Hot Tips

Sending Your Inventory via FTP | Update Your Contact Information | Shipping Confirmation | Remember to Add Tracking Information | Back to School Checklist | International Editions | Contacting AbeBooks Customer Support | Preventing Returns For Reason "Item Not As Described" | Preventing Orders For Previously Sold Books

Your AbeBooks Account

Update Your Contact Information | Contacting AbeBooks Customer Support | Payments With the New Billing & Payments System | Web Usage Statistics | Disable Windows XP Firewall | Keeping Informed | E-Mail Management | Web Site Address | What is a book match report? | Making Payments | Receiving Payments via EFT | Vacation Status

HomeBase

Printing Labels in HomeBase | Saving a Report in HomeBase | Viewing a Report in HomeBase | Cutting, Copying and Pasting in HomeBase | Automatically Confirming Additions | Cloning Book Records | What are Sticky Fields? | Using Wildcards to Select Books | Navigating in AbeBooks HomeBase | Using the Search-As-You-Type Feature | How Can I Search My Description & Private Notes Fields? | Sorting Your Data | Using Intelligent Fields & Book Attributes | How do you edit the list of an Intelligent Field | HomeBase 2.3 User Guide | Exporting Books, Wants, Catalogs, Clients, Invoices | Selecting Multiple Items & Right Clicks | Total Your Invoices Within HomeBase | Signed First Addition Description Tips (.de & .fr) | Book Descriptions

Inventory Management

Sending Your Inventory via FTP | What You Should Know About ISBNs | Using FTP | Condition Statements in Book Descriptions | Categories and Sub-Categories | Updating Your Inventory | Sizing Pictures | Previously Sold Books | Directing Buyers to Your Inventory | Signed First Edition? | Description Tips (.de & .fr) | Improving Fulfillment Rates | Vacation Status

Orders

Remember to Add Tracking Information | Preventing Returns For Reason "Item Not As Described" | Reducing Buyer Refund Requests for Late Items | Preventing Orders For Previously Sold Books | Reducing Return Rates During the Holiday Rush | Process Orders Smoothly | Extra Shipping | Reviewing Orders Online | Shipping to China | Buyer Order Communication | How to View Your Fulfillment Rate | Cancel Orders | Ensuring Safe Delivery of Orders | What is a book match report? | Tracking Your Shipment

Selling Tips

Back to School Checklist | International Editions | Selling Textbooks Effectively | Increase Your Sales | Translated Keywords | Target International Markets | Recommended Books | Shipping Confirmation | Cancel Orders | Keeping Informed | Processing Credit Cards | Web Site Address

Your AbeBooks Account

Update Your Contact Information

Buyers can view your contact information from your AbeBooks homepage. Students are very unique buyers that often require very specific books on a tight timeline, and having up-to-date contact information can help them contact you with their questions.

Updating your contact information:

1. Click [Your Account] above the red banner.

2. Click [Your Personal Information] in the Members Menu.

3. Select [Update your Account Information].

4. Update your contact information in the fields near the top of the page.

5. Click the [Update Details] button at the bottom of the page.

You will also need to update your homepage with the new information.

1. In the Members Menu, click [Your Homepage].

2. Click [Update your homepage].

3. Ensure that the [Include your address], [Include your phone number], and [Include your fax number] drop-down lists are set to [Yes].

4. At the top of the page, select the [Save the page] option button.

5. Click the [Submit] button.

You can select the [View your page as it is now] option button and then click [Submit] to preview the page. Please note that the changes can take up to 24 hours to show up in the search results.

When buyers view the Listing Details page from the search results, they can view your contact information, specialties, and any other information you’ve provide on your homepage from the [View bookseller’s Homepage] link.

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Contacting Customer Support

AbeBooks Customer Support aims to answer all bookseller inquiries within one business day. You can use these tips in order to ensure a fast response:

  • Check the Bookseller Forums for the latest updates on Web Site Status and AbeBooks Announcements. We include updates on new features here, too.
  • Make sure to include all of the details about your question when you send a request to Customer Support. This includes BookIDs, order numbers, your browser type, and the exact text of error messages, depending on the question that you have.
  • Send us your message from the e-mail address that you use to sign on to your AbeBooks account. Better yet, use the [Send a question to AbeBooks] link from the Members Menu to make sure we receive your e-mail.
  • Please do not include important information in the Subject line of your e-mail or any attachments. The program that we use for receiving e-mails does not forward attachments or subject lines.
  • Make sure that your e-mail program accepts messages from sellertech@abebooks.com. Sometimes booksellers won’t receive responses from us because our messages are being blocked.

You can help us help you by following these easy steps. You can find out more about Customer Support in the Bookseller Policy. [View the Customer Support Policy.]

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Payments with the New Billing and Payment System

With the new billing and payment system, you are sent notification of your payments as soon as they are created, rather than days later.

You still get paid at the same time that you used to – we just let you know about the payment sooner.

Every Friday, AbeBooks will send you a payment notification e-mail that summarizes all of your account transactions over the previous week. This is an advanced notification of your payment, which will be sent to your bank on the following Friday. Your bank will deposit the funds into your account within a few days after that.

You can also view the payment amount through the Members Menu.

To view your payments:

1. Sign on to your account using your E-mail Address and Password.
2. Click [Your Personal Information].
3. Click [Current Account Details].

The Current Account Activities chart displays your most recent transactions. At the bottom of the chart, the Paid to You column shows the amount that AbeBooks will be paying you. This amount is calculated by totaling all of your sales and offsetting the applicable commissions and payment service fees.

Subsequent weeks will be added to the Current Account Details screen. You can also view your payment from the week that the last Statement was sent out (the first Friday of the month) from the Members Menu. This payment will also be offset with your subscription fees.

1. Click [Your Account] above the red banner.
2. Click [Your Personal Information].
3. Click [Account Details History by Statement].

With the new billing and payment system, you will still be paid once a week. However, we are notifying you of your payments sooner than we did before, so that you can reconcile your most recent orders immediately.

For more information about the new billing and payment system, please visit our Online Help.

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Web Usage Statistics

Abebooks partnered with Coremetrics to provide Web site usage statistics to help us better understand how our customers interact with the Abebooks Web sites. Coremetrics is not spyware and is employed simply. The information gathered is strictly confidential and only known to Abebooks and Coremetrics.

Web usage reports help us to understand the interests of our buyers. This information allows us to better promote your books and inventory.

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Disabling the Microsoft XP Firewall

The firewall that is enabled by default in Microsoft Windows XP creates problems with the transmission of data between AbeBooks and your computer system. To ensure that all information is sent and received we recommend you disable the firewall within the Windows XP software and install a separate firewall if security is an issue for you.

To disable the Windows XP firewall:

  1. Click [Start] then click [Control Panel].
  2. Click [Network and Internet Connections]
  3. Click [Network Connections].
  4. Select the step that is appropriate to your situation:
    • If you are using a dial-up connection, double-click [Dial-up Connection].

    • If you are using ADSL or a Cable modemDouble-click [High Speed or LAN Connection].
  5. Click the [General] tab in the Connection Status dialog box.
  6. Click the [Properties] button.
  7. Click the [Advanced] tab in the Connection Properties dialog.
  8. Clear the [Internet Connection Firewall] check box.
  9. Click [OK]. For more information on this you can visit the Microsoft Web site for more help with Windows XP.

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Keeping Informed: Communicating with AbeBooks

We communicate with our booksellers through several different means. Here are some of the ways you can learn what's happening with the AbeBooks Community and discuss important topics with us:

  • E-mail- all major announcements are emailed to you directly and you have the opportunity of responding to our Contact Center to ask further questions
  • Bookseller Central - all announcements, sales tips, marketing information and upcoming events appear here
  • Bookseller Forum and Chat - view announcements, web site status and interact with your fellow booksellers and AbeBooks.
  • Monthly Roundtable Events - Join other booksellers in asking the President of AbeBooks, Hannes Blum, questions about AbeBooks
  • Monthly Bookseller Digest Newsletter - Top events, tips and news items on a monthly basis

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E-Mail Management

As the online world has witnessed an increase in "SPAM" mail, many ISPs and e-mail providers have implemented a variety of SPAM blocking measures. Your ISP, e-mail provider, or spam-blocking program may require you to verify an e-mail address prior to it being transmitted to your email account. The following e-mail addresses associated with AbeBooks are required by you as a bookseller to operate your online business. Please verify the following addresses with your ISP or via any programs on your PC that may be set to block "spam" to ensure that you receive all the information provided to you by AbeBooks.

