Policies and Procedures

Policies

Our policies and procedures, outlined below, answer most questions about working with Alibris.


Account maintenance

Seller contact information

Account information must be kept up to date to ensure that you receive your orders and payments. To update your account information, please make changes on the My Account Information page. Our checks are made out to the business name listed. Outdated or invalid contact information, including business name as well as e-mail and physical addresses, can result in a seller's account being put on hold and a $10.00 fee for reissued checks.

E-mail accounts: Please note that some e-mail account services, such as Hotmail or Yahoo, have small mailboxes and use filters and spam-blocking on all incoming messages. This can lead to some (or all) Alibris messages not reaching your inbox. We suggest you use another type of e-mail carrier for your Alibris seller account. Due to the unreliability of e-mail in general, the seller hub is the source of record for your open orders. Therefore, we require that you check the seller hub once a day for open orders.

Seller communication with customers

Alibris enables visitors to our web sites to send inquiries about specific items to sellers. Please respond to all inquiries within two business days. Note that your communication with customers should cover questions they have about the item or order itself, and all other questions from customers (about payment, their account, searching, etc.) should be referred back to Alibris. All payments for sales through Alibris are processed through the Alibris web sites. Sellers may not invoice or ask for additional fees from a customer in an Alibris transaction for any reason. In our consumer privacy policy we assure customers that sellers will not add their e-mail addresses to prospect lists for future solicitation, so please respect their privacy and use customer e-mail addresses to reply to customer questions only.

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Inventory maintenance

Listings

Sellers must have their inventory ready to ship within 48 hours with an appropriate packing slip from the location stated on their account. "Drop-shipping," or filling an order through another seller without prior arrangement, proper paperwork, etc. is grounds for immediate termination. All sellers are responsible for keeping their listings up to date. Uploads (adds & deletions) are processed throughout the day. Any orders that are generated before an upload has been processed will count against the seller's rating as cancellations. Additionally, any orders marked as shipped in error, and thus refunded, will also count against the seller's rating (see YOUR SELLER RATING below).

The minimum upload price for an item is US$0.01. Any item uploaded between US$0.01 and US$0.98 will be uplifted to the US$0.99 minimum price on the Alibris web sites.

Duplicate listings

Alibris does not allow sellers to duplicate their listings on the web sites. If a second account is created and listings duplicated, this account will be removed immediately.

Price Uplifts

Alibris adds the following amounts (in US dollars) to the price of each item listed by sellers outside the United States on www.alibris.com:

Country Books Music & Movies
Canada $3.00 $2.00
United Kingdom $10.00 $6.00
Europe $12.00 $8.00
Australia $8.00 $6.00
Rest of World $12.00 $9.00

Alibris adds the following amounts (in US dollars) to the price of each item listed by sellers from outside the United Kingdom on www.alibris.co.uk:

Country Books Music & Movies
USA $7.00 $3.00
Canada $9.00 $5.00
Europe $1.00 $1.00
Australia $9.00 $6.00
Rest of World $12.00 $9.00

Your Seller Rating

To assist customers in making buying decisions, each seller earns a rating based on their ability to fulfill orders, ship quickly and do all within their control to ensure that what arrives at the customer's address matches the description of the product listed for sale.

When your fill rate and customer feedback are calculated together, you will receive an overall Seller Rating, expressed as a percentage between 1% and 100%. Your rating will be displayed as one to five stars, based on the following ranges, which can be adjusted at any time without notice.

95–100% = 5 Stars
85–94.99% = 4 Stars
70–84.99% = 3 Stars
60–69.99%= 2 Stars
1–59.99% = 1 Star

The most critical component of your rating is your fill rate, which accounts for 80% of your overall rating score. This is calculated according to the percentage of orders shipped versus those cancelled or refunded. The seller rating is based on orders placed during the "Current Rating Period" (which is the previous 31 to 210 day period).

Keeping your fill rate at the highest possible level not only helps keep your seller rating similarly high, but will ensure that you have the opportunity to participate in all of our partner programs. Some of our partners will not accept inventory from sellers with too low of a fill rate. Our various partner programs require different minimum fill rates. Please visit My Sales Channels page for more details.

If your rating drops below 85% at any given time, you will be counseled through an automated email notification system. If your performance does not improve over the ensuing thirty days, you will be further warned that your account may be put on hold. Once your account is put on hold, you must review your inventory and ensure that each item is listed correctly. Once you are confident the account's performance problems are resolved, Client Services will reactivate your listings. If you continue to fill orders below 85%, your listings may be placed on hold again, or the account may be closed.

Alibris encourages its sellers to keep Client Services abreast of any inventory or operational problems that may impact your account's performance. If we know about such problems, we can attempt to help you and thus prevent any performance-related repercussions to your account.

