EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2548 - May 23, 2011     1 of 3

New Alibris Book-Rental Program Available to Third-Party Sellers

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Monsoon Commerce announced the first online textbook-rental marketplace open to independent booksellers. Monsoon Commerce CEO Brian Elliott said sellers have wanted to participate in the rapidly growing book rental market, which it estimated at nearly 15% of the online textbook market.

Book rentals will be available on Alibris in July, and the company will extend book rental capabilities to Monsoon Commerce retail partners.

There is no additional charge for sellers to participate in the textbook-rental program, which was designed for Monsoon Commerce's qualified Gold sellers, as well as new sellers who sign up with Monsoon Commerce. Alibris charges standard commissions and variable closing fees on rentals. In less than one minute after they're approved for the book rental program, sellers can designate their inventory as "rentable" on the Alibris marketplace. All rental items must also be available for sale.

The program is not limited to textbooks, however, items ineligible for rent include: items selling at less than $30; teacher's editions; international editions; and collectible items.

To rent their inventory, sellers must meet specific qualifications:

  • Sell on Alibris for at least 90 days.
  • Maintain at least a four-star seller rating.
  • Be a U.S. seller enrolled in the Gold seller program.
  • Opt in to ship rentals and sales via Trackable Expedited shipping.

A single rental term of 130 days applies to all rentals. Alibris will add $7 to the rental price of each item to cover the cost of Trackable Expedited return shipping and will provide the customer with a return label, accessible from the website, directing each rented book back to its seller. Alibris will update the Seller Hub with the tracking number for each return once the customer has printed a return label. Sellers must check in returned rentals within 13 days of the rental due date.

More information is available to sellers on the Monsoon Commerce website, and the company will host a webinar for Seller Hub sellers who have expressed an interest in the program on June 28 at 10 am Pacific.

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

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