A Review of the Bookscouter Android App

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Those of you who read my post How to Sell Your Gold Dust Books Online for the Best Prices know that the free website Bookscouter.com allows you to compare price quotes from over fifty different book buyback companies, letting you make an informed choice about which buyback companies to sell your books to.

I highly recommend that you open a free online account on Bookscouter.com and then sign into it  on your cell phone or tablet whenever you’re out looking for books to sell online. By doing this, you’ll be able to see more buyback price quotes for the books you’re checking, sell books to more online companies, and earn more extra money.

That being said, it’s always a good idea to have some back up online resources available in the event that the Bookscouter.com website goes temporarily down and you still want to find books at thrift stores and garage sales to sell online.

One nice resource you can use as a backup is the free Bookscouter app that you can download onto your Android phone. This app functions like the Bookscouter.com website and is a definite must-have for your bookscouting equipment.

(Bookscouter.com also offers a Bookscouter App for iPhones. Since I’ve only used the Bookscouter Android App so far, however, I’m limiting this review to the Android app).

How to Install and Use the Bookscouter Android App

To download the Bookscouter Android App, go to the Android Market, search for “Bookscouter” and download the app onto your Android phone for free.

The first time you open the app, it will ask you for a Barcode Scanner. This is a device that scans book barcodes and enters their ISBNs into the Bookscouter App, letting it look up prices faster. It’s a great time saver that will help you find a lot more gold dust books.

You have two options here – you can either download a free Barcode Scanner App from the Android Market which will let you use your cell phone camera to scan barcodes, or you can buy a separate Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner which connects wirelessly to your cell.

I highly recommend you buy a Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner. Most cell phone cameras don’t make good barcode scanners and you’ll waste a lot of time waiting for your camera to scan ISBNs. A Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner, on the other hand, uses a laser scanner to read barcodes and can scan dozens of books in seconds.

(To read more about my thoughts on this scanner, check out my post, How to Make More Money Selling Books Online with the Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner.)

To use a Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner with your Android cell phone, you’ll first need to install the Serial Magic Gears App, which you can find and download for free at the Android Market.

You may also need to download some additional scanning software depending on your phone. Be sure to consult your instruction manual for this.

Now you can start looking for gold dust books. Open the Bookscouter App, connect it to your Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner, and scan the ISBN number of the book you want to check. Tap, “Get Prices” and the app will search for and display any price quotes it finds for the book from Bookscouter’s Preferred Vendors.

If you don’t have a scanner (or if you find a book with an ISBN but no barcode) you can still look up prices manually. Just type the ISBN into the Bookscouter App search bar and tap “Get Prices.”

After you decide to buy the book or not, just press the back button on your phone and the screen will revert back to the original Bookscouter App screen, allowing you to enter in an ISBN from a new book and look up more price quotes.

Advantages of Using the Bookscouter App

I enjoy using the Bookscouter App as a backup to the Bookscouter.com website for two reasons.

For one thing, it shows price quotes from many buyback companies (as opposed to only one book buyback company if you use an app provided by a buyback company), allowing you to find more gold dust books and sell them for the highest price to the best book buyback company.

For another, the Bookscouter App is very easy to view on a cell phone. The buttons are simple to manipulate and once you get comfortable using this app, it’s very easy to fall into a rhythm and search through dozens of books.

Drawbacks of the Bookscouter App

Along with these advantages, I’ve also experienced a few drawbacks from using the Bookscouter App.

First, you’re limited to only seeing price quotes from Bookscouter’s eighteen “Preferred Vendors” and not the fifty-plus book buyback companies on the Bookscouter website. That’s still a lot better than other buyback company comparison sites, but it can’t match checking up books on the actual Bookscouter website.

Since the Bookscouter App looks up prices in real time via the Internet, it can sometimes take several seconds to show all the price quotes for a book. To not waste time when this happens, I look through bookshelves and select other potential gold dust books to scan later.

Finally – and most annoying – the Bookscouter App can sometimes temporarily stop working if you use it too long. When this happens, the app brings up a blank screen instead of showing price quotes.

For these reasons, I rarely use the Bookscouter App these days except as a backup to the actual Bookscouter.com website.

If you find the Bookscouter App isn’t working for you, however, you can also try the free option I list below:

M.Bookscouter

In addition to the Bookscouter App, Bookscouter.com offers a mobile version of its website called m.bookscouter.

Basically, m.bookscouter looks and functions like the Bookscouter App, but I’ve found its buttons handle less smoothly than the app.

Nevertheless, if Bookscouter.com goes down, I simply enter my web browser, access m.bookscouter, and continue searching for books.

Final Thoughts

One of the key things to remember when looking for books to sell online is to always have backup plans available in the event that something goes wrong with your equipment.

To that end, I’ve made a point of finding as many online resources like Bookscouter.com so I’ll never have to cut my bookscouting trips short because of an unexpected malfunction.

If you’d like to learn more about other resources like Bookscouter.com, please check out my article Websites Like Bookscouter.

That said, these are still just tools – and only as good as the person using them. To really find and sell gold dust books successfully, you’ll need to be familiar with the buying policies of buyback companies and learn what type of books these companies want the most.

In future posts, we’ll learn more about both of these topics – so be sure to subscribe and make sure you get the latest updates!

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