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FBAScan/Scoutly and Scoutify are two of the most popular Amazon scanner apps on the market.
To help you figure out which is the right choice for your Amazon business, I’ve written up this in-depth comparison of the two scanner apps.
So what did I find?
Well, after going back and forth between both apps (and scanning hundreds of products in the process), I found that FBAScan/Scoutly is the better Amazon scanner app for most Amazon sellers.
While both apps have quite a few similarities, FBAScan/Scoutly has some key features that make it the clear winner in a head-to-head comparison.
- Difference #1: FBAScan/Scoutly is 30% cheaper than Scoutify
- Difference #2: Scoutify is significantly slower
- Difference #3: Scoutify doesn’t show you the average sales rank
- Difference #4: FBAScan/Scoutly shows you the Keepa sales rank graph.
- Difference #5: FBAScan/Scoutly lets you set product-specific profit triggers.
Note: I’m writing “FBAScan/Scoutly” because the company who made the FBAScan app rebranded it to “Scoutly”. Most people still call it FBAScan though, so I’ll be using the phrase “FBAScan/Scoutly” to avoid confusion.
Similarities between FBAScan/Scoutly and Scoutify
Before we dive into the differences, let’s review the functions that both FBAScan/Scoutly and Scoutify offer:
- Both let you look up the prices and sales ranks of items on Amazon
- Both let you scan an item with a bluetooth barcode scanner or your phone’s camera
- Both let you check the Amazon, eBay, and BookScouter websites for price information.
- Both have a Buy List of profitable items you’ve scanned.
- Both let you set the cost of an item, and factor that into their profit calculation.
Now let’s look at the differences.
Difference #1: FBAScan/Scoutly costs $14 less per month (a 30% difference).
Cost is one of the most important factors when comparing any two products. This is especially the case when you’re paying a monthly fee for those products, as any difference in cost will compound substantially over the years.
FBAScan/Scoutly costs $35 per month, while Scoutify costs $49 per month. That’s about a 30% difference, which is pretty damn significant in my opinion. If you were to use FBAScan/Scoutly instead of Scoutify, you would save $168 per year.
That’s a nice chunk of money that can go toward more inventory, pizza on the weekends, or whatever else you like spending money on.
It’s important to note that Scoutify comes with an InventoryLab subscription, so you would also be getting listing software out of that $49 per month. However, I would caution against you using Scoutify just because you also get listing software along with it.
For starters, as I explain in my listing software review (Accelerlist vs InventoryLab: Which Is The Best Amazon Listing Software?), InventoryLab is an inferior product. You should be using Accelerlist to list your products on Amazon.
To add to that, FBAScan/Scoutly is miles ahead of Scoutify. I’ll be explaining why that is in the remainder of this article, but just know that using the Scoutify/InventoryLab bundle will cost you time and money in the long run, even if you save a bit on monthly fees in the short term.
Difference #2: Scoutify is significantly slower.
Sourcing products for Amazon is all about speed.
You need to be able to make a purchase decision as soon as you scan an item. If it takes you even a few seconds to decide whether to buy something, you’ve already lost.
More efficient sellers will be finding more inventory in a shorter period of time while you’re twiddling your thumbs waiting for your app to load.
This is where FBAScan/Scoutly truly outshines Scoutify. The developers at ASellerTool (the company who develops FBAScan/Scoutly) know exactly what Amazon sellers need in their scouting app to source as efficiently as possible, and it shows.
Speed Difference #1: Scoutify doesn’t have a database scanning mode.
Of all the differences between the two apps, this is the most important one.
If you’re sourcing products in any kind of significant volume, you need a database scanning mode.
Here’s why: While we may think the internet is fast, it’s actually a pretty slow way to transfer data. It moves at a snail’s pace compared to local data transfer.
It’s so slow that when the scientists who developed that awesome picture of a black hole needed to transfer their data from one laboratory to another, they actually loaded the data onto hard drives and flew them by plane to the other lab. They did this because it was faster than sending the data over the internet.
Now, as an Amazon seller, you’re not going to be sending or receiving terabytes of data. But you are going to be making thousands of quick data lookup requests when you’re out scanning products. If you’re using the internet to make those data lookup requests, you’re going to waste valuable seconds every single time to scan a product. You need to wait for your scouting app to send the data request to Amazon’s servers, and you need to wait for Amazon’s servers to respond to the request with the product information.
The speed of this data request is dependent on a number of external factors: your cell reception, your cellular network, and the state of Amazon’s servers to name a few. And even if everything is in perfect order, the limitations of the speed of data transfer will still make you wait for an unacceptable amount of time whenever you scan a product.
All of that wait can be avoided if you have Amazon’s product database downloaded on your phone. If you have the product and price information stored on your phone’s hard drive, your scouting app can instantly look up any product you scan without the delay of internet data transfer.
FBAScan/Scoutly allows you to download Amazon’s product database. Scoutify does not.
This means that sellers who use FBAScan/Scoutly will be able to scan hundreds (or even thousands) more products per hour than sellers who use Scoutify.
Speed Difference #2: Scoutify makes you navigate to the Prime offers page on Amazon to see FBA offers.
Amazon is pretty restrictive about allowing sellers to see certain data.
