4 Tips for Picking a Product Research Tool

by Colleen Quattlebaum

You've reached the point where manual product research is no longer feasible. Now, you're looking for an Amazon product research tool that can do the heavy lifting, but you're not exactly sure what features you need.

In this post, we'll discuss four tips for picking a tool that's right for your business.

1. Considers Supplier Costs & Amazon Prices

You would never stock an item without first knowing your supplier's cost. It's equally unwise to source without a detailed understanding of what the market will bear. Unfortunately, sellers frequently get lured into the trap of overlooking market forces in exchange for the "good deal" they're getting.

An effective product research tool looks at both sides of the equation, helping the merchant to quickly analyze sourcing decisions in the context of reality. Is the gap between the Buy Box price and your supplier's cost too close for comfort? Without the right tools, you'll never know for sure - until it's too late (and you're stuck with a bunch of low-margin goods).

2. Delivers Robust Market Intelligence

It's hard to make an informed sourcing decision when you're dealing with partial intelligence. If, for example, you only know your vendor's cost and yesterday's Buy Box price, you're likely headed for a rather unprofitable buy.

Smart merchants seek out tools that can deliver a 360-degree view of each SKU that's being considered. In addition to current market price information, a reliable Amazon product research tool should at least return the following insights:

  • The item's full title, as it appears on the Amazon product detail page
  • ASIN code
  • Category details
  • Current rank information
  • How many FBA sellers are competing for the Buy Box
  • Estimated fulfillment and commission fees

In a perfect world, the tool would also do some of the thinking for you. Does the software automatically estimate your margins for you? If not, keep looking.

3. Offers Flexible Reporting Options

Great data presented in a confusing way is of little use. That's why it's so important to pick a tool that offers intuitive and flexible reporting options.

To avoid picking the wrong tool, ask yourself these questions as you evaluate different platforms:

  • Will I be able to export my reports into spreadsheet format?
  • Does the tool offer an online report viewer?
  • Are the reports easily sorted by column?
  • Can I search and filter by keyword, ASIN or other criteria?
  • Does the tool automatically save copies of prior reports?
  • Can I name my reports and sort by date?

Remember, market intelligence data can only be useful if it is presented in a way that's meaningful to you. Never settle on a tool that offers limited or unreliable reporting functionality.

4. Affordable & Scalable

Sourcing is important to your business, but it's not something that you do every single day. With that being said, why commit to a tool that's going to cost you money - regardless of whether you're using it or not?

Some tools, such as our MarketScout tool, bypass the annual contracts in preference of a pay-per-use model. Our affordable, pay-as-you-go pricing fits budgets of all sizes. Credit packages start at less than $.01 per credit (one credit per item researched), and there's never any long-term commitments. Use it on your terms, when you need it.

Smart Software Leads to Smarter Sourcing

Over the lifetime of your business, you'll make hundreds (or thousands) of sourcing decisions. Before making another one, I'm going to challenge you to reevaluate the status quo. Find a product research tool that will help you make smarter sourcing decisions, and, ultimately, increase profits along the way.

Interested in trying MarketScout? Sign up today - no credit card required.

Originally published on May 23, 2018, updated April 30, 2019

This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.