Fill rate is the main contributor to your overall Seller Rating, but it is not the only component. The remainder is based upon feedback from your customers. Customers can only leave feedback on an order they have placed and will be leaving feedback based on that order specifically. They are asked to rate the order on several metrics:

  • Rate your overall experience: Buyers can rate it as Positive, Neutral or Negative. This is the only required component of feedback; every piece of feedback you receive will have a vote in this category.
  • Shipping: Buyers can rate whether they received the shipment within the expected timeframe. Note that at checkout, as well as on the feedback page, buyers are reminded about when to expect the shipment. Note: Alibris requests feedback from its buyers approximately one day after the latest date upon which we expect the package to arrive under generous shipping expectation times. Sellers who ship within two days of receiving the order should expect to receive high marks from their buyers in this category.
  • Description: Buyers can rate whether the item that arrived matches the way it was described in its listing. The feedback page displays the original description, which they can compare to the item they received. Sellers who accurately describe their inventory should expect to receive high marks from their buyers in this category.
  • Packaging: Buyers can rate whether the item was packaged appropriately. Note that this is likely to be a subjective rating from the customer and may largely depend on the item being shipped. Sellers who consistently package their items in order to preserve their pre-shipment condition should expect to receive high marks from their buyers in this category.

Sellers who are new to Alibris will automatically be given four stars for the first 90 days after joining. After that, the rating will be determined as described above. Sellers who have been with Alibris longer than 90 days without receiving an order will have a rating displayed as "n/a" until they receive an order.

You can view the orders that impact your rating on the My Rating & Feedback page. You will see the returns, refunds and cancellations that occurred during the following periods:

  • The last 30 days
  • Your Current Rating Period (31–210 days prior)
  • YTD (Year-to-Date)
  • Last year

Click any of these numbers to see the orders in question.

Your seller rating is updated daily.

If you have questions or concerns about how to improve your seller rating, whether it's your fill rate or the quality of feedback you are receiving from your customers, Alibris is here to help. Contact us at sellers@alibris.com so we can help you sell successfully.

Vacation Holds

If you plan to be away from your store and/or e-mail and will not be able to respond to orders within two business days, please use the Vacation Holds link in advance of your departure so that we may place your inventory on hold during your absence. This will help avoid delays in getting orders to customers. Sellers will still incur monthly fees during vacation holds.

Listing content rules

Listings that include the following type of information will be placed on administrative hold by the Alibris system for containing content violations:

  • Personal seller contact information such as phone number, URL, or e-mail address
  • Seller's terms of sale
  • Profane language
  • Any other information not related to the item's condition or description

Listings are displayed on the Alibris web sites and on the web sites of many of its business partners. It is therefore inappropriate to include business information or other information not related to the item's description in listings uploaded to Alibris. In addition, you agree not to use profane language in any listing. Listings placed on hold by the Alibris system will be released when corrected by the seller.

Listing regulations 

Books, movies, or music with the following attributes cannot be listed:

  • Moldy, smelly, badly stained or unclean items; scratched or patched tapes, DVDs, or CDs, unless specifically described as such
  • Books with missing pages or incomplete movie or music products
  • Rebound textbooks
  • Books, movies or music that are distributed for promotional use, including advance reading copies (ARCs) and uncorrected proof copies until after they are published
  • Pornography
  • Photocopied materials or unauthorized reprints
  • Counterfeit, stolen, illegal or fraudulent items
  • Defamatory, trade libelous or unlawfully threatening or harassing items
  • eBooks
  • Prohibited International Edition Textbooks (see definition below) may not be listed, unless the listing specifies that the books will be sold only to customers who do not reside in the U.S., Canada or Australia.

You may not ship Prohibited International Edition Textbooks to the Sparks, Nevada distribution center for delivery to addresses in the U.S., Canada or Australia.

"Prohibited International Edition Textbook" means an international edition textbook: (i) that is manufactured outside the U.S.; (ii) that the publisher or author has not authorized for importation into or sale in the U.S.; and (iii) that may not lawfully be imported into or sold in the U.S., Canada or Australia (as applicable; the applicable country is determined by the location of the proposed buyer).

Any of the above may be discarded or returned to the seller at the seller's expense, and will be grounds for account closure. Full refunds are required on any international editions, teachers' editions, or other non-standard textbooks that are listed under the standard ISBN.

Alibris for Publishers

If you are a publisher and would like to upload bibliographic data or need more information, please see our New Seller How-to Guide.

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Order fulfillment

Managing orders on Seller Hub

Sellers must mark each order as "Shipped" (and physically ship each order) or as "Canceled" on the Seller Hub within two business days of being posted. Otherwise the orders are subject to cancellation. All partner and expedited orders must be marked by 8pm U.S. Pacific Standard Time (PST) on the second full business day or the order will be auto-canceled. For sellers opted in to shipping 2-day and 1-day air, orders shipping by those methods are subject to auto-cancellation after 1 full business day. If an order is marked in error as "Shipped," the order must be refunded within two business days. There is a US$0.50 service recovery fee for these refunds.

The required shipping method will be noted in the Purchase Notification/packing slips, which are to be printed from the Seller Hub. Orders shipped to the Alibris distribution center must be received by Alibris within 30 days (45 days for sellers outside the US and Canada) of the order date; those orders which don't arrive within this timeframe will be automatically canceled.

All payments for sales through Alibris are processed through the Alibris Web sites. Sellers may not invoice or ask for additional fees from a customer in an Alibris transaction for any reason.

