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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 775 - June 04, 2004 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 3

Abe Marketplace Officially Opens Doors to New Books

By Ina Steiner
June 04, 2004

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Abebooks will announce Friday at BookExpo America that new books are now officially welcome to be bought and sold on its four international Web sites: Abebooks.com, Abebooks.co.uk, Abebooks.de, Abebooks.fr. The official expansion of the Abebooks platform to new books makes it possible for book retailers, publishers and authors to begin selling new books directly to customers online.

Abebooks.com began as a site for used-, rare and out-of-print books. Abebooks spokesperson Marci Crossan said when the service originally launched, they asked booksellers not to list more than 5% of inventory as new books. Although they took that restriction out of the user agreement in 1999, Abebooks never promoted new-book sales or gave it the official green light, until today.

Abebooks is a privately company based in Canada, with offices in Düsseldorf, Germany. The company estimates that over the past three years, 50 independent publishers and 100 new book retailers have started listing new books and backlist titles for sale on Abebooks.com, and that 10% of all books currently for sale on Abebooks are new. The company believes that new books will account for one third of all books listed on Abebooks Web sites within the next three years.

Bookseller Mohinder Kaur of Elephant Books has started adding new books to the 45,000 books he currently lists on Abebooks.com. "I think it's a great idea, it will definitely help our sales and bring more people, new people to the site."

A research study conducted by Abebooks in November 2003 revealed that every used-book buyer is also a new-book buyer, and that most book buyers visiting Abebooks.com would also purchase new books if they were available, especially for new releases and bestselling fiction. The majority of survey respondents also encouraged Abebooks to concentrate only on books and not venture into sales of non-book merchandise.

Abebooks will not grant either book type a preferential place in search results when people search for books - used and new books will appear together. The company does plan to add future sort options that will make it possible to search by condition code alone, and options to purchase multiple copies of books from a single seller.

Crossan said Abe will kick off a campaign to promote the site that is twice as big as any past campaign. The ads will be targeted at book buyers to draw them to the Abebooks site and will include ads in major daily newspapers in the U.S., Canada and UK.

Blum stated, "Our goal is to have a copy of every book ever published on our site."


About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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