A book scout is someone that is searching for books typically for resale or for trading in for other books. A acim scout is someone that visits book sales, bookstores, yard sales, thrift stores, etc to “scout” for books. Before the advent of online bookselling, a book scout was someone that would drive around to the local book stores and make deals with the book store owners, trade in some books and take those books to another dealer that was looking for them. He would upsell the dealer and make some profit in the mean time. Now, with online bookselling, the book scout has came onto a more generic term as anyone that is going out in search of books to sell either online or offline. You will notice a book scout at a library sale, for example, with one of those scanners, cell phones or PDAs, scanning books. They are using book scouting services!
What is a book scouting service?
Book scouting services are services that are usually either installed on a cell phone or PDA that houses Amazon’s database of books with prices or is a streamlined website that provides access to Amazon’s database. It is software that you can use out in the field that lets you either scan a book’s ISBN number or manually type it in to see exactly how much that book is going for on Amazon at the time. Depending on if the software is offline or online, it can be real time information! This is invaluable information to know because you will never make a bad decision on what books to buy!
Types of book scouting services
There are two different types of book scouting services. The first one is an online service. This type of service gives you a webpage to go to that you can either scan in the barcode with you scanner to input the ISBN number or manually type it in. This kind of book scouting service is real time information directly from Amazon’s database. That is the big advantage of this service. The disadvantage though is because you either have to lug around a laptop to your sales or you have to have a cell phone with an Internet connection wherever you are. I know I have been in some remote places where I had no Internet connection at all and this definitely did not help me at all!
The second kind of book scouting service is the offline kind. This usually consists of a website that you go to on your computer at home to download software and install it onto your cell phone or PDA. It also includes much of Amazon’s database of titles, prices and ISBN numbers. With this method you can look up books very quickly due to the fact that the information is local to your PDA or cell phone. The disadvantage to this is because the information can sometimes be dated. It all depends on when you originally downloaded the database onto your computer or how often the service actually refreshes itself from Amazon.
Do you really need a book scouting service?
The answer to this question is yes and no. Yes because it gives you excellent information when you are out scouting for books and allows you to make more informed buying decisions. No because it can sometimes be pricey and if you are a casual seller, it probably won’t be worth it. You can spend thousands of dollars on a wireless scanner, PDA, software and the monthly service itself. The costs add up very quickly with this type of service, but if you are a full time online bookseller and make thousands of dollars a month at this, it is most likely a necessity for you.
Adam Bertram is an avid online bookseller that has generated over $20,000 in less than a year in selling books online by spending less than 20 hours/week and while still maintaining a full time job. He is dedicated to teaching others this great business opportunity and how to realize the cash potential of your typical used book.Book Distributors And What They Can Do For Your Book