AbeBooks — Getting Started

Document created by neilt Employee on May 16, 2017Last modified by neilt Employee on May 16, 2017
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This guide walks you through the steps required to launch on AbeBooks, and provides you with links for further reading. The following sections are included:


  • Things to consider — Details about the market you should review first.
  • Marketplace setup — Requirements you’ll need to meet before opening an AbeBooks account.
  • Monsoon Marketplace setup — Settings you’ll need to adjust in Monsoon Marketplace before and after enabling AbeBooks.
  • Enable the marketplace — Steps to follow when you’re ready to turn on the market in Monsoon Marketplace.
  • Next steps — Tips about AbeBooks and additional helpful information.


Things to consider


Currently, the only category available for listing on AbeBooks is Books. You can list books with or without an ISBN. You can also identify books as first edition or signed by selecting the appropriate check boxes in Monsoon Marketplace. Those designations will be added to the beginning of your item description.

Prohibited Content

AbeBooks has policies regarding prohibited content in your listings. While Monsoon Marketplace will strip prohibited words or phrases from your item descriptions and relist them, we recommend that you evaluate your items before you enable the market.

Remove any prohibited content in advance to streamline the listing process. When you evaluate your listings for prohibited content, don’t forget to check your notes, including classification notes if you use them.

Sales tax

AbeBooks does not support sales tax collection or reporting.


If you would like to include images with your listings on AbeBooks, you can add them directly on the market. Monsoon Marketplace does not send images to AbeBooks at this time.


  • Consider what percentage of the Amazon Base Price you want to use to determine your AbeBooks price. Keep in mind that Amazon requires price parity, which means that you aren’t supposed to sell below your Amazon price on other marketplaces.
  • Do you need to add AbeBooks to (or exclude it from) any of your inventory pricing groups?
  • Do you want to use a price floor modifier for this marketplace?


Monsoon Marketplace does not support selling FBA items on AbeBooks.


Shipping is configured and maintained directly on the AbeBooks website. However, you will want to make sure that your shipping methods are configured in Monsoon Marketplace to match what you have on the marketplace, so that your orders are processed correctly.

Read more in the AbeBooks Shipping Rules article in Monsoon Marketplace Help.

Communication with the marketplace

AbeBooks uses the FTP method to communicate about inventory and orders rather than using a direct API (such as Amazon or eBay). For this reason, it’s important to make sure that your antivirus software and other firewalls or security programs are set up to allow communication with AbeBooks.  Specific information can be found in the Firewall exceptions and outbound connections article in Monsoon Marketplace Help.

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Marketplace setup

If you are new to AbeBooks

  1. Sign up as a Bookseller. You can read more information on the steps required in the Setting up AbeBooks article in Monsoon Marketplace Help.
  2. Set up an AbeBooks FTP account by emailing Seller Support  with the following information:
    • A request for an FTP account using the Monsoon Express rule so that you can use Batch Order Processing (BOP) with Monsoon Marketplace as your inventory management software.
    • The email address you use to sign into your AbeBooks account.
    • Your AbeBooks UserID.
  3. Configure your shipping on the marketplace and take note of your settings, to add to Monsoon Marketplace later.

If you already sell on AbeBooks

  1. You will still need to send the email described above to Seller Support, in order to ensure your account is set up to communicate with Monsoon Marketplace.
  2. Then, you will need to remove your current listings on AbeBooks before listing again through Monsoon Marketplace. You can either remove the listings using a delete file, or just allow Monsoon Marketplace to remove your listings when enabling the marketplace.

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Monsoon Marketplace setup

  • Adjust your item notes as necessary, to avoid prohibited content.
  • Determine what items you want to list on AbeBooks using your listing rules.
  • Decide how you will configure pricing for AbeBooks: determine the percentage of base price, whether AbeBooks should be added to or excluded from any inventory pricing groups, and whether you want to use the price floor modifier.

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Enable the marketplace

  1. On the Settings tab, click AbeBooks, then click Enable Market.
  2. Enter your AbeBooks account information in the appropriate boxes:
    • In UserID, enter the email address you use to sign in to your AbeBooks account.
    • In FTP UserID, enter your AbeBooks UserID. The AbeBooks Help Center explains that your AbeBooks UserID is uppercase with no spaces.
    • In Password, enter the password you use to sign in to your AbeBooks account.
  3. Set up your listing rules in the Sell these items section.
  4. Set up your Market Note and Category/Condition Notes if applicable.
  5. Enter the percentage of Amazon base price you’d like to price at on AbeBooks.
  6. Click OK.
    • When you click OK, a dialog box will open displaying the message “Monsoon will now remove all your active listings on this market. Click OK to continue.” When you click OK to continue, Monsoon Marketplace will send a purge request to AbeBooks. If you have existing listings on the marketplace, you will want to email Seller Support beforehand to let them know you are initiating a purge.
  7. Set up your shipping rules to match your settings on the marketplace.

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Next steps

Order processing

AbeBooks gives you four days (96 hours) to mark an order as shipped before it is automatically cancelled on the marketplace. A warning email will be sent after three days.

Therefore, Monsoon Marketplace uses a unique workflow for AbeBooks orders, to ensure you have enough time to process them.

  • After an order is placed on AbeBooks, it comes into Monsoon Marketplace in Pending status, and Monsoon Marketplace sends a confirmation back to the marketplace. Once AbeBooks has confirmed that the order has been paid for, it will change to New status in Monsoon Marketplace.
  • If an order is imported and the item is not available, the order will automatically be cancelled and should not be filled.
  • If an order has multiple items, but one or more can’t be filled, then it will be flagged as a Problem Order. Problem Orders may be still be “shipped” in Monsoon Marketplace. When you select the order and click Ship, any Auto-Canceled order items will be marked Canceled in Monsoon Marketplace, while the entire order is set to Partially Shipped status.
  • The only time you may need to cancel an order from AbeBooks is if an item is available in the Monsoon Marketplace database, but not found or damaged when your pickers look on the shelf. If you must cancel this kind of order, Monsoon Marketplace will submit a refund for you automatically.
  • Because AbeBooks uses FTP communication, it’s best practice to check your orders on the marketplace regularly. If you see an order on the marketplace that hasn’t come into Monsoon Marketplace within 24 hours, contact our Support team to help track down the issue.

Before delisting your AbeBooks account, we recommend that you contact Seller Support to let them know you are initiating a purge. Otherwise, they may block the purge file.

Vacation settings

You can set your AbeBooks account to vacation mode when you’re going to be away from your business for a while. This will suspend all operations, including inventory uploads. Therefore we recommend delisting your AbeBooks account before going on vacation, in order to ensure that no uploads are missed while you’re gone.

Changing seller account information

Any time you change your seller account information on AbeBooks (email, UserID, or password) be sure to update that information in Monsoon Marketplace as well, since incorrect credentials can cause a break in communication between Monsoon Marketplace and the marketplace.

If you change your password for the AbeBooks website, it will automatically change the password for your FTP account as well. Both will need to be updated in Monsoon Marketplace to keep your account synched up correctly.

Additional resources

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