A Comprehensive Guide to Book Listing Sites


Buying and selling books on the web is becoming ever more complex, with a bewildering range of sites available, all with different strengths, weaknesses and charges.

This guide is an attempt to give clear summaries of each site.

From the book buyer’s point of view, it should help guide you towards the sites that give best value for the particular kind of books you are looking for. This means, generally speaking, the ones that charge little or no commission and have good ethical control over the booksellers listing on the site.

From the book seller’s point of view, it should give clear information on the costs, and the advantages and disadvantages of each site.

So this guide concentrates on the factors that are important to both the buyer and the seller: the overall cost of listing on each site, how accurately and speedily books can be found within the site, how accurately and well the books are catalogued, the quality and range of the books, the quality and probity of the book sellers who list there and the amount of traffic that reaches the site.

Other factors such as site design and extra features or quirks are left for the users to love or hate as they see fit!

This guide is restricted to English language multiple listing sites with at least ¼ million books listed. Other language sites and single store sites such as B&N, Powell’s, Strand, etc., are not included individually, although some are covered by the metasites. Relisting sites (sites that take in other booksellers catalogues and relist them at a higher price) are also excluded.

Metasites

Metasites are sites that trawl many other listing sites – a ‘one stop shop’. Apart from the slightly longer time they take to complete each search (a significant disadvantage only if you need to look up many titles in one session), they are probably the most complete way to check on the availability and price of any given title. If the title is very common, the metasite may ‘rationalize’ the results to save too many being displayed. You can always go on to an individual listing site if you wish to expand the results.

The metasites do not charge commission, and the prices they display will reflect the charges of the listing site they are reporting. To appear on a metasite, all a book seller has to do is to join at least one of the listing sites that the metasite covers.

The Metasites

 

AddAll  http://used.addall.com

Covers the following sites: ABE, Alibris, AntiQbook, Biblio, Biblion, Bibliophile, Bibliopoly, Books&Collectibles, ChooseBooks/ZVAB, HalfCom, ILAB, MareMagnum, Powell’s, Strand.

 

Features:

Quick search

Y

Sorts by site

Y

Advanced search

Y

Sorts by dealer

Y

Supports wild card *

Y

Sorts by country

N

Sorts by lowest price

Y

Allows price restriction

Y

Sorts by highest price

Y

Keyword search

Y

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Currency display

ANY

Sorts newest

N

Typical search time **

16 secs

* but can reach only sites that support wild card. ** Typical search times are assuming a

fast web connection and an average time of day. If you have a slower connection or

search at a busy time, the search times may be longer.

Traffic (Alexa): 92.  Linkage (Google): 501.

Extra feature: Displays a quotation to keep you interested while it searches.

 

BookFinder.com  http://www.bookfinder.com 

Covers the following sites: A1Books, A1TechBooks, ABE, AbookSearch, Alibris, Amazon (all sites), AntBo, AntiQbook, B&N, Biblio, Biblion, BiggerBooks, BookAvenue, BookBestBuy, BookByte, BookCloseOuts, Books&Collectibles, Buy, Chapitre, ChaptersIndigo, ChooseBooks/ZVAB, Dymocks, EBay (partial), Ecampus, ElephantBooks, GlobalBookMart, Half, HalfPriceComputerBooks, ILAB, MareMagnum, Overstock, Powell’s, TextBookX, TheBookCellar, TomFolio, TotalCampus, UsedBookCentral, ZVAB.

 

Features:

Quick search

Y

Sorts by site **

Y

Advanced search

Y

Sorts by dealer

N

Supports wild card

N

Sorts by country

N

Sorts by lowest price

Y

Allows price restriction

Y

Sorts by highest price

N

Keyword search

Y

Sorts alphabetical *

N

Currency display

ANY

Sorts newest

N

Typical search time *

24 secs

* Some automatic alphabetisation.              ** in Classic mode only.

*** Typical search times are assuming a fast web connection and an average time of day.

If you have a slower connection or search at a busy time, the search times may be longer.

Traffic (Alexa): 112.  Linkage (Google): 186.

Extra feature: Can be set for French, German and Italian searches.

 

Also: MegaBookSearch: http://www.megabooksearch.com

 

Google http://www.google.com

 

General search sites such as Google are unable to search databases, therefore many books that appear on the specialised booksearch sites will be missed. However, they have great power to search static pages, and many book sellers advertise their books in this way. So if AddAll and BookFinder have failed to locate a title, Google can sometimes come to your rescue.

