Many sellers realize the importance of utilizing an Amazon research tool.

After all, a merchant’s profitability on the Amazon marketplace is directly linked to his or her ability to source efficiently. Efficient sourcing hinges on more than just obtaining the lowest possible price (although a low cost of good sold is certainly beneficial). As a result, smart sellers invest significant time and energy to refine their sourcing processes and incorporate third-party research tools when necessary.

If you’re thinking about trying a research tool, but you’re not sure how to get started, here are some common questions (and answers) to help you out.

What Intelligence Should a Research Tool Collect?

Stop and think about your typical approach when making sourcing decisions. I’m sure that you consider many different factors, not the least of which includes the Amazon Buy Box price and supplier cost. These are no doubt important data points, but they can’t tell the entire story.

To make a highly informed decision, the ideal research tool should help you to quickly determine:

  • The item’s sales rank
  • Primary category
  • Competitiveness (such as the number of FBA sellers and if Amazon is a seller)
  • Important product details (ASIN, title, unit weight, oversized status, etc.)
  • Manufacturer details

In a perfect world, your research tool should also forecast each item’s profitability. Tools that only gather data (but fail to analyze it) offer minimal value to your business, especially considering how busy you are!

How Much Does a Research Tool Cost?

As you might expect, research tools for Amazon sellers can vary significantly in price and functionality. However, in our experience, most tools fall into one of three categories. (Hint: Our eComSpy tool utilizes the pay-as-you-go model!).

Monthly subscription: The classic Saas model. Pay a flat monthly fee whether you use the tool or not. Monthly fees usually depend on desired features and reporting requirements.

Annual contract: Prepay for an entire year’s worth of research, regardless of use. As with the monthly model, annual contracts can cause sellers to pay for more tool than they need – especially when sourcing follows a somewhat unpredictable pattern.

Pay-as-you-go: This is my personal favorite model when it comes to research tools. Check out our incredibly affordable credit packages, which start at less than a penny per credit.

What’s the Best Way to Share Data with My Team?

The last thing you want to do is become a bottleneck for your Amazon business. Unfortunately, not every tool makes it easy to share and collaborate with your team – making you the bottleneck.

For example, some research tools are essentially glorified browser extensions. Although browser extensions can be relatively easy to use, the intelligence you’re able to glean resides only within your specific browser. Now, I suppose you could take screenshots, but screenshots aren’t scalable. If you’re evaluating hundreds of potential ASINs, you’ll need to take hundreds of screenshots, upload them to a shared drive and then have someone pick through them. That’s not efficient or smart.

To avoid unnecessary bottlenecks, be sure to confirm that your research tool offers an easy data export option.

Do Any Tools Offer Live Customer Support?

Again, this can vary from company to company. Some do, some don’t.

Here’s the good news – if you decide to try eComSpy, you can rest assured knowing that the eComEngine team always has your back. In addition to offering a helpful online help center, we staff our Customer Success department with highly qualified eCommerce experts. Should you ever need to ask us a question or troubleshoot an issue, someone from our success team will be available to help. We offer live chat, email and phone support for all of our tools.

Can I Try a Research Tool for Free?

I can’t speak for other software, but our eComSpy tool comes with 100 free trial credits. Better yet, you won’t need to add a credit card during the trial period.

For more information about eComSpy, click here and see if it’s right for you.

Colleen Quattlebaum

As the Business Development Manager for eComEngine, Colleen Quattlebaum is committed to helping Amazon Sellers succeed. Colleen reviews the latest market trends and strategizes on how to improve eComEngine’s offerings, so she can pass that insight and value on to Amazon merchants.

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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.