Both the Searchbug website and many of the Searchbug tools are getting some valuable upgrades.
We’re bringing our website into 2019 with navigation and user interface improvements. Our new website makes it easier and faster to find tools, upload lists, retrieve results, and access APIs.
And we’re updating our pricing structure, people finding tools, and information search tools. The changes will improve the Searchbug search experience and enable us to offer better data to more of our customers.
We’ll run through all the changes and our schedule for transitioning to our improved website. That way you can continue using Searchbug, and get the most from all the updates, without interruption.
We’ll be rolling out our new website on August 1, 2019.
The new preview site will be located at a temporary web address: new.searchbug.com
However, our original site will be operational until we are out of beta preview, so everyone has time to transition from the original Searchbug site. Once the preview is over, new.searchbug.com will go away, and the new site will reside at our original address, www.searchbug.com
The preview will last approximately 4 – 6 weeks to ensure customers with memberships, subscriptions, and prepaid accounts for instant searches have ample opportunity to transition to the new Searchbug site and get familiar with the new layout. The new site does not have memberships at this time. So, memberships will not renew and will cease at their expiration date.
Pricing and Payment Improvements
Pricing and payments improvements are some of the most important changes to Searchbug. Our pricing structure will remain largely the same, but with more opportunities for you to get data at a lower cost. There are a couple of pricing changes, which we’ll talk about.
However, we’ve added a new payment option that enables us to offer many of our services at lower prices.
Introducing Search Tokens ($T)
Searchbug Search Tokens ($T) are essentially credits that you purchase and use to pay for Searchbug searches.
Using $T enables us to sell data for less.
Since many of our searches cost less than $1.00 per search or per match it can be problematic since credit card processing fees can be .37 cents of that $1 or less charge. So, we aren’t able to sell a search for .50 cents when the credit card processing fee eats up $0.37 of that. Then add the cost of the data, overhead, administration, and basic business expenses and we couldn’t stay in business.
$T gives us a way to reduce the number of individual credit card charges, and pass those savings on to you.
One $T is worth one penny on the Searchbug site. But, we’re able to pass the savings on to users as a bonus for purchasing $T in bulk. With the bonuses, you can get $T for less than a penny apiece. Check out the chart below to see the $T bonuses.
Using Search Tokens
$Ts are available on the new pricing page or you can read more about them and buy them here. Simply scroll down to purchase $T and add them to your account. You can also purchase $T on your account dashboard.
While $T cost a penny each if you purchase at least 2,500 $T, you’ll get bonus search tokens for free. Purchase enough and you can get $T for less than ¾ of a penny.
The way you use Searchbug will stay the same. You’ll simply purchase Search Tokens before running searches, which will reduce the number of small charges on your credit card and help keep costs low, and speed up the checkout process so you save time and get the savings.
There are a few other things you need to know about $T:
- $T will be required for any purchase under $5.00, to help you dodge increased costs due to credit card processing fees.
- Search Token bonuses will replace prepaid discounts. The discounts are still available, and the payment schedule will remain about the same. You’ll just be purchasing $T as a method of prepaying.
- $T will replace our SSN Verification Passes. Separate SSN pass credits are no longer necessary. Purchasing SSN search services is now the same as purchasing any other Searchbug service but a business account is now required for this service. The price of using $T for SSN services will be about the same as the price of the old SSN pass.
If you have current SSN pass credits, the new site will accept your existing credits. Once you use all your credits, no new credits can be purchased. To continue to use the SSN verification service, simply make sure you have a business account on the new site and purchase Search Tokens ($T).
Those are the only big changes, though. For everything else, the experience of using Searchbug will remain very similar to the current feel (actually it will be better because our website is better).
Prepaid Accounts and Discounts
Prepaid accounts are now only needed for web and application developers using our APIs. Users no longer require a prepaid account to get discounts or to access instant searches. Similar discounts are now offered via Search Tokens.
People Search Subscriptions Will Cease
Since we’re simplifying our payment options with search tokens, and upgrading our data, our people search subscriptions and memberships will be discontinued until further notice. We noticed that our membership data accuracy wasn’t really up to our standards, so we sourced several new data feeds and now our instant people search tools access the same high-quality enterprise-level data that our batch and API business customers have come to rely on. Go ahead and test our new data, we think you’ll love it.
By disccountinuing our memberships, adding better data, and offering discounts via Search Tokens, users get access to better data at better prices without a monthly commitment. It removes any commitments or recurring charges associated with people searches. You’re only charged for the number of searches you need. Plus, you can use the $T bonuses to get the lowest price on all types of quality people searches.
Note: If you have an active membership, you will have time to finish using it on the current site. No subscriptions will renew once the new site is launched in preview but your existing membership will last until it expires. If you have a membership and want to give the new website a spin, we’ll give users with existing memberships 500 free Search Tokens so you can see the improved data quality once your membership expires. Simply call or email our support team when you want to try it.
