Shopping Discussion

StockTrack - Inventory Checker tool for some Canadian B&M stores

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 17th, 2020 1:35 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 3, 2008
4561 posts
8314 upvotes
Ottawa

StockTrack - Inventory Checker tool for some Canadian B&M stores

Hi there,
In 2018 I created a tool https://stocktrack.ca/ to check local inventory status and price of some B&M stores using similar requests that their websites do, but it provides more results at once and makes it easier to find a product at a better possible price. While I made it for my personal use as nothing similar was available anywhere else, I thought I share it with the RFD community.

I already posted links to it in some Hot Deals threads, but thought I create a separate post here with a little list of features and where people could leave comments and suggestions.

Walmart:
  • Check price and inventory status using UPC code (can be obtained on the walmart.ca, receipt or in store by looking at the barcode/tag). Product page might have 2 UPC listed, enter the last one which is just 1 digit shorter. Same with barcode from the box you may have to skip thr last digit. It will also try to find product information using UPC on the walmart.ca and will display the first available result. It is not guaranteed that this information will match actual product with supplied UPC.
  • Mobile devices can use barcode scanner to automatically scan UPC codes and check stock info in walmarts nearby. Handy if you're shopping around and want to check if any walmart carry particular item or want to quickly compare prices while at walmart. The button to start scanning will be displayed next to UPC field. It will ask for permission to use your camera and will start barcode scan. To cancel scanning just tap the screen.
  • Search by keyword, same as if you search on walmart.ca. Will display results with online price and stock info that you can click and also get local stock around specified location. Search results can be sorted via an option (before clicking 'Search')
  • Check by Walmart SKU. It will try to get UPC using the SKU and then search for stock info.
  • Deals! Lists recently found products in stores with discounts. It works very slow, might have to redo later. Deals are disabled for the time being as quereing them took too much resources.
    • Can include prices from stores where item is OOS
    • Can only search deals in stores specified by location setting
    • Sort by more recently updated, max discount, max/min regular price
    • Filter by savings %
  • Location: can either leave blank and it will try to use your browser location or enter city/postal code/address.
  • Stores: number of stores to look for around specified location. Right now there is no limit and technically it's possible to search across whole Canada.
  • You can hide stores in results table where a product is not sold and stock information is not available.
  • Results table can be sorted by any column and filtered by price and stock.
  • Walmart.ca Daily/Weekly Price Drops shows products that are discounted today and available to buy from walmart.ca. The difference is shown not with the 'regular' price, but with yesterday/weekly price. Clicking on the item will also show availability and price in stores near the location.
  • Online price history chart when mouse over an item in the Price Drops or Search Results area. On touch devices it works when you tap and hold. History is updated automatically several times a day for those items that ever were searched/requested.
  • Store price/status history chart when mouse over price in the Stores Inventory results grid. This history is only updated when someone requests the info for that store.
Advantages:
  • walmart.ca does not allow to check price and stock status for every item (just for some, where 'Buy in store' button is active). Here it allows checking any item, even if it's no longer listed online, just provide a proper SKU number.
  • walmart.ca limit your search to 3 stores
  • walmart.ca has a bug in the system and displays correct information only for the 1st store out of those 3, other 2 stores just copy 1st store info. walmart fixed their bug
  • Online search results display how many items are available in stock, which is not shown on walmart.ca. I have no idea how accurate that information is though.
  • Online price history chart
Drawbacks:
  • Stock availability information is not real-time, lagging probably day or two. Nothing I can do about it, it is what is given by the walmart server. Stock information is updated quite often, at least every half hour. Status might be inaccurate as I find Walmart plays it safe when there are low amounts of stock and put OutOfStock status even though there might be still items there.
    Item status is solely based on stock count.
    <=3 - OutOfStock
    4-12 - Limited
    13+ - Available
  • Not much filtering of search results.
ToDos:
  • Add barcode scanner to automatically scan UPC codes and check stock info Done
  • Add filtering/ordering search results Done
  • Add price history tracking similar to 3camels. Already saving data once a day for items that ever appeared in search results (no time machine though to go back). Also saving store prices changes when they are checked (no automatic updates as it's just too much) Done
  • Redo Deals section as it works very slow and consumes too many resources, slowing down everything else while someone query deals

