Jungle Scout Review 2019 (Do You Really Need it? YES)
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Want to get started selling on Amazon but aren’t sure about investing in Jungle Scout?
In this Jungle Scout review for 2019, I cover everything you need to know with UP-TO-DATE info. Most reviews haven’t been updated to reflect changes. One even showed the price as 3x higher than it really was…
Jungle Scout has been a game-changer and helped me build successful stores, but it might help you. Dig into this guide and make that decision for yourself!
It’s a jungle out there, use this review as your MACHETE! (Too much?…)
What I Cover in My Jungle Scout Review
I’m an Amazon FBA-aholic, and I had a ton of fun writing this review.
I think you’ll love reading it and visualizing all the ways to find exciting, profitable product opportunities.
In this Jungle Scout review, I cover:
- What is Jungle Scout (And Why Do You Need it?)
- Features: Niche Hunter, Opportunity Score, Sales Estimator, etc.
- How to Use Jungle Scout: A brief tutorial to understanding what’s actually going on before buying.
- Usability: My thoughts on UX.
- Customer Service: I’ve never had a bad experience with reps.
- Pricing: “Cash rules everything around me”
- Alternatives: Jungle Scout might not be the best tool for you. I’ll cover a few alternatives that might appeal to you.
WARNING: There’s a lot of noise out there, and people are always trying to pull you in different directions. Some completely smear JS’s name and say it’s inaccurate or overpriced. Others totally over-exaggerate its capabilities just to sell it to you. Read everything here and make that decision for yourself.
Background – What is Jungle Scout, Why You Need it, Etc.
What is Jungle Scout?
Jungle Scout is an Amazon research tool that helps you find winning products, estimate sales, research keywords, and spy on competitors all from one easy-to-use dashboard.
Basically, it instantly shows you what products will be the most profitable and easiest to grow your business with.
It was founded by Greg Mercer in 2014, the year that marks the divide between the Amazon research “Dark Ages” and the modern “Renaissance.”
Why You Need Jungle Scout
Believe it or not, people were actually selling products in the prehistoric era referred to as pre-JS.
Aside from competing for land and food with giant reptiles, during these times Amazon geeks like me had to manually research everything by digging for products, analyzing competitors, and creating libraries of spreadsheets with what little data we had access to.
Instead of spending hours and hours doing that yourself and relying on your gut feeling (which I still love), Jungle Scout does it for you instantly.
Also, product research is the single most important factor for success, and competition is increasing by the day. If you choose a garbage product, you will fail no matter how brilliant you are. The competition is insane these days.
Over 1 million NEW SELLERS joined last year alone. That’s a ton of competition. You have NO CHANCE if you don’t choose a unique, profitable, in-demand product.
Jungle Scout Features
Overview of Jungle Scout Features
If creating a successful Amazon FBA store were a sport, it would be a combination of a 400-meter sprint and a full marathon.
Profitability is a long-term game, and you need to be super patient. But in the short-term, speed and power win out. That’s the whole idea behind Jungle Scout: saving time in the short-term while setting you up for long-term success.
…or at least that’s what the company claims.
I don’t want to make a major claim here, but there’s a reason that Jungle Scout is considered “the Amazon research tool” and why every other tool gets compared to it.
Let’s cover some of the features and how they help you:
As a product research geek, Jungle Scout’s Niche Hunter is my favorite part of the software. It lets you identify profitable niche ideas, products, and keywords based on parameters like:
- Product Category: Self-explanatory.
- Competition: A score of 1-10 with 1 being the least competitive and 10 being gadget accessories. A score of 1 usually means a low review count and a good chance to rank on page 1.
- Listing Quality Score (LQS): Amazon SEO is a thing and there’s a specific way to optimize listings to rank higher. LQS is a measure of how well the listings in each niche are optimized.
- Average Price: Pretty self-explanatory. I use this to gauge whether or not my intended retail price has any chance of working. If the average price is $8, I doubt selling for $25-$30 would work.
