There are many online books stores and resellers out their now, but if you go way back there used to be a couple of them. Today, join us as we review one of the oldest online book stores, which has been online since 1996: Abe Books.
Who They Are
Abe Books is an online book store which sells used, rare, out of print, and more recently new books to the market. It is currently a subsidiary of Amazon.com. Their business model is fueled by book stores from all over the world listing their books with them for a certain price, which can range from $25-$300. Customers can then buy the books using their platform and they are shipped directly from the on-ground store. They have millions of books listed on their website. The main regions that they cover are Europe and North America.
A Brief History
The company was started by Rick and Vivian Pura, and Keith and Cathy Waters back in 1995. It started with only four stores. However, the founding partners were soon bought out in 2002. After that it has had quite a few change of ownerships, eventually being bought out by Amazon in 2008.
The company has been successful from the start. It has mainly expanded via acquisitions. Its first acquisition was that of JustBooks GmbH, which helped it to expand to the European markets in Germany, France, and Briton. Currently, it operates in 50 countries around the world. However, its specialty has been its rare book collection.
Claim to Fame
AbeBooks has many claims to fame due to its rich history which spans almost 2 decades. While that is very short for a normal company, it constitutes almost the whole span for the internet based companies. You can say that it has been there from the start. We consider the following to be its claims to fame:
- One of the oldest online bookstores, operating since 1996.
- Its veritable collection of rare books
- It has stayed true to selling only books, where other companies have added other stuff
- Its CSR initiatives for which it was awarded the British Columbia Technology Industry Association Impact Award.
You can access all their books and services via the online portal, which is well-designed and easy to navigate. The main categories are displayed at the top center of the page and include Advanced Search, Browse, Rare Books, Textbooks, Booksellers, Sell Books, and Community. Moving down, you will come across their search widget amongst a beautiful collage of the classical works such as those by Ernest Hemingway and others. This is followed by small parts being dedicated to their booksellers, rare books, and bestselling lists. Company information, policies, customer service and social media page links.
The website uses an interesting theme with contrasting light and dark colors on a white background. Nevertheless, this makes the text easy to read. Each of the main categories is further divided into subcategories for ease of browsing. However, if you are looking for a specific book then using their search widget would yield results much faster. The actual listing is very well detailed. Since, they deal in used and rare books. The first search will bring up all the books and the rare ones may be on the top. They will include first editions, signed books, etc. If you click on the one that you like you will be directed to the specific page.
Oddly this page has all the information that you need about the book, except for a short excerpt or summary. For example, the Description will tell whether the book is damaged in any way or if there are notes or highlighting or even discoloration there, but in our entire search we were unable to find a summary of the book.
The Actual Products
It would be impossible to go through all the categories and sections of books that they have on the website, but let us go through some of their rare books followed by an evaluation of the used ones.
Ever since the earliest of times, book lovers have been enamored by rare, antique and collectible books. However, let us explore what a rare book actually means. The most obvious explanation lies in the simplicity of the word “rare” itself. It suggests a book which is not easily found. The most expensive rare book ever to have been sold is the Codex Leicester. It contains the scientific works of famous renaissance artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci. It was purchased by Bill Gates for $30.8 million US dollars. However, this is an extreme example for the price of rare book.
There are various other reasons for a book to be classified as an antique or rare. It can be the first edition, a signed copy, or like the above-mentioned codex: the only copy.
AbeBooks has a veritable collection of rare and collectible books. You can just navigate to the rare books page and use the search widget to find the required book. You can search it by author, title, keywords; define the published date, a price range, attributes, and the time when it was listed on the store.
At the time of this review, they had a large collection of Shakespearean works up for sale. The most notable among this was his: Julius Caesar. The Tragedy. As It Is Now Acted At The Theater Royal. This was first printed out in 1691. It was retailing for US$14,800. There were various other collections of his plays and works from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.
If you find Shakespearean plays to be too heavy, you can always look for other lighter works, such as the Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. But, our favorite was a collection of works by Roald Dahl. Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton have a special place in the hearts of countless readers. For most people, they provided the Gateway to more serious works and reading in general. While these may not be as highly valued as the works of Charles Dickens or William Shakespeare, yet they are held in high regard by most people.
If you are a book lover, then you will understand when we say that books can be an expensive hobby to maintain. For many of us growing up used books were the greatest things in the world. AbeBooks was one of the first online stores which made them accessible to the US population. And they have quite a big collection of used books for sale, for sure.
Whether you’re looking for a textbook or searching for a book which is no longer in print, you will not be disappointed by the range and diversity of books available for sale. However, the real lure lies in the absolutely killer prices. You have books that start from as low as one dollar.
Once you have entered the search criteria, you still have the option of refining displayed items using the filters on the left side of the page. These include condition, binding, collectible attributes, free shipping, bookseller location, and bookseller rating. This is very useful, especially if you want to lower your shipping costs.
They have an active and well-managed blog for their website. It contains all the news and stories about antique and rare books from around the world. This will also give you access to all the major book events across the globe.
The website is secure and accepts all major online payment options such as Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal. You can order the products online and have them shipped to your address. Shipping is available to most regions of the world and shipping charges can be found listed right underneath the price. They operate a 30 days returns policy in case you are not satisfied with the book. They will reimburse the money.
Customer service and Social Media
They have an excellent, efficient, and friendly customer service, which can be reached via phone and email. They will help answer any additional questions and help in resolving any issues that you face in using their systems. If you want to ask a question from the book seller, then use the Ask a Bookseller link, underneath the Book Description section of the listing. In fact, they recommend that you should get in touch with the book seller directly to know about any missing details, especially when dealing with rare books. The majority of book sellers are happy to oblige any additional questions usually.
For news and updates, you can follow them via their social media pages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
AbeBooks.com is an excellent online book store which has provided generations with easy access to used and rare books. It has maintained its quality of service across its entire life of more than two decades. The system is excellent and comparable to the best. That is why we rate them as one of the A + rated companies on our website.
Coupon and Benefits
Coupons have existed for as long as products. They have changed form over the years. They were initially acquired via purchasing other products and sifting through boring and long worded publications. However, the internet changed it all. Now, you can find all the relevant coupons in one place, just like here at Rebateszone.
Our April 2016 AbeBooks.com coupon codes will ensure that you get the most competitive prices out there. These April 2016 AbeBooks.com promo codes will help you buy more books and increase your overall collection. But, use them ASAP, as they are issued for short periods of time and tend to expire.
How to Use Them
- Go to their website and select the books that you wish to purchase.
2. Add them to the basket one by one.
3. When you are done adding, click the basket icon at the top right side of the webpage.
4. It will take you to a summary of the selected items.
5. Here you will find the Coupon Code section right underneath the summary.
6. Copy the relevant AbeBooks Coupon Code from Rebateszone and paste it in the box.
7. Click Update. The page will refresh and display the adjusted prices.
8. If you are satisfied with the selection, Proceed to Checkout and follow their instructions to complete the transaction.
Here is a short video about AbeBooks.com:
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