AbeBooks Bookseller Policies

 

To ensure a successful selling experience and high customer satisfaction, all booksellers are expected to adhere to the Bookseller Policies, outlined below. As a global marketplace, all AbeBooks' booksellers must comply with global regulations as outlined in the AbeBooks Bookseller Agreement, the Bookseller Policies, or the Returns policy. Being familiar with these policies will answer most questions you have about selling on the AbeBooks websites.

Jump to:

1. Listing Details
2. Order Fulfillment
3. Returns
4. Performance Standards
5. Account Details


Listing Details

Items booksellers can list on AbeBooks:

AbeBooks accepts all book listings for sale on the websites. It is the bookseller's responsibility to ensure listings comply with AbeBooks' policies. Listing violations may result in removal of listings, account suspension, or termination of selling privileges.

International Edition Textbooks are permitted for sale as long as the following requirements are met:

  • The description clearly states, "This is an International Edition." (no abbreviations)
  • Bookseller-supplied images must be that of the International Edition, not the North American or any other edition.
  • The sale and distribution must not violate the copyright or trademark of the publishers of such works. International Editions may not be sold to customers in Canada unless authorized by the publisher. The publishers of International Editions generally do not authorize the sale and distribution of International Editions in Canada.

Teachers' Editions, Instructors' Editions, Study Guides, and Solutions Manuals are permitted for sale as long as the following requirements are met:

  • The description clearly states, "This is a Teachers' Edition." Or, "This is an Instructors' Edition." Or, "This is a Study Guide." Or, "This is a Solution Manual."
  • Bookseller supplied ISBNs must be that of the listed Edition, not the Textbook or any other edition.

Print on Demand listings are items that are not in printed form at the time of order. Print on Demand listings are permitted for sale as long as the following requirements are met:

  • The description clearly states, "This item is printed on demand."
  • The publication date must be either the stated Print on Demand publication date or left blank. The publication date of the original works may be added to the books description.

Ebooks are permitted for sale as long as the following requirements are met:

  • Following the title it clearly states, "Ebook."
  • The description clearly states, "This is an Ebook."
  • The description clearly states the item's format and how it will be delivered to the buyer.
  • The publication date must be either the stated Ebook publication date or left blank. The original date of publication may be added to the book's description.
  • The shipping matrix is adjusted so shipping is not charged and accurately represents delivery times.

Booksellers are permitted to reject refund requests on delivered Ebooks when the reason selected is 'Buyer does not want item', as long as the description includes the following statement: 'Refund requests for 'Buyer does not want item' after an Ebook has been received will not be accepted.'

Ephemera listings are permitted for sale on the AbeBooks' websites and refer to any written or printed matter meant to be used for a short time. Ephemera items permitted for sale on AbeBooks include:

  • Sheet music
  • Maps
  • Playbills
  • Posters
  • Bookmarks
  • Letters
  • Prints
  • Ticket Stubs
  • Pamphlets
  • Advertisements
  • Screenplays
  • Photographs
  • Sticker Books
  • Greeting Cards

Other non-book listings will be defined as Ephemera at the sole discretion of AbeBooks.


Photocopies, scanned copies, or printed copies of digital content are permitted for sale as long as the following requirements are met:

  • The items are free of copyright and in the public domain.
  • If the items are not free of copyright, the bookseller must have received prior permission in writing from the rights-holder to reproduce the content. Proof of permission must be available and provided to AbeBooks upon request.
  • The description clearly states, "This is a photocopy." Or, "This is a scanned copy." Or, "This is a printed copy of digital content available at [name of source, (i.e. Wikipedia)]."
  • The publication date is left blank. The original date of publication may be added to the book's description.

Audio books are permitted for sale as long as the following requirements are met:

  • The description clearly states, "This is an audio book."
  • The format, i.e. CD, DVD, digital format is clearly identified in the description.
  • The description of digital format audio books clearly states how the item will be delivered to the buyer.

Booksellers are not permitted to list other forms of media products on the AbeBooks websites, i.e. music CDs, movie DVDs, among others.


Items booksellers cannot list on AbeBooks:

Certain items are not permitted on the AbeBooks websites. AbeBooks reserves the right to remove any listing that we determine to be unacceptable in our sole discretion and to terminate booksellers' selling privileges for any reason, including for booksellers who fail to remove an item upon request or relist an item after it has been removed.

