How to scout like the pros at book sales

We’ve all been there.  That first big library sale where you run into other scouters.  Scouters with fancy PDAs and scanners who seem to run circles around you.  Even though you’re armed with knowledge about sales rank and how to use FBA to sell your books more profitably, you just can’t seem to scan books as fast as your competition can.  In this business, time is money, and you can’t afford to waste either.

There’s good news in all of this.  With just a few simple upgrades, you can be scouting like the pros in no time!  If you’re serious about this business, these upgrades won’t cost you money… they will actually save you money.  If you’re not 100% sure about diving headfirst into books just yet, there are plenty of free tools available to you as you are ramping up your business.

There will be two blog posts this week, both of which will feature videos.  The first one will show you the scouting setup that I use and provide links for you to outfit yourself with the exact same tools.  The second post will showcase three of the scouting apps that I use and highlight the pros and cons of each one.

Here are the specifics on each of the tools I use.  Please note: the Amazon links below are affiliate links and if you purchase any of those items I will receive a small portion of the proceeds.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 10.14.01 AM
  • ScoutIQ App:  This app is available for iPhone and Android smartphones.  The entire book database can be downloaded to your device which allows you to scan books as fast as you can pick them up.  A monthly membership will cost you $44, or less if you pay for a few months up front or pay for multiple licenses for a scout team.  Since it’s a true database, you won’t need Wi-Fi or a cellular connection to look up books.  This software is extremely helpful in library or thrift store basements.  Learn more about ScoutIQ here.  There are other database solutions on the market, including Neatoscan and FBAScan, but ScoutIQ outperforms them both and has better data available (including eScore) to help you scout smarter, not harder.
  • Opticon OPN-2002 Bluetooth Scanner:  This scanner is durable and compact.  Mine has been dropped and scratched and keeps on working like a champ!  It can connect to an iPhone, Android device, or even your computer if you want to scan books and list them at home.  If you want to speed up your scouting significantly, invest in a bluetooth scanner.  You can find the OPN-2002 on Amazon here.  If you want the newer version of the OPN-2002, check out the OPN-2006.  Other people swear by the KDC200 (just make sure you order the correct scanner for either iPhone or Android, as they are different scanners).
  • Scotch Multi-Purpose Fasteners:  These are also known as “velcro on steroids” due to the voracious nature with which they secure your scanner to your smartphone.  You will want these to ensure smooth, one-handed operation of your scanner and phone so you can use the other hand to rifle through books quickly.  You can find these fasteners on Amazon here.
  • Jackery Giant+ Dual USB Portable Battery Charger:  The last thing you want to happen at a large sale is for your phone to run out of juice.  I prefer this device because it’s easy to carry with me, and has two USB ports so I can charge both my phone and my scanner at the same time.  You can find this charger on Amazon here.

As always, there is more than one way to skin a cat.  There are a plethora of scouting apps, scanners, and chargers out there and most of them will work just fine for your operation – these are merely the tools that I use.

Stay tuned for a post later this week where I will examine three different scouting apps and help you select one that will best suit your business needs.  Happy flipping!

Related Posts