 

Organize your AbeBooks Email

Using Outlook (or another e-mail program) you can create "Rules" that sort your mail for you. In Outlook this feature is located under "Organize". AbeBooks regularly sends e-mails from the following e-mail addresses:

By setting up a separate folder for each e-mail address, you will be better able to sort your mail and review the different types of e-mail being sent by AbeBooks.

Please note that our Customer Service e-mails are sent from sellertech@abebooks.com and you will notice that they all have a subject line resembling: ABE Response ARN - 214xxxx It is important that you recognize these e-mails as we do require a 2-business day response to most of our inquiries. If your e-mail program will allow you to set up "rules" by subject line, this may assist you to better identify Customer Service inquiries from your orders and inquiries.

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Web Site Address
Booksellers can now add a Web site address to their AbeBooks account information. The Web site is available for buyers to see when viewable through the Bookseller information in our search results:

1)  Sign On to AbeBooks using your E-mail address and Password.
2)  Click the [Your Personal Information] link from the Members Menu.
3)  Click the [Update your account information] link from the Personal Information menu.
4)  Enter your Web site URL in the field beside "Do you have your own custom homepage?"
5)  Click [Update Details] to save the changes to your account.

Buyers will now be able to view your custom Web site from the book details or bookseller information pages on AbeBooks.

Please note: You may need to refresh or reload your browser to clear your cache files in order to see the change the first time you click on your homepage link through AbeBooks. As per the bookseller agreement, Web page information should only appear in this section.

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What is a book match report?
Every day buyers add Wants to our database and we continually match these outstanding Wants to new inventory. Once a Want has been matched to a specific book, it will not be re-matched. The book match report can be useful as it tells you that your books are being matched and to what degree.

If a book is matching a lot of Wants but not selling, it could be an indication that the price is too high or the description too sparse. You could search our Web site to see if there are other copies of the book available and perhaps adjust your price or description accordingly.

If you would rather not receive the report via e-mail, please contact Customer Support.

You can view the outstanding Wants buyers have registered in our system (currently 2.26 million). If you see a Want for a book you have in your inventory but you haven't uploaded it to us yet, you can add your book directly to the Want - just be sure you don't alter any of the information the Want owner has included.

The various search features allow you to select the date and customize the way you would like to review the want list. The identity of want owners is confidential, however they are notified once the book has been indexed into our database and they are given the option to contact our booksellers directly or click on a link in the e-mail notification to order the book through our online system.

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Making Payments
The fastest, most efficient way to make payment to AbeBooks is to have a credit card number on file with us. Having a card on file for recurring fee payments means never missing a payment or wondering if your check has made it to us via mail.

When you enter your credit card information for payments, choose the "Recurring" payment status option and your card will be billed once a month after your Invoice has been e-mailed to you. You will not be required to take any action to pay your fees. The credit card number is stored on a secure server and is used only for fee payments.

For more information on how to set up recurring payments, please click here and visit our bookseller help.

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Receiving Payments via EFT
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), or Automated Clearing House (ACH) is a fast and convenient way for Abebooks to pay you for sales generated through our Web sites.

With EFT you do not have to wait for checks to arrive or worry that they may be delayed in the mail. EFT can only be used to deposit funds; there is no way for Abebooks to remove money from your bank account with the information you provide. As most financial institutions now charge a fee for cashing checks, having automatic EFT saves you money.

How do EFT payments work?
Each week, we authorize our bank to send funds to hundreds of banks around the world. Your bank then puts the money into the account of your choice.

For help adding or updating banking information, please click here.

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Vacation Status
You can temporarily remove your book listings from all AbeBooks Web sites while you are on vacation with a few simple clicks.

Please note that monthly subscription fees are applicable during the time your account is on vacation status. The charges calculated are based upon the average book count for an entire month. For example, if you have 0 books online for an entire month, you will be charged the minimum monthly subscription fee of $25.00.

More information on how to place your inventory on Vacation, can be found here.

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HomeBase

To print labels from HomeBase:

AbeBooks HomeBase provides a reporting feature that will create address labels. This feature is compatible with two-column Avery Labels - #5161, #5262, #5261, #5259.

To print labels, please complete the following steps:

  1. Open the Reports tool by clicking the reports icon or selecting [Reports] under the Tools menu.
  2. Select [Clients] under the Type. Alternatively, you can select one client by entering their information under the "Other" section.
  3. Select "Label" to create mailing labels for the client(s).
  4. Click:
  • [Print] - to print the labels
  • [View] - to see how the labels will look when it is printed.
  • [Save As] - to save the labels as an HTML, Rich Text Format, or plain Text file.

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To save your report as a word processing file, spreadsheet or database, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Create your report and select to view it by clicking the [View] button at the bottom of the window. The report will appear in a separate window. Click the [Save as] button at the top of the window.
  • 'Save As' screen will appear.
  • Enter in the file name.
  • Select your preferred type. You will have the option of saving the report as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Rich Text (.rtf) or Text (.txt). We suggest to save the report as a Text document (.txt), as the information is easier to prepare for your new format.
  • Select the file in the preferred directory. You may wish to save it directly to the c:\ drive to make the file easier to locate.
  • Press the [Save] button.
  1. At this point you can exit HomeBase. If you chose to save your report in a Text document, you may prepare the information to be saved as a different format. Simply delineate your information with tabs. Press the [Save] button.
  2. Start up your word processing program, or your database or spreadsheet program.
  3. Under the File menu, choose 'Open'. Locate the book report file in the directory it was saved to, and highlight the correct file name. Press the [Open] button.
  4. You will now be able to change the format of your file to the way you wish it to be displayed. Once this has been completed, the report can be printed in your preferred layout.

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To view a HomeBase report:

  1. Click the [Reports] button on the toolbar. The "Reports" screen is displayed.
  2. Select a Type option.
  3. If you wish to narrow the report to a particular catalog or client or some other criteria, type in more information in the "Other" box at the bottom of the screen. The fields displayed are dependent on which Type you chose.
  4. Select a Sort Order option. The Sort Order determines how the information is displayed in the report. Note that the options depend on which Type you select.
  5. Select Options. The Options displayed depend on which Type is selected.
  • List: lists the current information in a list style.
  • Detail: lists the current information in detail format.
  • By Client: lists the wants desired by each client. Only available if the [Wants] Type is selected.
  • Labels: creates mailing labels for your clients. Only available if [Clients] Type is selected.
  1. Do one of the following:
  • Click the [Print] button to print the report.
  • Click the [View] button to see the report, as it would be printed.
  • Click the [Save As] button to save the file as an HTML file, Rich Text Format file, or as a Text file.

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Cutting, Copying and Pasting in HomeBase
Cutting and pasting reduces data entry time by allowing you to move data from one place to another quickly and easily. The Windows standard keys execute the Cut and Paste functions in AbeBooks HomeBase.

  1. Select the text to be copied or moved. Press CTRL+C to copy or CTRL+X to cut.
  2. Click the area where you want the information to be located and press CTRL+V to paste it there.

If you prefer to use your mouse instead of using the keyboard to cut, copy or paste, select the text and then right-click your mouse. A list of options is displayed. Select the action you want to perform and click it.

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Automatically Confirming Additions
Have you found it tiresome to click [OK] each time after you click [Save]? To have HomeBase automatically confirm your additions, click [Options] in the View menu. On the Editing tab, clear the [Confirm Adds] check box.

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Cloning Book Records
If you have multiple copies of identical books, you can use the Cloning feature and duplicate book data in order to save time. Then you can enter any other unique information pertaining to the individual book.


To clone book records:
  1. Click [Books] in the red bar. The "Find Books" screen is displayed.
  2. Select the record you wish to clone.
  3. Click [Add clone of current Book] in the File menu. The "Book" screen is displayed with all of the book information copied from the selected book.
  4. Update the book information with any unique details specific to the individual book.
  5. Click the [Save] button and then click the [OK] button.

