If you’re serious about building your book business, there are a few indispensable tools and apps that exist in the marketplace. Here’s a list of my favorite products that I use nearly every day in my own business. Each of the Amazon links below utilize my affiliate link – if you want to give back to the blog, kindly click those links before purchasing any of the items below. It won’t cost you any extra, but I would be extremely grateful!
This scale is small but it packs a punch! It can weigh boxes up to 110 pounds (more than you’ll need for shipping to Amazon), and runs off batteries or from a standard wall outlet. My favorite part is that the display is detached, which means you can weigh the box AND see the display at the same time. What a novel idea!
Opticon OPN-2002 Bluetooth ScannerA Bluetooth scanner will take your book scouting game to the next level. Simply point and shoot your handy laser at any unsuspecting barcode and you can pull up its vital info on Amazon in a split second. This particular model has a strong laser (it works outside even in direct sunlight), an impressive battery life (it’ll outlast my iPhone), and is incredibly durable.
Don’t be confused by the Politically Correct title here – this is just “fancy velcro” to stick your Bluetooth scanner to the back of your phone case. If you set it up properly, you can scan books with one hand while using your other hand to sort through books at your favorite local thrift store! Watch a video of this setup in action here.
Want to speed up your listing process? Add a USB barcode scanner to your arsenal of tools. Make typing in ISBNs on your keyboard a thing of the past! The best part of this scanner? It senses when you put a book in front of it and the laser comes on automatically! Not only does it conserve energy with this feature, but it’ll make the book-listing process a bit more enjoyable.
Does your thrift store put those annoying price stickers all over the covers of their books? These patriotic peelers will soon be your new best friend and help you remove those stickers with ease!
Once you have performed surgery on the price stickers with your Scotty Peelers, you can remove any sticky residue with Goo Gone. Simply dab a bit of this powerful solution on the pesky residue, wait a few seconds, and wipe it clean with a rag. Problem = solved!
Don’t pay Amazon 20 cents per label to label your books for you, especially when labels can be purchased for less than a penny apiece! These come in handy when you list your books in bulk.
There are a myriad of apps and software solutions available to assist bookseller with their scouting, listing, and tracking needs. Here are the ones I currently use:
This downloadable database of books works like a champ on my iPhone (and it even works on Android!). Even in places with no signal, I can still access a book’s sales rank and current prices. If you’re going to make a single investment in your business, invest in a subscription to ScoutIQ. Its data is more comprehensive than any other scanning app, and eScore changes the game completely. Scout smarter, not harder, with this scanning app. And yes, I’m biased – I created it! You can sign up to be a beta tester at scoutiq.co.
This is my own creation, and I’m proud of it! You can use a USB barcode scanner to scan in your books, and the sheet will generate a link over to Amazon so you can quickly research the book’s current prices and sales history (thanks to the Keepa extension). The spreadsheet will also generate the files you need to bulk upload your books (or any other items) to Amazon! Watch a video of the Listing Spreadsheet in action here.
If you can’t measure your data, you can’t manage it. This is an in-depth spreadsheet that I created to help me manage my own data, and it has been the driving force behind many of my blog posts. As a data geek, I figured others out there would want to measure their own data as well, so I decided to make it available to the general public.
The standard mileage deduction (currently 54 cents/mile for 2016) is the best tax incentive out there. It’s a non-cash deduction, meaning that for every mile you drive you get to avoid paying taxes on 54 cents worth of your revenue. And unless you drive a school bus or a tank, your actual costs to drive that mile should be well under 54 cents. All you have to do is track your mileage, and the MileIQ app tracks all of them for you without you even having to remember to turn the app on. Sign up using this link to save 20% off your annual membership:
I don’t currently use InventoryLab, but spent over a year using it. It’s got a great workflow for listing books and a decent accounting system in place as well. As a bonus it comes with a free scouting app – Scoutify. It’s not a downloaded database, but if you ever venture into other products it’s a great researching tool to have at your disposal! If you use InventoryLab, I would highly recommend using a DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo to print your labels as you list your books.
While InventoryLab prides itself in being the premier Amazon software on the market, ScanLister’s claim to fame is being the FASTEST kid on the block. Its creator, Nathan Holmquist, shows how he can list 100 books in an hour using the software. You will have to pre-sort your books by condition to get the maximum benefits from the software, but it’s well worth the effort. And unlike InventoryLab’s high monthly fees, Nathan offers an option to purchase his software outright! You can also take it for a test drive or pay a small monthly fee if you’d prefer. It works on both Mac and PC.
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