 

You will need to use their advanced search page if you wish to avoid being deluged with irrelevant results. Typical search time: 4 seconds.

 

Some other similar general search sites:

 

 

 

TRAFFIC: The amount of traffic that a site attracts is one of the key factors in estimating how likely a site may achieve significant sales. The figures given in the charts above are the most recent Alexa ‘reach’ average. For instance, a ‘reach’ figure of 56 means that out of every million URL re                 quests from an Alexa toolbar, an average of 56 requested that site (most recent 3-month average). But, as Alexa themselves admit, these figure are only approximate, especially for the lesser sites. In any case they only cover Alexa originated requests.

 

Google linkage data is another indication of traffic, but again, only a guide. Google linkage figures are per 100 links, i.e. 56 = 5,600 links.

 

None of this gives any indication of the quality of the customers attracted, so many of the smaller quality sites can punch well over their weight in sales value achieved relative to traffic and linkage.

 

So treat the traffic figures with caution, but at least it is an indication. Until a feasible alternative is suggested, it is the best we can offer!

Find out more: http://pages.alexa.com/prod_serv/traffic_learn_more.html

 

Listing Sites

 

Now we come to the real meat of this guide – the individual listing sites. Grading listing sites is notoriously difficult; there are so many factors:

 

The book buyer wants a fast, easy to use site offering a large range of books at the best prices. The buyer also wants to have confidence that the books will be well described and that the book sellers will be honest, professional, speedy and fair.

 

The book seller wants a site reaching the widest range of potential customers at a reasonable cost and offering ease of operation and good technical support.

 

There is no one site that offers all these qualities; each has its strengths and its weaknesses.

Some sites are better for buying and selling scarce and valuable books, while others are better for inexpensive books. Some sites enforce high standards from their book sellers; others have few effective safeguards or moderation and include some questionable traders.

Nor is the cost to the book seller straightforward. Some sites may charge a high commission, but may have no listing fees and other cost savings, or may have particularly good market penetration. Others may charge little to list but do not have enough traffic to return significant orders. In addition, there are hidden costs; some sites are difficult or time consuming to operate, be it in their uploading arrangements or by mis-matched or curtailed entries.

From the buyer’s point of view, a site claiming 20 million books listed may seem a better bet than one claiming 1 million books, but this is not necessarily true if 15 million of the 20 million are John Grisham paperbacks! If the quality of the site with 1 million books is high, it may offer a better range of hard-to-find books or ephemera. Another increasing annoyance is the recent growth of PoD books on some larger sites – ‘Print on Demand’ photocopies that clutter the listings, making it difficult to find the real books. In addition, some sites allow relisters – dealers that relist other booksellers books at a higher price which also clutters the listings. These are considered to be an adverse factors for both buyers and sellers and noted as such.

Equally, the price of an identical book may vary from site to site, with book sellers adding to their base price for listing sites that have high charges (or, alternatively, offering you a discount when you order direct).

With all this in mind, we have assembled an at-a-glance cross-table showing the main strengths and weaknesses of each site. Some areas are objective, such as listing fees, commissions, etc.; but others are, by force, subjective. We have done our best to be impartial, but are happy to listen to comments if you do not agree with our assessment.

Costs and performances on any given site can change. We will update to new information as it comes our way.

Detailed information on each site follows the cross-table.

 

Cross-Table Summary of all Significant

English Language Used/Antiquarian Listing Sites

Key: Positive factors are shown in GREEN and negative factors in RED. Neutral factors are shown in BLACK.

 

LISTING

Listing

Comm.

Other

Search

Overall

Stock

Dealer

Traffic

 

SITE NAME

charge

charge

costs

features

quality

quantity

contact

& sales

 

ABAA **

$48

NONE

LOW.