Items with the following attributes are not permitted for sale on AbeBooks websites:

  • Any item in breach of the terms and conditions set out by, or the rights of, the original author, publisher, or rights holder.
  • Any item that has been pirated, illegally obtained, copied without the legal right to reproduce, or copied without obtaining permission from the rights holder
  • Any item prohibited from being offered for sale by applicable local laws or legal requirements.

Prelisting items that have not yet been made available to the public is not permitted. AbeBooks may, from time to time, invite some booksellers to prelist certain titles. This is at AbeBooks' sole discretion.

Specific Listing Violations:

  • Listing inaccurate, incorrect, or incomplete book information or descriptions (including ISBNs) resulting in the misrepresentation of inventory.
  • Reproducing original information supplied by other booksellers, such as copying images, or plagiarizing descriptions.
  • Inclusion of personal or political commentary in book descriptions that may be considered defamatory.

Multiple Listings

We encourage booksellers to use a quantity field, to list multiple copies of an item. The use of a quantity field is an option available to all booksellers.

If a bookseller has multiple copies of any item, the following guidelines must be followed:

  • Multiple items of the same title in the same edition shall only be listed as individual and separate listings when the items are shown to be materially different and are priced and described in a way to reflect those differences.
  • Used Books: A bookseller shall list a maximum of two (2) of the same used title in the same edition.
  • New Books: A bookseller shall list a maximum of one (1) of the same new title. If multiple copies are available, booksellers may list the title only once and use a quantity field.
  • Booksellers shall not manipulate listings by price and/or description to display an unreasonable number of listings for a search result. Material differences and unreasonable numbers are defined at the sole discretion of AbeBooks.

Information Fields

AbeBooks offers booksellers several locations to enter key information that assist with book sales. All information listed in these fields must be true and accurate and provided only in the fields designated for it. I.e. book descriptions must include only information related to the item being sold. No fields can contain information contradictory to AbeBooks' Bookseller Agreement, the Bookseller Policies, or the Returns policy.

Terms of Sale:

Booksellers should use the Terms of Sale field to state their business policies, information required by European Union consumer regulations, other applicable consumer regulations, and other important information potential buyers should know. The Terms of Sale are viewable via the book details page, the bookseller's Storefront and the Shopping Basket.

Shipping Terms:

The Shipping Terms field allows booksellers to communicate their shipping information to buyers. This can include how items are packaged and whether pricing includes tracking. Shipping Terms are viewable on the book details page and on the bookseller's Storefront.

Redirection:

Booksellers may not redirect buyers away from AbeBooks to an alternative sales channel. Email addresses, phone numbers, and website URLs are permitted only in the fields specifically intended for them. Booksellers found to be redirecting customers as an alternative to completing a purchase via AbeBooks are subject to suspension or termination of selling privileges.

Order Fulfillment

Order Processing

To maximize customer satisfaction, AbeBooks expects booksellers to process and ship all orders within 48 hours of receipt. Credit Card orders not processed after 96 hours will automatically cancel and will count as unfulfilled orders in the Completion Rate calculation. Bookseller direct orders not processed after 96 hours will automatically confirm as a processed order. Rejection of orders based on shipping location is strictly prohibited. Rejection of orders for books listed with a pricing error will count as unfulfilled orders in the Completion Rate calculation. Contacting a buyer directly to offer an item listed with a pricing error at a new price is strictly prohibited. Booksellers are responsible for ensuring delivery within the timeframe quoted to the buyer and in the condition described online.

Booksellers are permitted to have multiple ship-from locations for their account as long as the following conditions are met:

  • All returns must be accepted at the mailing address listed in the account.
  • Shipping Terms must list all ship-from locations.
  • Individual listings must indicate where the book will be shipped from by adding a statement such as 'Shipped from India' or 'This item ships from Australia' to the book's description.

Providing tracking details for all orders is highly recommended, and in some cases AbeBooks may require a bookseller to use tracking for their shipments. When tracking information is unavailable, AbeBooks may temporarily suspend booksellers' listings while we request proof of shipment for quality assurance purposes.

AbeBooks may immediately suspend or terminate the selling privileges of any bookseller required to ship with tracking who stops supplying tracking information for orders placed with them.

