ASellerTool – The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Prior to, and during my early days of selling on Amazon, I had built a respectable used book-selling business on eBay. Most of the books I was finding were from the “for sale” sections in the 11 local libraries in my county. I was selling a lot of audio books on cassette and cd that I was buying for $1 each. I remember finding an unabridged copy of Gone With The Wind  on 28 cassette tapes for a dollar and selling it on eBay for $165. This was back in 2011.

Around that same time I saw an ad online from someone named Mike who was selling his entire collection of audiobooks. He was mostly selling on Amazon and wanted to liquidate everything, so I paid him a visit. It was Mike who first introduced me to the world of PDA scanners. He demonstrated how he scanned the ISBN barcode on the back of the book and was able to see the same book on Amazon. My current technique involved typing the ISBN into the Amazon website search bar on my Blackberry. I bought his inventory and went home to research PDA scanners.

It was that research that led me to ASellerTool, the company who provides downloads of Amazon’s database where you could quickly and easily look up prices, do profit calculations, and see how many new and used offers you would be competing against, should you decide to buy the item to resell.

This database was a real game-changer. It allowed the user to go into library basements and back rooms where there was no cellphone service and scan books at breakneck speed, passing on the duds and buying the ones that met parameters that were pre-set by the user into the program stored on the PDA.

Not only was Amazon’s book and media database included, but so were several other Amazon categories like Toys and Home and Kitchen, which allowed users to scan UPC barcodes in retail stores, thrift shops, and even yard sales. Retail Arbitrage at its finest! One interesting thing to note is that PDAs were already several years old and the technology was mostly obsolete when Amazon FBA was just getting started.

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Technology never stands still. Around the same time that things were starting to take off for ASellerTool, Steve Jobs and Sam Sung were busy making the smart phone even smarter, and app developers were coming up with ways to scan Amazon’s database in real-time. The number of Amazon sellers was rapidly multiplying, and communication between sellers was increased through social media groups and channels. People discovered new ways to do things, and pretty soon, PDA scanning was a thing of the past, at least as far as most sellers were concerned. Similar to the building of the great pyramids in Egypt, the technology was seemingly “lost”. Social media posts asking how to scan items when there is no cellphone signal often go unanswered.

But a quick web-search for ASellerTool reveals that they are still going strong two decades into the 21st century. And maybe more than ever, the ability to have Amazon’s database at your fingertips can be a real game changer. The processor inside of your modern cellphone is far faster than 1995 PDA technology, and the available storage space dwarfs the 2 gig SD card that the Dell Axim PDA uses to store the database. Your phone camera has the built-in capability to scan the barcodes, and modern technology even allows for an Bluetooth scanner to be used in its place. Now you are not limited to just a few select categories like a decade ago, but instead, you have the ability to load Amazon’s entire database onto your smartphone or PDA. No better way to be prepared anytime you find yourself without a cell signal, whether in a retail store, at a book sale, or outside at a neighborhood yard sale.

How ASellerTool Works

Using ASellerTool is as simple as installing their PC Downloader, grabbing the latest database, and putting it on your PDA or Smartphone. ASellerTool will even rent the PDA to you if you don’t have the proper setup. In fact, ASellerTool will send a Windows laptop to you at no charge if you need one (you’ll need to pay shipping and place a deposit on the equipment, but the deposit is refunded when the laptop is returned). They update the database every day, so it would be advantageous to you to download every day, or at least every day that you plan to go scouting.

ASellerTool Database Scanning

PROS

Less than a second to return results after scanning
No cell service needed for database scanning
Economical. No contract needed. Cancel anytime
Works with all Amazon categories
Use with PDA, iPhone, or Android
Can be used with only a smartphone and no additional equipment

CONS

Data is only as accurate as the last time it was updated (requires active participation by user)
Only the lowest price is shown (Amazon MWS Limitation for software providers)

So, is it worth $35 a month for a database subscription to ASellerTool?

The price was about the same when I got started with them in 2011, and that was just for the database plan. Now the database is much larger, and the price includes the Live scanning and the listing software as well. They do offer subscriptions to just their Live Lookup program which is cheaper, but the full suite of Live, Database, and Listing software is a bargain at $35 a month, considering what many sellers are paying for just listing software.

If you are constantly draining your battery waiting to get results from your scanning app, or find yourself in situations where no cell service is available, ASellerTool may be just the answer you are looking for.

Booksellers and Retail Arbitrage resellers alike can benefit by taking a look, or another look, at ASellerTool. Finding yourself in a situation where you can’t work because you can’t scan can really make for a bad day. Check out ASellerTool, grab a 30 day FREE TRIAL, and see if you don’t agree that they are exactly the thing you’ve been looking for. They offer discounts for yearly subscriptions and additional users, and will even refund $15 to you after three months when you use our link.

How long have you been selling on Amazon, and have you ever used a PDA scanner (like the Dell Axim x51)? Leave a comment below.

Greg Purdy Photograph

About the Author

Greg Purdy is the founder and co-owner of Seller Essentials, the resource website for all things Ecommerce, which includes Essential Daily Deals, the Online Arbitrage list used by professionals around the world. He lives in Maryland with his wife and children.

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