You don’t have to talk to Amazon FBA sellers for too long before you know their opinion about which sourcing apps they prefer. There seems to be a raging debate about whether the Amazon Seller app is sufficient for sourcing products to resell or whether you should pay for a third party scanning app.
Today we’re going to talk through the reasons we love the Amazon Seller app – as well as the reasons we don’t think you should rely solely on that app to make smart sourcing decisions. In our next blog post, we’ll talk about our favorite third party scanning app, as well as which app runs a close second, so stay tuned.
Best uses for the Amazon Seller app:
Check your disbursement amount – Super handy way to quickly check the amount for your next disbursement, so you can make cash flow decisions on the go.
Check your orders – This can be addicting, especially during Q4. Use with caution. Please do not check pending orders while driving.
Reprice inventory – If you check your orders and notice a fast moving item is selling for lower than you would like, you can quickly reprice using the app.
Check status of FBA shipments – Once UPS picks up your shipment, you can then track the shipment in the app. You can see if your boxes are in transit, processing, or have been completed.
Check and return emails to customers – You can keep your response time as low as possible (and keep your account health in good order) by checking and returning customer emails from the app if you’re away from your computer.
Check for hazmat items – Unlike third party sourcing apps, the Amazon Seller app will let you know if a product is hazmat and ineligible for FBA.
Check for other selling restrictions – Again, only the Amazon Seller app will let you know if an item is restricted to you as a seller (either because you aren’t approved to sell in that category or you aren’t approved by the manufacturer for that item).
What is lacking with the Amazon Seller app:
No links to Keepa – It’s impossible to make the smartest sourcing decisions without checking Keepa for price and sales rank history. Amazon Seller app does not provide a quick link to show you this vital data.
Only shows you (on the results screen) the lowest new and used price – There are so many reasons why I want to see as many of the lowest price offers in order to make my best sourcing decision. What if the lowest new price is $10, but the rest of the offers are at least $25? I’d source an item knowing the price will go up to $25 once that one seller sells out of their item priced at $10.
Only calculates the profitability of the lowest priced new and used offer – Again, I want more options. Many times I’ll want to see the profitability of selling my potential inventory item at a different price. Maybe the Amazon seller app is showing you the profitability of the lowest price used item, but that used item is merchant fulfilled. I know that I can sell that item at a higher price selling it via FBA, therefore I want to also see the prices (and calculate the ROI) of as many FBA offers as I can.
Doesn’t calculate all the fees involved – Even if not being able to calculate multiple offers doesn’t bother you, then maybe the fact that Amazon doesn’t include all possible fees in their fee calculation might make a difference to you. At the bottom of the screen Amazon states that “Fees displayed may not include all expenses related to selling on Amazon or FBA.” This is a big deal to me.
You might have other reasons you like/dislike using the Amazon Seller app. Please let us know in the comments! We use the Amazon Seller app on a daily basis, but we do not use it for our sourcing app. Be watching for our next post to see which third party scanning apps we use – and why!
Looking to try out a robust sourcing app that gives you direct links to Keepa and other resources so you can make smarter sourcing decisions straight from your phone? Check out the Scoutify app that comes bundled with Inventory Lab!
Frank Critelli says
Makes perfect sense
Heather B says
So far, I’ve only used the Amazon selling app, since I’m still new in this business, and it is free…
I disagree with the second and third “cons” that you listed for this app, or at least think they need disclaimers. True, the app only shows the lowest offer on the results screen and calculates profits based on that. However, both of those results are clickable links.
I can click on the lowest price link and see all the offers in new and used, including info on whether they are FBA or not. I can also adjust the price data on the calculator page, to see profit estimates at a different price point.
I haven’t been using all of the “pros” you mentioned, and in fact didn’t realize a couple of them existed, such as responding to customer messages, so I need to explore those features, thanks for talking about them!
I agree with Heather on the cons. I use it daily and I can check FBA offers and merchant and it works for me. I do wish it would connect with ccc. I want to see what else you use. Thanks
Sheldon Harrison says
Con: The Amazon seller app does not support bluetooth hand held barcode scanners.
Con: The app doesn’t always find the product even though there is a page for it so I also use the Amazon shopping app in tandem.
Despite its shortcomings, I still use the Amazon app because it’s free and if I want to see all the prices i just open up the actual page like the last post described. And I really don’t want to pay another fee for one of the 3rd party apps when I can use Amazon’s for free.
Thomas Vilfroy says
I have found the Eyoyo Mini 1D Wireless Barcode Scanner at Amazon to work quite well with Amazon Seller app. Nice and small to carry around (but also quite easy to misplace too as my wife will testify to!!).
