Library Search is a unique portal on Tactical Arbitrage available to Full Suite subscribers.
The Library Search page has three search tools:
- 2.0 Enter codes or keywords
- 3.0 Select a product category on a company website
- 4.0 Scan Amazon's best sellers list (i.e. reverse search)
1. Customizing search settings
The first step is to customise search settings at the top of Library Search panel. There are four settings at the top of the panel:
- 1.1 Also Include New Books
- 1.2 Set Cache
- 1.3 Cache Only Search
- 1.4 Sourcing From and Selling At
Each setting is described below.
1.1 Also Include New Books
By default, the search includes only used books. Toggle OFF (orange) is the default switch position.
- To include new books in a search, toggle ON the switch (blue).
1.2 Set Cache
Before making a selection here, understand the difference between a live search and a cache search.
- A live search scans websites looking for product information. This search looks at current data. That's a good thing. The downside is that it takes more time than a cache search.
- A cache search checks data in the Tactical Arbitrage cache memory. Every search run by our users is temporarily stored in cache memory.
Searching the cache has good and bad points. The good point is speed. A cache search produces results faster than a live search.
A cache search has three drawbacks.
- Product data (e.g. prices, availability, etc.) in the cache might be out of date.
- The list of products that meet your search filter thresholds might be incomplete.
- Product promotions are generally captured during a live search. Relying on cache only searches could you missing special deals.
- New Tactical Arbitrage users run cache only searches until they get a feel for the search and analysis process.
- Run a cache search with a long cache period (3 to 5 days). This produces quick search results. Later on the View Data panel, click the Update All button on your results, to get current information.
1.3 Cache Only Search
- Toggle ON this switch and your search will look only at data in the cache memory. Be sure to select a time on the Set Cache drop-down menu.
- Toggle OFF this switch and you'll run a live search. That means Tactical Arbitrage checks current data on company websites.
1.4 Sourcing From Selling At
1.4.1 Sourcing From
Select a country from which you'll source products. That means you're telling the algorithm to search websites in a certain country.
- Click the box beside Sourcing From. A drop-down menu displays.
- Select a country.
Generally, you'd select your base country, but that's not required. You're free to select any country from the drop-down menu. You could, for example, select Italy, se sai leggere l'italiano.
1.4.2 Selling At
Click here to indicate where you'll sell products. The list of countries in the drop-down menu is the same as above (i.e. Sourcing From).
Generally, you'd select your home base country, but that's not required. If the Sourcing From and Selling At countries are different, you'll see currency conversions dealt with in the View Data results.
- Note: We suggest users specify the same country in the two boxes until they develop an advanced understanding of the platform.
2. Entering codes and keywords
You add a list of products to search by entering codes or keywords. The four search tools are:
- 2.1 import a bulk category list
- 2.2 import a bulk product codes
- 2.3 use the quick search tool
- 2.4 use keyword search tool
Each tool is described below.
2.1 Import Bulk Category List
This tool lets you import a large number of category URLs at one time. It's a time saver if you have a few hundred categories (e.g. web pages with many products) that you want to search.
Most users won't need this tool. However, if you're interested, read this article for more information:
2.2 Import bulk product codes
To use this tool effectively, you'll need a file with ISBNs or ASINs. This is a good option if you want to run a search with more than 100 items.
To upload a file, toggle ON the Import Bulk Product Codes switch.
2.2.1 File structure
The structure of the upload file is simple. At a minimum, you need one column with ISBNs. We suggest the top row has the title ISBN. The file format can be csv, xls, or xlsx.
You can add a second column of ASINs. Again, we suggest placing ASIN in the first row of that column.
- By default, the algorithm looks first for ASINs. If an ASIN is not present, the system looks for ISBNs.
2.2.2 Uploading a file
- Toggle ON the Import Bulk Product Codes switch. An upload button displays.
- Click UPLOAD NEW FILE. The Use Bulk Product Codes panel displays.
- Click Choose File. Locate the file on your computer.
- Click UPLOAD. A new panel displays.
2.2.3 Checking column names
Before uploading, the system asks you to verify the names of the data columns. The system will try to auto-detect the column names. If not, manually change the defaults.
- Note: You must name at least one column, either ISBN or ASIN. Otherwise the search won't work.
- Click the box below Product UPC. A drop-down menu displays.
- Select the name of the UPC column.
- Repeat for Product ASIN.
- Click Upload.
