Updated: Aug 28
If you have never sold anything before or if you’re a seasoned amazon seller, you probably know that tools are necessary for the job. In the world of amazon FBA, book and media sellers need tools to help them make good buying decisions when sourcing products to resell. This is where a scouting app is absolutely crucial to have. When it comes to scouting apps, there are two main scouting apps that the majority of book sellers use for amazon fba.
First is Scoutly - Asellertool, formerly known as FBA Scan, which has been around since 2005. The other is ScoutIQ, a very similar app developed by Caleb Roth, a big contributor to the book selling community. While these apps are very similar in nature, there are some differences between them. As for which is better, it really comes down to personal preference and what works best for you. With that being said, we can go over the similarities and differences between each.
What Is a Scouting App?
A scouting app is used to help the user make buying decisions based on the seller’s preferences. Scouting Apps like ScoutIQ and Scoutly use amazon’s API, or Application Programming Interface, which allows that app to use data from amazon in conjunction with its interface. In other words, the scouting apps make information from amazon available using its platform style, features, and programing. This allows sellers to figure out if an item is worth buying without having to look at every price and seller that is selling that item.
How does the App know if something is worth selling?
The scouting apps use something called triggers. Triggers can range from simple triggers, to complex profit triggers based on the items rank, sales velocity, and competing offers. The Triggers can be customized to fit your buying needs to make sure that you are only buying items that have a good profit.
What makes a book profitable?
Let’s quickly look at the key factors to consider when trying to spot profitable books.
Price - A book is probably valuable if it sells for a high price, especially if the price range is narrow; that is if there is little distinction between the highest and lowest offer.
Demand - If a book consistently sells 12 copies annually, or once every month, or has an eScore (days of sales in the last 6 months) of 6, I will personally buy it. Generally speaking, the lower its eScore the larger my desired profit is for a book.
Low Competition - Books with moderate demand and little rivalry offer excellent arbitrage opportunities.
Scoutly VS ScoutIQ Overview
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Scoutly VS ScoutIQ Basic Functions
The basic functionality of both of these applications are to help you identify items that are profitable to sell on Amazon and other platforms. These apps do this using your phone’s camera or a bluetooth scanner to grab the items barcode or ISBN to match the data to amazon’s data, at which point the app will make a buying decision based on the triggers you have set up. That’s a mouthful! So let's break this down into its basic parts.
Both Scoutly and ScoutIQ have the ability to capture barcodes and ISBN’s, do title searches, and work continuously using your phone’s camera. As far as the function goes they work completely the same, but they do use some different language for the same functions. Scoutly uses the term OCR, optical character recognition, for scanning isbns while ScoutIQ has a button labeled isbns. Scoutly calls their continuous scanning mode “Quick Scan” while ScoutIQ uses “Speed Scan.” See images below.
Scoutly VS ScoutIQ Display
When it comes to the display, ScoutIQ is a little more pleasant to the eye, However both apps have a very similar display. Scoutly has more options as far as what is displayed to where ScoutIQ is static when it comes to the customizations of what can be displayed, but we will get into that a little later.
If you notice the data on both screens are nearly identical but there are a few variations. Scoutly uses days of sales and ScoutIQ uses escore. Typically these numbers are roughly the same but they are slightly different at times. Scoutly does have the ability to display the history chart directly on the live look up screen, where ScoutIQ just has a button for it. Both apps do have the ability to show full size charts. Scoutly also offers the ability to display average rank to where scoutIQ only has rank. Scoutly uses COGs or cost of goods and ScoutIQ uses buy cost.
Scoutly VS ScoutIQ Features
When it comes to the features, again they are very much the same. They both have the ability to have links saved to look up the item elsewhere such as keepa, ebay, and google. They both offer wholesale integration, which gives you the ability to sell directly to buy back companies through the app. ScoutIQ is partnered with Sell Back Your Book and scoutly is partnered with Ziffit. Both apps also have a shortcut to Book Scouter. Scoutly does offer some extra wholesale options and will display the top 3 offers for that particular title. Both apps have the ability to check for restrictions. Which simply means amazon will not allow you to sell that item. As mentioned earlier they both offer their own charts based on the sales history. As far as the charts go, Scoutly offers a year long chart, but with a little less accuracy as their chart is much more block-like. ScoutIQ’s chart is a 6 month long chart and has a great visual representation of the data. See images below.
