1) How does it scale?
Building a web scraper is not rocket science. However, as the number of web scrapers and the volume of data get bigger, it will be difficult to manage them. It will affect your business if the service provider does not have access to a rock solid technology infrastructure to manage data and web scrapers
2) What happens if the vendors shut down the company?
Let’s imagine a worst case scenario. What happens your service provider shuts down operations? It can happen because of many reasons like a financial crisis, lawsuit, etc. You can’t feed your app that completely depends on data unless you have access to the technology that powers scraping.
If the service provider is using a proprietary technology, you will not be getting support as there is no one maintaining the technology anymore. Hiring someone who is using open source technology will be something that is more preferable. If you are hiring a vendor who is using proprietary technology, you will have to live the fear of losing data on one day.
3) What measures are taken to ensure the Quality of data?
As It can affect your reputation and revenues you can’t compromise the quality of data. Programmatic approaches can never be perfect. A combination of human and machine intelligence will be the best approach here.
4) How transparent is the pricing structure?
When it comes to price, transparency is very important. It should be a simple pricing model that people can understand at a glance. Complex pricing models are inconvenient, sometimes irritating. There should be predictability on pricing when you scale things.
5) How do they deal with website pattern change?
Web sites change its pattern quite often. If your vendor is not competent to detect it and tweak scrapers, the quality of data will be compromised.
6) How do they deal with Anti-scraping mechanisms?
Evading anti-scraping mechanisms is a pain in the ass. There are many ways to solve this problem, but they are quite expensive. You have to use the right combination of technologies to save money.
7) How do they deliver data?
There are many ways to deliver data. Most vendors can deliver data in CSV, JSON or any other common formats or via an API. Make sure the vendor can deliver data in a format you are comfortable.
8) How Does the customer support system work?
You need answers to your questions quickly. Make sure that the vendor is using modern customer support systems like Freshdesk or Zendesk.