MediaScouter's Pocket Profit for Android

by Mary Kerosky

16 May 2011

A Review

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Recently I was offered an opportunity to test drive Pocket Profit, an Android scouting application developed by MediaScouter, a popular book scouting service. To note - my Android phone is a Motorola Droid X. I bought it late last year, and it was a nice upgrade with a larger screen and faster processor than my previous Droid phone. For my own scouting I have been mainly using the Android Amazon application, along with a few other barcode scanner applications. The Amazon application is the fastest I've tried and generates the most helpful information for selling books. It pulls up the individual sellers and their descriptions (or lack there of) and gives me insight on whether or not I can take advantage of writing a better description (as pointed out by our esteemed editor in a recent issue of BookThink) compared to the other sellers, and therefore pull in a higher profit. I often sell books on average about $3 more and many times even higher with an exceptional description.

Where the Amazon application is lacking, Pocket Profit fills in its weaknesses. One of the main weaknesses of the Amazon application is that it does not show the sales ranking and also cannot alert a book scout when their price criteria has been met. The Amazon application is really designed for buyers, not sellers.

Pocket Profit has many cool features and options! The fastest way to look up book information is to use either the simulated laser scanner on barcodes or to type in the ISBN number in the search box at the main screen. At the bottom of the main screen, there are six icons representing each screen option. These include a Detail Screen, Summary Screen, Watch List Screen, Title Search Screen the Info Screen. Much like searching with other PDA and basic cell phone scouting applications, Pocket Profit shows the number of books listed on Amazon, along with the condition and the prices of the first five used copies. Abbreviations used for condition are ln, vg, g, and a - all self-explanatory.

One option allows you to set a "beep" to alert you that a bar code has been recognized, and when a book is scanned, a voice speaks the lowest price the book is listed for. The beep/voice feature can be silenced if you prefer to be stealthier while scouting. Other options include a profits menu that allows you to set a purchase price, and as you scan books it will show the profits you can make, calculated as low price less 15% commission less cost. Also, there are options to warn you if you have already scanned an item, and you can get collectible prices on Live Lookup as well, though this option will run faster if you use Wi-Fi.


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