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What are Sticky Fields?
If you have a series of books by the same author, you can save time entering the books into HomeBase by using the Sticky Fields feature. Sticky fields retain entered information each time you refresh an "Add" screen by clicking the [Save/New] button.

Information entered into a sticky field remains the same each time you start a new Add so you don't have to re-enter the same information. Any information you enter into a sticky field will remain in the field when you click the [Save/New] button.

If you type over the information in a sticky field, your new entry replaces the highlighted text. The new information will reappear in the field when you select the [Save/New] button.

You can set all fields to be sticky or you can specify which fields you would like to be sticky. For example, if you are entering a series of books by Dashiel Hammett, you could set the author to be sticky.

You can set sticky fields in the "Add Books," "Add Clients," and "Add Wants" screens.

To select sticky fields in an add screen:
  1. Go to an "Add" screen.
  2. Click the field name.

The field name changes from black to gray, indicating that the field is now sticky.

To make all fields on an add screen sticky:
  1. Go to the "Add" Screen.
  2. Click [All Sticky] in the Edit menu.

The field names change from black to gray, indicating that all fields are sticky.

To reset a sticky field to not-sticky:
Click on the field name and the gray field name reverts to black text, indicating that the field is no longer sticky.

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Using Wildcards to Select Books
The idea for this tip is courtesy of our guest contributor, DesertPrincess Books.

Have you ever wanted to select books in your inventory that have a specific character string or phrase? Wildcards are characters, which allow you to select a range of items based on variable elements in their spelling. You can use Wildcards in the Find sections on list screens or in the Reports window.


The two wildcards that can be used are:
  • Asterisk (*), which means: any number of any characters
  • Question mark (?), which means: any character

Example 1 with an Asterisk
You would like to find all the books that have the word " clue" in the Title field from the "Find Books" screen: In the Title field of the "Find Books" section at the top of the screen, you could type *clue and all books with the word 'clue' anywhere in the Title would be listed.

Example 2 with a Question Mark
You would like a list of books with both "gray" and "grey" in the title: In the Title field of the "Find Books" section at the top of the screen, you could type: gr?y and this would display a list of books with "gr", any character and "y" in the title.

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Navigating In HomeBase
To quickly navigate through the fields in the edit or add screens of AbeBooks HomeBase, use the tab key to move from one field to the next.

If you use the Enter key, this will usually result in saving the changes to the book record (this is a default setting).

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Using the Search-As-You-Type Feature
The fields in the Find boxes, at the top of the "List" screens, are Search-As-You-Type. As you type information into these fields, AbeBooks HomeBase matches any entered information and displays a list of matches in the lower part of the screen.

For example, if you are searching for a client whose name is John Doe, go to the Find Client box (at the top of the "Clients" screen) and begin by typing the letter "J" in the Name field. The "Client List" screen displays all the clients in your database whose names contain"J." With each character that you type, the list narrows (displaying all clients whose names begin with "Jo", then all clients beginning with "Joh", etc ).

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How Can I Search My Description & Private Notes Fields?
Have you ever wanted to search your AbeBooks HomeBase inventory to find all book records, which have a specific word or phrase in your Private Notes or Description fields? You've probably thought that this is impossible to do, however, there is a work around function that you can use to get the same result. Try using the keyword field in the Find boxes, at the top of the "List" screens. The Search-As-You-Type function will take the information you type in the Keyword field and search the Keywords, Description and Private Notes and display a list of matches in the lower part of the screen.

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Sorting Your Data
You can choose whether to view your HomeBase data in ascending or descending order by any field. To sort fields on any find screen, click the grey header at the top of the column that you want to sort by. The data will now be sorted in ascending order by that column. If you would rather sort the column in descending order, click the column header again. Some fields in HomeBase cannot be sorted, such the long text fields like Descriptions or Notes.

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Using Intelligent Fields & Book Attributes
If you use the Drop Down fields in HomeBase for attributes such as Signed, Edition, Binding, Condition, etc. you will notice that there is a list of default phrases included with HomeBase. If you add a new phrase that hasn't already been used, HomeBase will require confirmation and/or additional information before adding new entries to the lists.

A word of caution when adding new attribute phrases, please use this feature carefully. Improper use of this feature can result in improper search results online e.g. using the phrase "Not signed" in the Signed Field (this is strongly not advised). This is an example of a common user error, which results in inaccurate online search results.

When you enter "Not signed" for the first time as an attribute in the Signed field, HomeBase will prompt you if this type of inscription enhances the value of the book. If you enter Yes, HomeBase clearly states that the book will be treated as signed. If you enter No, then the book is not treated as signed. Please be cautious when answering yes since this is how HomeBase will treat the rest of your book records if you use the same phrase in other records. The same issue will arise if you use "Not First" in the Edition Field.

If a book is not a first edition or not signed, you really do not need to indicate this in the drop boxes or description. It is prudent to use the attributes only when a book has a specific attribute that makes it more valuable or unique i.e. when it truly is a First Edition.

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How do you edit the list of an Intelligent Field? You can delete fields from the drop-down menu for each attribute; for example, you may wish to delete a phrase if you have made a spelling mistake. To remove a phrase, do the following in the edit or add screens of HomeBase:


1)  Click the arrow button beside the field you wish to edit. The list appears.
2)  Click the entry you wish to modify or delete. The selected entry appears in the field.
3)  Click the [Edit] button beside the field. The "Edit List" screen appears.
4)  Modify the entry or click the [Remove] button. (Any default phrases cannot be modified).
5)  Click the [Done] button.

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New! HomeBase 2.3 User Guide
(Abebooks HomeBase 2.3 only)

Would you like an instruction book on how to use Abebooks HomeBase? Download our new Abebooks HomeBase User Guide, which is available in PDF format. [Download Now]

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Exporting Books, Wants, Catalogs, Clients, Invoices
(AbeBooks HomeBase 2.3 only)

You can now export catalogs, clients and invoices in addition to books & wants from AbeBooks HomeBase 2.3. This will allow you to then import your data into Excel or Access for further reporting on your data.

To export to a file:

1)  In the File menu, select [Import/Export] and then [Export]. The "Export" dialog box is displayed.
2)  Select your options for the export. Do one of the following:
  •  Select [Books] to send us your books records. If you select this option, you have the choice to upload only changes from the last time you uploaded, and to send all of your book records or only selected catalogs.
  •  Select [Wants] to send us your want records. If you select this option, you can further choose to send only your recent changes.
  •  Select [Catalog Names] to export a list of your catalog names in tab- or comma delimited format.
  •  Select [Clients] to export your client records in tab- or comma delimited format. You can also choose to send only records changed since the specified date.
  •  Select [Invoices] to send your invoice records in tab- or comma delimited format. You can also choose to send only records changed since the specified date.
3)  Click the [OK] button. The Export as dialog box is displayed.
4)  Select options from the File name and Save as Type lists. HomeBase 2.3 automatically creates a name for your file based on the date.
5)  Click the [Save] button.

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Selecting Multiple Items in a List and Right Clicks!
(all versions of AbeBooks HomeBase 2)
Bookseller Central Have you ever wanted to select multiple items from your HomeBase inventory to perform a function such as moving sold books to a new catalogue?

You can do this by holding down the Control Key on your keyboard (CTRL) and clicking the empty gray button to the left of the row that you want to select. Repeat this for each row that you wish to select. You can then simply click the right-side mouse button and select an option from the menu displayed.

Note: When you are selecting multiple items you must ensure that the background color for each item is blue. If one of the multiple items has a black background color the item is not selected.

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Total Your Invoices Within AbeBooks HomeBase
(all versions of AbeBooks HomeBase 2)

You can total your invoices to discern your estimated profit margin. AbeBooks HomeBase allows you to list the totals for all invoices displayed.

To view Invoice Total Reports:
1)  Select [Invoices]. The "Find Invoices" screen is displayed.
2)  Right-click the list of invoices. A short list is displayed.
3)  Select [Totals for current list]. A report is displayed showing the:
  •  Number of invoices and books included on the report.
  •  Total Sales (Total List Price values for the displayed invoices)
  •  Taxes and shipping.
  •  Total Book Cost. (Total My Cost values for the displayed invoices)
  •  Estimated profit. (Total Sales minus Total Book Cost)
4)  Do one of the following:
  •  Click [Save As].
  •  Click [Print].
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Why does my Signed First Edition book not appear in a search for a Signed First Edition?

