|We've come a long way since 1996! The face
of AbeBooks may have changed over the years,
but our commitment to independent booksellers and book
lovers from around the world has not. See our web site's
evolution in the screenshots below.
- Keith and Cathy Waters and Rick and Vivian Pura,
the founders of AbeBooks.com, spend all their spare
time developing and testing the web site before going
live in June. [Meet
- The first four booksellers on the site are Cathy’s
Timeless Books plus Wells Books, Russell Books, Renaissance
Books, and another bookseller called Heather Graham – all
from Victoria, BC. [Meet the
- The company’s first office is located in
a corner of its Internet service provider’s
- AbeBooks’ book inventory management software,
HomeBase 1.0, is launched.
- By the end of the year, two million books are already
listed for sale and the future is looking bright.
Keith and Rick feel secure enough to give up their
day jobs as IT contractors for the British Columbia
- In August, AbeBooks throws a party to celebrate
recruiting their 1000th bookseller.
- The company has expanded into two offices below
a Fitness World gym.
- Cathy Waters closes Timeless Books and joins AbeBooks
- Word is rapidly spreading through North America’s
used bookselling community about AbeBooks with dozens
of sellers signing up each day.
- The inventory book count breaks through 10 million
and goes to 12 million by the end of year.
- AbeBooks’ own staff continues to grow as
the marketplace becomes more popular.
- Kathy Dick, AbeBooks' longest-serving employee,
joins the team. The office is moved to Garbally Road.
- By now, AbeBooks is larger than the founders had
- AbeBooks alters its business model by moving to
a full e-commerce operation – previously sellers
had paid monthly fees to list their books.
- Over 18 million books are being offered by the
end of the year.
- The inventory hits 20 million books in July with
6,300 booksellers now using the site.
- By the end of the year, AbeBooks offers over 23
- HomeBase 2.0 is launched
- Customer support team grows to 20 employees and
now provides 24-hour support.
- After using various sites around Victoria, the
company moves its offices to 410 Garbally Road.
- In May, Brent James takes over as CEO.
- In October, AbeBooks buys JustBooks.com – one
of Europe’s leading online marketplaces for
used and antiquarian booksellers.
- The office moves again but this time to larger premises just across the street.
- HomeBase 2.1 is launched along with ISBN look-up Ė a key tool for booksellers loading books on to AbeBooks.comís database.
- In February, AbeBooks launches its French and German
websites and its UK site is launched in August as
the company reinforces its growing presence in Europe.
- AbeBooks.co.uk is introduced at the Edinburgh Book
Festival with a Mini packed full of books.
- In July, AbeBooks launches its ‘Textbook
Central’ section and moves into the rapidly
developing student textbook sector.
- The last of the original founders leave the company
and former JustBooks co-founder Hannes Blum takes
over as CEO in August.
- In December, the United Nations recognizes AbeBooks
as one of world’s leading e-commerce companies
at its World Summit.
- In June, AbeBooks officially announces that it
will also offer new books as well as used, rare and
out-of-print books at Book Expo America.
- In July, AbeBooks launches a microsite for Australia
and New Zealand.
- The Guardian newspaper in the UK dedicates a full
page to online used bookselling and acclaims AbeBooks
for revolutionizing the business.
- In October, AbeBooks ventures into the Spanish
market with the acquisition of Iberlibro.com – Spain’s
largest e-marketplace for used and rare books that
offers around 3 million books for sale.
- The rapidly growing customer support division expands
into another office on Garbally Road.
- In November, AbeBooks acquires BookFinder.com -
the leading price comparison shopping service dedicated
to books based in Berkeley, CA.
- In February, AbeBooks acquires FillZ – a
US book inventory and order management company that
assists booksellers to offer their books on Internet
- The total value of books on the site exceeds $3.4
- As the 10-year anniversary approaches, AbeBooks
launches its largest ever marketing campaign across
North America, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
- In March, AbeBooks.com launches BookHints - an innovative book recommendation system based upon titles owned, read and enjoyed by members of LibraryThing.com, the leading social networking and book cataloging site for bibliophiles.
- In September, Story Laboratory - a unique book-building workshop designed for kids - appears at Vancouverís Word on the Street Festival. Itís the latest appearance of the innovative program where children are encouraged to write and make their own books.
- In December, AbeBooks conducts a charity signed books auction and sells a signed Harry Potter book for $3,950 - the proceeds are donated to the United Way.
- In April 2008 the launch of an Italian language website, AbeBooks.it is celebrated along with the acquisition of Chrislands.com - a service that builds, hosts and maintains online bookstores.
- In December 2008, AbeBooks is acquired by Amazon.