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.
To utilize Scout, log-in to InventoryLab, hover over the Research drop-down, and choose Scout.
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.
Setting up your Ideal Buy
Just like in Scoutify, you can now set up your Ideal Buy parameters in Scout to help you make quicker purchasing decisions. This setting tells Scout to indicate which items you search meet the sweet spot that you may consider an Ideal Buy. No more guessing games!
Click on the Set Up Ideal Buy link under the search bar:
This opens up the settings page for your Ideal Buy settings:
You can turn this feature on or off with the toggle at the top of the page, and you can also set your properties to only show you if Amazon is or isn't the seller, if the item has a Great Rank (more on that in a moment), and the Maximum Number of Offers.
If an item in the search results meets these requirements, you will see the green "Thumbs Up" icon to the left of the image:
For your Great Rank, just tap or click on the Source & List menu item in the upper left corner of the Settings page:
You can not only select what you think a Great Rank is, but you can do so on the individual Category level, as well as change the total items in a category here:
The category list is scrollable, and on the left side.
The fields for the Total Items and A Great Rank Is are editable so you can update those whenever you get new information. The far right column automatically calculates the Great Rank number based on the Total and the Percentage you enter.
After any changes, tap or click the Save Changes button to save them, or hit the Cancel button to get back to the search page without saving.
Searching the Amazon Catalog
On the search page, simply enter the information into the search bar in the center of the screen.
The search results will appear on the page, with the search parameter showing in the upper left corner of the page. We call these breadcrumbs, since they are clickable links. You can click on them to navigate to previous pages such as the main search page if I tapped or clicked on Scout in the breadcrumb below:
The items on the list from a product title search show the following information:
- Product Title
- Number of Offers
- Rank and Category
- ASIN (clickable link that opens a new tab to the product page on Amazon.com)
This information is also included on the Product Detail page, that 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 product detail page.
If you choose a listing and then determine it is not the correct one, you can hit the Scout link in the top left and return to the search results.
Remember, clicking on Scout 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 details page, the upper left window displays more 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).
InventoryLab displays icons that will show you which offer is in the new or used Buy Box 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 that 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.
Product Research Links
Scout provides you with convenient access to a list of icons and URL links that you may want to use during product research. You will also see any custom ASIN shortcuts you have added.
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
Prime Comparison – Links to the page on Amazon showing all of the current Prime offers for the ASIN
Amazon Restriction Tool - Links to Seller Central Add a Product page to check on Restrictions for this item
Custom ASIN Shortcuts - Custom shortcuts created by you that allow you to search by ASIN on a website of your choice.
Edit Custom ASIN Shortcuts - The pencil icon to the far right of the research tools allows you to edit your Custom ASIN shortcuts right from within Scout. Just click on the pencil and a modal appears so you can edit each one:
Once you edit or add them, you can turn them on or off for the List page, Scout, and Scoutify. Once you have saved the changes, click on Close to exit the window.
For more information on custom shortcuts, check out this step by step guide: Setting Up Custom ASIN 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 the Cost per Unit and select or enter your List Price and you will 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. Just hit 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 on the small gear icon just above the FBA/MFN toggle:
This changes the screen on the Profit Calculator to display fields so you can enter the following for FBA:
- shipping rate
- sales tax
- number of months you want to estimate storage at Amazon
For MFN items, the only option to change with the use of the gear icon is:
- Sales Tax Rate
When done with either, just click on Save (or cancel if you don't want to make any changes) to get back to the Profit Calculator screen.
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, as you have seen in the Profit Calculator section above, 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 if you have purchased this item before, or if you have a sales history with it. If you do, the information will look like 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 (or your finger if you are on a mobile device) along the graph to see the changes.
For information on how to use this graph, check out the below help article:
To find out more about the Research>History section of Scout, check out our Scout History article located here.