Unless you have made other arrangements with our Conversions department, the Description field is generally the best field to record your Edition and Inscription information. For both First Edition and Inscription information, the Description field must contain a specific search term, and it must not contain any negating terms. A negating term will always stop a book from being searchable as a First Edition or Signed Copy, even if there are search terms present.

First Edition search terms, which will allow a book to be searchable as a First Edition are: 1st Ed, First Ed, First Edition

First Edition negating terms, which will prevent a book from being searchable as a First Edition are: Reprint, Not 1st, Not a 1st, 1st Thus, Not First, Not a First

Signed Copy search terms, which will allow a book to be searchable as a Signed copy are: Signed, Inscribed, Inscription, Autographed, Presentation copy

Signed Copy negating terms, which will prevent a book from being searchable as a Signed copy are: Inscription in ink, Name in ink, Not signed, Unsigned, Designed, Assigned, Gift or Owner

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Description Tips for .de and .fr
To improve your inventory's exposure on our AbeBooks.fr and AbeBooks.de Web sites, you may want to add French and German Keywords. Please click here for a list of translated keywords.

English German French
Paperback Taschenbuch Livre de poche
Hardcover Hardcover Couverture rigide
Dustjacket mit Schutzumschlag sous jaquette
Conditions: Zustand: Etat:
Very good sehr gut très bon
Good gut bon
Like New wie neu comme neuf
Slightly worn leichte Gebrauchsspuren légèrement usé
Torn cover eingerissenes Cover couverture déchirée
Acceptable befriedigend correct

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Inventory Management

Sending Your Inventory via FTP
Courtesy of Patrick, Customer Support

The fastest and most reliable method of sending us your inventory adds, updates and deletes is by FTP. You can easily use FTP right from HomeBase or the Members Menu. FTP is faster, less likely to fail, and it generates fewer errors than using e-mail uploads.

Uploading from the Members Menu:

  1. Click [sign on] and enter your E-mail Address and Password.
  2. Click [Your Books] from the Members Menu.
  3. Click the [Upload your book file now!] button.
  4. Click [Browse] and locate the file you want to send us.
  5. Click the [Send File] button.

You will receive an Update Completion Report when we’ve received your file, and your books will be indexed within 6 – 24 hours.

Visit Help Central for instructions on uploading from HomeBase or using an FTP client like WS_FTP or Fetch. Customer Support is also available to help you walk through your first FTP upload.

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What You Should Know About ISBNs
Tina, Customer Support

Many buyers search by ISBN when looking for items on AbeBooks.

We recommend that you include ISBN information with your book data whenever possible.  The ISBN is most often found above the bar code on the back cover of a book or on the inside-front cover. The ISBN may also be found on the copyright page of the book with the other publishing information and is usually located in the middle of the page.

If a bookseller does not assign ISBNs to their inventory, our system will use the book information provided by the bookseller to assign all eligible books (those published since 1963) an ISBN.  Muze supplies the ISBN data we use for ISBN Matching.

We also assign a confidence rating to all books with an ISBN. There are 9 levels of confidence for an ISBN match, 1 being the highest and 9 the lowest. If a bookseller has provided the ISBN, the confidence rating is 1. AbeBooks assigned ISBNs are given confidence ratings between 2 and 9.  The more details provided in a book listing, the greater the confidence level. Booksellers are encouraged to provide as much information as possible including the ISBN, to ensure the highest confidence rating possible.

We use a weighted scoring system to determine each book’s matching reliability using the following criteria;

Author
Title

Publisher
Year of publication
Place of publication
Binding

HomeBase also offers an ISBN Lookup feature that enables registered AbeBooks booksellers to enter an ISBN when entering a book. HomeBase will then connect to our web site and automatically retrieve some of the book's associated information (such as author, illustrator, publisher, keywords) and display it in the appropriate field boxes.

All information retrieved through ISBN Lookup must be verified for accuracy before you add the book to your online inventory. If there is a discrepancy between the book you have and the information retrieved through ISBN Lookup, please use the information provided with your book.

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Use FTP to Send us your File
Leigh, Customer Support

E-mail is a great tool but it isn't always the most efficient for sending files. That's why our Customer Support team recommends using FTP – File Transfer Protocol. The term may sound high-tech, but the concept is simple. FTP is a way of transferring files over the Internet from one computer to another. Sending files using FTP is an easy process and it is available to all our booksellers.

Some of the benefits of FTP:

  • Fast, efficient, and easy to do – whether you use our HomeBase program, or another inventory management program, this is the safest, fastest way to send your books and pictures to us.
  • See your pending files immediately after you send to us – a great way to confirm you’ve sent the correct file, and that we have successfully received it. If you email us your files, a few extra hours are required to process and display your file.
  • Faster processing of files – gets your files online hours faster than email uploads.
  • You can upload via any FTP program, through our HomeBase program, or through a link in our Member’s Menu.

How to Upload to AbeBooks:

Here are some online links that provide instructions about different ways to send your book records to AbeBooks:

Uploading Your Books Via Online

Uploading Books Via FTP

 

Troubles with FTP?

Our Customer Support team is here to help you if you have any troubles sending us your file. But before you contact us, try Leigh's firewall test page. A common problem with FTP is simply the firewall settings on your PC. This quick test will tell you if your firewall program is preventing you from sending a file.

Steps on testing your Firewall on AbeBooks

Visit http://www.abebooks.com/docs/HelpCentral/firewall.shtml to see if your firewall will allow FTP transfer of files to AbeBooks.
- If you see a file named "Success!", you should be able to use FTP.
- If you receive an error message, then you will need to disable your firewall and try the [Test Your Firewall] link again.

Visit our online help area for more information.

What is a Firewall?
Basically, a firewall is a barrier to keep destructive forces away from your property. In fact, that's why it’s called a firewall. Its job is similar to a physical firewall that keeps a fire from spreading from one area to the next.

What It Does
A firewall is simply a program or hardware device that filters the information coming through the Internet connection into your private network or computer system. If an incoming packet of information is flagged by the filters, it is not allowed through.

For more information on uploading files by FTP, please see our Online Help.

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Condition Statements in Book Descriptions
Booksellers adding a condition statement in a book's description, such as:

VG/VG

should know that this implicitly indicates that the book has a dustjacket. This is because the second term represents the dustjacket's condition. Since it has a dustjacket, the book would be considered a hardback.

So stating a dustjacket condition indicates that a book is a hardback. To avoid confusion when describing paperback books, booksellers should state the condition of a paperback's cover explicitly in the description, rather than using the dustjacket slot (i.e. the second term in condition code) for such information.

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Categories and Sub-Categories

Looking to make your books easier to find? Here is a quick list of the catalogues you can attach your books to. By attaching your books to these catalogues, buyers can search your inventory when using our browse books feature. This file is a MS Word document (.doc format). You can save it to your computer by right-clicking on this link and selecting "Save As".

Categories and Sub-categories list

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Inventory Updates

We recommend that you send us your inventory adds and deletes daily. Inventory updates, for example pricing changes, should be done no more than twice per month.

Remember that when you purge or make changes to a significant portion of your inventory, there is a delay while the inventory is updated before it is available again for buyers to see.

A purge deletes all of your online books and replaces them with the files received. Please send your replacement files within 3 hours requesting the purge. We recommend you do a purge and reload two or three times each year, especially if you have a large inventory. If you have more than 50,000 books, we request that you contact us first so we can monitor the process.

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Sizing Pictures
As you know, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Imagine how an extra thousand words will enhance the description of one of your books. We know from experience that the use of pictures will increase the chances of a book being sold. If you search for a particular book, and our search engine returns many such books, those with pictures are often considered for purchase before those without pictures. This is especially true for rare and valuable books. Along with detailed descriptions, this is a sure way to help boost sales for your business.

