We're introducing a set of codes that you assign to your listings to tell us where you want them to be found in the search results, making the results more accurate when buyers use refinements.
Buyers currently have the option to refine their searches by attributes such as First Edition, Signed, Hardcover, and more. Because our current system relies on "parsing," or scanning your data for patterns, to determine the attributes, the refinements don't always produce accurate results. We want buyers to be able to find exactly what they're looking for to make it easier to buy your books!
If you use HomeBase . . .
HomeBase 3.0 uses the standard codes, and when you import your existing inventory into the program, you only need to answer a few questions about your listings to set them up so they'll be easily found using search refinements.
If you use our online listings manager . . .
Our online listings manager ([List and maintain] in the Your Books section of the Members Menu) has been using a few refinement codes for almost a year now: check out the drop-down menus for Condition, Binding, and Signature for examples. We'll be adding more fields later this fall.
If you have a custom conversion set up . . .
If your account has a custom conversion for a program like Excel or Booktrakker, we'll set up your account so your listings will be easily found using refinements over this summer and fall. More information will be sent out over the coming months. If you want to switch to HomeBase instead, we'll help you do that too.
Q: Will my books still be searchable if I don’t use the codes?
A: Your books will always be searchable by Title, Author, Keywords and ISBN. If a buyer chooses to refine by an attribute from the search results, your books are more likely to be listed if you use our codes, or have mapped your terms to ours. Please keep in mind that we won't be launching the new refinements in search to buyers until all booksellers have had time to make any updates to their inventory. Our Customer Support team will also help you adjust your inventory, and we'll provide you with tools to make the process very simple.
Q: What does "mapping" my fields to your codes mean?
A: Our new standardized codes use terms that are meaningful to buyers when they're searching, and your listings will still be completely unique and customizable. We'll still display your quality descriptions with all of your listings.
Here's an example: You use the condition "VG+," which isn't one of our codes. You can tell us that you want all of your VG+ listings searchable under the "Very Good" refinement. When a buyer narrows their results to just "Very Good" books, your books will be found. Plus, your "VG+" will still show up in your individual listing, unaltered, exactly as you entered it. Your listings will still be unique, and you get to tell us exactly where you want them to be found in the search results.
Q: Which attributes will use the standard codes? What are their values?
A: Jacket condition: New, As New, Fine, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
Book condition: New, As New, Fine, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
Edition: 1st Edition, 2nd Edition, 3rd Edition, 4th Edition, 5th or later edition. You can describe the later editions, such as "6th," in your description field.
Binding: Hardcover, Softcover. You can add further details (such as cloth, etc.) in your description field.
Signature: Signed by author, inscribed by author, signed by illustrator, inscribed by illustrator.
Q: Can I do anything now to make mapping my attributes easier later?
A: Mapping will be a very easy process because of the multi-edit options available. You won't have to go through each of your listings one at a time, but can instead select all of your "VG+" listings and map them all to "Very Good" at once. You don't need to start editing your listings now.
Q: If I'm using HomeBase 2.3, will I be able to map my attributes to the new ones?
A: No. Depending on whether you are using the default attribute codes in HomeBase 2.3, some of your listings may be searchable using the new refinements (once these are exposed to buyers later this year). In order to take full advantage of the refinements, you'll need to upgrade to HomeBase 3.0.
Q: Sometimes I do a search for first editions on Abebooks, but second editions come up. Will these new search refinements fix that?
A: Yes. The search refinements are designed to make refined searches more accurate. Search refinements will eliminate paperbacks from hardcover searches, second editions from first edition searches, and written-in books from signed searches.