How to fulfill orders

Note that the purchase notification will clearly identify the order as "Ship to Customer" or "Ship to Alibris." All orders must contain a copy of the purchase notification or packing slip; failure to include this paperwork may result in delayed payment, canceled orders, and (for "ship to Alibris" orders) a cross-dock fee of US$4.50.

You must mark orders as "Shipped" or "Canceled" and ship them within two business days of purchase notification, or Alibris will cancel them automatically. If you need to print a copy of the PN after having marked it "Shipped," go to the My Order History page, locate the order -, click the printer icon, then click "Print." If you need to cancel the order after marking it shipped, go to the My Order History page, find the appropriate order, and click the button to refund it. A US$.50 service recovery fee will apply to orders refunded after being marked shipped. All cancellations and refunds will negatively affect your fill rate.

Orders that ship directly to customers

  1. Print a copy of the purchase notification (on the My Open Orders page, click "Print PN," then select "Print" from the File menu). The purchase notification may have a partner's branding and return instructions. If the customer address is incomplete or incorrect, please contact us and we'll follow up with the customer.
  2. Clip out the mailing label portion of the purchase notification and affix to the package.
  3. The remaining portion of the purchase notification is the packing slip, which must be included in the package. Enclose the packing slip in the package, and ship the order within two business days by the method specified on the mailing label. Sellers in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and Europe must choose a shipping method that will ensure delivery within 10 days of the ship date.
  4. Go to the My Open Orders page and select the appropriate open order. You will be given two options for filling the order: "Shipped" or "Canceled." If you have the item and have already completed steps 1 - 3, above, select "shipped." If you no longer have the item and cannot fill the order, select "Canceled." Then click the button to "Save all changes."

Orders that ship to BWW, our international freight forwarder—US sellers only

  1. Print a copy of the packing slip (on the My Open Orders page, click "Print PN," then select "Print" from the File menu) for each item in the order.
  2. Clip out the mailing label portion which will include the BWW address, order number and barcode, and affix it to the package. Be careful not to switch labels. They may look alike, but the barcode and order number are unique for each item. If you switch labels, the buyer gets someone else's order, and a refund, along with negative feedback, is likely the result.
  3. The remaining portion of the packing slip must be included with the item. For books, it should be inserted inside the front cover. For audiotapes, CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes, the packing slip should be wrapped around the item and secured with a rubber band. For vinyl albums, it should be enclosed along with the album inside a plastic bag.
  4. Do NOT consolidate orders shipping to BWW. Each item must be packed individually with the address and barcode clearly displayed on the outside of each package. BWW will quickly scan each order and re-label the package for shipment. The package is then shipped directly to the customer. Packages are not opened, nor checked for quality or accuracy before being re-shipped. Consolidating multiple orders under one shipping label will result in mis-delivered orders and "non-delivery" refunds. Failure to use the correct mailing label may also result in cancellation of the order. If there is an error with shipping, the item may be shipped from BWW to the Alibris distribution center and (in some cases) a cross-dock fee of US$4.50 will be applied.
  5. Because BWW will be shipping the order in the original packaging, do not use USPS Priority mailers. The shipment will not be sent via USPS Priority Mail when it leaves BWW so appropriate packaging must be used.
  6. Orders must be received by BWW within 10 — 14 days. Sellers will be credited the same shipping credit as a regular order shipping direct to a customer. Please see Shipping Methods and Credits below.

Once you are confident your order is properly packaged and addressed, go to the My Open Orders page and select the appropriate open order. You will be given two options for filling the order. "Shipped" or "Cancelled." If you have the item and have already completed steps 1 - 3, above, select "shipped." If you no longer have the item and cannot fill the order, select "Canceled." Then click the button to "Save all changes."

Orders that ship to Alibris—US/Canadian sellers

  1. Print a copy of the purchase notification (on the My Open Orders page, click "Print PN," then select "Print" from the File menu). You'll now use the purchase notification as your packing slip.
  2. All items sent to the Alibris distribution center must include a copy of the packing slip. For books, this should be inserted inside the front cover. For audiotapes, CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes, the packing slip should be wrapped around the item and secured with a rubber band. For vinyl albums, the packing slip should be enclosed along with the album inside a plastic bag. Failure to include the packing slip can result in delayed payment, cancellation of the order, and (in some cases) a cross-dock fee of US$4.50.
  3. US sellers are not given a shipping credit for these orders and instead should affix a pre-paid MRS label to the box and ship to Alibris. Canadian sellers are given a standard shipping credit for shipping to the US and should ship to Alibris using the address for the distribution center provided on the packing slip.
  4. Go to the My Open Orders page and select the appropriate open order. You will be given two options for filling the order: "Shipped" or "Canceled." If you have the item and have already completed steps 1 - 3, above, select "shipped." If you no longer have the item and cannot fill the order, select "Canceled." Then click the button to "Save all changes."