When uploading pictures to our site, please try to ensure that all of your pictures are 35kb in size, or less. There are two ways that you can accomplish this. You can either reduce the physical size of the picture, or increase the compression ratio of the file. The "Compression Ratio" is a mathematical formula used to balance the quality and size of your picture. Some software simply refers to it as "Compression". The first method involves reducing the number of pixels in the image, however the picture becomes physically smaller on your screen. If you increase the compression ratio, the picture can retain a large physical size at the expense of picture quality, while reducing the file size of the picture. It's not as bad as it sounds, and the picture retains enough detail to easily discern any imperfections that may be present in the book. Some scanners and digital cameras have an "E-mail" setting that automatically reduces the size of the picture to an acceptable setting.

Almost all scanners and digital cameras come bundled with decent image editing software to help you size and compress pictures. Although instructions will vary depending on the software that you use, the concepts are the same. Reducing the number of pixels is often referred to as "Re-sampling", or sometimes simply as "Re-sizing". This method is generally not preferred as the pictures can become so small that it's difficult, if not impossible to make out any detail about the book. When you click on a picture link, it first shows you a smaller preview of the picture. If you click on the picture, it's supposed to show you a larger version of the picture. If the picture has been "re-sized" to fit our file size restriction of 35kb, it may not get any larger at all! However, if you increase the compression ratio instead, the picture will be significantly larger after following the second link. You can only change the compression ratio of JPG format files, and not GIF.

Increasing the compression ratio is usually done when you initially save the file using your image editing software. Again, depending on the software you are using, the terminology may not be quite the same. Look for options to change the file size or quality when saving the picture. A setting of 20% - 40% often produces good results, with minimal file size. This will enable your potential buyers to see, what just can't be described with words.

After you have determined the perfect compression ratio, be sure that your picture is oriented so that it displays the book picture face-up. Sometimes a picture may be scanned or sized and saved so that the picture is oriented sideways.

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Previously Sold Books
If you receive orders for books that you've already sold, it is likely due to the records in your inventory management program being out of "sync" with the inventory we have in our online database. Books sold through our Web sites are automatically removed from our online system but if you forget to update them to sold status in your own system, those books will be re-listed.

Rather than purging and re-uploading all of your inventory, we recommend that you send regular, incremental updates to ensure that the information we have in our system accurately reflects the information in your system - daily updates are recommended if you have a large inventory. You should send only the books that have been updated to sold status, new additions, or items that you have modified in some way (price increase/decrease, new keywords, or enhanced descriptions for example). Purges should not be done more than once every 2 or 3 months.

By uploading only the records that have changed in some way, your files will process more quickly, buyers will be able to search for and order your new additions sooner; and there will be fewer disappointed buyers because your previously sold items will not appear online.

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Directing Buyers to Your Online Inventory
As an Abebooks bookseller, you can send buyers directly to your exclusive online inventory from your own Web site to search or purchase your books through our shopping basket.

Also, would you like buyers to search your books through an e-mail message that links to your inventory?


Here's how:
1)    Click [your account] above the red banner.
2)    Click [Your Books] in the Members Menu.
3)    Click [Search your books] or [Browse your books] in the Your Books menu.
4)    Copy the Web address in the Address bar of your browser.
5)    Paste the address into the body of your e-mail message.

When the book buyer receives the e-mail message, they can click the address to search or browse only your books on the Abebooks Web site.

An example of a Web address: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookSearch?vci=1
The numbers at the end of the link will be your Client ID. Please make note of the number.

Homepage
If you already have a customized homepage, you can include links on your Web site that allow visitors to search your Abebooks inventory from your Web site.

Simply replace the Web site address (the red text) in the HTML code below with the one you copied from the address bar in Step 4. Copy this script into your homepage HTML and the below links will allow buyers direct access to your inventory on Abebooks.

To search:
<A HREF="http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookSearch?vci=1">Search our books at AbeBooks</A>

To browse:
<A HREF="http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BooksBrowse?vci=1">Browse our books at AbeBooks</A>

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Why does my Signed First Edition book not appear in a search for a Signed First Edition?

Unless you have made other arrangements with our Conversions department, the Description field is generally the best field to record your Edition and Inscription information. For both First Edition and Inscription information, the Description field must contain a specific search term, and it must not contain any negating terms. A negating term will always stop a book from being searchable as a First Edition or Signed Copy, even if there are search terms present.

First Edition search terms, which will allow a book to be searchable as a First Edition are: 1st Ed, First Ed, First Edition

First Edition negating terms, which will prevent a book from being searchable as a First Edition are: Reprint, Not 1st, Not a 1st, 1st Thus, Not First, Not a First

Signed Copy search terms, which will allow a book to be searchable as a Signed copy are: Signed, Inscribed, Inscription, Autographed, Presentation copy

Signed Copy negating terms, which will prevent a book from being searchable as a Signed copy are: Inscription in ink, Name in ink, Not signed, Unsigned, Designed, Assigned, Gift or Owner

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Description Tips for .de and .fr
To improve your inventory's exposure on our AbeBooks.fr and AbeBooks.de Web sites, you may want to add French and German Keywords. Please click here for a list of translated keywords.

English German French
Paperback Taschenbuch Livre de poche
Hardcover Hardcover Couverture rigide
Dustjacket mit Schutzumschlag sous jaquette
Conditions: Zustand: Etat:
Very good sehr gut très bon
Good gut bon
Like New wie neu comme neuf
Slightly worn leichte Gebrauchsspuren légèrement usé
Torn cover eingerissenes Cover couverture déchirée
Acceptable befriedigend correct

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Suggestions for Improving Your Fulfillment Rate


1)    Update your listings often, to ensure books sold in your store or through other channels are deleted from the AbeBooks database.
2)    List only books that are actually in your possession.
3)    Always use the AbeBooks vacation function during periods in which you will not be able to check and fulfill orders (2 days or more).
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Vacation Status
You can temporarily remove your book listings from all AbeBooks Web sites while you are on vacation with a few simple clicks.

Please note that monthly subscription fees are applicable during the time your account is on vacation status. The charges calculated are based upon the average book count for an entire month. For example, if you have 0 books online for an entire month, you will be charged the minimum monthly subscription fee of $25.00.

More information on how to place your inventory on Vacation, can be found here.

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Orders

Remember to Add Tracking Information

Remember to add tracking information after your order is shipped. Using a traceable means of shipment reassures the buyer that the order has been shipped.  Should the order not arrive by the estimated delivery date, the buyer may initiate a refund for the book.  Tracking information prevents buyers from initiating returns for the reason "Item Did Not Arrive.”

To insert tracking information to a previously processed order:

  1. Click [sign on] and enter your E-mail Address and Password.
  2. Select [Process Your Orders] from the Quick Links Menu (located to the right of the Members Menu).
  3. You will see the Order List. Insert the AbeBooks Order Number in the space provided, or change the Status field to "Processed" and click "List Orders".
  4. Locate the order you would like to review.  Click [Review] in the Review/Process column.
  5. In the Order Information box, there is a space provided to insert the tracking number.
  6. Click [Update] to save the inserted tracking information.

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How do I prevent returns for the reason “Item not as described”?

In some cases buyers will return a book “not as described”, even if you’ve typed a clear and accurate description. Sometimes it is due to a difference of opinion between you and the buyer, but other times this can be due to the way you maintain your book data. Three common ways to prevent “not as described” returns:

  • Do not re-use BookIDs
    Re-using a unique identifier is never a good database practice. With AbeBooks this can lead to problems with your sales on our site. Once a book has been sold, please permanently archive that bookID, and use it again only if that book is returned and you are re-listing it. If you use HomeBase you can clone your book records if you have more than one copy of a book. [More information on cloning your HomeBase stock]
  • Ensure you send accurate ISBN data
    It is best to use a specific field to upload your ISBN data. HomeBase has a built-in ISBN field, but if you use a spreadsheet you can simply add a new column to the end of your spreadsheet, and upload ISBN data in this field. Be sure to inform Customer Support before you alter your upload format in any way. If you cannot upload using an ISBN field, please put the ISBN in your books’ description fields with an “ISBN:” prefix. For example: ISBN: 043935806X
  • Ensure we are properly processing your book attributes
    Attributes are specific searchable information about a book. The best practice is to have a separate field for each attribute type (Binding, Edition, Signed, Jacket, and Condition). Be sure to inform Customer Support before you alter your upload format in any way. If you cannot use a specific field for this information please add the following in your Description field:
    • Hardcover or Softcover
    • First Edition will index a book as a first.
    • Signed by Author or Signed by Illustrator
    • Inscribed by owner should be used for inscriptions that do not increase value
    • Dust Jacket or No Dust Jacket
    • Poor, Good, Very Good, Fine, As New and New: use these terms to describe the condition of the book and the dust jacket in the format Book/Jacket (for example: good/very good)

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Reducing Buyer Refund Requests for Late Items

Delays in the mail can happen, and buyers are not always patient. As buyers can request refunds through our system for orders that are delayed by 15 days or more, it is a good idea to take proactive measures to prevent these requests.

