Amazon buys AbeBooks

December 4, 2008

Posted by Nick Sarno


AbeBooks is an online marketplace which give independent bookstores a chance to compete with the megastores. Or at least it was, until it was purchased by a megastore. Amazon announced that it would acquire Abe back in August and the deal has gone through. There has been a lot of talk about what this means for the independent book community and, to sum it up, it ain’t good. Book Patrol has a good article about the ins and outs of Amazon’s purchase of Bibliofind in 1999, and what we can expect from the new deal.


In the meantime, should any of our books strike your fancy, buy them here, okay?

3 Responses to “Amazon buys AbeBooks”

  1. Kim Stratton Says:

    It might be a good thing for independent book stores. Large exposure and intergration into Amazon’s massive searches each day could give them an edge.

  2. urbesque Says:

    That’s what I thought, too. At first. What will probably happen, though, is that Amazon will end up shutting down Abe entirely, or at least integrate it into Amazon (thereby charging independent booksellers higher fees to participate, fees which they probably can’t afford, and taking a larger cut of their sales). And, if they can afford to work with Amazon, they will then be thrown into the same market as the warehouse booksellers that go through Amazon (that’s where all of those $.01 paperbacks come from) which, because of their high volume, can afford to undersell the little guys at every turn.

    It’s just a guess. But it’s hard to imagine a company like Amazon buying the marketplace where their competition did business and allow them to go on unchanged.

    Amazon will do what they can to make money from this acquisition. It’s only good business sense. And if they can’t make money from it, they’ll drop it.


  3. Also, the more we buy all our books from Amazon, the more we’ll forget where to buy books from other than Amazon. (i.e. try to remember where you used to get any of the goods that you currently buy at Target, CVS, or Wal-Mart. There must have been stores that sold those things. But now with everything so centralized, we forget where else to go.)

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