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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Improvements at Alibris

This week Alibris will launch significant improvements to its seller services. One of my favorites is the addition of a seller's store page with a direct URL. I've posted here before regarding the importance and benefit of return customers and referrals, and now this will come much easier for Alibris sellers. In addition, the company has announced that after selecting a book from one store, it will be offered the opportunity to review more books by that seller. Given these changes, Alibris will now offer consolidated shipping for multiple books from one seller going to one customer. A lot of the nuts and bolts can be reviewed on the consolidated shipping FAQ.

These improvements, while laudable, were nothing short of necessary. On one hand, Alibris may be looking to deal another blow to Abe by taking away one if its competitive advantages. On the other, Alibris is looking to protect itself from a seller exodus to Amazon beginning November/December. Further elements are necessary for the company to improve upon its strong August-September. As a seller, I would like to see Half.com added as soon as possible. A combination of Half.com and Barnes and Noble may make-up for the loss of Amazon. The other option would be for Barnes and Noble to improve the visibility of its used books a la Amazon. This is something on which I have already posted.

In any event, I have to commend Alibris for making strides in the right direction. It is more than we can say for Abebooks. At this point, I would love to see Alibris rally some of its Silicon Valley investors to try and make an attempt at purchasing Abe.