Adding Tracking Information

When you ship with order tracking you have the option of adding the tracking information in the order details online. This provides the buyer with the number, which gives the buyer both extra assurance, and another avenue of investigation before requesting a refund online. [Further Information on How to Add Tracking Information]

Sending a personalized order confirmation

AbeBooks always sends an order confirmation e-mail after you process an order, but a personalized shipment confirmation to the buyer can prevent future buyer anxiety if the package is delayed. If you wish to contact the book buyer, you can click the e-mail address of the book buyer located in the Order Information box, or you can [Reply] to the order notification in the order notification email.

Responding within 48 Hours

AbeBooks informs buyers that inquiries to booksellers will be responded to within 48 hours. If a buyer does not receive a response to an inquiry within this time the buyer’s next move may be to request a refund online. If you’ve received an inquiry from the AbeBooks system, you can simply click [Reply] to contact the buyer.

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Preventing Orders For Previously Sold Books

There are several reasons that a book can end up online even though it has been sold. The most common reasons are:

  • Over time it's possible that one or two uploaded files have had transmission errors. If the complete contents of your upload file are not processed, we may have missed Sold records from you, meaning you have books online that have actually been sold.
  • If sold online, but not marked as Sold in your database, the books can be accidentally uploaded For Sale again in future.
  • You’ve sold a book outside of AbeBooks, but have not yet uploaded your changes to us.

Best Practice: Keep track of your Sold records

There are several methods of maintaining Solds. The two most common are to use a status field, or Delete.txt files. (If you are a HomeBase user, click here.)

  • Status: Include a field in your database indicating “Sold” or “For Sale”. Every time you upload, send your entire database. We will add or update any books marked as “For Sale”, and delete any books marked as sold. You can use your quantity field as a status field. We can read 0 quantity as sold. Please inform our Customer Service of any changes to your upload format.
  • Delete.txt: Send us a file of all of your sold books, and name the file delete.txt. With this filename, rather than adding or updating these records we will delete them.
  • Online Removal: Remember, if you remove a book from our website using the List and Maintain link, or if the book is removed by a buyer’s order, please update the status to "Sold" in your own database. Otherwise the book may be uploaded For Sale again in future.

Best Practice: Upload often

If you sell on other platforms or in a storefront it is essential to keep your online data up-to-date. Please upload every day that your personal database changes; this will keep us informed of your sales, price updates and description updates, ensuring buyers see your stock exactly as it currently is. [Further Information]

Best Practice: Have a Purge and Reload schedule

When you find that you have books online which are not in your personal database, please Purge and Reload. A Purge and Reload will remove all books you have online and replace them with the stock you upload; this will remove any online stock that is no longer marked For Sale in your personal stock. NOTE: The process is seamless, and you will not be without books online for any period of time. [Further Information]

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JenniferCustomer Support Tip of the Month

Reducing Return Rates During the Holiday Rush
By Jennifer

There are a few ways you can meet customer expectations and reduce return rates during the holiday rush:

1. Use unique Book IDs. If you re-use a book ID, AbeBooks will recognize the new title as the one previously assigned to the number. Instead of your new book listing, the buyer will see the book details for the item previously assigned to your Book ID, and consequently the order will be placed for the wrong item. This will result in returns for the reason “Item Not as Described” or cancelled orders. Our HomeBase 2.3 software can automatically generate Book IDs for you.
To update a book record:
1. Click [Books] in the red bar. The “Find Books” screen is displayed.
2. Select the book you want to update.
3. Click the [Edit] button.
4. Enter the new information in the appropriate field.
5. Click the [Save] button and then click [OK].
More help for Homebase 2.3.

2. Process and ship your orders in a timely manner. The faster a book is shipped, the less likely it is that the buyer will be able to initiate a return for the reason “Item Did Not Arrive.”

3. Describe your books thoroughly, and post pictures with them if you can. Accurate, detailed descriptions will not only reduce “Item Did Not Arrive” returns, but will also increase buyer confidence in your listings, translating into higher sales. Read the AbeBooks Glossary for details about writing descriptions.

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Process Orders Smoothly

AbeBooks sends booksellers an e-mail confirming every order placed. Depending on our order volume, the delivery time for these e-mails can vary slightly. Customer Support recommends you process your orders via our online system -- to process all of your orders in one location, and ensure your orders are up to date without relying on e-mails.

E-mail is an indispensable tool, but it is fallible. Changes made by your ISP, spam filters, and virus protection software can all contribute to problems receiving your AbeBooks e-mail. Our order notifications are convenient reminders, but shouldn’t be solely relied upon to inform you that you have orders.

To check and process your orders online:

1. Sign on to abebooks.com to get to the Members Menu, then click the [Bookseller Programs] link.
2. Click the [abebooks] link.
3. Click the [Review and/or process your orders] link. A list of unprocessed orders will appear.

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Extra Shipping

Do you have heavy, oversized books, or multi-volume sets that require extra shipping? AbeBooks makes it possible for you to request extra shipping for AbeBooks orders to cover these additional costs.

If AbeBooks processes credit card payments on your behalf, and the buyer has chosen to pay by credit card, the 'Extra Shipping' feature is available when you process your order.

1. Click on the link in the Order Notification e-mail message; or
2. Sign on to AbeBooks to access the Members Menu
3. In the 'Quick Links' area of the Members Menu, select "Process Your Orders"
4. Click on the "Process" link in the order you wish to process
5. Choose "Extra Shipping" by clicking on the radio button (circle) then click on [Save Order Changes].
6. Enter the amount that you would like to add to the current shipping amount in the "Increase By'" field box which you will see highlighted in dark blue under the 'Details' heading. For instance, if $3.50 was charged for shipping but you required $6.00, you would enter $2.50.
7. In the white box below "Explanation for Shipping Adjustment*" please type in comments regarding the reason for your request as an explanation to the buyer. For example, "Heavy book requiring extra shipping" or "To cover the cost of 8% Sales tax applicable to this order" etc.
8. Click [Change Shipping Details] to complete your request.

The customer will receive an email notifying them of the request for extra shipping, along with your explanation. This email also includes a link that they will use to either accept of reject the extra charges.

Once the buyer has responded to the request, the order will appear again in your order list as available for processing. Please note, if the buyer refused the extra shipping costs, the order will still be available to you to process and ship with the original shipping amount if you wish to do so. If the buyer has accepted the extra shipping, the new shipping amount will be charged.

If you accept other payment methods, please contact the customer directly to request the extra shipping costs. The order details include the buyer's email address which you may use to contact them. Please note: You must obtain the customer's authorization before charging a higher amount to their credit card.

Worried that customers may be surprised by a request for extra shipping? During the checkout process, there is a note to the buyer that explains, "If your book order is overweight, the bookseller will contact you to let you know extra shipping is required." This note is also included with the "Rates & Speed" information accessible with each book listing.

~ Kathleen

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Reviewing Orders Online
We strongly recommend all booksellers look online once a day for any new orders, rather than relying on email notification. Email may not always be delivered, but the orders will always show online!

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Shipping to China
We have recently received information on shipments sent to China. Some books may be banned or confiscated by the government of China. This may include textbooks or other books of a political or sensitive nature. These books may be confiscated or returned to the bookseller. Although we believe that this affects only a small number of shipments, we recommend booksellers use a trackable shipping method and insure their shipments to China. Please be aware that not all book shipments are affected and remember, there are many North Americans and Europeans working in China wanting to purchase books!

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Buyer Order Communication

Top question to our Contact Center this month: Notifying customers of book shipment.

