ScoutPal Announcement

by Craig Stark

#50, 29 August 2005

The ScoutPal Network

Forum members may recall a brief discussion we had some months ago about BookSweep.

BookSweep "hires" book scouts, pays them a modest commission ($1.50 to $2.50 a book), and resells their finds on any of several venues. If you've done much book scouting, I think you'll agree that this looks like anything but a road to riches, and there are significant restrictions in place - for one thing, all books that qualify for a commission must be shipped to BookSweep. Sorry, you can't keep that Harry Potter 1st. If it's logged into their system, it's theirs or you're done.

Whatever the merits or demerits of BookSweep, it does address a need for book scouts who have no interest in marketing their finds, who simply want to flip them for a fast buck or two and move on. But think about this. There's a much wider need that isn't addressed. Consider, for a moment, how vastly online booksellers differ from each other, how some heap lavish, creative presentations on their inventory and wait patiently for months, sometimes years, to get their prices; how others do the bare minimum, price low, and move things immediately out the door.

The former group of booksellers (as discussed in detail in past issues of the Gold Edition) often buy from the latter, and yet what's unfortunate is that most of these transactions involve a middleman - eBay, Amazon, et al. Wouldn't it be swell if there was a system in place that would allow us to buy and sell books freely to other scouts, without fees, and choose whether to do so on a case by case basis? A bookseller who preferred to work with high-end books in the labor-intensive eBay waters, for example, could quickly deliver his lower-dollar finds to fixed-price venue sellers and focus exclusively on better books. On the other hand, a seller who had little or no patience for marketing could sell his eBay-friendly books to eBay sellers and list Marketplace-friendly books himself. No transaction fees whatsoever. Moreover, there would also be the opportunity for hard core book scouts to move to full-time scouting and still have a chance of making some serious money.

Sounds great, of course, but I'm betting that the first question out of your mouths will be: what's this going to cost me? Well, I think I have an answer you'll like: absolutely nothing. Dave Anderson at ScoutPal has put together just such a network, and all ScoutPal users have automatic access to it. For more details on this intriguing enhancement, click here.

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