CanadianTire:
  • Check price and inventory number using Product #(can be obtained on the canadiantire.ca or in store by looking at the price tag) It should include at least first 7 digits from a product # that usually is provided in a format similar to xxx-xxxx-x. The last digit and dashes are optional, but you can just copy the number as it provided on the website.
  • Search by keyword, same as if you search on canadiantire.ca. Will display results with online price that you can click and get local price and stock numbers. Search results can be sorted similarly to what canadiantire.ca offers.
  • Location: can either leave blank and it will try to use your browser location or enter city/postal code/address.
  • Store distance: search radius in km for stores around specified location. Right now there is no limit and technically it's possible to search across whole Canada.
  • Can choose stores from which provinces to search. Useful when shipping is available and in-store price is the same as online.
  • You can hide stores in results table where a product is not sold and stock information is not available or stores where item is OOS.
  • Results table can be sorted by any column.
Advantages:
  • No limit on number of stores to scan.
  • Some store-specific clearance and sale prices are not published online. I was able to get the same info as what store kiosk does and you can easily compare prices. I found that if there is no chainwide sale, prices might be quite different in canadiantire stores across the same city. CanadianTire closed the possibility of getting store-specific prices, it is showing whatever canadiantire.ca shows.
Drawbacks:
  • No filtering search results. Might add later.
ToDos:
  • It's possible to automatically get Product# using UPC, so I will add check using UPC&barcode scanner.
  • Fix issue with multiple product #'s by displaying a dropdown list in search result item. - This is fixed now, can choose from the list of skus
  • Add search filtering

HomeDepot:
  • Unfortunately, price information is not always accurate. It shows whatever homedepot.ca gives it and the actual in-store price might differ.
  • You can try to get stock and price information using either SKU or UPC. Passing UPC of the same product may give different information then when passing SKU.
  • Search option might actually give more results than when you search on homedepot.ca (it also shows results that are no longer listed there, but might be available in stores)

Toys'R'Us, EBGames, Source checkers are similar to what their corresponding websites are offering. There is no per-store price info, but they do display stock numbers for each store and you can check many stores at once.
For BestBuy, Staples and TheBay there is information on stock counts per store and online (where available)

I also created Google Chrome and FireFox plugins that when you browse walmart.ca, canadiantire.ca and bestbuy.ca it adds a 'StockTrack' button to open stocktrack.ca with the UPC of a browsed item.


General ToDo:
  • Add saved items list
  • Add price and stock monitoring and alert through email

Let me know if you have any questions on how to use this tool or any suggestions.
I do this in my spare time and I'm not a professional web developer, so be easy :)