With the Christmas season upon us, buyer questions regarding the status of orders is at an all time high. When a bookseller updates an order to shipped status, the buyer receives an e-mail stating the item has been sent. Even so, we receive many calls and e-mails regarding the status of buyer shipments, such as "how was it shipped", "approximately when will it arrive", and "will it arrive in time for Christmas". We encourage all our booksellers to e-mail their buyers or include tracking information when updating their orders. Buyers receiving personal contact from their booksellers appreciate the contact and may just become lifelong customers!

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How to view your fulfillment rate

Booksellers wishing to review their fulfillment rate can do so by clicking on "Your Sales" from the Members Menu and then by clicking on "View your order fulfillment rate". Alternatively, you can enter http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/ClientFulfillment into the address bar of your browser. We recommend that booksellers review this information periodically. As always if there are extenuating circumstances that may have caused a lower than usual fulfillment rate, please contact us to let us know.

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How Buyers Cancel Orders

To instruct a buyer on how to cancel an order, you can send them the following instructions:

  1. Sign on to your AbeBooks account
  2. Click [Your Purchases] and then [View your Purchases]
  3. Locate the book order in question and click [Item details]
  4. Click the [Cancel this Order] button
  5. Click in the box to the left of the item
  6. Click [Cancel this Order]

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Ensuring Safe Delivery of Orders
We recommend using a traceable method of shipping whenever possible. By using a traceable shipping method, you have a way of confirming delivery if a buyer claims they did not receive an order.If you are shipping to a country where tracking isn't available, you may be able to insure the shipment instead. Booksellers are responsible for the condition of the book until it is delivered to the buyer, so insurance is a wise investment just in case an order fails to arrive, or is damaged in transit. More information on tracking options is available at USPS global services and at Canada Post International services.

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What is a book match report?
Every day buyers add Wants to our database and we continually match these outstanding Wants to new inventory. Once a Want has been matched to a specific book, it will not be re-matched. The book match report can be useful as it tells you that your books are being matched and to what degree.

If a book is matching a lot of Wants but not selling, it could be an indication that the price is too high or the description too sparse. You could search our Web site to see if there are other copies of the book available and perhaps adjust your price or description accordingly.

If you would rather not receive the report via e-mail, please contact Customer Support.

You can view the outstanding Wants buyers have registered in our system (currently 2.26 million). If you see a Want for a book you have in your inventory but you haven't uploaded it to us yet, you can add your book directly to the Want - just be sure you don't alter any of the information the Want owner has included.

The various search features allow you to select the date and customize the way you would like to review the want list. The identity of want owners is confidential, however they are notified once the book has been indexed into our database and they are given the option to contact our booksellers directly or click on a link in the e-mail notification to order the book through our online system.

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Track Your Shipments

Did you know that booksellers from the USA can purchase tracking for their shipments at a substantial discount? USPS has a free program called 'Shipping Assistant'. This program allows you to print out shipping labels that include tracking information, and tracking is only $0.13 if purchased this way (this is about a 75% discount). Shipping Assistant will also verify US addresses, so you will know right away if your buyer didn't enter a valid zip code. For more information, please see: http://www.uspswebtools.com/ShippingAssistant/sa_Whatis.htm

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Selling Tips

International Editions

Many of our booksellers list Interntional Editions on our Web sites. These are usually textbooks. These books are lower-priced editions of the original, and have a statement on the cover that they are only for sale in certain countries. The content of the international edition of a textbook is typically identical to that of the U.S. edition, but they sometimes have less expensive covers or binding, are printed on less expensive paper and/or in black and white instead of in color.

AbeBooks permits you to sell these books as long as this is clearly stated in the description. Please label your International Editions clearly, not using any abbreviations.

Read more about International Editions and other Policies in the Bookseller Policy.

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Back-to-School Season Checklist

Are you ready for the biggest sales season of the year? From math textbooks to literary classics, students need books. Sales have already started to climb, and are expected to peak in late August/early September. Now is the time to start preparing your account and stock if you want to catch the rush! Here are some tips and suggestions to help you have your most successful back to school season yet.

Inventory and Uploads:

  • Keep your inventory up to date. Top textbooks sell in the thousands each day – turnover rates are high and keeping current information is key. Please send update files regularly. If you need assistance uploading, or educating your staff on daily update procedures, please contact our Customer Support in advance.
  • A wide variety of books will be in demand during the back to school season, including classics, reference books, Textbooks, and all varieties of history and non-fiction. You may consider focusing next month’s data entry to these topics over fiction or other non-academic niche subjects.

Priority Rates:

  • Priority shipping rates are important for students on a schedule, so please check your rates. If you’ve noticed that you’ve been able to ship books more quickly lately, or if you will be hiring extra staff for the textbook season, consider lowering your shipping matrix rates to match. If a student finds more than one copy of a book within his or her price range, the fastest shipping book may be what finalizes the sale. You can adjust your shipping matrix here.

Book prices:

  • Make sure your prices our competitive! Use our Price Comparison feature when entering books to see how other AbeBooks booksellers have priced the same title. You can also check Amazon and Half/eBay to see how competitor sites have priced their textbooks.
  • Alter the prices of your stock if necessary. You can use HomeBase Price Partner to alter the price of your stock in HomeBase. Remember to make a backup first, in case you should wish to restore your stock to its original pricing before using Price Partner. Download HomeBase Price Partner.

Maximizing Sales:

  • Enter an ISBN with each book and be sure to include condition – especially “new” or “used.”
  • If you are a high-volume seller and are having trouble fulfilling all of your orders, you may consider using some of our bookseller tools like our XML APIs or our Batch Order Processing system. To discuss these technical aids, please contact us at inventory@abebooks.com.
  • Include a piece of AbeBooks branded collateral in your packages to make sure students remember where they bought their books – and come back next semester. For more information on our textbook collateral, contact toolbox04@abebooks.com.

Inquiries and Returns:

  • Returns rates can be higher with textbook buyers. To decrease returns, describe your books in terms that students understand. Successful textbook sellers build special student-friendly descriptions that the customer can relate to.
  • Students have time-sensitive needs, and may seek refunds for late books earlier than another buyer might. Please include tracking information when you update your order online to aid buyers in finding the location of orders that have been delayed in the post.
  • Answer student inquiries quickly! They are on a deadline and are savvy internet users – slow responses will result in lost sales.

Please take a minute to check out AbeBooks Textbook Central to learn more about what we are promoting to students.

International Edition Policies

The Sale of International Editions online has increased in recent seasons. International Editions are permitted for sale on AbeBooks as long as they follow the conditions outlined in our Bookseller Policies:

The book must be clearly described as an International Edition to ensure no ambiguity. Please place the text “International Edition” (no abbreviations) in the description of the book. As well, be sure to note the differences between the International Edition and the original book in the description, including if the book is black and white, softcover, or printed on non-standard paper.

Please check our Bookseller Policies for further details.

 

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Selling Textbooks Effectively on AbeBooks

This textbook season AbeBooks saw a 394% increase in gross sales – thanks to all our booksellers who stepped up with the right inventory at the right time, and helped us to achieve such tremendous growth. We’re already gearing up for the next textbook season, which will start to build in mid-December and will be in full swing by early January.

We encourage all AbeBooks booksellers to consider which books in their inventory will be of interest to students – remember, not all the books on the reading lists are strictly textbooks. Classic literature, Cliff’s notes, plays, and more are all part of the student must-have list every year.

As we gear up to market directly to all the students who shopped at AbeBooks in September, and to bring new textbook buyers to our site throughout the year, we wanted to share some important tips on effective ways to list your textbooks on our website:

    1. Enter an ISBN with each book and be sure to include condition – especially “new” or “used”.
    2. Ship quickly! Students are in a hurry. If they have to wait too long, they won’t come back.
    3. Update your adjustable shipping matrix with realistic speeds, times, and rates. (http://www.abebooks.com/abe/AdjustableShippingMatrix)
    4. Include tracking information when you update your order online.
    5. Answer student inquiries quickly! They are on a deadline and are savvy internet users – slow responses will result in lost sales.
    6. Describe your books in terms that students understand. Descriptions are key! Our most successful textbook seller this season built special student-friendly descriptions that the customer could relate to.
    7. Keep your inventory up-to-date! Top textbooks sell in the thousands each day – turnover rates are high and keeping current information is key.
    8. Check our list of last season's top 10 textbook sellers to help build your inventory. (http://www.abebooks.com/docs/Textbooks/)
    9. Make sure your prices our competitive! Check Amazon and Half/ebay to be sure your textbooks are priced right.
    10. Include a piece of AbeBooks branded collateral in your packages to make sure students remember where they bought their books – and come back. For more information on our textbook collateral, contact toolbox04@abebooks.com

Please take a minute to check out AbeBooks Textbook Central to learn more about what we are promoting to students (http://www.abebooks.com/docs/Textbooks/). We look forward to working with you to drive another successful textbook season for our booksellers, and invite you to give us your feedback.