Orders that ship to Alibris—UK and European sellers

  1. Print a copy of the purchase notification (on the My Open Orders page, click "Print PN," then select "Print" from the File menu). You'll now use the purchase notification as your packing slip.
  2. All items sent to the Alibris distribution center must include a copy of the packing slip. For books, this should be inserted inside the front cover. For audiotapes, CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes, the packing slip should be wrapped around the item and secured with a rubber band. For vinyl albums, the packing slip should be enclosed along with the album inside a plastic bag. Failure to include the packing slip can result in delayed payment, cancellation of the order, and (in some cases) a cross-dock fee of US$4.50.
  3. Consolidate your orders into one shipment once a week to the Alibris distribution center via UPS. Cartons must not weigh over 20 kgs. each. UPS labels are printed from either the My Open Orders or the My Order History pages on the Seller Hub. Labels are to be inserted into clear plastic pouches that will be affixed to the outside of the parcel and provided by UPS. Labels include US$100 in insurance, so you do not need to mark the label itself.
  4. Go to the My Open Orders page and select the appropriate open order. You will be given two options for filling the order: "Shipped" or "Canceled." If you have the item and have already completed steps 1 - 3, above, select "shipped." If you no longer have the item and cannot fill the order, select "Canceled." Then click the button to "Save all changes."

Orders that ship to Alibris—all other sellers

  1. Print a copy of the purchase notification (on the My Open Orders page, click " Print PN," then select "Print" from the File menu). You'll now use the purchase notification as your packing slip.
  2. All items sent to the Alibris distribution center must include a copy of the packing slip. For books, this should be inserted inside the front cover. For audiotapes, CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes, the packing slip should be wrapped around the item and secured with a rubber band. For vinyl albums, the packing slip should be enclosed along with the album inside a plastic bag. Failure to include the packing slip can result in delayed payment, cancellation of the order, and (in some cases) a cross-dock fee of US$4.50.
  3. Ship to Alibris using the address for the distribution center provided on the packing slip.
  4. Go to the My Open Orders page and select the appropriate open order. You will be given two options for filling the order: "Shipped" or "Canceled." If you have the item and have already completed steps 1 - 3, above, select "shipped." If you no longer have the item and cannot fill the order, select "Canceled." Then click the button to "Save all changes."

Drop ships

Alibris does not support or condone drop shipping for orders. If you do not have an item in stock, you must cancel the order. Any sellers that do drop ship will have their seller account put on hold and may be subject to termination.

Cancellations due to late shipment/late arrival

Alibris will automatically cancel Ship to Alibris orders that are not received in our distribution center within the required time of 30 days from the order date for US and Canadian sellers and 45 days from the order date for all other sellers. If the order arrives after the required time and Alibris has already canceled it, the order will be returned to the seller at the seller's expense.

Alibris reviews the accounts of sellers that are consistently late in sending orders, and will discuss any issues with the seller directly. If an issue cannot be resolved, Alibris reserves the right to put a seller's inventory on hold or close the account.

Sales or use taxes

When shipping orders directly to Alibris customers, it is the seller's responsibility to determine whether sales or use taxes apply to the transactions and to report and remit the correct tax to the appropriate tax authority. When a seller is shipping orders directly to customers, Alibris is not obligated to determine whether sales or use taxes apply and is not responsible to collect, report, or remit any sales or use taxes arising from any transaction. Note, however, that if a seller is shipping an order to the Alibris distribution center, Alibris is responsible for collecting, reporting, and remitting the appropriate sales or use tax.  Additionally, Alibris collects and remits sales tax for orders placed in California and Nevada.

All payments for sales through Alibris are processed through the Alibris Web sites. Sellers may not invoice or ask for additional fees from a customer in an Alibris transaction for any reason.

Currency conversion

We will automatically re-price the listings of international sellers on a quarterly basis in cases where the price varies by 5% or more from the current rate.

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Shipping methods and credits

Shipping method and credit is dependent on the locations of the customer and seller. US sellers are credited the full amount that the buyer pays for shipping, less a variable closing fee. The net shipping credit paid to the seller is reflected on the order detail page and in the payment history along with the other financial details of the order.  For orders shipping from US sellers through our distribution center, a pre-paid MRS label is provided to cover the costs. For orders utilizing MRS labels, Alibris does not charge a variable closing fee nor provide shipping credit back to the seller. The shipping amount is determined at the time of shipment of the item. We suggest that you add delivery confirmation to high value orders. Please note that if you ship via UPS, they will not deliver to a P.O. box.

Sellers may opt in to a number of optional shipping methods, all of which require delivery confirmation or tracking, here.

To see what rates customers will pay for given orders, visit the Alibris Web site. For what rates customers will pay for orders on our UK site, visit the Alibris UK Web site.

Premium Shipping

Sellers may offer customers a number of optional shipping methods, all of which require delivery confirmation or tracking, by opting-in here.

By opting-in to any of these, you guarantee that should a customer select one of these shipping methods for their purchase, you will send the package with tracking or delivery confirmation. You will not be able to mark the order as "Shipped" until you provide a valid tracking number. The shipping methods offered are:

Priority Mail shipping: Orders must be sent using Priority Mail shipping via the US Postal Service as a minimum service level and guarantee delivery no later than 8 business days after shipment. Delivery confirmation or tracking numbers are required for all shipments. Sellers may ship using a faster service, such as Express Mail or UPS, at their discretion — however; tracking numbers will be required for upgraded services.