Enhancements to Our Information Finding Utilities
Why are we terminating people search memberships:
The main reason is that our tools for everyone are getting a data upgrade. All people search services will now use the same real-time data feeds that we use for our enterprise-grade business clients and services. So, you’ll get much more dependable results from our information finding tools.
This also means there will be a tiny fee for using some search tools that used to be free with a membership. However, with $T bonuses, many of these searches will be less than a penny per search. These minimal fees will enable us to update and improve our tools for everyone.
Some of these tools have been available for over 20 years. Since working on our free tools took time away from the paid tools that kept Searchbug in business, the free tools didn’t get as much love as they deserved. So, these services have aged a bit.
The revenue from the minimal search fees will enable us to enhance these utilities and develop new ones over time. This means that you get business-quality data for less than a penny per search.
Using the Searchbug Site, and Transitioning from Our Original Site
Our new site will be up as a “beta preview” on August 1, 2019. The original Searchbug site will remain operational until the beta preview is complete, which should be about 30 to 60 days.
During this time, you’ll be able to access and use Searchbug services through either site.
You’ll be able to preview the beta site at new.searchbug.com
The original Searchbug site will still be available at www.searchbug.com until the beta preview is complete. Then, the new site will become www.searchbug.com, and the old site will become old.searchbug.com for another 30 – 60 days while we ensure the new site is bug-free.
This will give everyone time to familiarize themselves with the new site, without hampering your access to Searchbug services.
The preview period also gives those with longer memberships time to transition to the new site.
What’s not changing:
Access to APIs
There are no major changes to how APIs work on the new website. The only change will be how much easier it is to find what you need. Here’s a quick link to the new API overview page.
There are no major changes to how our batch service works on the new website. You’ll find batch tools on the first menu item under business services.
We’ve made hiring an investigator a little easier and added some additional information to help users decide what Investigator Assisted service might be best.
If you are a restricted access user, you have a Verified Business Account. The only change here is the name. Verified Business Accounts are now called Professional Accounts. Typically, professional accounts are used by industry professionals that need to conduct searches by SSN, access DMV info, or need reports to include a subject’s SSN. Professional accounts receive the highest level of access and can access federally regulated data.
We’ve improved our website from front to back.
The old-style tab navigation has been replaced with consolidated menus, which you click to expand. The menu layout enables you to find and navigate to the tools you need faster than our old tabbed design. Our new breadcrumb trail, just under the menu on most pages allows for quick navigation to the main sections, overview pages or home page.
The footer at the bottom of every page also contains the contents of all the menus without clicking.
Whether you have a Searchbug account or want to create one, you can access your account or get to the account creation page with a single click in the upper right-hand corner.
Each menu houses a group of services. The menus are categorized by use.
Once you’ve clicked on a menu to expand it, clicking on an individual service or tool will take you to the information and use page. That’s where you’ll find a description of the service and an interface for purchasing and using it. Here’s an example which shows our Business Services menu.
Searchbug Account Dashboard
The Searchbug account dashboard is designed to be very similar to the homepage. That way, there’s no need to navigate to a new page or learn where things are located once you’ve created an account and log in. If you know your way around the Searchbug site, you’ll know your way around your account dashboard.
Simply click the dropdown arrow next to your name after you sign in to see the Your Account menu option. Click Your Account to get to your main dashboard. The batch dashboard and investigator Orders take you to those respective dashboards.
To the right, you’ll see your prepaid balance if you have any as well as your $T balance if you have any. Clicking on the $T takes you directly to the page where you can purchase $T. To the right of that, there’s a link called Problems? which will be available for a few months while we are in beta preview mode. Use this link to report a bug or issue you might be experiencing. If we confirm it’s a bug you helped us identify, we’d like to reward you with 500 $T.
If you scroll down in Your Account you can see your “Billing Details”, payment method and other associated information. You can also switch your payment plan or buy more search tokens from this page.
If you need to update your billing or payment information, click “Update Billing Info” from the dropdown menu next to your name.
Everything else is the same as you would see it while browsing the site logged out. So, if you want to see how Searchbug works or familiarize yourself with our service, you can do that on the new site preview, even if you don’t have an account yet.
What to Do Next
Head over and check out our beta preview of our new People Search and Data Append site. As of this post date, there are still some bugs and issues, hence a Beta Preview. So, if you find a bug and want to report it, please email us or complete the form found under “Problem” in the menu. If we discover it’s truly a bug, we’ll reward you by adding 500 free $T to your account.
If you don’t have a Searchbug account yet, now is a great time to create one. We’ll even give you your first search PLUS 500 $T FREE to test-drive our people searches and information search tools. So, you can see our data quality for yourself.
For Searchbug subscribers, API users, and those with annual memberships, this is your opportunity to see how your new dashboard looks and play around with $earch Tokens.
As always, our support staff will be available to address any challenges you have with the transition to the new Searchbug.
We look forward to seeing you on the new site! Happy searching!