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1433internet book sites

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  • Jill Littlewood
    Jul 2, 2006
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      Internet Book Search Sites:

      There are probably more than a dozen sites on the Internet exclusively for
      the sale of used books at retail. Of those on which we list, we'd recommend
      the following:

      * www.tomfolio.com - a bookseller cooperative with a very good
      browsing feature and category system. The sellers agree to abide by a basic
      code of ethics and return policy.
      * www.abaa.org - operated by the oldest U.S. professional bookseller's
      organization, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA).
      This is more likely to have rare and unusual items with good professional
      descriptions. The sellers are also subject to a comparatively rigorous code
      of ethics and return policy, and the organization does provide enforcement.
      * www.ilab.org <http://www.ilab.org > -International League of
      Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)- the world-wide organization of the country
      antiquarian booksellers associations, like the ABAA. Note that it will
      include results from the ABAA site.

      The following sites are larger, both in numbers of dealers and books, but
      all, in varying degrees charge sellers a commission on sales rather than
      just a listing fee:

      * www.abebooks.com - the largest, and also likely to have the biggest
      range in pricing. Also more likely than any other to have misdescribed
      items, and books with little or no description. It takes some practice to
      recognize the fly-by-night sellers, but it also provides significant
      comparables for pricing purposes. It is also cluttered by print-on-demand
      sellers (each often offering the same book at different prices -- many of
      them, in fact), and also sellers offering huge catalogs of books that they
      do not now own, but believe they can obtain if and when someone orders it.
      * www.alibris.com - the next largest stock available, and the most
      expensive with respect to commission charged. Also it has been the best
      advertised. You may find books listed here at a higher price than the same
      book from the same seller on another site so the seller can make up for the
      commission structure. And it rather severely limits the ability of buyer
      and seller to communicate directly.
      * www.amazon.com - the well-known site also sells used books, but it
      is very hard to find pre-1970 (that is pre ISBN) books on the site. By
      going directly to www.zshops.com, and searching for books, you'll do much
      better. Books covered by ISBN's will show up reasonably well on the main
      site, but the commission paid by the seller is substantial. (Note: Since
      this entry was written in 2005, Amazon has been assigning numbers of its own
      to pre-ISBN books. We must admit that we neither understand the rationale
      nor actively take part in this program. Perhaps a convincing argument for
      this might be offered.)

      Other sites include:

      * www.antiqbook.com (in the Netherlands)
      * www.booksandcollectibles.com (in Australia)
      * www.ibooknet.co.uk (in England, a co-op like Tom Folio)
      * www.biblio.com

      There are lots of other small sites, but these and the ones above are
      searched by meta-search engines, that is, sites which will search for a
      given title on all, or most of the bookselling sites on the Internet.
      However, they may only return a small percentage of the results from those
      sites, and the descriptions may be truncated. See:

      * www.vialibri.com <www.vialibri.com%20> (This is a new meta search
      site that is in beta testing at the moment. Appears that it will have
      expanded research and reference capabilities that the other sites don't.
      * www.bookfinder.com
      * www.addall.com

      Gallagher Collection Books
      Rare, Out of Print Books; Library Related Antiques
      Don & Sue Gallagher

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