Trackable Expedited shipping: Orders must be sent using UPS, UPSMI, Newgistics, OnTrac, DHL Global, FedEx, or DHL, and guarantee delivery no later than 8 business days after shipment. Tracking numbers are required for all shipments. Sellers may not ship via the US Postal Service.

Trackable Two-Day Air shipping: Orders must be sent using UPS, FedEx, or DHL, and guarantee delivery no later than 2 business days after shipment. Tracking numbers are required for all shipments. Sellers may not ship via the US Postal Service.

Trackable One-Day Air shipping: Orders must be sent using UPS, FedEx, or DHL, and guarantee delivery no later than 1 business day after shipment. Tracking numbers are required for all shipments. Sellers may not ship via the US Postal Service.

Merchandise Return Service (MRS) labels

Please note: We will not pay US sellers shipping credits on Ship to Alibris orders. If you have questions about the pre-paid MRS labels, please contact us.

Labels may be printed from the Seller Hub (look for "Print MRS Label" under SALES on the top navigation bar). MRS labels send packages to the local post office in Sparks, NV, for consolidation and delivery to our warehouse - as such, the address on the shipping label is different from the physical address of the distribution center. Please use the labels to ship your "Ship to Alibris" orders by Media Mail. These labels should not be used on USPS Priority shipments or you may incur delivery service fees.

If you are a US seller, have a UPS pickup account, and receive at least 10 "Ship to Alibris" orders per week, we can arrange to have you ship on our UPS account. Please contact us for details.

Canadian Sellers

Canadian sellers receive the amount the customer paid for shipping, as well as a subsidy we add to your listed price on your behalf. There is also a variable closing fee assessed on each order.

Canada to US shipments:

  • Standard shipping first item: CAD$7.60
  • Standard shipping additional item: CAD$4.75
  • Expedited shipping first item: CAD$9.00
  • Expedited shipping additional item: CAD$7.10

Canada to Canada shipments:

  • Standard shipping first item: CAD$8.55
  • Standard shipping additional item: CAD$3.80

UPS Euro Shipping Program

Most European sellers will use our UPS Euro shipping program. Orders destined for the Alibris distribution center should be sent via UPS in a single box or carton weighing 20kgs (or less) a piece. Sellers who ship boxes weighing more than 20 kgs will incur a charge of US $11.50 per box. Please ship orders once a week. If you receive multiple orders that will not fit in a single box weighing less than 20 kgs, please split the orders into separate packages and send a new shipment each day. Orders must be received by Alibris within 45 days of the order date; those orders which don't arrive within this timeframe will be automatically canceled. Each book should have its Alibris packing slip inserted in the front cover. Video game, music or movie items should have the packing slip banded to the outside of the case.

Please note that if packages are lost due to incorrect labels, re-used/old packaging, or multiple boxes to a single label, Alibris will not be responsible for the loss (see "Payments for Items Lost in Shipment" in the Payments section below). If you are a new seller and have not received clear pouches by the time you receive your first order (or you have not received them within two weeks of joining), please contact us.

Not all European sellers can participate in this program. . Currently, the eligible countries are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. All other international sellers may ship via their method of choice.

Sellers from the rest of the world

Sellers outside of Canada and our UK/European UPS program may ship via their method of choice. The current shipping credit is US$10.00 book ordered, and US$6.10 per music or movie item ordered. All orders will be shipped to the Alibris distribution center for consolidation and quality control before being reshipped to the customer. Please consolidate your orders and ship once a week.

Multi-volume sets, unusually large or heavy items

For multi-volume sets and oversized items, we recommend that you consider adjusting prices to cover incremental postage. For orders above US$50, you can request additional shipping from the buyer on the Order Detail page of your specific order. If the customer agrees to pay that incremental cost, it will be added to your credit for the order. If the customer does not agree to the additional shipping cost, the order will be cancelled by Client Services with no impact to your seller rating. Requests for additional shipping are not possible for partner orders. For items ordered that are less than US$50, we will consider requests for incremental postage on a case-by-case basis. Additional shipping requests on expedited orders need to be made within 24 hours, given the urgent nature of the shipping method. To make an additional shipping request, you must contact us before you mark the order shipped.

Packaging for inbound/outbound shipments

Packaging an item correctly for Alibris can be tricky—too little or too much packaging can contribute to damage of the item in shipment or during processing. Our packaging guidelines are below.

For orders that ship to Alibris

  • Wrap all items together in a piece of bubble wrap or paper. Items do not need to be wrapped individually.
  • Affix appropriate mailing label to package.
  • Avoid packing in Styrofoam "peanuts" or Polystyrene chips.
  • Please do not include any extraneous materials in your shipments. Any extraneous items that are included with an order may be disposed of at the warehouse.
  • It is the seller's responsibility to ensure that items are received in the same condition in which they were shipped. Items damaged in transit to Alibris will be returned to the seller at the seller's expense.