ScoutIQ Vs Scoutly Database
Scoutly and ScoutIQ both feature a database. The database gives you the ability to scan items faster because the data is already on your phone and it doesn’t need to access the data via the internet. The live look up does require internet connection or mobile data. The database for each is roughly the same. There may be gaps in the database for each app but not enough to make a difference. Scoutly does offer the option to download just media. Both apps do a great job of compiling the database to give you the most important information.
Scoutly VS ScoutIQ Triggers
Scoutly and ScoutIQ both offer the ability to edit your triggers. They both come with preset triggers that are ready to use and go scouting. The default trigger sets for both apps work the same as in having rules set up on a sliding scale. Essentially they both insure that the slower the sales velocity the more profit you need to make sure its worth buying. For example, on a book that sells everyday, you may be willing to buy for 2-3 dollars worth of profit whereas a book that sells once a month may require 20-30 dollars worth of profit.
The default triggers for both will help you get started but personally I would require a little more profit for each from your faster moving books to give yourself more margin in case the price does come down. This is good because both apps allow you to customize your triggers for your own business needs.
Scoutly VS ScoutIQ Pricing
When it comes to the pricing Scoutly is the cheaper option. Scoutly has a membership priced at $9.95 per month for the lite plan which is just their live look up. Their professional plan is $35.00 per month which gives you both the live look up feature and the database feature. They Also give you a volume discount when you are adding more scanners onto your team which will save you $5.00 per month per additional professional plan.
ScoutIQ is priced higher for each of their plans which could eat into profits. Their live plan is $14.00 per month and their database plus live plan is $44.00 per month. ScoutIQ does offer an annual plan that does get your prices much closer to Scoutly’s monthly Price but ScoutIQ is a little more expensive at every level of the membership levels.
Scoutly VS ScoutIQ Customization
When it comes to customization Scoutly is definitely ahead of ScoutIQ. Scoutly offers tons of customization for the way the data is displayed with options for font, colors, and what is and is not displayed as well as customization as to what sounds are used. ScoutIQ offers little customization and their platform is much more static. Below are pictures of the different settings that can be adjusted for each platform.
The customization that Scoutly offers is unmatched compared to ScoutIQ, but this is a double edged sword. With all the customization options,this can be confusing especially for new users and can cause playing with options of the customization rather than actually using the tool for its purpose.
Scoutly VS ScoutIQ Value Added-On
Scoutly and ScoutIQ both do a great job at adding value to their products. Scoutly gives you Turbo Lister which is their listing software. It allows you to list your products on amazon much faster than using seller central’s listing platform. In addition, Scoutly does a great job of giving you all the details you need to know about all of the uses and customizations on their support page.
ScoutIQ really brings a lot of value with their videos to get started. When you sign up they have many training videos, links to the support pages, links to the book flipping community, and the 100 book challenge to help you create and meet your business goals.
Scoutly VS ScoutIQ Free Trial
Both apps do offer a free trial but their free trials do vary. Scoutly’s free trial is 30 days long but only applies to the professional selling plan. ScoutIQ, on the other hand, has a 14 day free trial at all levels of their subscriptions.
To get your 30 day free trial of Scoutly click here
To get your 14 day free trial of ScoutIQ click here
I have primarily used Scoutly for the majority of my book selling career but I have recently dived in deep with ScoutIQ. I really like ScoutIQ for their pleasant chart and all of the super helpful video tutorials for getting in the game. However, I still prefer Scoutly for all the customizations and especially for the sweet cha-ching sound. I know I didn't touch into the sounds, but it's nothing like a cha-ching when you scan a profitable book. My advice would be to use the one you like and understand the best! Try both of them out for yourself and you can decide which is better for you! Besides if you're just starting out, utilize both free trials and you have a solid 44 days of free scouting! Just be sure to not to start them at the same time so they don't overlap each other.
If this blog was useful please like and share it so that your reseller friends can have the best up to date information! Lastly, I have a closing question for you. What app do you use and why?
Please leave your comments and as always,