Issue 10   April 28, 2009
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Industry Interview
Alibris Offers Distribution Services

1. Tell us about Alibris
 
“Alibris (pronounced "uh-LEE-briss") is a leading marketplace for sellers of books, music and movies. We connect people who love books, music, and movies to thousands of independent sellers around the world. Our proprietary technology and advanced logistics allow us to offer more than 100 million used, new, and out-of-print books to consumers, libraries, and retailers. Since launching in November 1998, we've grown to become the Internet's largest independently owned and operated marketplace. Over the last ten years, we have grown to support thousands of independent sellers, providing customers with our sellers' great prices and unbeatable selection.”
 
2. Tell us about the Alibris program, ADS
 
“Alibris Distribution Services (ADS) is a consignment program designed to help any Seller with excess inventory turn those books into cash. Alibris catalogs, prices (and re-prices to market daily), distributes and sells those books, shipping them to the customer from our warehouse. Sellers with a large quantity of dormant inventory, preferably 5,000 or more items, are eligible for the ADS Program. Books in the ADS program are listed for sale on Alibris' web sites, Amazon web sites, ABEbooks, Half.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-A-Million, Chapters/Indigo (Canada's largest book retailer), Blackwell UK and over a dozen other web stores. Alibris covers up to the full cost of shipping books to our warehouse (depending on book quantity and shipping distance) and filters based on current demand and expected selling price, so the fee of $0.99 per book applies only to items that are put up for sale. Sellers receive 70% of the net proceeds when an item sells. There are no storage fees, fulfillment fees, seasonal fees, or other fees. Also, Alibris handles any returns, customer service or other issues related to each sale. Unlike other listing or consignment programs, this means that books sold through ADS stay sold!”
 
3. Why did you start it?
 
“Alibris identified the demand for a straightforward easy-to-use consignment program to complement our other Seller services. Sellers of all types often have excess inventory: books that are "out of field", a backlog of cataloging or the need to drastically expand their operation. Sellers also want their books for sale on the broadest possible range of selling sites. With our existing high-speed cataloging and pricing capabilities, as well as unmatched partner program, we developed the Alibris Distribution Services Program with those criteria in mind. Expanding our services to sellers is a primary objective at Alibris, and the ADS Program has the potential to benefit booksellers beyond traditional listing arrangements. Much of what we handle through ADS has been sitting unreachable and invisible to the buying public for some time. ADS is a mutually beneficial program for Alibris and all of its customers. “
 
4. What kind of product are you looking for?
 
“A broad range of material including both ISBN and non-ISBN works are eligible. This program is designed to sell inventory quickly at current online prices, and a typical ADS Seller can expect to see at least half of their inventory sell within four months of listing. ADS is not designed to work with remaindered or other inventory having heavy copy counts per title. Other than this, there are very few restrictions on what Sellers may submit.”
 
5. Who is your target audience?
 
“Alibris Distribution Services (ADS) is designed for online booksellers who've outgrown their operations capacity, have far more inventory than they'll ever catalog or are looking for a way to liquidate large amounts of stock.   It's a consignment-based program; Alibris doesn't purchase books, but we provide:
 
  • Cataloging for sale online, pricing and ongoing re-pricing to current market conditions
  • Distribution across all major online venues including our own, Amazon sites (.com, UK, CA, DE), Half.com, ABEbooks and of course partners like Barnes & Noble, Borders, Chapters/Indigo and others.
  • Fulfillment, customer service and returns processing, all at our expense.” 
For more information visit www.alibris.comor email: markn@alibris.com.

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