For orders that ship to customer

  • Prepare a professional, clean package. Use new packing and shipping materials appropriate for your shipment. Wipe away any dust or debris that may have collected on the item and seal all shipments tightly.
  • To provide extra support and protection, we recommend that a cardboard backing be used for softcover books and vinyl albums.
  • Clip the mailing label from the Purchase Notification and affix to package.
  • Remember to include the Packing Slip in the package (the Packing Slip is on the lower portion of the Purchase Notification).
  • The use of metered postage is recommended. Avoid excessive postage and the use of small denomination postage stamps.
  • The inclusion of extraneous materials—especially marketing materials—in a shipment may offend or annoy customers. Therefore, including any extraneous materials in your shipments is forbidden. If Alibris receives a complaint relating to your shipments regarding extraneous materials we may take any action that we deem appropriate in our sole discretion, including without limitation issuing a warning, immediately terminating any pending sales, or immediately terminating your account.
  • It is the seller's responsibility to ensure that items are received in the same condition in which they were shipped. Items damaged in transit to Alibris will be returned to the seller at the seller's expense.

Shipping packages over $500

US sellers shipping items to the Alibris distribution center should contact us to arrange for UPS pick-up of packages worth US$500.00 or more. Alibris will not be responsible for packages worth US$500.00 or more when shipped using an MRS label. Items shipped directly to customers in the US and Canada are also shipped at your risk.

Shipping refunds due to late orders

Buyers who receive their order after the "target delivery" date may request a refund of the shipping cost. If the buyer's request for a shipping refund is approved by Alibris, you may be debited for that shipping cost. You can view each order's "target delivery" date on the order detail page. Please be sure to ship your orders in time to arrive by the date indicated.

Ephemera

Alibris is not an expert in ephemera so it is therefore necessary for us to have different shipping guidelines for these items.

  • When shipping ephemera that is oversized, sellers must contact us in advance to arrange alternative shipping methods.
  • Ephemera (anything that is not a book, music, or movie item), oversized, or unusual-sized items must be packaged properly so that they are not damaged in shipping. Sellers are responsible for proper packaging. If the item is damaged in shipping and the item is packaged appropriately, the shipping company is responsible. If the item is damaged in shipping and is not packaged appropriately, the seller is responsible for in-bound and return shipping costs.
  • Please note: all customer returns of ephemera will be returned to the seller.

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Returns and debits

Returns and Refunds

Alibris offers a generous returns policy and provides a venue for sellers and buyers to negotiate refunds and/or returns on most customer-direct orders. If buyers want to return their orders, they must request return approval by logging in to their accounts on the Alibris retail site, choosing the pertinent order numbers, selecting the proper reason codes, and then printing the appropriate paperwork—within 60 days of the shipping date. Returned items must be received by the seller within 60 days (75 days for buyers returning items to the distribution center from outside the contiguous US) of the item's shipping date.

A seller may offer a partial or full refund for an order without having the item returned by clicking the Cancel/Refund button on the Order Detail page. A buyer may also contact a seller directly by e-mail to request a return or refund. In those cases, the seller can process the refund for the returned item once it is received from the Order Details page on the Seller Hub.

The authorized reasons for a return are:

  • Condition not as described
  • Incomplete set
  • Incorrect item
  • Item is illegal or a pirated copy
  • Movie or music item is damaged or unplayable
  • Item is priced > $100.00

When a buyer initiates an authorized return, the seller accesses and processes it by way of the Process Returns page. When the seller receives the item back, the seller has the option to refund the order or dispute the return. If the seller refunds the order, the seller's account will be debited accordingly, and the seller's rating will be affected.

If the seller disputes the return, Alibris Client Services will mediate the dispute. The seller's number of disputes will be monitored and limited based on the percentage of orders disputed in a 12-month period. To dispute a return, the seller must click the "cancel/refund" button on the order detail and select the correct reason for the dispute.

The dispute reasons are:

  • Return appears to be discretionary.
  • Item not received within 60 days of the shipping date (75 days for buyers returning items to the distribution center from outside the contiguous US).

If a seller wants to dispute a return for any other reason than those mentioned above, he or she should contact Alibris Client Services. If a seller does not dispute or refund a return within 65 days of the shipping date for contiguous US orders or 80 days for all other orders, the return will auto-resolve and the refund will be processed.

If a seller receives an order back due to a bad address or other delivery problem, the seller should simply issue a refund for the order and relist the item. Alibris does not have a way to recharge the customer for the cost to reship the order.

Our Barnes & Noble partner program has a different return policy. Please visit the BNBQ FAQ page for more details on Barnes & Noble returns.

Additional debits

Alibris will also debit seller accounts for the following reasons:

  • Seller ships an item by standard method that was ordered to be shipped expedited.
    • Seller will be debited the difference between standard and expedited shipping credits.
  • Seller ships an item more than 2 days after marking it shipped.
    • Seller will be debited the entire shipping credit.
  • Seller sends a customer-direct order to the Alibris warehouse
    • Seller will be debited a cross-dock fee of $4.50.
  • Alibris determines that music or movie item was a blatantly and unmistakably illegal or pirated item.
    • Seller will be debited the entire order and shipping credit.
  • Customer complains that an item has not arrived by the promised delivery date.
    • Seller will be debited the entire shipping credit.

ITEMS LOST IN SHIPMENT

For all orders, the burden of proof for shipments rests with the shipper.

