YOU. We don’t have to answer to venture or corporate overlords and return dividends. We work for you because you pay us.


    scrapehero February 17, 2016

    Hi Sam – please see our thoughts here

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