7. Returns

a. Return Basics
Booksellers are required to accept returns for all reason except when the reason selected is "buyer does not want item." Note that laws in certain European jurisdictions may require booksellers to accept all returns regardless of the reason, when for an order placed on one of our European domains. Most booksellers do accept and process returns for "buyer does not want item" in the interest of good customer service. When this reason is selected, buyers are advised by email they must reach an agreement with the bookseller before returning the book.

All returns must be processed via the AbeBooks online system and, except as otherwise required by law, all refunds must be issued via the same payment method the buyer originally used to pay for the order.

Definitions of Return Reasons and Corresponding Reimbursement Amounts:

Reason Description Reimbursement
Item did not arrive Book did not arrive to buyer by 15 calendar days past the estimated delivery date Buyer receives book price plus shipping.
Buyer does not want item * Buyer received item, but does not want the item

For orders placed on AbeBooks.com, if bookseller accepts the return, buyer receives book price only. For orders placed on AbeBooks.co.uk, AbeBooks.de, AbeBooks.fr, AbeBooks.it, or IberLibro.com, buyer receives book price plus original shipping.

Item was damaged Item was damaged in transit Buyer receives book price, original shipping plus return shipping.
Item not as described The book is shipped to the buyer and buyer claims it does not match the description on AbeBooks. If the seller does not agree that the item was "not as described" they are not required to refund Return shipping, but must accept the Return.
If seller agrees with buyer, buyer receives cost of book, original shipping plus return shipping
If seller disputes return, buyer receives purchase price plus shipping.
Incorrect item delivered The book sent to the buyer was not the item the buyer ordered Book buyer receives book price, original shipping and return shipping.
Order accepted in error The seller agreed to send a book, but then found the book condition was not as described on AbeBooks, or that the book had been previously sold Buyer receives book price and original shipping.
Buyer cancelled before shipping The seller agreed to send a book but was contacted by the buyer prior to shipping. Buyer requested order cancellation Buyer receives 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 fees on partial refunds.


* *Due to legal requirements in Europe, booksellers are required to accept all returns for “buyer does not want item” when the order was placed on AbeBooks.co.uk, AbeBooks.de, AbeBooks.fr, AbeBooks.it, or IberLibro.com. In addition, for orders placed on these domains, European law requires a full refund of both the book price and original shipping. On AbeBooks.com, the buyer can select this return reason, but the bookseller may choose to cancel the return. As booksellers are required to respond to all buyer e-mails within two days, the return is considered to be accepted by the bookseller if it is not cancelled within two days. Booksellers should also respond to the return initiated e-mail to confirm their shipping address with the buyer.

In cases where the book is returned to the bookseller due to an incomplete address, unclaimed, returned to sender, or similar reasons, the buyer will be refunded for the book price only.

Returns for bookseller direct orders are subject to the AbeBooks Returns policy and the guidelines outlined above. All seller-direct Returns must be processed online to ensure the bookseller is not charged commission on the refunded sale.

b. Time Limits for Returns
Books can be returned for the reasons 'not as described,' 'item damaged,'' incorrect item delivered,' and 'buyer does not want item' up to 30 days after the maximum estimated delivery date. For item did not arrive, the option will not be available to buyers until 7 days after the maximum estimated delivery date.

Booksellers may choose to accept returns outside this time limit. All Returns must be processed via the AbeBooks Web sites. Please note that delays associated with international orders may occur due to customs. This may result in late requests from buyers to return items, which booksellers should take into consideration when deciding whether to accept returns after the mandatory time period.

c. 'Item Did Not Arrive' Refunds
Booksellers are responsible for the item until the buyer receives it.  Buyers are entitled to a full refund of the book price and shipping in the event an item does not arrive. Buyers can request a refund for ‘Item did not arrive' between 7 and 30 days after their order's estimated delivery date.  Refunds for this reason cannot be requested if the bookseller has entered valid tracking information online.

Once such a refund has been requested, the seller is notified and encouraged to contact the buyer to resolve the issue.  Once a resolution has been reached, only the buyer can cancel the refund request.  If no resolution is reached and the buyer does not cancel the refund request, the refund will automatically complete on behalf of the buyer, 7 days after being requested. 

Refunds may be requested immediately on buyers' behalf in cases where the bookseller fails to respond and delivery confirmation has not been provided, or does not confirm delivery.

To prevent such refunds, booksellers are encouraged to purchase tracking that includes signature delivery confirmation, and to enter the details online.

d. Reporting a Missing Shipment
It is the responsibility of the bookseller to report a missing shipment online if they don't receive the book back from the buyer within 28 days for domestic orders, or 77 days for international orders. The timeline for domestic returns is as follows: 14 days after the return is initiated, the [Notify AbeBooks of Missing Shipment] button is available in the bookseller Return screen; at 21 days, AbeBooks send an e-mail reminder to the bookseller about the return; at 28 days, the return automatically completes. If the bookseller does not receive the book back before the 28 day mark, they must report the missing shipment online. A completed return cannot be reversed.

When a missing shipment is reported, AbeBooks Customer Support will follow up with the buyer to ask for tracking information. If none is 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.

e. Dispute Resolution
All disputes regarding returns 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 AbeBooks Code of Conduct and within all policies and guidelines, or risk removal from the AbeBooks Web sites.

f. Payment Card Chargebacks
Any chargebacks 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. We always attempt to contact a bookseller before a chargeback is applied 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. However, when the chargeback is the fault of the bookseller (such as ones due to non-response or non-shipment), the cost will be applied against their account by our external payment service provider.

AbeBooks is not responsible for chargebacks that may be filed against booksellers who accept payments directly from customers through the Bookseller Direct Orders.