Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Show HN: Mashup of Amazon.com's wish list and Balanced Payments (wishlistgranted.com)
51 points by peterbe on Nov 27, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 41 comments

Knee jerk reaction: Great work. I had a similar idea floating around in my mind and it's cool to see something like it come to fruition.

Incoherent Rambling: How about expanding to more than one item wishlists that span multiple site APIs and market it as a simple, efficient, online wedding registry replacement?

You can rank your items in terms of preference, people can contribute money, then the app just buys and ships the items from the top down until the list is complete.

As a wedding gift purchaser I wouldn't have to make a trip to some random store and go through the hassle of getting the registry, nor would I have to navigate to a site I may never use again (I'm looking at you Williams Sonoma) and setup an account to purchase one item.

As a bride or groom it would be nice to just supply someone with one short URL when they asked "where are you registered?" without having to go through all the hassle of setting up a ridiculous "we're getting married" wedding profile on Yet Another We're Getting Married Social Network.

Like I said, incoherent rambling. Could result in an interesting tool, though.

You can actually have multiple items (). I wanted it to focus on just 1 time to start with. That will hopefully mean less noise.

() Once you've picked one item, you can go back and pick another item. Then you have 2 unique URLs but they aren't really connected.

MVP. If they had went for bells and whistles, it would never be released.

yeah, sorry if I gave the impression that "OMG this site NEEDS THESE FEATURES RIGHT NOW!!!"

That wasn't my intent. It's legitimately a great idea and a seemingly well executed MVP (I haven't dug deeply into it yet). Hence my suggestions being prefaced with "Incoherent Rambling"

It's hard not to see a good initial execution on an interesting idea and think aloud "I wonder where this could go next..."

In either case, OP, keep up the good work.

Thank you!

Amazon does wedding registries

"wishlists that span multiple site APIs "

Sure, but not all wedding gifts come from amazon...

EDIT - I stand corrected: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/universal/

Wishlists are so impersonal. Donating funds to someone's wishlist takes just a few minutes, and you don't even have to speak with the recipient. If the point of gift giving is to strengthen social bonds and show regard for one another, how do wishlists achieve this?

That said, if wishlists are your choice, this is an efficient way to handle it.

If the point of gift giving is to [...]

And if it isn't? I'm sure many people don't ascribe to this particular theory of gifts as a universal truth. Also, gift giving often happens in an important, larger context, which is always different; gift giving at Christmas, for example, is hugely loaded depending on your background, your attitude toward the holiday, what significance you do or don't attach to it, this same set of attributes for every person you may want to give a gift to, and many other things.

Wish lists can be considered impersonal, I can see that. Many people grew up with them, though, and in that case they may not alter a person's perspective of the gift at all. For Christmas in particular, when a whole lot of busy people are expected to give gifts to a whole lot of other busy people, finding the time and insight to get meaningful gifts for everyone involved can add to an already often stressful time.

Lists in plural, yes. One single item, not so impersonal. I kinda think it's neat and very personal to say "This is what Norman REALLY wants".

Did you see, also, that after you've made a contribution you type in your name and message afterwards.

Here's a little blog post about how it started http://www.peterbe.com/plog/wishlistgranted

The $1 transaction fee seems crazy wasteful to me on purchases under $50 or so. I would consider just buying the whole item for a friend (through Amazon, letting Amazon eat the transaction fee) before I'd give anywhere from 5-10% extra to a third party.

If the average item was $20 and the average contribution was $5, banks would also be making 10% or more per wishlist item when they would normally make 3% or less.

That just rubs my cost-effectiveness sensitivities the wrong way.

If you want to buy the whole item, bypass Wish List Granted and go straight to Amazon Wish List and buy it there. It gets cheaper.

But if spending $20 on every friend you have, my site is a better alternative.

Also, the reason I add the $1 transaction fee is to cover the cost of the shipping.

I like this. Just yesterday I added an item to my wish list that is quite expensive. I know that a single person is not going to want to buy it for me. But if several of them contributed, it would be more realistic.

Edit: It also makes a new way to get tips/donations. People might be more likely to donate if their money is going to something they can see. You might even get people to donate a little more if they see you are very close to getting the item.

It sounds like you like the idea and you are using amazon wish list. So let me ask you, did you use the site?

I suspect the site is one of those "Great idea! ...but I wouldn't actually use it" which is sad but maybe the honest truth.

