So, you caught the Gary Vee bug and want to go mad sourcing books to sell on Amazon, right?
Or does he prefer hustling grannies at garage sales for their old matchbox cars?
Whatever he does (or screams at you to do), it’s never quite as glamorous as he makes out; however, selling books on Amazon is a HUGE opportunity that only appears to be getting stronger.
People love a good book, and they’re easy to source and sell if you’re a savvy entrepreneur.
This brings us to the topic of this review. ScoutIQ.
ScoutIQ is an Amazon seller scanner app that is known on the book flipper scene as one of the best tools to help you sell used books on Amazon, but does it live up to its reputation?
Let’s dive into the ScoutIQ app and see what the fuss is about. By the end of this ScoutIQ review you’ll know whether it’s the right fit for your Amazon business or not.
What is ScoutIQ?
ScoutIQ is a Amazon seller scanner app created by a guy named Caleb Roth aka “The Book Flipper”, but it has since been acquired by Amazon software company Three Colts.
Three Colts has an impressive suite of Amazon software and they also acquired the greatest online arbitrage software on earth (imo), Tactical Arbitrage, a couple of years back.
ScoutIQ is arguably one of the most well-known book scanning apps on the market, even though they do state on their website that their app can scan any product and return Amazon data.
We’re going to explore ScoutIQ from a bookseller point of view because that’s really what it was created for, used book scanning and research.
Notable ScoutIQ Features
ScoutIQ offers a 14-day free trial without needing a coupon so I highly suggest you check it out to see it in use and experience all of its features first-hand.
If you’re still on the fence though, here are the most notable features that you should know about:
eScore is scoutIQ’s proprietary data point ranking that indicates how many days in the past 180 days (approx. 6 months) a particular book has registered at least one sale.
The eScore is on a scale of 0-180, here’s what the scores mean:
- A score of 180 means the books has had a sale every single day
- 90 means selling every other day
- 60 means selling every three days
- 26 means the book is selling once a week
ScoutIQ’s eScore is a quick and easy way to determine the sell-ability of a book when you’re out sourcing for new inventory.
The rank figure shown inside the app is another sales related metric. Rank tells us how long it's been since a copy of the scanned book has sold.
As a rough rule of thumb, here's what various ranks mean in terms of sales volume:
- Under 100k means it sold multiple copies in last hour
- A rank of 100k means it sold about an hour ago.
- 600k means it sold 3 or 4 days ago
- 1,000,000 means it sold around 5-7 days ago
Keep in mind that there are 20 million books listed on Amazon so ranks in the millions do not necessarily indicate that the book is a terrible seller.
If the book is a high value item but also has quite a high rank, there’s no issue because you aren’t going to expect a high value book to sell instantly.
The actual sales volume number is not provided in ScoutIQ as Amazon does not provide this number, but the sales are easy to track by looking at eScore and rank.
Many of the best Amazon tools have pre-defined triggers or alerts that you can set. This involves inputting specific criteria that would indicate an “ideal buy” for you and your reselling business.
When you scan a book with ScoutIQ, you’ll get a green “accept” bar or a red “reject” bar depending on whether or not the scanned item meets your smart trigger criteria.
The ability to have a downloadable offline database is an important feature for serious sellers. While the live data scanning is going to be the most up-to-date, it is also going to be a lot slower than just database scanning.
ScoutIQ also has a live+database scanning option which is a great way to scan and still works relatively fast.
If you want to sell your book to a wholesaler like Sell Your Book Back, you can check the price instantly inside the app.
Scout IQ Pricing
ScoutIQ offers a free 14-day free trial without needing a coupon code, so there’s no reason not to give it a try. Here’s how the pricing looks once you’re done with your free trial:
Live Scanning Only Plan
$14 per month, or $10 per month paid annually.
You need an internet connection with your phone and it does take a little longer to scan, but the cost saving is great. Check out the "speed test" in the next section to see the difference in scanning speed.
Live+Database Scanning Plan
$44 per month or $36 per month paid annually
This plan is considerably more expensive but it has benefits. You might need the database scanning if you have an unreliable internet connection on your phone, or if you often go to locations that have poor mobile coverage.
Using database scanning is also a lot faster, as you'll see in the speed test.
