Seller Engine, the provider of the Amazon scouting app Profit Bandit, released this statement today about it's scouting service:
"At Seller Engine, we have worked for over 12 years with a simple goal in mind:
Provide the tools and support that Amazon sellers need to start and grow their businesses.
Since 2012 we have provided Profit Bandit to over 20,000 Amazon sellers for only a small one-time download fee.
In order to prepare for the future of Profit Bandit, we can no longer continue to offer it as a one-time purchase.
Beginning June 4th, one week from today, a $9.99 monthly subscription will be required for unlimited use of Profit Bandit on Android devices*.
This subscription will be required for both current and new Profit Bandit users.
*Subscriptions for iPhone/iPad users will be required soon."
Profit Bandit is a scouting app that allows sellers to scan bar codes of products in retail stores, then provides data about sales rank, number of sellers, and quantity on Amazon. This app gives sellers important data about a product so they can determine if the item is worth selling on Amazon. Major complaints about Profit Bandit include incorrect data (either pricing or sales rank), and slow service in returning data. Until today's announcement, Profit Bandit could be purchased for $15 as a one-time fee, something Seller Engine advertised as a major selling point.
According to Facebook selling groups, Amazon sellers have three major complaints on the new subscription fee.
1. Seller Engine has advertised Profit Bandit as a service with a one-time fee of $15. Many sellers feel this new subscription fee is a bait and switch tactic. Seller Engine sold the Profit Bandit service with the promise of only a one-time fee, and now they are back pedaling on that promise to their users. Profit Bandit customers feel duped and taken advantage of, and most of all, lied to.
2. The market for first time users is limited, and monthly subscription billing is the only way Seller Engine / Profit Bandit can grow their revenue. Sellers are not happy with the price increase for a virtual service - nothing will change for them with the added monthly fee. They will not receive anything additional for the $9.99 a month.
3. Profit Bandit customers will be charged the new subscription fee beginning on June 4. Customers feel that one week is not ample notice. According to Seller Engine, one week is adequate time for customers to determine if they want to pay for the service. One seller remarked, "1 week is a slap in the face to people that had Profit Bandit before Seller Engine came aboard."
Time will only tell how many customers Seller Engine will lose because of this price increase. Most sellers aren't as upset about the fee as they are about being lied to about a "one-time download fee" for over 2 years. There are plenty of ways to scout for Amazon products without using a paid app.