How does Amazon detect scraping?

Feb 20, 2024 ยท 2 min read

Amazon strictly prohibits scraping their site and has advanced systems to detect bots and scrapers. If you want to collect Amazon data, you'll need to fly under their radar. Here's how their systems work and some best practices to avoid trouble.

The Cat and Mouse Game

Amazon employs a sophisticated bot detection system to identify scrapers by their behavior patterns. Things like:

  • Repeated requests from the same IP range
  • Abnormally high request volumes
  • Scraping large swaths of products in sequence
  • Once detected, they can ban your IP, throttle your connection speed to cripple your scraper, or pursue legal action.

    To evade detection:

  • Use proxies - Rotate different residential IPs for each request. Avoid datacenter IPs.
  • Randomize delays - Insert random pauses between requests to vary timing.
  • Limit volume - Keep daily requests below thresholds that raise flags.
  • Scrape selectively - Target narrow subsets of pages rather than entire product categories.
  • Here is some Python code to implement these techniques:

    import time
    import random 
    # Proxy rotation via some library
    # Scrape items
    for i in product_list:
      if requests > 500:

    The bottom line is scraping Amazon requires care to avoid adversarial systems. Stay small, scramble your tracks, and back off if blocked. It's a tricky game! With the right precautions, you can gather Amazon data for your needs without tripping alarms. But tread carefully in their house.

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