One of the best examples of this is their blocking third-party apps (like FBAScan/Scoutly and Scoutify) from viewing offers that are not one of the 20 lowest-priced offers. This is a problem if you sell using FBA. If a listing has enough FBM (Fulfilled By Merchant) offers, the lowest-priced FBA offer is often not in the bottom 20… which means you won’t be able to view the FBA prices on your initial scouting app search.
FBAScan/Scoutly has a pretty simple solution to this problem. It’s called the live search lookup button, and it allows you to sidestep Amazon’s restrictions and pull the FBA prices from Amazon’s website. FBAScan/Scoutly then populates your scan results with the previously hidden FBA price information, and you can go on scanning as normal.
Scoutify does not have this workaround. If you want to view the FBA offers when they aren’t in the lowest 20 prices, you’ll need to manually load the Amazon FBA offers page and check there.
This is a worse option for a few reasons:
- It takes longer to load the Amazon FBA offers page on Scoutify than it does to download the FBA offers on FBAScan/Scoutly
- Once you’re done looking at the FBA offers page, you have to manually navigate back to the Scoutify app.
- Viewing the FBA offers page doesn’t let you view what the actual profit will be in the app. When you download the FBA offers on FBAScan/Scoutly, the numbers show up in the actual app, which means you can tap the FBA prices and see what the net profit will be after buy cost and fees. You can’t do that on Scoutify. You’d have to estimate and hope you’re right.
As you can see, FBAScan/Scoutly makes for a significantly faster scouting workflow than Scoutify does. But faster speed and lower cost are not the only reasons I recommend it over Scoutify.
Difference #3: Scoutify does not show the average sales rank.
If you’ve any of the other articles on this site, you’ve probably already heard me harp on about why knowing the average sales rank is so important. So if this is old news to you, feel free to skip this section. But if you don’t know why knowing the average sales rank is an essential part of sourcing, read on.
Knowing the average sales rank of an item when sourcing is important because it tells you the true demand of the item. The current sales rank does not tell you the true demand of an item ‒ it only gives you a snapshot of the sales rank at this moment in time.
Here’s an example that should clarify things.
Let’s say you scan a book that sells twice per year…but one of those sales was yesterday. The sales rank of an item drops after it sells. So the current sales rank of this book would actually be quite low ‒ around 500,000, which would incorrectly make you think it sells about once per week. You might make a purchase decision based on that false information, which could lead to you losing money on the book.
The average sales rank wouldn’t mislead you like that. It would show you the average of all the current sales ranks in a 180-day period. In this instance, that number would probably show up at around 5,000,000. Knowing this crucial information would allow you avoid making purchases based on misleading sales rank information.
FBAScan/Scoutly shows you the average sales rank. Scoutify does not. So if you were using Scoutify, you’re basically rolling the dice every time you make a purchase. Sure, most of those Scoutify buys will probably be profitable ‒ but some won’t, and you would have to eat those losses.
Difference #4: FBAScan shows you the Keepa sales rank graph.
The Keepa sales rank graph is an integral part of most of my purchase decisions. It gives me a pretty good idea of how often an item is selling, and it also tells me whether an item is seasonal or not.
FBAScan/Scoutly shows you the Keepa sales rank graph right on the scan results page.
Scoutify doesn’t offer this. If you want to view the Keepa data on Scoutify, you’d have to press their Keepa button and load the Keepa graph in a new tab. And even then, Scoutify’s Keepa functionality is sub-par, because loading the Keepa graph doesn’t actually show me the sales rank data. I would have to pay for Keepa to view the sales rank data if I used Scoutify.
One of the best parts of using FBAScan/Scoutly’s Keepa sales rank graph feature is that I don’t have to pay for Keepa to use it. A few months ago, Keepa placed their sales rank data behind a paywall. It used to be free to view the sales rank information, but it now costs about $17 per month. FBAScan/Scoutly allows you to get around that paywall by displaying the sales rank graph directly in the scan results page. I’m not sure what kind of a deal they’ve worked out with Keepa (or if Keepa is even aware that they’re doing this), but it’s an awesome feature for us Amazon sellers regardless.
Difference #5: FBAScan/Scoutly lets you set product-specific profit triggers.
Setting profit triggers is an essential feature that every professional scouting app should offer.
FBAScan/Scoutly lets you set profit triggers. Scoutify does not.
Triggers let efficiency-minded sellers source at maximum speed, as they don’t have to analyze each scan result and decide whether to buy or not ‒ the app will do the work for them and tell them whether it’s worth it.
Triggers also let you hire people to source for you. While you might know how to interpret a scan results page and make a purchase decision, anyone you hire to help you source will probably have zero experience doing that. They’ll need an easy visual aid to tell them what to buy and what to skip ‒ that’s where buy triggers come in handy. You can just set triggers for them and send them off scanning.
Another way in which having triggers helps with hiring people to source is that they allow you to hide the item’s price information. Let’s face it, you don’t want the people you’ve hired to source knowing that the book they’ve just picked up is worth more than they’re getting paid for the day. They might put that book aside and sell it themselves, or they might stop working for you altogether and become one of your competitors.
FBAScan/Scoutly also has this price-hiding functionality wrapped into its trigger feature, which will make it easier to hire people to source for you without turning them into your competitors.
In a head-to-head comparison, FBAScan/Scoutly comes out ahead of Scoutify as the better sourcing app for Amazon sellers.
- It costs $14 less per month.
- It’s significantly faster.
- It shows you the average sales rank.
- It shows you the Keepa sales rank graph.
- It lets you set product-specific profit triggers.