9/12

V. HIGH

SMALL

FULL

+

 

ABE                 PoD

$53

8%

LOW

11/12

VARIABLE

LARGE

LIMITED

++++

ABooksearch

$20

NONE

LOW

5/12

VARIABLE

SMALL

FULL

 

Alibris

$40

15%

LOW

10/12

VARIABLE

LARGE

LOW

++++

Amazon.com    PoD

$40

15%

HIGH

7/12

LOW

LARGE

LIMITED

++++

 

Amazon.co.uk  PoD

$40

15%

HIGH

7/12

LOW

LARGE

LIMITED

+++

 

AntBo **

$86  O

R   8%

LOW

9/12

HIGH

SMALL

FULL

+

 

AntiQbook

$56

NONE

LOW

9/12

HIGH

SMALL

FULL

++

 

 
Biblio

$40

NONE

LOW

12/12

MEDIUM

LARGE

FULL

+++

Biblion

$46

NONE

LOW

9/12

MEDIUM

SMALL

FULL

+

Bibliophile

NONE

NONE

LOW

4/12

VARIABLE

SMALL

FULL

+

Bibliopolis

 

LOW

/12

MEDIUM

V. SMALL

FULL

 

Bibliopoly

$53

NONE

LOW

7/12

V. HIGH

V. SMALL

FULL

+

BookAvenue

$20

NONE

LOW

2/12

VARIABLE

SMALL

LIMITED

+

BookCellar

NONE

20%

LOW

6/12

MEDIUM

SMALL

NONE

+

Books&Collectibles

$46

NONE

LOW

6/12

VARIABLE

SMALL

FULL

+

ChooseBooks/ZVAB

$35  O

R  10%

LOW

8/12

VARIABLE

MEDIUM

FULL

++

eBay

$50+

8%

HIGH

9/12

LOW

MEDIUM

LOW

++++

Froogle

NONE

NONE

LOW

6/12

VARIABLE

LARGE

FULL

++

 

Global Book Mart

NONE

10%

LOW

4/12

VARIA BLE

SMALL

LIMITED

 

 

IBookNet

$36

NONE

LOW

8/12

MEDIUM

V. SMALL

FULL

 

ILAB-LILA **

$48

NONE

LOW

8/12

V. HIGH

V. SMALL

FULL

+

IOBA **

$8

NONE

LOW

9/12

MEDIUM

V. SMALL

FULL

 

Popula/PopShops

$10

10%

LOW

7/12

VARIABLE

V. SMALL

FULL

++

TomFolio

$45

NONE

LOW

9/12

MEDIUM

SMALL

FULL

++

UKBookWorld

$9

NONE

LOW

6/12

MEDIUM

SMALL

FULL

+

UsedBookCentral

$16

NONE

LOW

7/12

VARIABLE

SMALL

FULL

+

WantedBooks

$20

NONE

LOW

6/12

VARIABLE

SMALL

FULL

 

 

 

 

 

** Members only. *** Other options available     * Adjusted for the used/antiquarian book portion of traffic (E).

‘PRINT-ON-DEMAND’ photocopies clutter listings – sites where this is becoming a problem are marked thus: PoD

 

METASITES TRAFFIC

AddAll

PoD

 

9/12

V. LARGE

 

+++

BookFinder.com

PoD

 

6/12

V. LARGE

 

+++

 

 

TRAFFIC & SALES : Each site is awarded stars based on Alexis and Google ratings, combined with known experience and such sales results that can be gleaned.

++++               = Mainstream site with heavy traffic, large range and proven sales.

+++                 = Significant traffic, range and sales.

++                    = Solid traffic, range and sales.

+                      = Established site, often with a niche market.

No stars          = New or limited site.

 

N.B. As noted on page 3, this is only a ROUGH GUIDE – quite apart from the imprecise nature of the ratings, any one site may be better or worse for a particular kind of book. So, although Traffic and Sales are vital factors when choosing a venue, or how likely they are to have the range of books you seek, we are only able to offer this very approx-imate guidance.

 

Detailed Breakdown of the Listing Sites

 

Key positive factors have been highlighted in GREEN. (E) = Estimated.

 

ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America) http://abaa.org

Monthly listing charge *

$48

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

Membership

Supports wild card

N

Participating dealers

450+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Medium

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Very high

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Small

Sorts newest

**

Trading ethics

High

Sorts by dealer

Y

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

ABAA members

Allows price restriction

Y

Currency display

$ + conversion

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Very fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles                                                        ** Limited newest search

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 217.               Total listings: 2.5m. (E)

Notes: Only ABAA members may list here. Code of Ethics policed by an ethics committee. Although many items listed here will also be listed elsewhere, the site includes a higher than usual proportion of exclusive items. Wants service. Catalogue service. Stolen book database. News page. Newsletter.

