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Android Droid Apps That Will Make Retail Easier ~ Garage Sale Finder, Bar Code Scanners, Amazon Price Look Up and More
Cindy Shebley

Applications For Google Android Droid Smart Phone

I recently upgraded my cell phone to a Motorola Droid. To be honest, I didn't know much about it before I made the plunge. I made the buying decision on the slide out keyboard. Having been forced into the age of texting, I wanted a cell phone that made typing in messages easier. And the Droid hasn't let me down for that.

While you can certainly make and receive calls and text messages on this little brick (it has to be one of the heaviest phones I had in years) I've found that the Droid is so much more than that.

I LOVE this phone! There, I've said it -- you'll be lucky to ever pry it out of my hands.

One thing that makes the Droid so compelling is the applications. Belonging to Google means there's money behind the software. This means we users benefit. One benefit is that Google is offering to let developers create applications using open source software and making it simple for the apps to make it to market. Whereas, with the Apple iPhone all applications must go through iTunes an application approval and costs the developer money to put it into the the iTunes store.

With Google lowering the barrier of entry for the Droid applications I'm sure we're going to see lots of creative applications available. Indeed many of them are all ready available by simply clicking on the 'market' icon on the droid landing screen.

One of the great things about the Droid is the capability to get online without an Internet connection. Using cell technology these applications give the seller who visits garage sales, estate sales, even walking past the bargain bin at a local shop a tool to look up current market prices.

Here's a list of a few really useful applications I've found for eBay, Amazon, Bonanzle, online and book sellers. Load these free tools onto your Droid and you'll find your time and money more efficiently spent.

EBay Applications:

eBay Offers an eBay application called 'eBay' -- it will show your items sold, selling, watching, unsold, messages and the daily deals.

I've found this application a little too striped down. However I do use it to check to see if I've made any sales on eBay when I'm away from my computer for an extended period.

Cost: FREE

Pocket Auctions by Bonfire

I really like this application! I can do price checks; look at active and completed listings. This allows me to quickly look up recently sold items if I'm on site and need to make a purchase decision. I can hardly wait to take this to my next live action.

Pocket Auctions has more, including alerts for end of actions and functions buyers would find most helpful.

eBay buyers and sellers both will find this a great app.

Cost: FREE

For Research:

Google Shopper (Labs)

You can look up products using:

  • A voice search - just speak into the Droid

  • An image search -- use the Droids camera function to take a picture of the item

  • A word search -- type in the name or bar code of the item

    Then tap on the money bag next to the item photo to see who and where it is being sold and for how much.

Cost: FREE

Garage Sale Rover

This application uses Craigslist and the Droids GPS to locate where you are physically -- then displays all the current Garage sales on a Google map. You can easily navigate from one garage sale to the next.

Click on the pin (which shows location) and the application will show you the Craigslist ad, so you can read what's for sale before you arrive.

This is a must have for all Garage Salers!

Cost: FREE

Bar Code Scanners

There are a number of Bar Code Scanners which can make researching a new product easy. As long as you can read the bar code you can get a quick price estimate before purchasing.

Shop Savvy

Scan the bar code and Shop Savvy shows web prices and where the item is being sold locally along with how much.

I've used this app in a number of stores and found that many bar codes can't be matched, so the library of codes is limited.

However, the fun thing about this application is the Social Sharing! You can Tweet or Facebook the item. That might be great if you just found a hard to find item you know your buyers want. Once you know you are going to resell the item you can Tweet it out to your customers.

Cost: FREE

Barcode Scanner

To get this application to function properly you'll have to also install Google shopper. That's OK, you'll want it!

With this scanner you read the code and then you'll have a choice of doing a 'web search' or a 'Google shopper' search.

One nice little feature is hidden in the setup menu. It's the front light. This will use the Droids (flash) light to illuminate the bar code if it is too dark to read. Although once in awhile you'll run into a glare problem where the barcode cannot be read due to the light reflections on a glossy surface, more often you'll be in a dark area where there isn't enough light to read the code. Having this light is a blessing.

Cost: FREE

Media Scanner Free

Perfect for used books and media sellers! Scan the barcode and see results from the Amazon marketplace and Buy.com

Cost: FREE

Amazon Trade in

Scan in the barcode and this will give you the Amazon Trade in value on games, books, CD, DVDs and the like. You can save the list or email it.

Cost: FREE

Mobile Tag

I downloaded this barcode reader because many of the others readers didn't recognized QR codes. This one reads them with ease.

Scan in the barcode or the QR code and this reader will return web and local results.

The application allows you to set price point alerts that will be emailed to you. This might be a great way to watch for inventory locally as stores start to put items in your niche on clearance that you know will have a longer shelf life in your eBay store.

Cost: FREE

Pocket Profit

From Media Scooter this application is in Beta. If you sell on Amazon as a third party vendor -- grab and use this!

Using the bar code scanner you can quickly find important information you need to know about that potential item you are considering purchasing.

All on one screen it will show:

  • Sales rank
  • # of used items
  • # of new items
  • # of collectible items

It will show you the current selling price, including the lowest used and new prices. You can set price alerts so the software will automatically let you know if the item is something you should buy or not.

For instance; say you want to make an estimated 15% profit after the Amazon commission. You could set the app up to alert you when the item meets that magic 30% markup (15% plus Amazons 15% commission). I don't know about you -- but I love it when someone else does the math!

Cost: FREE (may become a subscription service?)

That's a sample of applications specifically for online retailers.

What application would you find useful for your business? Please comment below.

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