If a customer claims he or she has not received a shipment within the guaranteed timeframe and delivery cannot be confirmed (i.e. via a tracking number), or if the shipment was damaged or destroyed by the carrier, the seller is held responsible. The seller's account will be debited for the entire purchase amount, including the shipping credit. The refund will be classified as "non-delivery", and the seller's fill rate will be affected by this type of refund. If the seller can provide a valid tracking or delivery confirmation number at the time the order is updated as shipped or shipped, Alibris will not debit the seller. A valid number is one that shows on-time shipment and delivery to the customer. Orders may be claimed for non-delivery after the following time has passed from the initial shipment date:

  • United States, Standard Shipping: 20 days
  • United States, Premium Expedited Shipping: 5 - 10 days (depending on the specific shipping method)
  • Canadian Shipping: 30 days
  • UK / Europe Shipping: 20 days
  • International Shipping: 45 days

NOTE: Canadian and/or International shipments that need to be refunded for non-delivery should be handled by Alibris Client Services. These refunds will not negatively impact a seller's fill rate as long as our systems show the item was received by BWW, the freight-forwarding service Alibris uses for these types of shipments. Alibris will assume responsibility for these losses, and will not debit sellers when refunds are being issued. If our systems do show seller error (such as late or non-receipt by BWW), sellers will be debited and the seller's fill rate will be affected. For UK & European sellers shipping to the Alibris distribution center via UPS: Alibris is not responsible for the loss of any shipment due to use of old labels, re-used or old packaging, or multiple boxes sent using a single label.

Shipment errors

If you believe you have made an error in shipping, please contact us as soon as possible. Below we have outlined various shipment error scenarios and the liability for both Alibris and the seller in each case.

  • Order that ships to customer is shipped to Alibris
    If an order that Ships to Customer is shipped to the Alibris distribution center in error, Alibris will forward the item to the customer and charge the seller a US$4.50 processing fee.
  • Misdescribed item
    If you receive an order for an item and then determine that the item has been mis-described, please contact us. You will receive a response with instructions to either cancel or ship the item.
  • Order is shipped to wrong destination
    After shipping an order, if you realize that the item was mis-shipped, please contact us. We'll contact the customer (if possible) about the shipment error. If the items are returned to our warehouse, Alibris will return the items to the seller and charge a return ship fee. If an order that Ships to Customer is shipped to the Alibris distribution center in error, Alibris will forward the item to the customer and charge the seller a US$4.50 processing fee.
  • Orders shipped to Sparks without proper paperwork
    Client Services will send an advisory message to sellers who have shipped 10 or more orders without the correct packing slips. Alibris will charge the seller a US$4.50 processing fee for all subsequent orders that are received without the proper paperwork.
  • Order shipped late
    If you mark an item as "shipped" on the Seller Hub and then discover that it has not been shipped, please contact us. We'll send an inquiry to the customer, and you will receive a response with instructions to either cancel or ship the item.
  • Order marked "shipped," then item not found
    We strongly encourage you to have the item in-hand prior to marking an item as "shipped." However if you have already marked the item as "Shipped" and then cannot find the item, you may refund the item from the Order Detail page. Please note that in an event such as this, Alibris will charge you a service recovery fee of US$0.50 to cover our costs of processing the initial transaction. In order to avoid such a charge, please ensure you have the item in hand prior to marking an item as "shipped."
  • Order marked "canceled," then item found
    If you mark an order as "Canceled," and then find the item, you can re-upload the item for sale. We will not contact the customer to reopen an order.
  • For any other scenario, please contact us.

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Payment

Terms of sale on Alibris

All sellers, regardless of Seller Program, agree to pay Alibris a minimum sales commission of US$0.50 OR 15% of their list price (whichever is greater) when a sale is made through Alibris's consumer and library Web sites. For items priced over US$400, sellers pay a flat sales commission of US$60.

For our business-partner channels (Barnes & Noble and its subsidiaries and affiliate companies, Blackwell UK, Books-A-Million, Chapters/Indigo, Half.com and eBay, Ingram, and others), sellers pay 20% commission OR 15% + US$0.25, whichever is greater. Alibris will only pass inventory to its partners that is priced at US$300 or less, making US$60 the highest commission sellers will ever pay for items sold on the Alibris Web site or our partners' sites.

When customers make purchases on our retail or business partner channels, they agree to pay for shipping; this full amount is credited directly to the seller.

In addition, a variable closing fee is also applied to the sale of each item. For details on our variable closing fees, please see our Fees Structure and Benefits section.

Sellers in the Alibris Gold program also agree to pay a flat monthly fee, while sellers enrolled in the Alibris Basic program (available for booksellers with fewer than 1,000 items and for all music and movie sellers) agree to pay US$1.00 per transaction and a US$19.99 annual subscription fee instead of a flat monthly fee. The annual subscription fee is assessed automatically, on or after the 1-year anniversary of the date that the seller joined the Alibris Basic program. These fees are assessed in addition to the commissions Alibris and its partners charge on each sale.

For Alibris Gold sellers, the monthly fee is based on the average number of inventory items during the preceding month, as outlined below.

