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My wife and I are in the book trade and looking for new outlets - has anyone bought/sold on Abe, and if so, how did you find it ?
I gather Abe tends to polarise opinion - but we`d welcome any comments, favourable or otherwise.
I bought one book from AbeBooks a few weeks back, successfully & satisifed - influenced by the LT link. Half-an-hour ago I bought my second - Hofstadter's Le Ton Beau de Marot - and fully expect it to arrive safely & swiftly - fingers crossed. Oh, and I'm in France so this isn't a local delivery.
Having said that, I always check Amazon first - the sellers in Amazon seem to be slightly cheaper, as does the postage. Likewise, when I find a book in Abebooks I check to see if the bookseller has a individual website, and if (s)he does have one, am more likely to deal directly with them.
Regardless, I would have to recommend Abebooks as it gives the bookseller an outlet to advertise that doesn't really exist elsewhere.
The great thing about Abebooks is that I can buy the book from anywhere in the world that it's available. Also I live in the U.S. and my sister lives in the U.K., so if I am able to buy a book from a British bookseller I can save on postage.
My only (very minor) complaint is that there's no option to organise your search results by total price, i.e. including p&p - I've noticed that some booksellers have very low book prices, but charge a lot more for p&p, so you have to work out for yourself which is actually the cheapest option.
In fact, I would love the opportunity to sell my books on Abebooks, but since I'm an individual, I just don't have enough of a turnover of books to make it worthwhile.
They're also a local success story, so there's also a little civic pride there for me!
However, the sellers' shipping charges appear to be individually set, and can vary widely. I usually do a spot of comparison-shopping (e.g. checking what's available through Amazon Marketplace) before I commit to ABEbooks.
However, the great virtue of ABE is that you can create a wishlist of longed-for books. Last month, I was immediately notified of the availability of an out-of-print book that I've been wanting for ages. I was able to buy it on the spot. That's... just wonderful.
I did not find this out unlit I had wasted my time selecting several books, which I then could not purchase.
One thing to watch out for, the Abe feedback system, asssuming it`s not changed, grades sellers only on how many orders they successfully satisfy (i.e. send out). That`s very different from the more open E-Bay feedback system.
I ordered a book by Walter Tyrer not so long ago from an Abe seller with a pretty unimpressive feedback rating, principally because no-one else had it and it was cheap. Did I ever get it ? No. Now I`m not too bothered - I got my money back OK - but I`ve got better things to do than order books from people who either don`t have them.
In this particular case, the seller has a `bricks and mortar` shop, and simply lists part of his stock on Abe as a sideline. Possibly he`d sold the book over the counter, but I know the volume in question is a very slim, 1940s pulp-style publication with a paper cover and suspect he simply couldn`t find it.
I was talking to a man in the book trade recently who mentioned that `a friend of his` has a massive stock of books and quite knowingly puts some on abe at inflated prices, even when others have listed comparable copies more cheaply. The logic behind this was so lame as to be frivolous. I noticed my acquaintance became rather defensive when I poked fun at `his friend`s` woolly thinking, so I suspect this `friend` was actually him.
All I would say about that is, whichever site you use - and plenty of people use Abe quite happily - always compare on other selling sites for condition and price. As a general rule, Abe tends to be the province of dealers, whereas E-Bay has quite a number of dealers (myself included) but also has a lot of people who are just clearing out a house or whatever. Abe certainly has the greater number of books, but possibly less chance of a bargain.
Does anyone use Antiqbook ? I use it quite a bit to check prices, but can`t recall ever buying anything on it.
I also tend to look at www.greenmetropolis.com as a comparison to Amazon.
Just checked out abebooks having heard of it on this thread.
Tried 3 hard-to-find books I have been seeking and all are available, and all but 1 are available here in the UK!
I find Abe very good for tracking down books difficult to find in shops, but if the book is a common one, it would probably be best to get it from a shop, as it probably won't cost much more, if it does, and it saves postage.
I sometimes find that books can be found a bit cheaper on ebay, if the seller isn't aware of how much they are worth, or there doesn't happen to be anyone else looking for it at the time.
I've never bought books from Amazon, but I have looked on there a few times, and not found the book cheaper. I tend not to use Amazon mainly due to its poor book searching tools, there are no search fields for publisher, hardback, year of publication ect, whereas Abe has pretty much most of the search fields you could want.
Having said that, I've experienced very few disappointments through Amazon, and I've bought a lot of books there.
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