 

ABE (Advance Book Exchange) http://www.abebooks.com

Monthly listing charge *

$53 – $65

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

8%

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

$25

Supports wild card

N

Participating dealers

13,000+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books              PoD

Very Large

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Very large

Sorts newest

Y

Trading ethics

Average

Sorts by dealer

Y

Technical ease

Average

Sorts by country

Y

Dealer Restrictions

None **

Allows price restriction

Y

Currency display

$ + conversion ***

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact ****

Y

* For 20,000 titles.     ** 80% fulfilment.      *** Or £ or € sites.         **** Limited contact

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 12,250.                      Total listings: 70m.

Notes: The largest site on the web for specifically used/antiquarian books, although common books will have thousands of duplicates. along with PoD ‘Print on Demand’ photocopies. Has become too large to police every bookseller effectively and rates sellers by quantity of fulfilment rather than quality of service. Money back guarantee. Charges commission, so a listing may be available elsewhere for less. Wants service. Newsletter. Book sellers listed with full contact details (dot com site only). Free basic book database (HomeBase) available. Additional British, French and German sites (.co.uk; .fr; .de).

 

Abookseach http://www.abooksearch.com

Monthly listing charge *

$20

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

None

Advanced search **

N

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

N

Participating dealers

150+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

N

Quantity of books

Very small

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

Average

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Average

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

$ + conversion

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Slow

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles                                                                       ** Keyword search available

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 212.               Total listings: 1m. (E)

Notes: Small California based non-commission charging site. Book sellers listed with full contact details.

 

Alibris http://www.alibris.com

Monthly listing charge*

$40

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

15%

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

$50

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

10,000+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Very Large

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Very large

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

Y

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None **

Allows price restriction

Y

Currency display

$ + conversion

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact ***

N

* For 20,000 titles.                       ** 85% fulfilment                          *** Query contact possible

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 5,460.            Total listings: 35m.

Notes: Large range of listings but with many duplicates. Effective money back guarantee. Charges commission, so a listing may be available elsewhere minus commission. Rates sellers by fulfilment. Bookstores named against listing and sending a query is possible, but no other contact details. Wants service. Newsletter. Free basic book database available shortly. Also lists movies and music.

 

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com

Monthly listing charge *

$40 – $47

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

15%

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

20,000+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books              PoD

Large

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Very Large

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

Poor

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Poor

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

$ **

Full descriptions

N

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact ***

Y

* Unlimited                               ** or £ or € sites                                          *** With limits

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 13,000 approx.                    Total listings: 70m. (E)

Notes: Large range of listings but with many duplicates. Returns policy. Charges commission, so a listing may be available elsewhere minus commission. Rates sellers by feedback, which is a guide but subject to manipulation. Limited book seller contact. Annoying search mis-matches (i.e. wrong title, or says an item is an audio book, or large print, etc., when it is not). Additional British, Canadian, French, German and Japanese sites (.co.uk; .ca; .fr; .de; co.jp). Also lists a large range of other products.

 

Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk

Monthly listing charge *

$40 – $47

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

15%

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

20,000+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books              PoD

Large

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Very Large

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

Poor

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Poor

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

$ **

Full descriptions

N

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact ***

Y

* Unlimited                               ** or £ or € sites                                          *** With limits

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 10,000 approx.                    Total listings: 50m. (E)

Notes: Large range of listings but with many duplicates. Returns policy. Charges commission, so a listing may be available elsewhere minus commission. Rates sellers by feedback, which is a guide but subject to manipulation. Limited book seller contact. Annoying search mis-matches.  Additional American, Canadian, French, German and Japanese sites (.com; .ca; .fr; .de; co.jp). Also lists a large range of other products.

 

Amazon.de (Germany) http://www.amazon.de

Monthly listing charge *

$40 – $47

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

15%

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

20,000+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Large

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Very Large

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

Poor

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Poor

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

$ **

Full descriptions

N

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact ***

Y

* Unlimited                               ** or £ or € sites                                          *** With limits

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 4,000 approx.                      Total listings: 20m. (E)

Notes: Large range of listings but with many duplicates. Returns policy. Charges commission, so a listing may be available elsewhere minus commission. Rates sellers by feedback, which is a guide but subject to manipulation. Limited book seller contact. Annoying search mis-matches. Additional American, British, Canadian, French and Japanese sites (.com; co.uk; .ca; .fr; co.jp). Also lists a large range of other products.