Returns

Returns

Booksellers are required to accept returns, when initiated within 30 days of the estimated delivery date, for all reasons under AbeBooks' Return Policy. Refund amounts are based on the return reason. If the return reason cannot be determined, the minimum required refund amount is equal to the book price. Charging a restocking fee for any return is strictly prohibited.

Definitions of Return Reasons and Corresponding Reimbursement Amounts:

'Buyer does not want item' orders placed on AbeBooks.com:

  • The bookseller is not required to accept a return for this reason and may choose to cancel the return request.
  • The return is considered to be accepted unless cancelled by the bookseller within two business days.
  • If a return is cancelled more than two business days after it was initiated, AbeBooks will re-initiate the return on behalf of the buyer.
  • The buyer is refunded the book price only.

'Buyer does not want item' orders placed on AbeBooks.co.uk, AbeBooks.de, AbeBooks.fr, AbeBooks.it, or IberLibro.com:

  • Booksellers are required to accept all returns, including those for 'Buyer does not want item', for orders placed on these domains.
  • The buyer is refunded the book price plus original shipping.

'Buyer does not want item' Ebook orders, regardless of domain:

  • 'Buyer does not want item' refund requests on delivered Ebooks can be cancelled by the bookseller, regardless of domain, as long as the book description includes the following statement: "Refund requests for 'buyer does not want item' after an Ebook has been received will not be accepted."

'Item did not arrive':

  • Buyers can initiate a refund for 'Item did not arrive' between 7 and 30 days after an order's estimated delivery date.
  • Booksellers are responsible for the item until it is received by the buyer. Only signature delivery confirmation will protect a bookseller against claims of non-delivery.
  • The buyer is refunded the book price plus original shipping.

'Item was damaged':

  • Item was damaged in transit
  • The buyer is refunded the book price, original shipping, plus return shipping equal to the original shipping or the equivalent to the standard shipping on free shipping orders.

'Item not as described':

  • The buyer claims the book they received does not match the description on AbeBooks.
  • Booksellers must accept all Item Not as Described returns. However:

  1. If the bookseller disagrees, the buyer is refunded the book price, plus original shopping, but not return shipping.
  2. If the bookseller agrees, the buyer is refunded the book price, original shipping, plus return shipping equal to the original shipping or the equivalent to the standard shipping on free shipping orders.

'Incorrect item delivered':

  • The book sent to the buyer was not the item the buyer ordered.
  • The buyer is refunded the book price, original shipping, plus return shipping equal to the original shipping or the equivalent to the standard shipping on free shipping orders.

'Order accepted in error':

  • After processing an order, the bookseller finds the order cannot be fulfilled, i.e. the book's condition is not as described on AbeBooks, or the book was previously sold.
  • The buyer is refunded the book price plus original shipping.

'Buyer cancelled before shipping':

  • The buyer requests cancellation of the order after it has been processed but prior to shipping.
  • The buyer is refunded the book price plus original shipping.

'Partial refund':

  • The buyer and bookseller have agreed to a partial refund amount. The buyer is refunded only the amount specified.
  • Booksellers are not refunded commission or payment service fees on partial refunds.
  • Booksellers cannot issue a partial refund that is greater than 75% of the total order value.

All returns, regardless of payment method, are subject to the return policies as outlined above, and must be processed via the AbeBooks online system. Failure to process a refund for a returned book is strictly prohibited. All refunds must be issued via the same payment method originally used to pay for the order.

Booksellers are also required to provide a refund in cases where a book is unclaimed, returned due to an incomplete address, returned to sender, or similar reason. Any bookseller found to have received returns for which no refund has been issued, and/or no resolution attempt made, is subject to suspension or termination of selling privileges.

Reporting a Missing Shipment:

When a return has been initiated by the buyer, it is the responsibility of the bookseller to report a missing shipment online if they don’t receive the book back within 28 days of initiation for domestic orders, or 77 days for international orders.

The timeline for reporting a Missing Shipment is as follows:

  • 14 days after the return is initiated, the [Notify AbeBooks of Missing Shipment] button is available in the bookseller's Return screen.
  • At 21 days the bookseller will receive an e-mail reminder of the outstanding return.
  • For domestic orders, at 28 days the return will automatically complete if not already completed by the bookseller and if no missing shipment has been reported.
  • For international orders, at 77 days the return will automatically complete if not already completed by the bookseller and if no missing shipment has been reported.

