Sellers are the lifeblood of online marketplaces.
No matter how large and powerful an eCommerce platform is, it will cease to function and flourish without the goods and services of third-party merchants.
Over a week ago, more than 460 booksellers in 26 countries withdrew about 2.6 million books from the Amazon-owned AbeBooks marketplace, and staged a two-day rally to express their disappointment in the company’s barring of foreign booksellers.
The demonstration was triggered by AbeBooks’ announcement last month that booksellers in Hungary, Russia, South Korea and the Czech Republic can no longer sell on the second-hand books marketplace beginning 30th November.
The company said their third-party payment service provider is closing at the end of the year, hence the reason they cannot continue to support sellers in the mentioned countries.
Called “Banned Booksellers Week”, the rally was supposed to run from 5th to 11th November but was aborted after AbeBooks had a change of heart and apologised to antiquarian booksellers.
How did booksellers work to reverse AbeBooks’ decision?
Displeased by AbeBooks’ decision to cut foreign booksellers out of their platform, book vendors sought help from the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB).
Upon the suggestion of British bookseller and ILAB member Simon Beattie, hundreds of global booksellers removed their books from the marketplace and took their sentiments to the streets.
If it were not for the fruitful meeting of ILAB President Sally Burdon and AbeBooks CEO Arkady Vitrouk, the strike wouldn’t have been resolved.
Burdon released this statement after the said meeting:
“It is with great pleasure I report to you that the booksellers in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia and South Korea will be able to continue to trade on Abebooks into the future if they wish to. They will not be cut off this month nor in the future.”
She added that Arkady apologised and admitted it was a bad decision, and that AbeBooks “deeply regret the hurt and harm they have caused.”
Are booksellers better off selling on a different eCommerce platform rather than continue with Amazon’s AbeBooks?
We hope to hear from you in the comments below.
As always, to your continued success,
Dave & Matt