 

AntBo (Antiquarian Books Online) http://www.antbo.com

Monthly listing charge *

$86

Quick search

Y

Commission charge **

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

300+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

High

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Small

Sorts newest

Y

Trading ethics

Via seller

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Average

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

Full trade only

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles (at current discount rate).    ** Alternative is $18.50 monthly + 8%.

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 704.               Total listings: 3.5m.

Notes: Mainly European booksellers of quality. Book sellers listed with full contact details

 

AntiQbook http://www.antiqbook.com

Monthly listing charge *

$56

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

N

Participating dealers

400+

Keyword search

N

Range of books

Medium

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

High

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Small

Sorts newest

Y

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

Y

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

Y

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

$ £ € ¥

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 704.               Total listings: 3.8m.

Notes: European based site, but with good international support of better class book sellers. Book sellers listed with full contact details

 

Biblio  http://biblio.com (incorporating Bookopoly)

Monthly listing charge

None

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

7.5 – 15%

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

3,500

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Medium

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Good

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Medium

Sorts newest

Y

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

Y

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

Y

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

Y

Currency display

ANY

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

*  For 20,000 titles   ** Or: 15% commission and no listing charge.

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 3,149.                        Total listings: 20m.

Notes: The largest and most visible of the commission-free sites. Faultless search engine. Book sellers listed with full contact details. Book Forum. Wants service. Option of monthly listing charge or commission. Acquired Bookopoly.

 

Biblion  http://www.biblion.com

Monthly listing charge *

$38 – $46

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

N

Participating dealers

400+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Medium

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Small

Sorts newest

Y

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

Y

Currency display

ANY

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 424.   Total listings: 3m. (E).

Notes: Non-commission charging site. Book sellers listed with full contact details.

 

Bibliophile  http://www.bibliophile.net

Monthly listing charge

None *

Quick search

N

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

600+

Keyword search

N

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

N

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

N

Quantity of books

Small

Sorts newest

Y

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

$

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Medium

Direct dealer contact

Y

* Monthly charge planned

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 454.               Total listings: 3m. (E)

Notes: Non-commission charging site. Currently no listing charge. Book sellers listed with full contact details.

 

Bibliopoly  http://www.bibliopoly.com

Monthly listing charge *

$53

Quick search

N

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

100+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

N

Quality of books

Very High

Sorts alphabetical

N

Quantity of books

Very small

Sorts newest

Y

Trading ethics

Very High

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Average

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

Restricted

Allows price restriction

Y

Currency display

$ £ €

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles. Extra 0.1% p.a. charged for total listed stock value over £100,000.       

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 14.     Total listings: ¼m. (E)

Notes: Small non-commission charging site of selected dealers. Book sellers listed with full contact details. Specialists in manuscripts – of little use for books. The site functions in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish and offer a multi-lingual category search facility.

BookAvenue  http://www.bookavenue.com

Monthly listing charge *

$20

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

None

Advanced search (partial)

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

N

Participating dealers

215

Keyword search

N

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

N

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

N

Quantity of books

Small

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

High

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

$

Full descriptions

N

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact **

N

* For 20,000 titles                                                                                            ** email only

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 203.   Total listings: 1m. (E)

Notes: Non-commission charging site. Book sellers listed with email only contact details. Wants service.

 

BookCellar http://www.thebookcellar.com

Monthly listing charge

None

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

20%

Advanced search

N

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card (partial)

Y

Participating dealers

300+ (E)

Keyword search

N

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Medium

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Small

Sorts newest

Y

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

$

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

N

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 760.   Total listings: 4m. (E)

Notes: Non-commission charging site. Book sellers listed with email only contact details. Wants service.

 

Books&Collectibles  http://www.booksandcollectibles.com.au

Monthly listing charge *

$41-$50 *

Quick search

N

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

N

Participating dealers

150+

Keyword search

N

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Small

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

Y

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

Any

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles.  Or 15% commission

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 407.   Total listings: 2m. (E)

Notes: Australian based non-commission charging site. Book sellers listed with full contact details.

