General

An Updated Review of Profit Bandit for iPhone

I wrote a glowing review of Profit Bandit a few months ago.  At the time of publication, Profit Bandit retailed for a one-time fee of $14.99.  One can easily recoup $15 with even one successful use of the app.  However, the developers at SellerEngine decided that the cost of maintaining the app exceeded the one-time fee of $14.99 and changed to a monthly subscription model.  Instead of a single $15 outlay, users were now presented with the option of paying $9.99/month for a properly maintained app or holding out with their original purchase which would not receive any updates.

Many longtime users, myself included, felt betrayed by the developers of Profit Bandit and refused to pay a monthly subscription fee.  We kept using our old copies of Profit Bandit.  Everything worked as it should until the deployment of iOS 8.  The new operating system crippled several key functionalities of the outdated Profit Bandit on my phone and led to more frustrating force quits that cut into my scouting time.  I put up with it for a little bit.  I didn't necessarily need to see camelcamelcamel data straight away.  I could deal with restarting the app once or twice a day.  I could do all of that until I couldn't.  I couldn't take it anymore.

I tried the Amazon Seller app, but I didn't like the interface.  I was too comfortable with Profit Bandit's one page presentation of pertinent information.  I clicked around more with the Amazon app, which meant more time interfacing with my device and less time interfacing with potential inventory!  So I did it.

I upgraded to the subscription model Profit Bandit.  Yes, I gave in.  I gave in because I rely on Profit Bandit to give me an edge on the competition, and that small edge is worth $10/month.  It's not difficult to make an extra $10 each month.  However, it is difficult to make an extra $10 when your app is buggy and not compliant with the latest operating system.  I contacted SellerEngine customer service and squeaked a few free months of service out of them with my first payment.  Every little bit helps.

Everything I wrote in my previous review stands, except for the cost equation.  If you want to stick with your old copy of Profit Bandit and iOS 7, feel free.  I did it for as long as I could.  SellerEngine has promised some additional webinars and emails for Profit Bandit subscribers.  I have yet to use one, but I  did read an email about a webinar a few days ago and it seems like they are delivering on that promise.  Does it add value for a veteran like me?  Maybe, maybe not.  I'm always learning something new, so I could probably pick up a thing or two from the developers or other users of the app.

 

Bookselling and Goal Setting

I spend too much time buying things and not enough time selling things.  I'm a collector at heart.  I love the hunt.  I love owning lots of things and looking upon shelves full of books.  I pick them up, leaf through them, and remember when and where I bought them and what I paid for them.  When I have the time, I read one!

I have a backlog of books that I have been meaning to sell for years.  Literally, temporally years.  Through the years, I kept buying books and shelving them for a rainy day.  I found new ways to sell books.  I started selling commodity books alongside my collectible books and found that road less bumpy than the volatile collectible market.  Essentially, the commodity books sell at market price, fetching the going rate on Amazon.  I could list books without taking any pictures and, with the help of Fulfillment by Amazon, ship books without making a trip to the Post Office!  Of course, I could not stop buying the collectible books I truly love, and I now have an enormous collection of cool books that I want to offer for sale.  A collection is a living, breathing thing.  I don't mind selling something so long as I know I'll be buying something with the proceeds.

With that in mind, I have decided to get back into eBay.  I haven't sold anything on eBay for several years.  I grew frustrated with the process and focused my efforts on Amazon.  While Amazon is an absolute monster for commodity books, it's not a great place to sell collectible books.  I've sold a few there, but the collectibles do not get the spotlight they deserve on Amazon.  With collectible books, condition is everything.  Pictures and description sells collectible books.

I think I will open an eBay store and post my collectibles for sale.  I operated an eBay store years ago and I mostly enjoyed it.  I shuttered it because my sales had dwindled and my Amazon business had taken off.  I swore off eBay for good, without a good reason.  It's a totally viable outlet for my inventory.  My sales died off because my inventory stunk.  I tried to extract value from items where there was none.  All my good stuff sold and I was left with a surfeit of junk.  When I moved houses two years ago, I culled my inventory.  Cleared the shelves.  Let the bad stuff go.

Beyond books, I have plenty of music and electronics to sell.  Again, some do well on Amazon, others do not.  As much as I love Amazon and FBA, I can no longer ignore the colony of books growing in my basement.  They need good homes.  They need to be loved and read.

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I took a panoramic picture of my basement with my iPhone.  The panoramic effect turned out pretty well, and the picture inspired me to get to work.  I set some qualitative goals for 2014.  I want to buy more books, read more books, sell more books, and write more blog posts.  Sure, they're not specific, but I'll drown in specificity if I allow myself.  I have to balance these goals with my family and a full-time job.  Who said adulthood was easy?