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Barnes and Noble Leaves Sellers in the Lurch

Barnes & Noble relaunched its website in late June, but with one important thing missing: its marketplace. Third-party sellers have been kept in the dark, unable to log in to their selling accounts for over a week.

Barnes & Noble spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating provided EcommerceBytes with the following statement on Tuesday evening: “We recently launched our bn.com website without Marketplace going live. Our plan is to have Marketplace back up and live tomorrow.”

Efforts to learn more have been unsuccessful. Was it a planned outage? Why hasn’t B&N been communicating with sellers about the outage?

One seller told EcommerceBytes he had about a dozen orders that kept getting rejected by the website and is unable to login. Another seller wrote, “no date has been given for its “update.” Meanwhile booksellers are out of luck and cannot access their inventory, sales, etc. NOT good for any of us!”

Apparently the Marketplace wasn’t the only problem engineers encountered when launching the new site. Barnes & Noble added a section on its FAQ section, explaining, “On Tuesday, June 30, we updated our BN.com ecommerce website with new features. The NOOK for Web “Read Instantly” function was not updated as part of this rollout. Our technology team is currently working on including the NOOK for Web “Read Instantly” functionality and we hope to have it available in the near future.”

It’s not clear why there’s no similar message about Marketplace for those wondering about it.

Barnes & Noble had informed investors it was relaunching the site during its earnings conference call on June 25th. CEO Mike Huseby said in his presentation, “we’re focused on connecting with our customers beyond the bookstore. I am pleased to announce that we’re launching our improved BN.com website next week, which has better search capabilities and improved user experience and is expected to increase sales and yield cost savings. We expect the website to be a valuable resource for customers whether they choose to have their orders shipped to home or made available for in-store pick up.” (via SeekingAlpha)

Barnes & Noble website explains that the Barnes & Noble Marketplace gives BN.com customers access to tens of millions of items provided by sellers.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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.