I'm in the middle of finalizing my thesis. The goal of it was to develop a system that perfroms certain set of tasks. There are already commerical products that exist as hardware and/or software solutions. As a part of my thesis, I want to do a pro/cons comparisions including the cost of the commercial solution. I can get specs from producers* and compare them easily. The problems comes to the price of the product. The only way I can obtain prices is to cross-check distributors/retailers' websites that are selling those products.

How can I reliably provide price comparision of a product if there are no papers discussing the cost of the system?

Is referencing website(s) enough? Prices are often omitted in catalogues and thus can't be used as a reference.

I've tried to research the problem on my own but the closest one does not answer my question fully:

How to cite prices in academia?

*I'm aware that some of them might be colorouzied as part of marketing. I've already secured that part via relevant references.

1 Answer 1


I have cited prices in academia. Is very relevant in energy, etc. I was OK with approximate prices because I was comparing items with orders of magnitude different price, so figuring exact prices, discounts, was not critical to the report. The info was not public, so I had to run a couple customer interviews to get it.

You could also consider to just buy a copy of each (if reasonable) and charge to the grant. Also allows you to do testing, etc. One other option is to just have some app do website scraping for the prices. There are services that do this or you could just write your own.

  • Check out StackOverflow for vba codes that do scraping - written by other users...
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 4, 2019 at 3:55
  • thank you for your response. The scraping itself is not a problem. The problem is how the academia approaches the problem I have described. If the simple citation of the website is sufficient, then I'm fine with this Mar 4, 2019 at 17:04

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