Alibris Gold Program Schedule for flat monthly fees:

Average # listings this month Flat monthly fee as of March 1, 2014:
0-2,000 US$20.00
2,001-20,000 US$35.00
20,001-50,000 US$70.00
50,001-500,000 US$140.00
500,001 + US$400.00

All fees and commissions are deducted, where possible, from payments Alibris makes to sellers. Payments to sellers from Alibris are made conditionally (see below) by direct deposit, PayPal, check, or wire transfer. While direct deposit payments are issued on Fridays, please note that the funds may not be available to you until the following Monday or Tuesday. Any changes to bank information must be received by Alibris at least one week before the next scheduled direct deposit payment.

For sellers receiving payment by check: All check payments are made in US dollars. In addition, the business name (submitted at time of sign-up) determines the payee name, as well as what will be posted next to sellers' listings on the Web site. There is currently no way to provide a separation between the two. If checks should be made payable to a name other than the provided business name, the business name field needs to be changed on the Your Account page. Alibris will assess a US$10.00 fee for reissuing check payments to an amended business name. Changing the business name on the Your Account page will update the name associated with listings on the Web site as well. For detailed information on the payment schedule, view the Payment Calendar. All payment information is available under your Payment History.

All sellers must provide Alibris with a valid credit card in case fees and/or returns are in excess of Alibris' payment to sellers. If a seller's card is about to expire, Alibris will send a renewal notice. Any e-mail from Alibris requesting credit card information will direct you to the Seller Hub. We will never ask you to provide credit card information via e-mail, nor will we provide links directly to a credit card submission form. You will always be asked to log in to our secure Seller Hub.

Sellers who do not have sales greater than the amount they owe Alibris and who have not supplied Alibris with a valid credit card will have their inventory placed on hold and, possibly, their account removed.

Payment methods and frequency

For all US sellers the first payment is made by check to the name and billing address entered on the application to become a seller. After the first payment, sellers who arranged for payment by Direct Deposit will receive subsequent payments by that method (recommended) and sellers choosing to be paid by check will receive those checks made out to the "Business name" on their seller account. Sign up for Direct Deposit.

Seller location Payment method
US Check
Payments are made on the last Friday of each month for items received in the warehouse or marked as 'shipped' through the Saturday two weeks prior.
US Direct deposit
Payments are made on the first and third Fridays of each month for items received in the warehouse or marked as 'shipped' through the Saturday two weeks prior. Sign up for Direct Deposit.
Canada Check
Payments are made on the second Friday of each month for items received in the warehouse or marked as 'shipped' through the Saturday two weeks prior. If you have a US bank account, contact us to sign up for direct deposit.
Canada PayPal
Payments are made on the first and third Fridays of each month for items received in the warehouse or marked as 'shipped' through the Saturday two weeks prior. If you have a US bank account, contact us to sign up for direct deposit. .
UK Check
Payments are made on the last Friday of each month for items received in the warehouse or marked shipped through the Saturday two weeks prior.
UK Direct deposit
Payments are made on the second and fourth Fridays of each month for items received in the warehouse or marked shipped through the Saturday two weeks prior. To sign up for direct deposit, contact us.
Australia Check
Payments are made on the last Friday of each month for items received through the Saturday two weeks prior.
Australia Direct deposit
Payments are made on the last Friday of each month for items received through the Saturday two weeks prior. To sign up for direct deposit, contact us.
Rest of the world Check, PayPal, or wire transfer
Payments are made monthly by check or by wire transfer on the last Friday of each month for items received through the Saturday two weeks prior. If you wish to be paid more frequently, and have a US bank account, contact us for direct deposit information. You may also choose to be paid through PayPal. PayPal payments are made on the first and third Fridays of each month for items received in our warehouse or marked 'shipped' through the Saturday two weeks prior.
*Alibris will not be responsible for any fees charged by a seller's bank for the processing of direct deposits, checks, or wire transfers. If a wire transfer is returned due to a closed account, the seller will be debited for any bank fees that are incurred.

Repayment for disputed orders

Occasionally, we'll absorb the cost of refunding a buyer without debiting sellers; this is what we call a "freebie." Sellers are allowed up to five per calendar year for refunds under US $100. Freebies may be used for claims of non-delivery, as well as refunds that have been denied or disputed. Simply contact us with the PN# and ask to have a "freebie" applied.

For orders that Ship to Customers, the burden of proof for shipments rests with the shipper. We will not debit sellers for claims of non-delivery when valid delivery confirmation or tracking has been provided. The seller must provide the valid delivery confirmation or tracking at the time the order is updated as shipped or filled. If a customer claims he or she has not received a shipment within the guaranteed timeframe and delivery cannot be confirmed (i.e. via a tracking number), or if the shipment was damaged or destroyed by the carrier, the seller is held responsible. The seller's account will be debited for the cost of the item and shipping credit. The refund will be classified as "Lost By Carrier" and the seller's fill rate will be affected.

For European sellers shipping via UPS: for packages lost due to use of old labels, re-used or old packaging, or multiple boxes to a single label, Alibris is not be responsible for the loss.

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Termination

Alibris, in its sole discretion, may terminate a seller's account, or any current sales for any reason. Similarly, your participation with Alibris may be terminated at any time, in your sole discretion for any reason. Notice must be given by the seller.