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I usually post once a week, but this week there’s a lot going on. Since so many of my readers use ScanPower, I wanted to quickly share what I’ve learned about ScanPower today and then post my regular blog on Friday. If you don’t care about SP’s changes – check back on Friday to read my post about working with a virtual assistant.

Chris Green and Paul Retherford hosted as live Spreecast today about the changes to their program. If you didn’t see their email about these changes, click HERE. Some of the changes are significant. Listen to the 1-hour replay at the bottom of this blog post.

Why the Changes?

The short story is that Amazon is insisting that ScanPower toe the line with how they (Amazon) want their data used. Currently SP has been doing workarounds to get us the quantity data, but that is going away by tomorrow. In addition, Amazon will be making competitive offers available, not necessarily all FBA offers. Who decides what is competitive? Amazon does. They are aggressively trying to bring down prices on their marketplace and to get us to compete solely on price.

What’s Going Away?

  • Quantity in stock for FBA sellers
  • Lowest 5 FBA offers if they are not competitive (i.e. offers significantly above the Buy Box are not included)

What’s Coming Up?

  • Workaround for lowest 5 FBA offers issue – SP is making it one-click from SP Mobile to the Amazon FBA/Free Shipping offer page. That way you can confirm before you buy whether or not there are non-competitive FBA offers.  After all, our idea of competitive is different from Amazon’s.
  • More accurate Amazon offer – sometimes the Amazon offer gets mixed in with the FBA offers. This will be improved with the switch tonight/tomorrow.
  • Faster data – SP is thinking about having a book sale contest against other scanners to show their increased speed. You should see it within a week on your phone.
  • Ability to see your own offer highlighted if it falls within the competitive offers range.
  • Ability to see other sellers’ feedback/rating
  • Buy Box data – if you know that the Buy Box is currently $10 that may impact your decision to buy something where you need to sell it for $30 to make your margin.  Since 70% of all sales on Amazon are from the Buy Box, this is valuable information.
  • Fix to the multi-pack issue where smaller screens can’t see that it is a pack.
  • Ability to enter a price and see a net based on your personal expenses and Amazon’s fees. Also, profits. Should be out this summer.
  • More data manipulation and reporting features based on your sales.
  • Seller-specific features just for you!

What does SP mean by Seller-Specific?

  • Features that pull directly from your seller data on like…
  • How many units you currently have in the warehouse of a particular item (great if you are scouting to replenish)
  • Information on whether or not you’ve bought this item before
  • Your personal sales history of a certain item (again, great for replenishing – if you sold 30 in the last month and you are buying more, buy 30…that kind of thing)
  • What would you like it to mean?  Submit your request for a seller-specific feature and they may name it after you!

What Happened to Gateway?

Gateway is the free version of ScanPower Mobile. It has fewer features but is free which is great for beginners. It will be re-launched in about two weeks.

My Thoughts

Amazon’s position is not very supportive of its FBA sellers, but very much in line with its fanatic devotion to its customers. These changes, while disappointing, are not unique to ScanPower.  All the third-party scouting and list tool providers are in the same boat.

ScanPower is confident of its abilities to innovate and bring new advantages to FBA sellers going forward.  Some of the seller-specific features sound exciting and ScanPower has been the industry’s innovator for the past five years. The integration of all its products is a strong selling point for me personally as I use the repricer, the data reports, list, mobile…etc.

Today’s Spreecast was an interesting forecast of things to come.  Smooth implementation will be crucial, though. The launch of Unity was rough.