NB: Since this article was first published, the book scouting market, book scouting software, and Amazon have all changed substantially.
When I first started selling used books, DVDs and video tapes online in the late 1990’s it was a guessing game. I knew there was a huge market online for the right books, but it was mostly trial and error.
There were bestselling and most wanted lists on half.com, and others. I spent every extra second scouring them before heading out to the sales – but I was competing against seasoned book pickers.
I wish these tools had been available then! Now, with the help of a PDA or cell phone you can get all the information you need in less than a second.
Here is a short list for vendors – who provide these services:
- Neatoscan – Scouting Tools – www.neatoscan.com
- MediaScouter – http://www.mediascouter.com
- ScoutPal & ScannerPal – http://www.scoutpal.com/
- aSellerTool – http://www.asellertool.com/home.html
Of course they are all subscription based, but well worth it – if you are not a seasoned book picker.
A subscription to one of these services can save you time and many trips back to the donation site (to return those lemons).