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Buying a data source, any insight?



5:35 am on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hello everyone, I am looking to buy a database of business listings and I've seen many that say they have 15 or 19 million+ US listings for $399 or something along those lines. I know there are "Layer 2" sources out there and many of their listings haven't been deduped but I was wondering if any are reliable or if they are just junk. I know the top tier go for north of the $100k-$250k range, I'm just looking for something a little more....affordable.

Thanks for your help.


11:37 am on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hi rjbearcan,

The cost of licensing data often depends on the purpose that you are going to put it to. Without being too specific please tell us what you want to use the data for (and hence what fields would be handy - some data sources we use have hundreds of fields).

I'm assuming that you would like the data to use on your website, this is one of the things that can be costly with 'traditional' data providers.

There is at least one source of data that is free and of a good quality, but there are restrictions on use and you don't get quite as much info as the commercial version of it (which costs a sixth of your top range).

Also, do you need the whole of the US?


4:42 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi inbound,
I am working on an ambitious project that would include a business directory. I wouldn't need the whole US to start, but it would be a goal I would work towards. I would like the information hosted on my site for a couple of reasons: just in case the source goes belly up and I would have to find a new one and also I would like people to be able to add reviews and other information much like Yelp does now.

I didn't realize that there would or could be hundreds of fields. I have seen some that list the annual profits of a company, how many employees etc. I would really only want the basic information such as category, address, phone, website etc.

I have seen one site that says they built their own source and has restrictions for free use and is selling it commercially for $1000 per state. However it makes me a little curious if they built it or did they find another source and are simply reselling the information?


6:19 pm on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I think it's essential to contact the companies you are considering spending up to $50K with. Ask them questions, get a feel for what they offer and how close it is to your needs.

If you can speak to someone that understands your requirements and you are happy with the pricing, then you just have to make the call on whether the company will be around whilst you still need updates.

I'll probably be entering the US market shortly and, personally, I don't fancy paying high licensing costs for data that's been collected for Direct Marketing rather than my specific need; but circumstances are different for everyone so the decision (and any risks that go with it) is yours.


5:54 am on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks inbound for your insight. I would be contacting any company that I buy a database from. I keep hearing about how it can cost north of $100k but see all these other websites selling it for $1000 or less so I've been getting confused on who is more legitimate.

If I just need the basic information with categories, I may go the mailing list route though I am sure I will have to dedupe the information since so many say, 15+ or 19+ million listings.

Do you know of any companies that I should stay away from?


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