2.2.4 Selecting a row number
After uploading a file, the system returns to the dashboard. The name of the file now displays.
You can customize the search by entering the start row number. Leave the box blank unless you want to the search to start at a special row number.
2.3 Using the quick search tool
The third way is to use the quick search tool. You can add up to 100 ASINs, or ISBNs.
- Toggle ON the switch.
- Enter an ASIN, or ISBN in the search field.
- For multiple entries, insert a comma between numbers.
2.4 Using the keyword search tool
The fourth way is to use the keyword search tool.
- Toggle ON the switch.
- Enter a product name or keyword.
3. Selecting a product category
Instead of entering product codes or keywords, you can select a website page to search a product category. A category is a URL with products (e.g. soccer shoes, women's t-shirts, children's books, etc.).
3.1 Select a website
- Click the box beside Website. A drop-down menu displays.
- Scroll through the list.
- Select the website you want to search.
3.2 Enter a category
Now it's time to enter a category. Category does not mean a name (e.g. books). Instead, category means the URL for a page that lists products you want to search.
- After selecting a website (Step 3.1 above), look at the panel on the right side of the screen. One or more URLs display in the panel, which shows the style of category URL you will be looking for.
- Examine the website for URL's like this that you want to search and then paste that URL into the Categories field.
Here is an example using the Better World Books website.
- Click the categories button. A drop-down menu displays.
- Select a category of books.
- The first page of the category displays.
- Copy the URL.
5. Return to the Library Search page on Tactical Arbitrage.
6. Paste the link into the Category field.
4. Scanning Amazon's best sellers list
This is the third search tool.
Instead of entering codes, keywords, or URL categories, you can scan best sellers.
You can also scan the Bestselling ASINS of Amazon product categories. This will search a list of the most popular Amazon products based on sales.
This search tool has several levels. If you select a product category on Level 1, the scan searches 100's of thousands of items.
If you want to narrow the search, select sub-categories in other levels. Once you go to Level 2 or beyond, the number of products searches is lower. Up to 9600 items in most cases.
To search Amazon's Best Sellers list:
- Toggle ON option 2.
- Click the box beside Level 1. A drop-down menu displays.
- Select a general category.
- To narrow the search, go to the next level down.
- Click the box and then select a sub-category on the menu.
- Continue down the list to narrow the search, if desired.
- Leave Start from # if you want the search to start at the default row number one.
5. Using filters
By now you have completed two important steps:
- customised search settings (e.g. source country, live or cache search)
- entered search data (e.g. codes/keywords, product category, or scan)
The next step is to customise the search filters.
Scroll down to the bottom of the Library Search page and you'll find Filter Products. This is where you refine searches and find profitable products. All the filters offer potential benefits, but your success really depends on using the first filter - Store Price Adjustments.
5.1 Store Price Adjustments
Search for products which offer one or more types of discounts. With lower costs, you'll be able to achieve your ROI objectives.
- Enter the retail price discount if the site you are searching has any coupons you will be using.
- Enter any cashback percentage.
- Enter any giftcard percentage.
- Enter a sales tax figure for your jurisdiction. If you enjoy tax-exempt status or live in a jurisdiction with no sales tax, leave the field blank.
The Remove panel contains filters that omit items from search results based on the criteria you enter into a field.
Based on our experience, you shouldn't activate too many Remove filters on a search. If heavily filtered, you could miss out on some worthwhile items.
The Remove panel has 8 filters. Each filter is described briefly below.
1 Remove if Used Book is Priced Higher than New
Self-explanatory, isn't it?
- Toggle ON the switch (blue) to remove items if the used book Buy Box is higher than the new book Buy Box as most buyers won't ever buy Used over New in this case.
2 Remove Ranks Over
Remove items from the search that don't meet your product rank threshold.
Skip products that rank poorly on Amazon.
- Click the box beside Remove. A drop-down menu displays. Select a time period: Current, Average 30 day, or Average 90 day.
- Enter a figure in the box Ranks over. Rank measures product sales compared to other items in the same Amazon category.
- Note: In the image below, any item that does not rank between 1 and 800,000 is removed from the search results by the algorithm.
3 Remove if Estimated Sales is less than
Here's a tool to remove products with insufficient monthly sales.
- Enter a number in the field.
This is the minimum number of sales per month you need to consider a product viable. If Amazon's monthly sales are less than this figure, the product is not included in the search results.