Thought I pass that info along
Mac Caldwell says
Thus far the AZ app has fulfilled all my needs but our businesses are all different. I can see where one of the 3rd party apps would be helpful depending on your income goals. And I believe one should be aware of the 3rd party apps and how they work. Earlier my AZ app was acting up so bad I thought I was going to one of the others. AZ support didn’t know what was wrong with my app and why it was underperforming. I soon realized that for some reason my time and date was messed up. Know how I found out? I downloaded one of the other apps and it wouldn’t perform correctly. Their support team had me reset the time and date. It started working and the AZ app kicked in also!!
Bee Brown says
The Seller app works with my bluetooth scanner. Just click on sell a product instead of scan.
I have used two other apps that let me know if a product is restricted, though I’m not sure if that includes hazmat. Since they require me to log into my SC account, I would think so.
Thanks for the info!
Terry Gray says
Bee, which bluetooth scanner do you use, and what is the exact step-by-step process when scanning an item using the AZ App and the scanner? This has been my only gripe so far with the AZ app Thanks.
Bee Brown says
At first I thought my scanner wasn’t working, but I realized that my scanner actually times out. So I go into bluetooth settings and make sure it’s connected. Then I open the AZ app tap sell a product, tap search Amazon to sell, and lastly, scan the item. HTH 🙂
I have a basic scanner, looks like store scanner and it is usb/bt.
Phil Wiper says
Is there a way to see scans that I did yesterday in the seller app?
Rebecca Smotherman says
If you look under “Search Favorites & History” on the app menu, it should bring up your searches. I don’t know if that includes all previous scans or not. I don’t use the app for that purpose often enough to be sure.
Trina Gentry says
AZ Seller App Pros: you can scan multiple items at a time and get a list of results; You can search via image.
Cons: I’ve had it freeze up on me and be unavailable many times. I’ve learned that clearing the cache helps, though it hasn’t taken away the issue entirely.
I use Scoutify and AZ Seller app. I have had significant errors with Scoutify so I’m thinking of exploring more apps, possibly something with ah offline database. Errors like showing no FBA sellers, yet when I click through to the AZ item page, there are actually many FBA sellers. Same with price – it will show a price on the results page, yet when I click through, the AZ price is significantly different to the point I feel I need to double check any potential item on multiple apps.
Trina, I’ve had the same experience with FBA Scan database. I only sell books, and I’m all the time getting extremely different readings between the AZ App and FBA Scan. I get many more errors with the AZ App when I just take a picture of the entire book, as opposed to scanning the bar code if there is one. I usually wind up scanning the book all three ways before making a final decision: 1st, FBA Scan; 2nd, AZ App with the bar code if there is one; 3rd, AZ App with cover scan if there is no bar code. My hope is that Amazon will create its own downloadable database for its app. When/if that happens, I’ll probably just use it exclusively.
The only con I have is that it doesn’t alert you to a return request or an A to Z. I have to check the full site several times a day for that. Not a big deal- have a link on my home screen but don’t see why it isn’t included. Would be nice to have everything in one place.
Christina K says
Great blog everyone must be extremely busy because the last post I see was in July. I’m new to the AMZ Seller App. I have run into the app just not picking up the scan on my scouting for items. But the main question I have is how do you erase items from the earlier scans that you are no longer interested in having in the History I have not for the life of me been able to clear the earlier scans. This may be something simple but hopefully one of knows the answer??? 🙂 Thank You love this blog.
That’s a great question. I’d like to know also. Seems it should be easy to add that function if it’s not already there. And if it is where’s it hidden.
The Amazon seller App is currently the only reliable way I know to check for hazmat status. Doesn’t anyone know of a way to check an item’s hazmat status when scouting on a PC? Thanks!
Is there a way for me to scan a new item using my phone and check if that is an item I already have in my Amazon store? I know I can type the items in on a computer and check if I have it in my store but I’ve not been able to figure out how to do it on my phone
Is there way for me to scan a new item with my phone and check if it is already in my store inventory? I know I can type the item name in on my computer and check the inventory but I want to be able to do it with my phone. As I unload items from my pallets I would like to be able to scan and tell if I already have that in My store. If the Amazon seller app doesn’t do this can you suggest an app that might
Rebecca Smotherman says
Hi Alicia, on the Amazon Seller app in the top left corner menu, tap on Inventory, and it brings up all of your inventory. You can then scan to see if something is in your inventory. There’s a Filter button on the bottom right of the app where you can filter by active/inactive and MF/FBA.
i saw a youtube video on taking product photos with the Amazon Seller app. It looked great for getting white backgrounds. You’re able to adjust the background after the photo is taken. I’m looking at this app just for the photography aspect of it. Is that possible? Assume the photos will save to my iPhone camera roll and iCloud and I can download them to etsy.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be help. I’m having a heckuva time getting stark white backgrounds on my product photos with my iPhone and procamera app. I’m using a light box, too.