When a missing shipment is reported, AbeBooks Customer Support will contact the buyer to ask for tracking information. If tracking information is not provided, the return is cancelled. We recommend that booksellers wait at least 21 days before notifying AbeBooks of a missing shipment in order to allow the book adequate time to arrive.

Return Dispute Resolution:

All return disputes are to be handled between the bookseller and buyer. Returns should be processed online once a resolution is reached. AbeBooks does not participate in dispute negotiations, but booksellers must act in accordance with all AbeBooks policies, guidelines, and the Bookseller Agreement, or risk termination of selling privileges from the AbeBooks websites.

Credit Card Chargebacks:

Any chargeback received where payment has been accepted by our external payment service provider may be debited against a bookseller’s account by our external payment service provider. A chargeback is a reversal of funds on a Credit Card by the credit card issuing bank. Chargebacks occur when a cardholder contacts their bank to initiate a return of the funds paid for an order.

AbeBooks will always attempt to contact a bookseller prior to applying a chargeback to their account. In some cases, this investigation provides the details required (such as shipping information) to cause the chargeback to be refuted with the buyer’s payment card company and avoids having the chargeback passed on to the bookseller.

AbeBooks will not cause a bookseller's account to be debited when a chargeback is the result of actual fraud. AbeBooks fraud protection applies only to credit card transactions processed by our external payment service provider and is based on the information received in the AbeBooks Checkout process.

Performance Standards

Performance Standards

AbeBooks monitors bookseller performance in order to ensure customer satisfaction. The required standards for bookseller participation are based on Completion Rate, Return Rate, and Inquiry Response. Failure to meet AbeBooks’ minimum performance standards will result in suspension or termination of selling privileges.

Completion Rate:

Completion rate is based on order completion, calculated by the number of ordered items minus the number rejected and returned, divided by the total number of ordered items.

The minimum required standards for Completion are:

  • Booksellers with 1 million or more listings online: 96% or better.
  • Booksellers with fewer than 1 million listings online: 90% or better.

Completion rate is calculated based on a rolling six-month period, updated on the 1st and 15th of every month.

Return Rate:

Booksellers are required to maintain a return rate of 5% or less.

Return reasons included in the return rate calculation are:

  • Item did not arrive
  • Item was damaged
  • Item not as described
  • Incorrect Item delivered
  • Bookseller accepted order in error

Inquiry Response:

Booksellers are required to respond to all inquiries from buyers, potential buyers, and AbeBooks staff within two business days.

Communication with customers, fellow booksellers and AbeBooks staff must be professional at all times. Communication that is derogatory or discriminatory in any way, or that includes language that is abusive or threatening, is strictly prohibited.

Booksellers may not use or disclose customer information for any purpose other than fulfilling an order to which the information, i.e. name, email, address, relates. All booksellers should be familiar with the Privacy Policy and applicable Agreement.

Account Details

Contact and Account Information

Booksellers are required to keep their contact and account information up to date at all times. AbeBooks reserves the right to temporarily remove listings and withhold payment to accounts with incomplete or inaccurate account information.

Contact Information:

Contact information must be accurate and current at all times. Required information is marked with an*:

  • Email address*
  • Phone number*
  • Website URL

Valid contact information is necessary so both buyers and AbeBooks can contact booksellers. Information required by European Union consumer regulations must be included in your Terms of Sale.

Contact information is not permitted in listings.

Account Information:

Booksellers must also keep all account information current, including the following. Required information is marked with an *:

  • Contact name* - (full name of the contact person for the account)
  • Bank account information* - (required for booksellers located in EFT eligible countries)
  • Mailing address*
  • Physical address - (if different from mailing address)
  • Credit card for fee payments* (Required for North American booksellers)

If non-required contact or account information is provided, it must be kept current.

Direct Debit for Fees:

Some booksellers located in Europe have the ability to pay fees via SEPA Direct Debit from European bank accounts denominated in Euros. Booksellers paying seller fees via direct debit, by providing AbeBooks with their bank account information, authorize:

  • AbeBooks to cause instructions to be sent to your bank to debit your account;
  • Their bank to debit your account in accordance with the instructions.

As a part of your rights, booksellers may be entitled to a refund from their bank under the terms and conditions of the agreement with the bank. A refund must be claimed within 8 weeks starting from the date on which the account was debited.