So you are ready to head to the stores to start sourcing products to sell on Amazon, but you’ve heard you need a scanning app. What is a scanning app and why do you need one?
Don’t worry! We’ve got your back. Today we will share with you exactly what a scanning app is and how it will help you in your business. There are 3 Amazon Seller Apps that we will compare today. Ranging from free - $50/month.
The scanning app is one of the most important tools you will use in your retail arbitrage business.
With the scanning app installed on your phone it gives you easy access to very important information you will need as an Amazon seller. It gives you the ability to use your phone’s camera to scan the barcode (UPC) of practically any product in a store and instantly see the competitive pricing data you need to make a smart buying decision.
These scanning apps require wifi or data service along with an Amazon Pro Seller Account in order to use them. They are also all available for both iPhone and Android phones.
Although there are a number of different apps available, we will be covering three options. We will give an overview here of three that we have used personally so you can see some of the differences, and why you might want to have more than one available at any time.
Below are screenshots showing the scan results from the three different scanning apps.
Order: Amazon Seller App, Scoutify and Profit Bandit
As you can see, the formats are just a bit different.
There is some common information that you get from each of the scanning apps.
They all show the following information:
- The first two lines of the product title
- The photo from the Amazon product page
- The category of the product
- The Amazon best sellers rank
- The total number of offers (other sellers)
- Conditions being sold
- The lowest price available for both FBA (fulfilled by amazon) & MF (merchant fulfilled)
- Whether Amazon is a seller or not - notated with an “a” on Scoutify and highlighted on Profit Bandit
Each of these scanning apps also gives the option to search by scanning the barcode with your camera or searching with typing in keywords.
You can also see a breakdown of all your Amazon fees by entering your buy cost and then tapping on the profit amount. Scoutify and Profit Bandit will indicate if the product is oversized (important because they have higher fees and go to separate warehouses) and both will allow you to enter your estimated shipping rate for calculation of net profit.
With both Scoutify and Profit Bandit you can also see your scanned item history, easily switch over to the Amazon product page, search the item on eBay, or even view the item on Camel Camel Camel where you can check price and rank history.
This is all very important information to have when making your decision whether or not a product will be profitable to resell.
Here are some of the differences between the three scanning apps:
Amazon Seller App - It’s FREE! This is a great option for those just starting out and needing to keep expenses as low as possible.
Many sellers still use it in addition to their paid scanning app because it provides important alerts for restricted products. Also those items that are prohibited or hazmat. You can always do a second scan with the Amazon Seller App just to double check any products you are ready to purchase.
This app was not designed for use with a Bluetooth Scanner, but some sellers have found it possible with a few extra steps.
The Amazon Seller app scan results are not as comprehensive as the paid apps (does not show the buy box or MSRP price, indicate if the item is oversized except in the fees breakdown or offer the quick links to 3rd party sites like CCC, Keepa or eBay).
For some functions it requires a little more navigating , but it does provide another advantage… access to some of your Seller Central account data. For this reason alone, it is a must have seller app in my opinion!
- View and respond to customer messages while on the go, even using customizable email templates if you wish.
- View your sales, pending orders, confirm shipments and see your payout balance
- Manage your inventory and update prices
- Contact Seller Support
One of the best options this app offers is the ability to list your products for sale on Amazon….right from the store! Can you imagine how great this is during Q4, especially if you’ve found a hot toy and want to merchant-fulfill it (if approved) before the competition builds and the sell price changes? It might be possible to list it while in the checkout line and have a sale before you get home!
This is one of our often used strategies during Q4. We recommend merchant fulfilling, especially during Q4 in our Q4 Profits Guide.
Scoutify - comes with a paid subscription to Inventory Lab. Inventory Lab also offers a listing service, web scouting app for online sourcing, some bookkeeping and reports that include cost of goods and profit & loss information (even on individual SKUs). The subscription fee is currently $49 per month or $480 annually. You can get your first month free to test it out.
There is no extra fee to connect a Bluetooth scanner (this scanner pairs with your phone but bypasses the camera, making scanning even faster). Scoutify can be downloaded on multiple devices with one subscription and allows for multiple users within your business. Husband / Wife team like us? Both of you can use the app!
We like Scoutify not only because it seems to be faster than other apps, but because if offers additional features such as quick links to Keepa, Google and BookScouter. You can also add your sales tax rate to your buy cost for a more accurate calculation of profit and it shows your ROI as well.
If you scan an item that gives multiple results, you can easily return to that list without having to scan the item again. This may not seem like a big deal, but it truly saves time not having to go back and rescan the item to check a different listing!
If you would like to give Inventory Lab and Scoutify a try, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial here.
Profit Bandit - For those who are not ready to invest in a full fledged listing service, this stand-alone app is a lower cost option at $9.99 per month.
It does requires a one-time fee of $49 to connect a Bluetooth scanner.
Although there is not a free 30-day trial, you can have a limited number of free scans to try out the service.
Profit Bandit supports Amazon US, UK, CA, FR and DE. It also provides off-line scanning for situations where internet access is not available so you can have a list of items to finish researching when you get back home.
I would love to hear what you think about these apps and which one(s) you are currently using. Please share your thoughts below.
Would you like to see videos on how to set up and use Scoutify and the Amazon Seller App? We’ve got them covered in the Amazon Boot Camp!