By standing united during a global protest against AbeBooks, a second-hand books marketplace owned by Amazon, booksellers succeeded in getting the company to reverse its decision against their fellow booksellers in South Korea, Hungary, Russia and the Czech Republic.
Hundreds of booksellers around the world participated in the Banned Booksellers Week which was scheduled to run from Nov. 5 to 11, but it was cut short after AbeBooks apologized and said that it won’t push through with its plans anymore.
Sometime in October, the online retailer informed booksellers in the above-mentioned countries that they will cease to receive support from its marketplace beginning Nov. 30. It didn’t provide a detailed explanation except that its third-party payment service provider is closing at the end of the year.
The affected booksellers sought help from the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), an international organization for rare booksellers, which led to a protest march upon the suggestion of British bookseller Simon Beattie who happens to be a member of the said organization.
More than 460 booksellers in 26 countries removed 2.6 million books from the AbeBooks marketplace to chastise the company’s decision, which caused distress to many booksellers who trade books in foreign languages.
Aside from worrying where to sell their books, they will have to lay off their employees.
It’s a good thing that ILAB President Sally Burdon held a meeting with AbeBooks CEO Arkady Vitrouk as something good came out of it.
“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.” – Sally Burdon, President, ILAB
Do you think it’s safe to sell on the AbeBooks marketplace or should booksellers consider another outlet? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or over on our Facebook group.