- Opportunity Score: This is a general score based on all the factors. If it’s high, then it’s a great opportunity (in theory).
You set the parameters and it spits back at you a list of cool niches and keyword ideas to explore. From there, you can dig deeper into the data to see information about the most popular products in each niche. That will help you get a better feeling for how profitable the niche is BEFORE spending any time on it.
If Amazon were a real jungle full of hidden treasure, the Niche Hunter would be like hiring millions of skilled local guides and sending them out to find the hidden gems.
Product Tracker lets you see a product’s entire sales history. For this yoga mat, it instantly gives me the average price, rating, fees, weight, and sales trends (plus more!).
Jungle Scout’s Product Tracker gives you a real-time snapshot of a product’s sales history.
How is this helpful?
Imagine you’re looking for product ideas and happen upon what you think is the next big thing: 1,500 live ladybugs. Yes, this is real life.
If you want to get a robust view of this product’s history and judge its potential to be the next big thing (very high, I assume), just put it into Product Tracker. You’ll get Best Seller Rank, Price, Units Sold, Inventory in Stock, reviews, and a ton more.
This gives you a much safer, data-driven approach to research than just going off of gut feeling.
WARNING: I’m not one of those “gurus” that lives and dies by the Product Tracker. Yes, it’s an awesome tool, but it’s not the be-all-end-all. There’s a lot that goes into finding a successful product, and there’s a lot of context that Product Tracker doesn’t give. You need to look at things holistically.
Jungle Scout’s Product Database contains over 70 million products from the Amazon catalog.
The best thing about it is the preset filters that give you instant inspiration. When you’re staring down a 70-million product list, it’s easy to get analysis paralysis. The filters let you choose the most common criteria (like high-demand/low-competition).
A lot of new FBA entrepreneurs actually overlook the database. Don’t be one of these people. There’s a ton of good information here—things like profit calculator (including fees), international marketplaces, and product ranking.
For example, if you’re aiming for products with an average price of $350 and 4-star ratings, you can see every product on Amazon that matches those criteria in seconds.
Amazon keyword research is vital to your success. You want to make sure that people are actually searching for your product, and you also want to make sure your listings are optimized to match those search queries.
Before more advanced KW tools, finding the right keywords was more a process of trial and error. You just did some basic research, ran some ads, wrote some content, and hoped something stuck.
Have you ever washed $10,000 down the toilet before? That’s basically what KW research would be without Keyword Scout.
Keyword Scout gives you a ton of advantages:
- Niche keywords that real Amazon shoppers are searching for
- Demand for keywords
- Understanding the relevancy of keywords
- Determine a budget and save money on PPC campaigns
- Rank products faster for tough keywords
One major advantage the company claims to have here is that they base their tool off of real demands within the community and even from sellers within the company. So this tool is a reflection of what the community wanted to see in a KW tool. Not bad!
Ease of Ranking and Keyword Difficulty
This is a score of 1-100 indicating how difficult it is to rank for a term. Longer and more detailed terms like “women’s flat feet running shoes” are usually low while just “women’s shoes” would be nearly impossible.
This score indicates how relevant a term is to your original search. Not super useful if you know you’re niche/product well. But if you’re still learning, you can catch a synonym, a slang term, or some random jargon from time to time to beef up your listing.
Pricing – How Much Does Jungle Scout Cost? Is it Worth it?
Jungle Scout’s pricing is a little confusing at first. There’s the web app, there’s the extension, and then there’s the combo package.
And the price varies whether you pay monthly or yearly. Oh, and it also changes based on how many confirmed monthly orders you get.
Isn’t this fun?
But once you take a closer look, it’s not really all that confusing. It’s just not as straightforward as other tools out there.
I’ll break it down for you quickly here. Feel free to check out Jungle Scout’s pricing page if you just want to see the plans and start a free-trial quickly.
