Thursday, 7 August 2008

Amazon - an update

I posted a few months ago about Amazon's attempt to take over the POD (print on demand) market. Booklocker filed an anti-trust suit against Amazon. Things have now become rather heated: Amazon filed a motion to dismiss, and Booklocker then filed a counter motion. You can read a summary of the arguments here. The motion will be ruled on after Labor Day, which is 1 September 2008.

The POD market is not the only one Amazon has its eyes on. It has now (subject to closing conditions) bought ABE. The Advanced Book Exchange is an internet site bringing together antiquarian and other booksellers to sell books. ABE is a very long way indeed from being perfect, but it was at least independent of Amazon. I've blogged at length about this new development, and its possible impact on booksellers on the Ibooknet blog.

There are small, independent organisations of booksellers out there: Ibooknet is one. As well as providing a site for selling books, we also promote each member's individual websites. Buying from Ibooknet, or our individual members, is a little bit less for Tescos (oops, Freudian slip - meant Amazon) and more for the small independents who care about service and quality.

2 comments:

Gillian said...

What do Amazon want abebooks for ? they already sell secondhand books through their marketplace.
Do they really see abebooks as enough of a rival that they have to eliminate it as a separate entity ?

That's depressing.

pullein-thompson-archive said...

I find abebooks better than amazon, because simply you have better choice (payment wise). A lot accept PayPal (handy if the book you are after is located overseas) and some accept cheques. Amazon basically force you to pay with your card.

Also, I have found that a lot of sellers (but not all) are quite happy to email you a picture of the item if it is not already there, and they often provide a much better customer service. With amazon's marketplace, they are sketchy on the details too.

Personally, if the book cant be found on ebay, I use abebooks rather than amazon. Amazon is really a last place resort. I do hope that they dont make too many changes, because it would totally spoil it for me.