Well... I mostly use my Amazon wish list to keep track of things that I will likely buy myself in the future. I don't really expect people to buy them for me. So I did not sign up for the site. However, it is a great idea and is something I am likely to make use of at some point. I just don't have a need at this moment.

Sorry if my question sounded personally attacking. I'm just a web geek trying to improve what I build.

So, it sounds like it was the concept that held you back. Not something that I was doing wrong on the site per se.

Don't worry. I didn't feel attacked at all. I understand the need to get feedback from users (or non-user in my case) to improve things. And it was not even the concept that held me back... just lack of need at this time. Generally speaking, I'm not one to sign up for something until I actually plan to use it.

Aha, nice hack, simple and interesting. Actually I launch a wishlist-similar project for this shopping season few days agao: https://www.shoplify.us , that help people collect their products not only from amazon but from any website. it's still in early stage, and there are many features will be release later. Maybe we can do some cooperation if you think it's cool :)

The advantage of using only Amazon.com is that I don't need to store the person's address. Also, I don't really need to store anything about the item.

I might morph it into any Amazon.com product that isn't necessarily on your wish list. That way, you can pick an item for a friend and tell his/her friends the URL to collect the money.

Cute! And timely.

Looks like you still have some work to do: https://www.monosnap.com/image/JkLBAEYvPAOE96ab7YqrFoXgc

& Here's the console output: https://www.monosnap.com/image/JWwoDPyQrFyrokGxIt0b4i8Qe

How the heck did you managed to get to that? What amount did you enter?

The card was declined because it was an invalid card number.

"No such issuer" means that the first six digits, Bank Identification Number, are incorrect and card was declined as a result.

We (Balanced) should be doing a better job to make this error more understandable or mask it by returning some invalid card number error.

Thanks for the reply. I still need to make a better job of displaying any general errors from Balanced that aren't for a specific input field.

Is there any chance this could be made to work with international amazon sites? I tried to enter my amazon.fr wishlist URL, but it said that no such wishlist was found on amazon.com

Great concept though!

Neat idea! If a little impersonal. Perhaps adding a personal message field that gets printed on a card and sent along with the package? Theres gotta be a service for that.

It does that! If you make a contribution, you type in your name and a personal message. That gets included later when the order is shipped from amazon.com.


This should be marketed to charities, then the public. Unless peace on earth and good will toward all mankind is available on Amazon.

You mentioned $$$ in another comment. May I ask how you will monetize this? (obviously you don't have to answer... just curious)

Well, if the service becomes popular, the OP will find himself sitting on a nice rolling account of cash (the funds that haven't yet been spent or returned to donors), which might be capable of generating interest. I can't imagine that income being appreciable (or entirely legally kosher), but who knows?

It's easy to make money on anything that is popular. The "profit" made on top of adding a small fee. on top of Balanced's fee, is so minuscule and quickly eaten by shipping costs.

Right now, I'm more interested in building something that makes a profit just for the hell of it. All my other side-projects are making me absolutely nothing. ...nothing but resume padding :)

Affiliates referral. There's a small revenue also on top of the charges and fees that Balanced cost but that part is primarily to cover the cost of shipping.

Well any product links could be his affiliate link to amazon - it won't be millions but if the site gets popular it can add up.

The intention with the site is not be get rich but it would be fun to have a profit at all.

Having said that, any product link is very very different from a product link that a close friend has picked out. Chances are you desire the same. For example, I trust Kristin's research into binoculars https://wishlistgranted.com/9eca0593/

Hmm. I'm tempted to create a Canadian clone of this (since you only work with Amazon.com at the moment).

Let's race! :) I'm going to add UK, CA later. Maybe FR and DE too. BUT only IF this is a success which I don't know it will be. Getting onto HN just means traffic but not necessarily $$$ which would the motivator for adding more features.

Fraud will probably be quite a problem, but nice concept.

I guess if you had a number of stolen credit cards you could set up a wishlist item, then use them to contribute. I imagine the final Amazon purchase would be on record as coming from WishListGranted and the item is gifted to you so that might be one layer of separation between you getting an item and the use of stolen cards.

Perhaps you could elaborate on what types of fraud you think would happen?

A common use case for stolen cards is to do small transactions and see if they are successful or not to let you know if the card you found/bought actually works or does not. This site would be a great way to do that.

In a sense, I wouldn't mind some fraud problems :)

If that's the case, it probably means that site is popular and gets used beyond being a MVP.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact