Subsidiary of Amazon.com
Industry Internet
Founded 1996 (1996)
Headquarters Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Area served
Products Books, Collectibles, Ephemera, used books, out of print books, rare books, and textbooks, HomeBase 3.0,
Services Online shopping
Parent Amazon.com
Subsidiaries Fillz, BookFinder, librarything.com
Website abebooks.com

AbeBooks is an e-commerce global online marketplace with seven national domains that offers books, collectible art, and ephemera from sellers in 50+ countries.

On August 1, 2008, Amazon acquired AbeBooks.[1]


(Reverse chronology)

In 2016, Arkady Vitrouk was appointed CEO.[2] He was previously the Director of Kindle Content in Amazon’s European headquarters in Luxembourg. Prior to joining Amazon, he was the CEO of the Azbooka-Atticus Publishing Group in Russia.

As of Oct 2016, AbeBooks is headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, with its European office in Düsseldorf, Germany. The company manages regional websites for North America, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain. More than 250 millions products are listed for sale. Most books listed are used, many are rare, signed, 1st editions or out of print, and a growing number are new.

In 2011, AbeBooks acquired ZVAB.com - a worldwide marketplace for German rare books with professional booksellers in 27 countries offering customers millions of used, antiquarian and out-of-print books.

In 2010, AbeBooks launched the AbeBooks Channel Program in May to provide its booksellers with the opportunity to list their books for sale on Amazon.com. The Channel Program was permanently closed on June 16, 2014.

In 2008, AbeBooks was named one of BC's Top Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc. in October, which was announced by The Vancouver Sun, The Province and the Victoria Times-Colonist.[3] In 2012, AbeBooks was again named one of British Columbia's top employers by Mediacorp.

In 2008, AbeBooks announced that it would be acquired by Amazon.com on the 1st of August. The deal gave Amazon.com a stake in both LibraryThing via AbeBooks 40% owning, and competitor Shelfari, in which Amazon.com had invested separately.[1]

In 2008, AbeBooks was awarded the British Columbia Technology Industry Association Impact Award[4] in June for Leadership in Social Responsibility for its charitable activities, literacy initiatives, and commitment to environmental friendliness in its business practices.

In 2008, AbeBooks acquired Chrislands in April, a company that hosts websites for over 1000 booksellers.[5] In May 2013, AbeBooks sold ChrisLands back to one of its original founders, Jaymes Sorbel.

In 2006, AbeBooks purchased a 40 per cent stake in LibraryThing in May, a social networking and book cataloging website for bibliophiles.[6]

In 2006, AbeBooks acquired Fillz in February, a book-inventory and order-management company.[7]

In 2005, AbeBooks acquired BookFinder.com in November, an American book price comparison "metasearch" shopping service site.[8]

In 2004, AbeBooks purchased IberLibro.com in Octorber and its inventory was integrated into the AbeBooks' database in December 2006.

In 2004, AbeBooks expanded its model to include new books, and acquired the Spanish company IberLibro, to better serve Spanish language markets.

In 2002, the founding partners were bought out by German media company Hubert Burda Media.

In 2001, AbeBooks acquired Germany's JustBooks GmbH online book marketplace, which helped the company expand into the German, French and British online bookselling markets.

From the late 1990s to 2005, AbeBooks had reseller agreements with eBay, Half.com, Barnes & Noble.com, BibliOZ.com and Amazon.com, allowing AbeBooks to market and sell booksellers' books through those channels; these agreements were dissolved in 2005. AbeBooks currently only has a reseller agreement with Amazon.com.

In 1995, AbeBooks was founded by Rick and Vivian Pura, and Keith and Cathy Waters. It was incorporated in 1995 and launched its websites in 1996, initially including listings for only four bookstores.

Most Expensive Sales

AbeBooks is also known as an online marketplace where rare and collectible items changed hands. In February 2015, AbeBooks recorded the most expensive sales ever at the time: a rare ornithology book was sold online in AbeBooks for $191,000.[9] The website periodically reports their recent high value sales.[10]

Searchable inventory

AbeBooks' users can search across the listings of many independent bookstores, thereby allowing small, independent players to compete with bookselling superstores. Some of the member bookstores offer their books online only, while others also maintain a regular storefront.

Booksellers upload their inventory data to the AbeBooks database, specifying information about each book including condition and price. Prices are fixed (with US$1 being the minimum) and there are no auctions. Items available range from the extremely common, where there might be hundreds of copies listed, to truly unique manuscript material worth thousands of dollars. In addition to books, magazines, audio books, journals, illustration art, vintage photographs and paper ephemera are offered.


Sellers pay a monthly subscription to list their books on the site, ranging from $25 to $300, depending on how many books they list. This subscription fee has been in place since at least April 2008. In addition, sellers pay a percentage fee for each book sold via the websites.[11]

AbeBooks initially offered its services for a flat listings fee, based on the number of titles listed for sale. The model was changed in the early 2000s to include a commission on sales. In April 2006, AbeBooks started mandatory processing of MasterCard and Visa credit card transactions on behalf of its sellers and added a 5.5% charge for the provision of this service: previously this service had been optional. In 2008, AbeBooks started charging a commission of 13.5% on the cost of postage as well as the book price. Currently (2013) the commission charge is set at 8% of postage and book price.

Sellers can, within limits, set their own standard postage rates to various countries or by different carriers. Booksellers can upload their inventory using their own spreadsheet software or via the site's interface. Items that sell are mailed directly from the individual bookseller's location. Some booksellers have new books directly mailed from wholesalers or publishers. While AbeBooks is arguably the largest such site, most booksellers who list on AbeBooks also list their books on multiple similar marketplaces such as Amazon.com, Biblio.com, Half.com, etc.


AbeBooks's localized storefronts, which differ in selection and prices, are differentiated by Top-level domain and Country code:

Regions Sites
 United States abebooks.com
 United Kingdom abebooks.co.uk
 Germany ZVAB.com
 Germany abebooks.de
 France abebooks.fr
 Italy abebooks.it
 Spain iberlibro.com
 Canada abebooks.ca
 Australia abebooks.com/books/anz

Other websites include fillz.com, bookfinder.com and librarything.com.



  1. 1 2 Amazon to Acquire AbeBooks
  2. "Arkady Vitrouk's Linkedin profile".
  3. "Reasons for Selection, 2009 BC's Top Employers competition".
  4. 2008 TIA Award Winners. BCTIA. Retrieved on 07-11-08.
  5. Steiner, Ina (10 April 2008). "Bookselling Marketplace AbeBooks Aquires [sic] Chrislands". AuctionBytes. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  6. Steiner, Ina (2006-05-17). "Abebooks.com Buys Social Networking Site LibraryThing.com". AuctionBytes. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  7. Steiner, Ina (2006-03-02). "Abebooks Acquires FillZ Service for Selling Books Online". AuctionBytes. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  8. Needle, David (2005-11-07). "Book Sites Unite". Internet News. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  9. http://www.abebooks.com/rare-books/most-expensive-sales/ever.shtml
  10. http://www.abebooks.com/rare-books/most-expensive-sales/jan-feb-mar-2016.shtml
  11. help.abebooks.com: "How Much Does it Cost to Sell on AbeBooks and How Does AbeBooks Pay Me?"
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/1/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.