If you’re wondering whether or not you need Jungle Scout, then you probably aren’t churning out thousands of orders a month yet. So I’ll just stick to the basics (0-500 orders a month).
Here’s the skinny:
- Jungle Scout: Monthly – $49/mo | Yearly – $39/mo
- Extension: Monthly – $39/mo | Yearly – $19/mo
… still with me?
- Package: If you buy both together (and you should), you save big. Monthly – $69/mo | Yearly – $49/mo.
Here’s the catch…
Your Payment Varies Based on the Number of Confirmed Orders
The more you sell, the more you pay for Jungle Scout. It doesn’t seem very fair to me, but hey, I don’t feel like building my own Amazon product research tool, so I have no choice.
NOTE: Payment for the extension never changes.
Here are the different payment levels (monthly | yearly) for the package deal ONLY:
- 501 – 2,000: $89/mo | $59/mo
- 2,001 – 5,000: $119/mo | $79/mo
- 5,0001 – 10,000: $219/mo | $139/mo
- 10,001 +: $419/mo | $259/mo
OK, so now the $39/mo up to $419/mo question…
Is Jungle Scout Worth it?
This is one of the most common questions I get from new entrepreneurs. In my opinion, yes. 100%.
For less than $50 a month, you get a tool that:
- Saves you hours/days of work
- Identifies the best products to sell for your business
- Shows you exactly which terms to use to optimize your listings
- Shows you the entire history of sales data so you can make informed decisions
- Helps you estimate your PPC budget
- Explore every niche instantly to find untapped products to sell
That’s not even an exhaustive list.
Yes, the price does start to get steep as you sell more, but at that point, why would you care? The price only goes up when you’re making more sales. It’s totally worth it.
The one downside to all this is that Jungle Scout is definitely not a miracle solution that you should 100% rely on. A lot of newbies make that mistake. It’s definitely accurate, but only if you know what you’re looking for. You need to understand how the market works and have a good feel for Amazon first.
Jungle Scout Pro Extension
OK, next up is the Jungle Scout Pro Extension.
There’s a bit of confusion around this so I want to clear that up first. Jungle Scout comes in two forms: the web-based software the Chrome extension.
The Jungle Scout you’re probably familiar with is the web-based software. That’s where you do all the number crunching, product tracking, and niche hunting.
The extension is a cool little plugin that fetches tons of cool data about products right from the Amazon product page.
What Does the Jungle Scout Pro Extension do?
The Jungle Scout Pro Extension is a product research and evaluation tool that plugs right into your browser and adds a cool icon for you to click whenever you want to do fast product research.
Basically, the extension is just, well, an extension of the web-based software. Get what I mean? It lets you quickly add products to the software for tracking, see basic statistics for each product, view pricing, estimate monthly sales, research and export keywords, and even scope out Google Trends data.
Here are some of the features:
- Historical Price
- Historical Rank
- Monthly and Daily Sales
- # of Reviews
- Type of Seller (FBA, FBM, AMZ)
It also lets you view Opportunity Score!
FAQ: What’s the Difference Between the Extension and the Software?
The extension is a quick view of all of the product’s key information at a glance. You click the icon in your browser and it generates a ton of useful information instantly. This will easily save you hours of work per product.
The software is a more robust, complicated program that has a ton of features that you can use for more detailed or general research. Think of the extension as a quick, real-time view of a single product’s most important info and the software as the full program for general Amazon research (e.g. niche hunting).
How Does the Jungle Scout Pro Extension Work?
It’s super easy. That’s why FBA pros love it.
Let’s use the Live Ladybug example, since that’s a dead ringer for best product of 2020. Say you’re browsing Amazon and come across 1,500 living Coccinellidae and you instantly want to know everything about these lovely little bugs.
All you have to do is click on the extension icon in the top right corner and you get a page that looks like this:
Instantly, you’re hit with monthly sales, sales rank, average price, and reviews. Not too shabby. You also get Opportunity Score, Monthly Sales, and Profit Calculator with Pro Version.