Update 2018/10/18:
  • Mobile devices can use barcode scanner to automatically scan UPC codes and check stock info in walmarts nearby. The button to start scanning will be displayed next to UPC field. It will ask for permission to use your camera and will start barcode scan. To cancel scanning just tap the screen.
Update 2018/11/01:
  • Check by Walmart SKU. It will try to get UPC using the SKU and then search for stock info.
  • BestBuy checker stopped working so I removed it altogether. I find it useless and don't have time & will to investigate.
Update 2018/11/05:
  • Deals! Lists recently found products with discounts.
Update 2018/11/09:
  • Added some filtering and ordering of product in Deals search.
  • Can include prices from stores where item is OOS
  • Can only search deals in stores specified by location setting
  • Sort by more recently updated, max discount, max/min regular price
Update 2018/11/10:
  • Page address is modified when checking for product to include upc/product number in a path to load results automatically if page reloads. You can also copy and share that address with someone.
Update 2018/11/16:
  • Added 'keyword' option to Walmart Deals. Can specify any word that must appear in the product name.
Update 2018/11/19:
  • Added filters to Walmart search. Can only show products that are sold by Walmart and change result sorting.
Update 2018/11/22:
  • Added 'Walmart Daily Price Drops' which shows products that were discounted today and available to buy from walmart.ca. Clicking on the item will also show availability and price in stores near the location. I'm only tracking items that were ever searched through my tool
Update 2018/11/25:
  • Added 'Weekly Price Drops' after noticing there were no daily drops at some point on Sunday. It will show items which current price is lowest over the last 7 days and how much it dropped from the highest.
Update 2018/12/05:
  • Added online price history chart when mouse over an item in the Price Drops area for Walmart. On touch devices it works when you tap and hold.
Update 2018/12/10:
  • Added store price/status history chart when mouse over price in the Stores Inventory results grid.
Update 2019/01/08 for Canadian Tire:
  • Can choose in which provinces stores to search. Still need to use distance, but can put a large number like 5000 if you want to search whole province. Usefull when shipping is available and in-store price is the same as online (not always the case though)
  • Can hide stores without stock
Update 2019/01/16:
  • Created Google Chrome plugin that when you browse walmart.ca adds a button near 'Buy In-Store' to open stocktrack.ca with the UPC of a browsed item. Will add support for canadiantire.ca and bestbuy.ca soon.
Update 2019/01/17: Update 2019/01/18: Update 2019/01/22:
  • Walmart now shows quantity information too.
Update 2019/01/29:
  • Walmart deals section can now be filtered by savings %
Update 2019/06/29:
  • Added beta version of HomeDepot stock checker https://stocktrack.ca/?s=hd
  • To limit amount requests to HD it does not update stock information automatically, but shows cached numbers. You can refresh by clicking on the last cell of the row where it's shown how long ago it was updated. This can be done only if it was longer then 10 min. ago.
  • Price is not always accurate, especially for yellow tags.
  • Instead of SKU you can also use UPC from the barcode or receipt.
  • Limited number of stores to 10
Update 2019/07/03:
  • Added Search option for HomeDepot stock checker
Update 2019/10/17:
  • Added Toys'R'Us stock checker
  • Displays stock count per store
  • Can search products on toysrus.ca
Update 2019/10/23:
  • Added EBGames stock checker
  • Displays stock count per store
  • Can search products on ebgames.ca
Update 2019:
  • Added Staples, Source, TheBay stock checker
Updates 2020:
  • RIP Shoppers DrugMart stock checker :(
  • Canadian Tire trends/history pricing. No longer have info on unpublished store-specific pricing
  • BestBuy trends/history pricing, price drops
  • Staples trends/history pricing, price drops
  • The Source trends/history pricing, price drops
  • SportChek!
Last edited by seafish on Jul 2nd, 2020 8:50 pm, edited 75 times in total.
675 replies
Deal Addict
May 1, 2018
1370 posts
845 upvotes
Vancouver
I saw it posted in the Walmart Monopoly Mario Edition thread and thought this was a neat tool.

Do you think a future goal would be doing stock for grocery stores and supermarkets like Superstore, Save On Foods etc? Even Costco maybe?
Deal Addict
Aug 11, 2011
3531 posts
8769 upvotes
>er YEG pi-r-sq'd
I've used the tool a few times since I've seen it in a couple of threads and wanted to say thank you kindly for creating and sharing it with the RFD community @seafish.

Based on the number of threads for Home Depot and The Source, I was going to suggest those 2 but I see you've already looked into them based on your comments in the main post.

If they are not as complicated like HD and TS to add, I too would like to request RCSS and Save On Foods as well as No Frills and London Drugs for us westerners. May as well ask now before the east start asking. :D
Deal Guru
Jul 19, 2012
14329 posts
4480 upvotes
Montreal
You should get some affiliate links going to help pay the server/development costs.