4 Using Remove if the Number of Sellers is less than
Omit items based on the number of people who sell that product. You might want, for example, to avoid any product sold by 100+ vendors. Too much competition, perhaps.
Leave the first field blank. Or add a small number if you want avoid products sold by too few people.
- New users insert a low number in the second field. That generates a comparatively narrow range of search results.
- What you consider low or high is relative and depends on the product. Search lots of products on Amazon to get a feel for the number that makes sense for your category.
- Advanced users enter a comparatively large number to see a long results page and learn about the marketplace.
5 If books, Only Show Publication Years
- Select a publication period for the books you want to search.
- Use the drop-down menus to select the From and To years.
6 Remove Products with New Buy Box price less than
Do you want to sell a new book worth $6? Probably not.
- Set a floor price on new books that you want to search. You can also set a ceiling price (optional).
7 Remove Products with Used Buy Box price less than
This is the as Number 6 above with a difference. These filters affect used books.
- Set a floor price on used books that you want to search. You can also set a ceiling price (optional).
8 Only Calculate FBA Return if Used Buy Box is at least
This filter helps you focus on profitable items.
- Enter a decimal number in the field (e.g. 1.8).
- The algorithm compares Amazon's buy box sales price with the amount you have to pay to buy the item. The algorithm generates a ratio (e.g. 1.5)
- If that ratio is equal to or greater than the decimal number in the field, the item stays in the search results. If the ratio is less, the item is removed from the search results.
- Note: This handy tool generates search results that meet your threshold. But beware: it's not flexible. Fore example, if you set the decimal number to 1.8, any ratio below that number (e.g. 1.79), is removed from the search results.
5.2 Virtual Media
These two toggles solve an interesting problem by creating phantom virtual books to compare against to guage potential for sale.
For Used - when Buy Box Holder is NOT FBA, create a Virtual Product to Calculate ROI at a % Less Than the (New) Amazon Buy Box Price
The first toggle is for used books. Sometimes there is no FBA seller, and there is an opportunity to be that seller. Insert a % less than an Amazon New price you think an MF purchased Used book may sell at, and we'll do calculations using a Virtual Product to determine your ROI.
The second relates to New books.
For New - when Buy Box Holder is NOT Amazon or FBA Seller, create a Virtual Product to Calculate ROI using the List Price
When Amazon is not holding the Buy Box, we use the lowest MF New Price, and the List Price to create a Virtual Product to determine potential ROI. You should also check if there is other FBA sellers to determine with better accuracy if you should buy.
The recommendation is to learn and use these filters.
The data you enter in these fields comes from your own research or experience. Estimates can be used, but ultimately you need good data to make smart decisions.
The two fields capture the costs needed to prep a product and then ship it to the Amazon facility that handles your items. Perhaps you do this work at home or pay a prep and ship house. In either case, there is a cost and it should be included here.
- Enter the cost to prepare a book for shipment.
- This figure is difficult to measure accurately. This is hard to quantify, however to assist in working out an accurate ROI, entering an approximate cost per lb to ship in to Amazon will help. Maybe you would like to enter something like 0.8 or 1 here, which translates to 80 cents or $1.00 per lb. Enter whatever works for you.
5.4 Profit & ROI
These tools are the engine of your business. Learn to use them correctly, and you might be humming down the highway of life.
The profit & ROI panel has four filters.
5.4.1 Only keep data if Gross Profit is at least
Enter a dollar figure in the field. This is your dollar profit threshold.
- If a product is not expected to generate this dollar profit after a sale, it's removed from the search results page.
5.4.2 Only keep data if Gross ROI is at least
Enter a number in the field. This is your gross ROI percent threshold.
- If a product is not expected to generate this ROI after a sale, it's removed from the search results page.
5.4.3 Also Show if Trade In ROI is at least
Toggle ON this switch if you are interested in Amazon's trade-in program.
- Enter the minimum ROI percentage you need to make a trade-in viable for you.
The search results will include trade-in opportunities based in this ROI threshold.
5.4.4 Only Show if Trade In ROI is at least
This switch is a little different from 5.4.3.
Toggle ON this switch to only show books which have an Amazon trade-in value that meets or exceeds your ROI threshold. As these are so rare, it is not recommeded to use this and expect many results.
5.4.6 Out of Stock
For information about these out of stock filters, see:
6. Saving filter configurations and searching
It's been a long journey, and now you're almost ready to launch a search. Just a couple of steps left.
Click here to learn how to:
- save your filters
- launch a search
- use the Search Manager tool