In the beginning, this will probably look like Ancient Greek to you. It definitely did to me. But once you get a feel for what all these numbers mean, this will become invaluable. Trust me.
What’s the Difference Between the Pro and Lite Versions?
Jungle Scout Extension Lite is the more affordable version. The difference between Pro and Lite is that Pro comes with the most important features: Opportunity Score, Profit Calculator, and BSR. Plus, Pro comes with extra metrics for each product.
In my opinion, the extension isn’t worth it unless you go Pro.
FAQ: Can I Use the Jungle Scout Pro Extension on More Than One Computer?
Yes, but you will be logged out on the other device as soon as you log in from a new one. The extension only supports one user at a time.
How to Use Jungle Scout – A Quick Jungle Scout Tutorial
I’m going to run through a quick Jungle Scout tutorial so you can actually see how to interpret #crushing products before you buy.
I noticed that a lot of people buy the product, open ‘er up, and freeze when they get hit with a Library of Congress worth of data.
So, let me show you how to tell winning products from losers.
What Makes a Winning Product?
Before I get to how to use the software, you need to know what a winning product looks like. Insert inspirational quote about building a house on a solid foundation here.
Here’s how to spot a winning product at a glance:
- Low saturation: High sales don’t automatically mean a product is good. If there are thousands of competitors at every price point, you won’t break into the market.
- Consistent demand: You’ve got to give the people what they want. Use Jungle Scout to research demand history and make sure to choose something with consistent demand. A good rule of thumb from the founder of Jungle Scout is 3,000 units sold per month for the main keyword.
- Unique value proposition: What exactly makes you stick out from competitors? It could be an ergonomic design, extra batteries, or a better warranty. There has to be something that makes you better.
- Room at the top: If you come across a product in a niche in the top 5 that has less than 100 reviews, that’s a good sign you can rank highly very fast.
- Only one big brand: Big brands in your niche are OK. I never let them scare me away. But only one and not more. Little guys can compete with the big dogs in a ton of ways like “Buy from us, we’re small!” or offering better service, a better warranty, or guidance. If there are multiple big brands, then I tend to stay away.
How to Use Jungle Scout Like a Boss
I just wanted to add my two cents about mindset in using Jungle Scout.
Before booting up the program, you should have an idea of what you want to sell—that includes niche, country, price, etc. In my experience, that really helps guide you through the decision-making process.
I’ll come up with an idea, then use JS to validate it. I’ll use the extension to run queries of products in my niche, and then I’ll refine that research using the software.
I’ll research things like:
- Monthly sales
- Sales demographics
Once I have all of this data, I will make a decision on whether to go ahead with it. And then I move onto fulfillment options (which we don’t have time to cover in this guide).
Jungle Scout Alternatives
Jungle Scout is the best Amazon product research tool available, in my opinion, especially if you’re serious about growing your FBA business. There’s a reason other research tools are compared to it rather than vice versa.
However, it’s not the only tool out there, and some might actually be better for you (even if they are probably not better overall).
Here are a few Jungle Scout alternatives you might want to check out if it’s too pricey or complex for you:
Viral Launch is the biggest Jungle Scout competitor, but I don’t think it’s fair to say one is better than the other. That’s because they’re basically two different services.
Jungle Scout is an Amazon research tool first and anything else is just an add-on. Viral Launch is a full FBA launch service including photography, managed marketing services, and more. Viral Launch does have product research capabilities, though.
Viral Launch vs. Jungle Scout
As you can see, Viral Launch is a full marketing service. This is the tool you want to use once you’re ready to grow. They offer managed services, branding services, listing optimization, photography, and product launches.
Jungle Scout is definitely superior in terms of product research. So, if you’re in the beginning stages and want to discover winning products, there’s no need for Viral Launch. However, if you want to grow your FBA biz, definitely give it a look.