 

ChooseBooks/ZVAB  http://www.choosebooks.com 

ZVAB/Choosebooks http://www.zvab.com

Monthly listing charge

None

Quick search

N

Commission charge

10% *

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

1,980

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Medium

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Medium

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

Y

Currency display

$ + conversion

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

* Maximum of $35 p.m. per 20,000 titles at 10% commission, 5% commission on all sales thereafter.

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 1,785 Total listings: 12m. (E)

* Listing fee/lower commission also available. Large German-based European site recently combined with ChooseBooks. Book sellers listed with full contact details.

 

eBay  http://www.ebay.com

Monthly listing charge

$50 *

Quick search **

Y

Commission charge

8% *

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

10,000+ (E)

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Low

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Low

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Medium *

Sorts newest

Y

Trading ethics

Low

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Low

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

Any

Full descriptions

N

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact **

N

* Many variable factors                                   ** Limited

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 466.               Total listings: 2m. (E)

Notes: Large range of listings but with many duplicates. Charges commission and has a cumbersome system geared to auctions rather than stable catalogues. The auction nature of the site means that full range not available at any one time. Rates sellers by feedback, which is a guide but subject to manipulation. Beware of scams and inaccurate listings. Limited (anonymous) book seller contact. Additional eBay sites for many other countries. Also lists a large range of other products.

 

Froogle  http://froogle.google.com

Monthly listing charge

None

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

N

Participating dealers

3,000 (E)

Keyword search

N

Range of books

Large

Sorts by price

N

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

N

Quantity of books

Large

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

None

Sorts by dealer

Y

Technical ease

Fair

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

US only at present

Allows price restriction

Y

Currency display

$ + conversion

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 2,000*.          Total listings: 15m. (E)

* Duplicates and non-books makes exact total vary.

Notes: Product division of Google. Booksellers listed with full contact details. Some sites, such as TomFolio, include Froogle coverage as part of their service. The search page is designed for all products rather than just books, so finding a specific book or edition can be more difficult than on dedicated sites.

 

GlobalBookMart  http://www.gbmbooks.com

Monthly listing charge

None

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

10%

Advanced search

N

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

N

Participating dealers

100+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

N

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

N

Quantity of books

Very small

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

Y

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

$

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Medium

Direct dealer contact *

N

* email only

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 218.   Total listings: 1m. (E)

Notes: Small commission charging site with no monthly listing charge. Book sellers listed with email only contact details. Newsletter.

 

IbookNet (Independent Booksellers’ Network)  http://www.ibooknet.com

Monthly listing charge *

$36

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee **

$91

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

27

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Good

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Very small

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

$ £ € ¥

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Medium

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles.  Includes dual AntiQbook listing. ** Part shareholder. Full shareholder $364.

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 62.     Total listings: 100k.

Notes: Small UK non-commission charging site. Book sellers listed with full contact details. Newsletter. Co-operative.

 

ILAB-LILA (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers)  http://www.ilab-lila.com

Monthly listing charge *

$48

Quick search

N

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

Membership

Supports wild card

N

Participating dealers

400+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Medium

Sorts by price

N

Quality of books

Very High

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Small

Sorts newest

Y

Trading ethics

High

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

Y

Dealer Restrictions

ILAB members

Allows price restriction

Y

Currency display

$ + conversion

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 494,               Total listings: 3m. (E)

Notes: Only ILAB affiliates may list here. Code of Ethics policed by an ethics committee. Although many items listed here will also be listed elsewhere, the site includes a higher than usual proportion of exclusive items. Wants service. Catalogue service. News page. Newsletter.

 

IOBA (Independent Online Booksellers’ Association)  http://www.ioba.org

Monthly listing charge *

$8

Quick search

N

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

100+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Good

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Very small

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

High

Sorts by dealer

Y

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

IOBA members

Allows price restriction

Y

Currency display

$ + conversion

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

(Newly opened site)                * For unlimited titles  (+ IOBA membership $30 – $60pa).

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 87.     Total listings: 200k.

Notes: New non-commission charging non-profit making site. IOBA members only. Code of Ethics policed by an ethics committee. Book sellers listed with full contact details. Wants service. Newsletter.

 

PopShops/Popula  http://www.popula.com

Monthly listing charge *

$10

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

10%

Advanced search

N

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

N

Participating dealers

50+

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Very small

Sorts newest

Y

Trading ethics

Average

Sorts by dealer

Y

Technical ease

Average

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

$

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Medium

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 56.     Total listings: 70k. (E)

Notes: Off-beat auction site with book section (Pop Shops). Book sellers listed with full contact details. Many other unusual items listed.