Sincerely,

Sue Connors
Director, Bookseller Community

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Increase Your Sales

Here are a few suggestions you may want to consider to increase your book sales through AbeBooks:
•  Check the Web Events page regularly
•  Niche market books sell well online
Adjust your book prices to remain competitive with the market.
Increase the number of books you list on AbeBooks.
Good descriptions sell books. Be more descriptive with your book listings (condition and content)
Pictures! Increase the exposure of your book by including a picture through our picture services
Add ISBNs to your book information - many students and institutions search by ISBN
Use our browse categories in your keywords so buyers can browse / search your listings on our site
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Translating Keywords

Add appropriate or translated keywords and categories to your keyword field. Unless a buyer is searching for a specific title or author he/she is likely to enter a keyword or several keywords into our search field. Your books will only be matched with this search query if you have entered appropriate keywords into the keyword-field in your book data. To attract international customers you might consider adding translated keywords to your keyword field.

See a list of translated keywords.

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Target International Markets

•  Update the shipping rates in your shipping matrix for countries that you send a large number of books to.
International customers will feel more confident ordering from booksellers abroad if they can easily communicate. Translate your terms & conditions in the language of markets that are important for you. Explicitly offer customer service in the languages that you speak. We recommend all booksellers offer customer service in English.
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Recommended Books

By Booksellers for Booksellers:
ABC for Book Collectors by John Carter
First Editions: A Guide to Identification by Zempel & Verkler
A Dictionary of Book History by John Feather
Antiquarian Books: A Companion by Bernard & O'Neill

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Shipping Confirmation

Abebooks includes the buyer’s address when we send you an order for your information; however, it is important to wait to ship the book until after the buyer’s credit card has been successfully processed.

If you use your own merchant account to process Abebooks orders, do not ship until the buyer’s card has been charged.

If you use Abebooks Payment Services for buyer credit cards, please select [Will Ship] when you process the order online. The next screen will confirm that the charge has been applied, and then you can print the shipping manifest and ship the order.

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How Buyers Cancel Orders

To instruct a buyer on how to cancel an order, you can send them the following instructions:

  1. Sign on to your AbeBooks account
  2. Click [Your Purchases] and then [View your Purchases]
  3. Locate the book order in question and click [Item details]
  4. Click the [Cancel this Order] button
  5. Click in the box to the left of the item
  6. Click [Cancel this Order]

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Keeping Informed: Communicating with AbeBooks

We communicate with our booksellers through several different means. Here are some of the ways you can learn what's happening with the AbeBooks Community and discuss important topics with us:

  • E-mail- all major announcements are emailed to you directly and you have the opportunity of responding to our Contact Center to ask further questions
  • Bookseller Central - all announcements, sales tips, marketing information and upcoming events appear here
  • Bookseller Forum and Chat - view announcements, web site status and interact with your fellow booksellers and AbeBooks.
  • Monthly Roundtable Events - Join other booksellers in asking the President of AbeBooks, Hannes Blum, questions about AbeBooks
  • Monthly Bookseller Digest Newsletter - Top events, tips and news items on a monthly basis

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Processing Credit Cards
Fraud can exist in any marketplace. To help avoid buyer fraud, please review the name on the credit card information to ensure it relates to the buyer name if you are accepting payment by credit card. If the names differ, please do not hesitate to contact the buyer directly to request more information, specifically the credit card billing address and the card verification code, which is the 3 or 4-digit security number found on the back of most credit cards. You may also want to check with your credit card processer to ask if there are any other steps that you can take to protect yourself from fraud.

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Sizing Pictures
As you know, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Imagine how an extra thousand words will enhance the description of one of your books. We know from experience that the use of pictures will increase the chances of a book being sold. If you search for a particular book, and our search engine returns many such books, those with pictures are often considered for purchase before those without pictures. This is especially true for rare and valuable books. Along with detailed descriptions, this is a sure way to help boost sales for your business.

When uploading pictures to our site, please try to ensure that all of your pictures are 35kb in size, or less. There are two ways that you can accomplish this. You can either reduce the physical size of the picture, or increase the compression ratio of the file. The "Compression Ratio" is a mathematical formula used to balance the quality and size of your picture. Some software simply refers to it as "Compression". The first method involves reducing the number of pixels in the image, however the picture becomes physically smaller on your screen. If you increase the compression ratio, the picture can retain a large physical size at the expense of picture quality, while reducing the file size of the picture. It's not as bad as it sounds, and the picture retains enough detail to easily discern any imperfections that may be present in the book. Some scanners and digital cameras have an "E-mail" setting that automatically reduces the size of the picture to an acceptable setting.

Almost all scanners and digital cameras come bundled with decent image editing software to help you size and compress pictures. Although instructions will vary depending on the software that you use, the concepts are the same. Reducing the number of pixels is often referred to as "Re-sampling", or sometimes simply as "Re-sizing". This method is generally not preferred as the pictures can become so small that it's difficult, if not impossible to make out any detail about the book. When you click on a picture link, it first shows you a smaller preview of the picture. If you click on the picture, it's supposed to show you a larger version of the picture. If the picture has been "re-sized" to fit our file size restriction of 35kb, it may not get any larger at all! However, if you increase the compression ratio instead, the picture will be significantly larger after following the second link. You can only change the compression ratio of JPG format files, and not GIF.

Increasing the compression ratio is usually done when you initially save the file using your image editing software. Again, depending on the software you are using, the terminology may not be quite the same. Look for options to change the file size or quality when saving the picture. A setting of 20% - 40% often produces good results, with minimal file size. This will enable your potential buyers to see, what just can't be described with words.

After you have determined the perfect compression ratio, be sure that your picture is oriented so that it displays the book picture face-up. Sometimes a picture may be scanned or sized and saved so that the picture is oriented sideways.

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Web Site Address
Booksellers can now add a Web site address to their AbeBooks account information. The Web site is available for buyers to see when viewable through the Bookseller information in our search results:

1)  Sign On to AbeBooks using your E-mail address and Password.
2)  Click the [Your Personal Information] link from the Members Menu.
3)  Click the [Update your account information] link from the Personal Information menu.
4)  Enter your Web site URL in the field beside "Do you have your own custom homepage?"
5)  Click [Update Details] to save the changes to your account.

Buyers will now be able to view your custom Web site from the book details or bookseller information pages on AbeBooks.

Please note: You may need to refresh or reload your browser to clear your cache files in order to see the change the first time you click on your homepage link through AbeBooks. As per the bookseller agreement, Web page information should only appear in this section.

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What is a book match report?
Every day buyers add Wants to our database and we continually match these outstanding Wants to new inventory. Once a Want has been matched to a specific book, it will not be re-matched. The book match report can be useful as it tells you that your books are being matched and to what degree.

If a book is matching a lot of Wants but not selling, it could be an indication that the price is too high or the description too sparse. You could search our Web site to see if there are other copies of the book available and perhaps adjust your price or description accordingly.

If you would rather not receive the report via e-mail, please contact Customer Support.

You can view the outstanding Wants buyers have registered in our system (currently 2.26 million). If you see a Want for a book you have in your inventory but you haven't uploaded it to us yet, you can add your book directly to the Want - just be sure you don't alter any of the information the Want owner has included.

The various search features allow you to select the date and customize the way you would like to review the want list. The identity of want owners is confidential, however they are notified once the book has been indexed into our database and they are given the option to contact our booksellers directly or click on a link in the e-mail notification to order the book through our online system.

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