ScoutIQ Scanning Speed Test
If you don’t need the offline (database) scanning but you’re concerned about scanning speed, check out the results from this test.
Scanning 30 books using the offline database took only 18 seconds, but the live mode took 56 seconds to scan the same number of books.
It still took less than one minute to scan the books in Live mode so in the sceme of things it ain't that slow, but if you’re a high-energy entrepreneur type this might seem like a lifetime.
The choice is yours but as you’ve seen above, there is a significant price difference.
How to Use ScoutIQ
It’s one thing doing a product review, but I always find it more useful to run through some of the steps on how to use a product so potential users can see it in action.
You can connect a bluetooth scanner if you’re really gung-ho about scanning books, but the scanner inside the app is fantastic.
To search for a book you can either enter the ISBN or use the camera scanner.
As soon as you scan a book you see the used and new price data, along with the rank and eScore and a colored top bar.
Green "ACCEPT" bar on top screen = it meets your smart trigger criteria.
Red "REJECT" bar on top screen = it does not meet your smart trigger criteria.
If you swipe left, you get to the more simplified “Scout Lite” screen.
Colors inside the app have meaning, too. Green is good, orange is just ok and red is bad. Make sense?
If you tap on the “used” number, it will open Amazon and show all of the used offers, and likewise with the new offers.
The icons along the bottom take you to view data charts at Keepa or CamelCamelCamel, BookScouter to see trade-in prices and finally Amazon, to see all of the current prime offers.
Alternative Apps like ScoutIQ
I haven’t personally tested all of these ScoutIQ alternatives, and we’re not going to do a massive in-depth comparison, but here’s some other apps similar to ScoutIQ..
Scoutly (Formerly FBAScan)
Scoutly is probably the most commonly compared app to ScoutIQ but in looking at the pricing, it’s not that much cheaper.
Scoutly also has features such as live or database searching, triggers and sales rank but it does not have a proprietary ranking like ScoutIQ’s eScore.
When it comes to pricing, Scoutly is a little cheaper at $9.95 per month for the live search plan and $35 per month for the live+database search features.
One major downside of Scoutly, according to online reviews, is that it can be buggy and has a tendency to crash during scans. This is a make or break for most sellers, depending on just how buggy it really is.
Amazon Seller App
The Amazon app is a free alternative to ScoutIQ, but it is inferior in comparison. It’s slow and lacks detail in the data that it shows, but it’s free.
If you have a very low budget for your Amazon business then the free Amazon Seller App is a great app to start with!
We love this software for so many reasons, but it can also help you if book flipping is your thing. You do need to be aware though that TA does not have a scanner, or a mobile app for that matter, but what it does is scan the web for book deals on some of the major online retail sites like Barnes & Noble, Abe Books, Books a Million, and a few more.
This sourcing model is called online arbitrage, and Tactical Arbitrage scans these sites for books that will make you a profit if you flip them on Amazon.
One of the best things about this software is that it can literally scan while you are sleeping and you can come back later when it’s finished scanning to see what potential deals it has found for you.
If you wanted to give Tactical Arbitrage a try, it starts at $59 per month for the “flip pack” plan. Go and check out the Tactical Arbitrage free-trial and coupon details here.
Seller Amp is actually a fantastic piece of software, and it has a web app and chrome extension in addition to the mobile app.
While its not dedicated to book flippers, it is a robust and highly detailed Amazon scanner app that ticks a lot of boxes.
If your business isn’t dominated by book flipping and you dabble in all sorts of retail arbitrage, this one could be for you.
SellerAmp starts at $19.95 per month for 1,000 lookups (scans) per month and $27.95 per month for unlimited lookups.
The one important feature that Seller Amp lacks in comparison to ScoutIQ is the database scanning. This is a must-have for a lot of sellers.
Scout IQ Pros and Cons
The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to ScoutIQ, but here’s my summary of the ScoutIQ pros and cons.
Closing the Cover on ScoutIQ Review
You see what I did there? 🤣
From what I can tell, this is probably the most detailed and hands-on review of ScoutIQ on the web, if I may say so myself, so I sincerely hope you got some useful information out of it.
If book flipping is your game, then I would say look no further than ScoutIQ.
But you should always be the judge yourself, so take advantage of the 14-day free trial and report back with your own findings.