Scope is a 100% free alternative to Jungle Scout that’s decent for beginners to get their feet wet. I wouldn’t recommend it if you want to get serious and actually find winning products or make sales, but you can’t beat free.
It’s pretty basic, but basic keyword research and product data are still better than nothing.
Aside from having the best name in the industry, Unicorn Smasher is a great tool to supercharge your Amazon product research and find hidden, high-value products (unicorns!).
Or so they claim…
Unicorn Smasher is pretty comprehensive for a free tool and includes sales estimates, export tools, in-browser analysis, and revenue estimation. Though it’s not much compared to paid options.
It’s got pretty accurate sales estimates from experience, too. Again, if you just want to get your feet wet and try a free tool to gain experience, why not? Just don’t expect much.
Jungle Scout FAQ
I get asked a ton of questions about Jungle Scout, so I’m gonna lay it all bare here. Read first before asking!
Q: Is Jungle Scout Worth it?
Let me put this into perspective:
You want to grow a business that makes you hundreds or thousands of dollars a month in passive income. There’s a tool that takes care of the most vital aspect of that business: finding winning products.
You get instant access to data history, keywords, competition, sales estimates, a profit calculator, and more—all for less than the cost of one night out.
IT’S WORTH IT.
Q: Is Jungle Scout Accurate?
Yes, Jungle Scout is relatively accurate. It’s not exact, and you need to have a good knowledge of how FBA works, but it’s still very reliable.
A lot of new entrepreneurs make the mistake of taking Jungle Scout as gospel. That’s a mistake.
It should be a guide to your decision making but not the decision itself. I recommend using that weird, watery mass of neurons inside your skull for the hard stuff!
Here’s a table of the % error for the most popular tools. This is from Jungle Scout itself so it might be a tad biased…
Not bad at all.
Q: Is Jungle Scout Free?
No, stop being greedy.
Q: Is There a Free Trial?
No, but there is a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Q: Is There a Free Alternative to Jungle Scout?
Yes, Unicorn Smasher is free. Enjoy the limited functionality and 92.24% error percentage. You get what you pay for.
Q: Which Jungle Scout Should I Buy?
I highly recommend buying the package deal. It’s worth it.
What I Don’t Like About Jungle Scout
I know how much everyone loves hate-orade, and I’m looking forward to a flooded inbox full of haters telling me I’m just singing Jungle Scout’s praise.
So, before you all go on a witch hunt, I want to share a few things I don’t like about Jungle Scout:
- Confusing Pricing: I love steady, predictable costs. The sliding scale that increases based on sales makes it difficult to predict how much I’m spending each month. The price only increases as I’m selling more though, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.
- Opportunity Score Issues: Opportunity Score is a helpful metric, but it only makes sense in context. It can be pretty inaccurate if you don’t know what else to look for. As I mentioned earlier, high sales might lead to a high Opportunity Score, but if the market is saturated, there’s actually 0 opportunity for you. So, as I’ve said throughout this whole article, you need to have good knowledge of FBA to understand JS.
- No Free Trial: Come on, guys. It’s 2019. Give us a free trial! I feel like JS would have a lot better reputation with a 30-day free trial.
Conclusion – Should You Get Jungle Scout?
Phew, you still with me? 4,000 words later and I’m starving!
I hope I’ve covered everything you were curious about, and I really hope you’re pumped about finding winning products and growing your FBA.
I just want to drive this point home:
There is unprecedented opportunity on Amazon right now. More and more people are buying from Bezos and Co. every day. Don’t listen to haters; you can grow a profitable FBA business these days! You just need to do product research the right way and work hard at it.
The time is NOW. Jungle Scout is the best Amazon research tool out there. Yes, it is a bit pricey, and yeah, it sucks that there’s no free trial, but if you’re serious about growing your FBA biz, it’s 100% worth the money.
If you can’t figure it out, just ask for your money back within two weeks and you’re all good.