Scout is a web-based research tool within Stratify. Using Scout allows you to see category, rank, and fee details about a product to assist with making inventory purchasing decisions.
- Product Information
- Product Research Links
- Profit Calculator
- Share Button
To access Scout, click the Research tab and select Scout from the dropdown menu.
Once you are in Scout, you can search the Amazon Catalog by ASIN, Title, ISBN, or UPC (can be scanned or typed in.) But before you do, you should set up your Ideal Buy parameters! For details please see Set Up Your Ideal Buy in Scout
Searching the Amazon Catalog
Enter the information into the search bar in the center of the screen and click Search.
The search results will appear on the page, with the search parameters showing in the upper left corner of the page as breadcrumbs. You can click the breadcrumbs to navigate to previous pages, such as the main Search page.
The items on the list from a product search show the following information:
- Product Title
- Number of Offers
- Rank and Category
- ASIN (the clickable link that opens a new tab to the product page on Amazon.com)
This information is also included on the product's Detail page, which is accessed by tapping or clicking anywhere in the product line. You can also just tap or click on the small arrow to the far right side of that item's line to get to the Detail page.
While on the Product Detail page for an item, clicking the Scout breadcrumb will take you to the search page, but if you click on the search parameter (product title, UPC, etc) that you used in the search it will take you back to the results page.
On the Detail page, the upper left window displays additional information about the product selected:
- Product Image with Ideal Buy Indicator (if applicable)
- Product Title
- Rank and Category
- Size Tier
- Prep Type (if provided by Amazon)
- Trade-In Value (if applicable on Amazon)
- On-Hand Quantity in Your Account
The Offers section displays what Amazon deems are the most competitive offers for this product:
The offers are split up into columns to show New (Merchant Fulfilled), Used (Merchant Fulfilled),and FBA (new, used, collectible, etc).
Scout displays icons that will show you which offer is in the new or used Buy Box (also known as Featured Offer) and which offer, if any, is likely from Amazon.
The first two columns in the Offers display shows New and Used Merchant-fulfilled offers. The last column shows FBA.
Different icons give a further breakdown of conditions in the MFN Used column and the FBA column:
- N – The product for this offer is in New condition
- LN – The product for this offer is in Like New condition
- VG – The product for this offer is in Very Good condition
- G – The product for this offer is in Good condition
- A – The product for this offer is in Acceptable condition
- CLN – The product for this offer is in Collectable Like New condition
- CVG – The product for this offer is in Collectable Very Good condition
- CG – The product for this offer is in Collectable Good condition
- CA -The product for this offer is in Collectable Acceptable condition
Note: Not all of the offers for the product are always displayed in this table. The Amazon API provides offers that they deem as competitive to display. Their terms and conditions for 3rd party applications, like InventoryLab, prevent us from being allowed to show all of the offers directly inside of our application.
For more information, please see- What are the Amazon MWS Limitations?
Product Research Links
Scout provides you with convenient access to a list of icons that link to websites you may want to use during product research. You will also see any Custom Research Shortcuts you have added.
These options include:
- Bookscouter – A book buyback site,
- eBay – Links to the search results based on the title of the product,
- Google – Links to the search results for the title of the product,
- CamelCamelCamel – Links to any sales price/rank history that is available for the ASIN,
- Amazon Offer Comparison – Links to the detail page on Amazon with a pop-out that shows the offers on the listing,
- Amazon Restriction Tool - Links to Seller Central Add a Product page to check on Restrictions for this item,
- Custom Research Shortcuts - Custom shortcuts created by you that allow you to search by ASIN on a website of your choice,
- Edit Custom Research Shortcuts - The pencil icon to the far right of the research tools allows you to edit your Custom ASIN shortcuts right from within your settings. Just click the pencil and a window appears so you can edit or add them:
You can also turn them On or Off for the List page, Scout, and Scoutify. If you make any changes, be sure to save them, then click the X to exit the Settings overlay.
For more information on Custom Research Shortcuts, please see Setting up Custom Research Shortcuts
After selecting an item from search results in Scout, the profit calculator appears in the lower right corner of the page. The calculator can help you make purchasing decisions based on fees and expenses.
Enter your cost/unit for the item and select or enter your List Price to see the Average Net Profit per Unit for that item, as well as the ROI percentage.
This is also reflected to the left in the Profitability tab information, and the graph will show at a glance if it's profitable. If it isn't, we make sure to point it out in several places:
You can choose to calculate the base profit as MFN or FBA so the appropriate fees will be taken into account. To change the fulfillment channel, click the toggle that is defaulted to FBA, and change it to MFN or Merchant Fulfilled:
Now the Profitability tab shows the Merchant Fulfilled expenses for that item, along with changing the graph to reflect the updated information. It also allows you to input the flat rate shipping for the MFN item.
To change your Shipping Rate Estimate, Sales Tax paid, or the estimated Monthly Storage duration, click the small gear icon just above the FBA/MFN toggle:
This opens the settings page where you can change the following:
- Sales tax
- Discount rate
- Number of months you want to estimate storage at Amazon
- Inbound FBA Shipping rate
For MFN items, only the Sales Tax and Discount rate are relevant.
When finished with settings, click the X at the top right to close the Settings overlay.
We realize that a lot of information comes at you when doing product research, so we have organized the information on the Scout page into Tabs. Information is there, but only when you need or want to see it.
The Profitability Tab, changes based on the data you input into the Profit Calculator. The expenses will be listed to the left, and a graph is displayed to the right to give you profit information at a glance.
Here we show you your Purchase History for the item before (including items in your Unlisted Inventory if connected by ASIN) and if you have a Sales History with it. If you do, the information will look similar to the below image:
We show the Date Purchased, Quantity Purchased, and the Cost per Unit. If you have sales, we show how many units sold in the Last 30 Days, Last 90 Days, and All Time, along with the Average Profit Per Unit.
The Projected Storage Fees graph shows you the projected storage fees and your projected profitability of an ASIN over a 24-month time period at a certain list price.
The profit line is green, and your storage costs are on the orange line. Drag the pointer along the graph to see the changes.
For information on how to use this graph, please see Using the Projected Storage Fees Graph in Scout
When accessing Scout through a mobile browser, the Storage Fees will be displayed as a table instead of a graph for ease of use.
The Share button in the product details allows you to create and send a product information zap using the InventoryLab Zapier integration.
For information on how to set up and use the Zapier integration, pleas see Set Up an InventoryLab Product Information Integration using Zapier
You're also able to send the product information via email, and copy the Scout URL for the item.
The email option opens up your default mail provider and sends the following information:
- Scout URL - the Scout URL of the item.
- Title - The title of the item.
- ASIN - The ASIN of the item.
- Sales Rank - The sales rank of the item.
- Total Products in Category - The total amount of products in the item's category.
- Total Offers - The total amount of offers for the item.
- Main Category - The main category of the item.
- Sub Category - The sub-category of the item, if applicable.
- Original List Price - The originally listed price of the item.
- Buy Box - New - The new Buy Box of the item, if applicable.
- Buy Box - Used - The used Buy Box of the item, if applicable.
- Author - The author of the item, if applicable.
- Dimensions - The dimensions of the item.
- Size Tier - The size tier of the item.
- Prep Instructions - The prep instructions of the item, if applicable.
- Ideal Buy - Whether or not the item matches what you think is an ideal buy based on your Ideal Buy settings.