 

TomFolio  http://www.tomfolio.com

Monthly listing charge *

$45

Quick search

N

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee **

None

Supports wild card

N

Participating dealers

200

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Medium

Sorts by price

Y

Quality of books

Good

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Small

Sorts newest

Y

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

Y

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

Y

Currency display

$

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles.      ** Co-operative – share ownership ($500) available.

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 240.   Total listings: 1.5m. (E)

Notes: Non-commission charging site. Code of Ethics policed by an ethics committee. Book sellers listed with full contact details. Newsletter. Co-operative

 

UKBookWorld  http://ukbookworld.com

Monthly listing charge *

$9

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

N

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

150+

Keyword search

N

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

N

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

N

Quantity of books

Small

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

Y

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

UK

Allows price restriction

Y

Currency display

£

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles, payable annually.

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 317.               Total listings: 1.5m. (E)

Notes: UK only non-commission charging site. Book sellers listed with full contact details. Wants service.

 

UsedBookCentral  http://usedbookcentral.com

Monthly listing charge *

$14.60 – 17.50

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

Y

Participating dealers

300+ (E)

Keyword search

Y

Range of books

Medium

Sorts by price

N

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

N

Quantity of books

Small

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

N

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

Y

Currency display

$

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles.

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 540.               Total listings: 3m. (E)

Notes: Non-commission charging site. Full bookseller contact details with each book, but not listed. Wants service.

 

WantedBooks http://www.wantedbooks.com  (incorporating BookQuarters)

Monthly listing charge *

$20

Quick search

Y

Commission charge

None

Advanced search

Y

Site joining fee

None

Supports wild card

N

Participating dealers

150+

Keyword search

N

Range of books

Small

Sorts by price

N

Quality of books

Variable

Sorts alphabetical

Y

Quantity of books

Small

Sorts newest

N

Trading ethics

Good

Sorts by dealer

Y

Technical ease

Good

Sorts by country

N

Dealer Restrictions

None

Allows price restriction

N

Currency display

$

Full descriptions

Y

Typical search time

Fast

Direct dealer contact

Y

* For 20,000 titles.

Search results from sample 8 item basket: 80.                 Total listings: 200k (E) (1m claimed)

Notes: Non-commission charging site. Book sellers listed with full contact details.

 

NOTES:

1. The eight item shopping basket used in this guide was carefully chosen from common titles through to scarce titles or authors to get a snapshot of both the quantity, range and quality of each site. The items chosen were: grisham jury; tolkien hobbit; joyce ulysses; dickens copperfield; crawhall; dalvimart; shaw zoology; skerryvore.

2. The ‘Other Costs’ shown in the main cross-table tries to reflect the various costs, other than the basic fees or commission, that add to the sellers expense in using the site, such as the cost of dealing with Amazon’s mis-matches or eBay’s inability to deal with catalogues in a cost efficient manner.

One of the key factors to help a book seller to cope with the changing costs of listing on various book sites is to have a database that allows you to control your pricing according the site being used. Fail to do this and you will suffer diminished margins whenever adverse changes are made. Suitable databases for this purpose are BookRouter http://www.bookrouter.com; BookTrakkerhttp://www.booktrakker.com: or BookHound http://www.bibliopolis.com .

Whereas every effort has been made to display fairness and accuracy when producing this guide some areas are a matter of judgment and the terms, content and performance of listing sites constantly change. If you wish to report errors, changes, or comment, please contact the guide moderator: Stuart Manley stuart@barterbooks.co.uk .

The views expressed by the author of this guide do not necessarily reflect the views of the Independent Online Booksellers Association. Whereas every effort has been made to display fairness and accuracy when producing this guide, The Independent Online Booksellers Association is not responsible for errors or omissions.

Copyright © Independent Online Booksellers Association 2005. No part of this guide may be used, copied, reproduced, displayed, or offered without written permission of the Independent Online Booksellers Association.

Stuart Manley is co-owner of Barter Books, Alnwick, Northumberland, England, also online at http://www.barterbooks.co.uk

The Standard: The Journal of the Independent Online Booksellers Association

Check out the Independent Online Booksellers Association Website