AbeBooks Seller Policies

To ensure a successful selling experience and high customer satisfaction, all sellers are expected to adhere to the Seller Policies, outlined below. As a global marketplace, all AbeBooks' sellers must comply with global regulations as outlined in the AbeBooks Seller Agreement, the Seller 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 Sellers Can List on AbeBooks:

It is the seller's responsibility to ensure all listings comply with AbeBooks' policies. Listing violations may result in removal of listings, account suspension, or termination of selling privileges.

The Following Product Types Are Permitted for Sale on AbeBooks:

  • Books
  • Magazines & Periodicals
  • Comics
  • Sheet Music
  • Art, Prints & Posters
  • Photographs
  • Maps
  • Manuscripts & Paper Collectibles

More information about product types can be located in the AbeBooks help pages. Sellers are not permitted to list other forms of media products on the AbeBooks websites, i.e. music CDs and movie DVDs. Other non-book collectible listings may be permitted for sale at the sole discretion of AbeBooks.

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)
  • Seller-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."
  • Seller-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.

Sellers 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.'

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 seller 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.

ZVAB.com:

Only selected sellers and items will be listed on ZVAB.com, our website focused on German-language rare and used books. AbeBooks will determine the eligibility of sellers and invite them to list onZVAB.com based on these criteria:

  • Professional sellers only (for example, based on possessing a business license).
  • Relevant rare and used inventory for German speaking customers.
  • Thorough and exhaustive description of each item.

Items sellers 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 sellers' selling privileges for any reason, including for sellers 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 sellers to prelist certain titles. This is at AbeBooks' sole discretion.

Listing Quality

Items listed on the Abebooks websites must adhere to certain listing data quality standards, including but not limited to the following:

  • Images must accurately represent the product and show only the product that's for sale, with minimal or no propping.
  • Listing information must accurately represent the item being offered for sale. This includes, but is not limited to; ISBN, item information, and item descriptions.
  • Item descriptions must only contain information related to the item being sold. I.e. condition, inscriptions, size/weight, etc...
  • All product types must be accurately assigned to listings.

Multiple Listings

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

If a seller 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 seller shall list a maximum of two (2) of the same used title in the same edition.
  • New Books: A seller shall list a maximum of one (1) of the same new title. If multiple copies are available, sellers may list the title only once and use a quantity field.
  • Sellers 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.

Order Fulfillment

Order Processing

To maximize customer satisfaction, AbeBooks expects sellers 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. Seller 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 products 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. Sellers are responsible for ensuring delivery within the timeframe quoted to the buyer and in the condition described online.

Sellers 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 item will be shipped from by adding a statement such as 'Shipped from India' or 'This item ships from Australia' to the listing description.

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

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


Returns

Returns

Sellers 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 item 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 seller 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 seller 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 item price only.

'Buyer Does Not Want Item' Orders Placed on AbeBooks.co.uk, AbeBooks.de, AbeBooks.fr, AbeBooks.it, ZVAB.com, or IberLibro.com:

  • Sellers 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 item 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 seller, regardless of domain, as long as the listing 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' within 30 days after an order's estimated delivery date.
  • Sellers are responsible for the item until it is received by the buyer. Only signature delivery confirmation will protect a seller against claims of non-delivery.
  • The buyer is refunded the item price plus original shipping.

'Item Was Damaged':

  • Item was damaged in transit.
  • The buyer is refunded the item 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 item they received does not match the description on AbeBooks.
  • Sellers must accept all Item Not as Described returns. However:
    1. If the seller disagrees, the buyer is refunded the item price, plus original shipping, but not return shipping.
    2. If the seller agrees, the buyer is refunded the item 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 item sent to the buyer was not the item the buyer ordered.
  • The buyer is refunded the item 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 seller finds the order cannot be fulfilled, i.e. the item’s condition is not as described on AbeBooks, or the item was previously sold.
  • The buyer is refunded the item 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 item price plus original shipping.

'Partial Refund':

  • The buyer and seller have agreed to a partial refund amount. The buyer is refunded only the amount specified.
  • Sellers are not refunded commission or payment service fees on partial refunds.
  • Sellers 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 item is strictly prohibited. All refunds must be issued via the same payment method originally used to pay for the order.

Sellers are also required to provide a refund in cases where an item is unclaimed, returned due to an incomplete address, returned to sender, or similar reason. Any seller 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 seller to report a missing shipment online if they don’t receive the item 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 seller's Return screen.
  • At 21 days the seller 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 seller 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 seller 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 sellers 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 seller and buyer. Returns should be processed online once a resolution is reached. AbeBooks does not participate in dispute negotiations, but sellers must act in accordance with all AbeBooks policies, guidelines, and the Seller 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 seller’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 seller 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 seller.

AbeBooks will not cause a seller'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 seller performance in order to ensure customer satisfaction. The required standards for seller 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:

  • Sellers with 1 million or more listings online: 96% or better.
  • Sellers 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:

Sellers 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
  • Seller accepted order in error

Inquiry Response:

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

Communication with customers, fellow sellers 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.

Sellers 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 sellers should be familiar with the Privacy Policy and applicable Agreement.


Account Details

Contact and Account Information

Sellers 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. Valid contact information is necessary so both buyers and AbeBooks can contact sellers. Information required by applicable consumer regulations must be included in your Detailed Seller Information. Contact information is not permitted in listings.

Contact information is not permitted in listings.

Account Information:

Sellers must also keep all account information current, including but not limited to the following. Required information is marked with an *:

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

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

AbeBooks offers sellers several locations to enter key information that assist with sales, including but not limited to the following:

  • Terms of Sale
  • Shipping Terms
  • Information Regarding the Right of Cancellation
  • Detailed Seller Information
  • Privacy and Security
  • Store Description & About

All information listed must be true and accurate and provided only in the fields designated for it. No fields can contain information contradictory to AbeBooks' Seller Agreement, the Seller Policies, or the Returns policy. Sellers should use these fields to state their business policies, information required by applicable consumer regulations, and other important information potential buyers should know. These fields are viewable via places like the item details page, the seller's Storefront and the Shopping Basket.

Redirection:

Sellers 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. Sellers found to be redirecting customers as an alternative to completing a purchase via AbeBooks are subject to suspension or termination of selling privileges.

Direct Debit for Fees:

Some sellers located in Europe have the ability to pay fees via SEPA Direct Debit from European bank accounts denominated in Euros. Sellers 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, sellers 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.