So I have this Amazon thing....

bluedef Member
edited April 15 in Introduce yourself!

Quick intro - I'm a software engineer by trade and have used Mint since the start. Looking for other options and Simplifi might be good enough for me…

A big frustration in Mint was categorizing my Amazon spend as it's all over the map category-wise. Several years ago, Amazon used to offer an CSV export of all the spend data and that got shut-down.

For my own personal use, I wrote a Chrome plugin that does a couple of things:

  1. Logs into my amazon account and my wife's amazon account and scrapes all the spend data down to a local file.
  2. Hooks into the UI and just put a simple button on the transaction dialog that allows to to hit 'match' and it hunts for a matching date/amount in the Amazon data and if found - slaps the item descriptions into the notes field.
  3. I can then eyeball the notes and manually say "oh - kids soccer shoes" - thats Kids. "oh - oil filter and tools" - thats "Auto" etc.

The best part about mint was that it was abandoned forever so the UI never changed and the code never broke - so my little plugin has worked great for me for many years.

Part of my eval for Simplifi was can I port my plugin over and get it working…. so far so good - but it's obviously very fragile and probably prone to breaking.

In poking around the forum here, it seems like this is a missing feature for Simplifi - actually I haven't yet seem a fin-software app that does it - and I understand why - there's no API to get the data from Amazon - so if I were on Quickens product team - it would be crazy to try do do something as fragile as scraping to build a 'commercial' feature like this.

There's a small part of me that is considering how to open this up to others to use, but it would be a significant undertaking not just initially - but on-going to keep up with probably breaking UI changes on both Amazon and Simplifi's side.

My question to the community is… if I went to the effort to try and commercialize this - is there a market for it? How many folks here are interested and what would you be willing to pay towards it's upkeep each year to make the pain of manually hunting for transactions go away?


  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Honestly, I only buy at most five items from Amazon in a given week (not including Amazon pharmacy), and I log transactions as soon as I purchase them so I know what they are (I don't wait for download from the bank, I like to be conscious of spending). I don't think I'd personally spend much to automate that. The other thing is that it would almost have to be open source to trust it with financial data.

    Rob Wilkens

  • ajbopp
    ajbopp Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 14

    I have similar Amazon habits as @RobWilk with the exception that I have extensive Subscribe and Save items every month. But, knowing what those are, I can include them in the Spending Plan already and Q-Simplifi does a pretty good job of matching them.

    Anthony Bopp
    Simplifi User Since July 2022
    Money talks. But all my paycheck ever says is goodbye

  • UrsulaA
    UrsulaA Superuser ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 14

    This is a nice approach for subscribe and save. I just let Amazon go to Shopping and set my planned spending accordingly. I do not go as deep to want notes on each Amazon purchase.

    Simplifi User Since Nov 2023

    Minter 2014-2023

    Questionable Excel before 2014 to present

  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭

    I know we don't buy a lot from Amazon but this post got me curious… turns out YTD 7 orders and we averaged 6 order/month in 2023. However, we do several monthly subscriptions for e-books and streaming services in addition. Like AJ those are set up as recurring subscriptions.

    Simplifi user since 01/22
    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
  • bluedef
    bluedef Member

    Gotcha. Yeah - keeping on top of categorizing as soon as you spend is the best way to go for sure!

  • EL1234
    EL1234 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I don't log amazon transactions manually but I review and categorize every day or two as they come in. Usually I just search my email for the amount of the transaction and then click the link to open the order.

    I find the subscribe and save transactions the hardest to categorize since searching my email for the amount doesn't always yield results, so what I usually do is after my S&S order arrives, I open my amazon order history and look through it and search for the price of each item in Simplifi and categorize them that way. (I also do this if I end up falling behind, which used to happen a lot before the Simplifi app got much faster.)

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