If I find a site useful, I have no problem with it, and most people don't either.
Official Response from Dollarama Management:

Dollarama has a no exchange/no refund policy, and as a result, all sales are final. This information can be found on the screen of each check-out/point-of-sale in our stores as well as on each receipt.
Sr. Member
Jul 13, 2007
957 posts
493 upvotes
Toronto
Looks nice.

I checked an item I bought recently (a car battery): 83996058149 https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/everstart- ... 0195362492 and every result in Toronto says "NotSold", but it is a Buy In Store item. Probably nothing you can do, but ??? why it doesn't work on your site.
Are you sure you wish to carry out this operation? You betcha.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 3, 2008
4561 posts
8314 upvotes
Ottawa
HammerRFDer wrote: Looks nice.

I checked an item I bought recently (a car battery): 83996058149 https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/everstart- ... 0195362492 and every result in Toronto says "NotSold", but it is a Buy In Store item. Probably nothing you can do, but ??? why it doesn't work on your site.
You actually need to enter the other UPC code that is listed on product page on the bottom, it's similar but 1 digit less 8399605814
Also, appears that same with barcode, you need to enter 1 digit less in the checker then on barcode from the box (not sure if always or sometimes)
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 24, 2012
5626 posts
1799 upvotes
Space
Cool website but I find that it’s not very accurate, atleast when I used it. I looked up some oil, showed as available, went to the store and it was SO (0 stock ). I’ll try it again though.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Oct 26, 2010
915 posts
1306 upvotes
Logged in just to give you a thumb-up thank you :)
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 3, 2008
4561 posts
8314 upvotes
Ottawa
Solsearchin1 wrote: Cool website but I find that it’s not very accurate, atleast when I used it. I looked up some oil, showed as available, went to the store and it was SO (0 stock ). I’ll try it again though.
Yes, online inventory is not accurate. As stated in my disclaimer, it is almost never accurate for big stores due to theft, loss, and other circumstances. It is also usually outdated by several days.
I 'tested' CT inventory lag by buying CIL Fall fertilizer yesterday afternoon, and the stock number was indeed updated the next morning accurately.
Deal Addict
May 1, 2018
1370 posts
845 upvotes
Vancouver
Solsearchin1 wrote: Cool website but I find that it’s not very accurate, atleast when I used it. I looked up some oil, showed as available, went to the store and it was SO (0 stock ). I’ll try it again though.
Even if you ask staff clerk to check up stock on an item whether in their own store or other stores, their system is not 100% accurate either. The most common ones are those that tend to show 1 in stock but really, it could be anywhere in the store or it'll show 1 in the system to indicate to other stores that there most likely is none at the store.
Member
Jun 29, 2017
320 posts
1022 upvotes
This is amazing!

I noticed when searching canadian tire for Ottawa for a cooler. 037-0124-0, that the prices from dont match what I see on the website. For example, bells corners shows $224.99 on the canadian tire website, but your page shows as $166. Any idea why?

Is it because of this: "Some store-specific clearance and sale prices are not published online. I was able to get the same info as what store kiosk does and you can easily compare prices. I found that if there is no chainwide sale, prices might be quite different in canadiantire stores across the same city."
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 3, 2008
4561 posts
8314 upvotes
Ottawa
robfun wrote: This is amazing!

I noticed when searching canadian tire for Ottawa for a cooler. 037-0124-0, that the prices from dont match what I see on the website. For example, bells corners shows $224.99 on the canadian tire website, but your page shows as $166. Any idea why?

Is it because of this: "Some store-specific clearance and sale prices are not published online. I was able to get the same info as what store kiosk does and you can easily compare prices. I found that if there is no chainwide sale, prices might be quite different in canadiantire stores across the same city."
Yes, CT web-site does not show store-specific sales and clearance prices in most cases(probably so that people don't try to price match store to store). My tool shows same prices that are instore. The number of items available might not be accurate though.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 9, 2007
1026 posts
422 upvotes
Cool! What are the chances that Sportchek and Atmosphere are added since I believe they run a similar online system as to Canadian TIre?

Thanks for what you are doing.

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