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Alibris jacking up fees starting in January (Read 524 times)
sofaslugsbooks
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Alibris jacking up fees starting in January
Dec 4th, 2009 at 12:54pm
 
Just wanted to give a heads up to everyone who sells on Alibris that monthly fees for Gold Sellers will go up between 5 and 10 bucks a month depending on how many items you have listed. The change is supposed to start in January.

They updated the FAQ on the website to reflect the changes before telling us sellers, and when grilled about it in the forums Alibris admitted to the change and said an official notice will be sent out shortly.

I'll let you all infer what you will about the situation, it's too early in the day to get my dander up.

-Sofa
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jshure
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Re: Alibris jacking up fees starting in January
Reply #1 - Dec 4th, 2009 at 5:39pm
 
I noticed when when I checked the site for payment info today that we would be billed an extra $10 in December. It ticked me off since there was no word from them first. Also, sales there have been way down. I'm selling better on ABE, Amazon, B&N and half for the last 2 months. Makes me want to consider dumping them. GRRR.....

Julia
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Stacks_o_Books
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Re: Alibris jacking up fees starting in January
Reply #2 - Dec 4th, 2009 at 8:11pm
 
Thanks for pointing that out, Sofa. That will be the nail in the coffin for me. It only means an extra $5/month in fees for us, but when I look at what we're paying in fees as a percentage of sales - the numbers don't work. I'll finish out the month there, then leave. I was thinking of doing that anyway - this just became the deciding factor.
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Opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I am not an employee or representative of The Art of Books.
 
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sofaslugsbooks
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Re: Alibris jacking up fees starting in January
Reply #3 - Dec 4th, 2009 at 8:20pm
 
I had to take a deep breath and think about it for a while.  Alibris still makes at the very minimum double of the monthly fee for me and sometimes does hit decent so I will probably give it a few more months to see how stable the traffic is after the holidays.

I kinda have the same attitude toward ABE.  Every time I have my finger on the button to drop them I have a $100 order come through. It's like they know.

Where the difference is for me is that it has been months since I've sold anything priced more than mediocre on Alibris.  If I could grind out a few sales a month over $20 there I'd be a little more patient.

I'm also convinced that this move is DIRECTLY related to the Alibris consumer sight crash on Cyber monday.  They had a traffic spike that brought the entire site down for most of the busiest shopping day of the year...

It looks like they found a way to make up the lost cashflow.

Just my $.01

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jshure
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Re: Alibris jacking up fees starting in January
Reply #4 - Dec 5th, 2009 at 9:45am
 
I guess I will also hold off for a few months and see what happens after the holidays. One other bad thing that happened with Alibris is that I sent a $45 CD set to the distribution center which they claim never arrived. After going back and forth with them they said unless I could prove with DC info that it was delivered they would not  pay me for the item. So now I add DC to those MRS labels, which is a pain because it means I have to stand in line at the post office, which I hate to do! You'd think they might take into consideration that I've been selling there for over 2 years & almost always have had a 100% fulfillment rate, but no..... Cry

Have a good weekend.

Julia
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BookLadies
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Re: Alibris jacking up fees starting in January
Reply #5 - Dec 5th, 2009 at 9:48am
 
You get something like 6 free ones a year for no-shows.  Just tell them that you want to use one of your freebies and they will give you the money back.
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Melissa @ The Book Ladies
 
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Stacks_o_Books
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Re: Alibris jacking up fees starting in January
Reply #6 - Dec 7th, 2009 at 8:01pm
 
Quote:
Every time I have my finger on the button to drop them I have a $100 order come through. It's like they know.


You are SO right. I have now had more sales on Alibris in this first week of December than I've had during the entire MONTH of July, September, October and November. August would have qualified too, but I had one really large sale there that made the month.

So now I don't know what to do. I have gotten hit with a couple orders to Canada this week on great big oversized books that didn't come close to being covered by the shipping allowance. One I canceled, the other I shipped and made about .50 on, rather than the $15 or so I would have made if it had sold domestically.

I really do think they have a lot of nerve raising rates. They are NOT Amazon in terms of vokume. Their "improvements" they've made this year mentioned in today's e-mail bring them up to the level they should have been long ago in terms of service. Their new partners benefit them just as much as us, and there are plenty of sellers (myself included) that were not happy about and opted out of the Better World Books program. I don't know if they're live with Buy.com yet, but I haven't seen any sales there yet, and I'd like to see proof of the increased volume from that partnership before they raise my fees and use that to help justify it. Listing eBay was of no benefit to me (and I think that's just because of the Half switch this year - so no added burden on their end) and the other venues I've never even heard of.

Really, they should have sent the e-mail saying, "We're raising rates because we want to, and we think we can get away with it." That would have been more honest.
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Opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I am not an employee or representative of The Art of Books.
 
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sofaslugsbooks
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Re: Alibris jacking up fees starting in January
Reply #7 - Dec 7th, 2009 at 8:50pm
 
Check this graph out: http://siteanalytics.compete.com/alibris.com+ecrater.com+godaddy.com/?metric=uv&...;

It shows the traffic on Alibris vs the traffic on a VERY low cost site (godaddy) and a free site (ecrater)

After looking at that 12 month trend there is NO WAY Alibris can validate raising their monthly fees by stating that they have had record traffic or record volume sales on their consumer site. Their traffic is dwindling while those other sites and many that I didn't list are taking in a bigger share of the market.

Sites that are affiliated with Google like Etsy, Ecrater, Bonanzle are probably going to be where the money is as they tie in directly with Google's massive search englne, Google Checkout, and the new Google Marketplace.

Sorry if I sound like a commercial ad but I think they have found a way to lure sellers and buyers. The old charge-you-out-your-bum sites like Alibris and ABE are quickly becoming dinosaurs in today's market.
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jshure
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Re: Alibris jacking up fees starting in January
Reply #8 - Dec 8th, 2009 at 1:20pm
 
Thanks, Melissa, for the freebie info. I didn't know that & they probably didn't want me too! Stacks, I so agree with you that their fee increase is not justified. Their new partner thing is not panning out for me. I am still waiting for my Alibris sales to come through - so far sales are up in all the main venues except for Alibris. I just get the emails from them about how great they are, etc.

Julia
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nixie3
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Re: Alibris jacking up fees starting in January
Reply #9 - Dec 8th, 2009 at 4:10pm
 
The statistics you cite mean nothing, it is comparing apples to oranges.  You cannot compare 2 web hosting sites with a book selling site.  Here are the analytics comparing AMZ to Alibris to Half-now these figures mean something.  It definitely shows Alibris on a slide.

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/alibris.com+amazon.com+half.com/

I did get one sale from Buy.com through Alibris.  I am going to have to closely evaluate all sites after the first of the year and see which ones are no longer worth listing on.
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sofaslugsbooks
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Re: Alibris jacking up fees starting in January
Reply #10 - Dec 8th, 2009 at 5:50pm
 
nixie: agree about including godaddy on there, but they host a marketplace now that is the only reason I included them. Ecrater is an online marketplace, not a web hosting site.  They have always been affiliated with Google but in the past few weeks have been integrated even closer to google.  I'm impressed with the trend of their traffic over the past year.

Amazon is still light years above in traffic...but then again they are NOT raising our fees, either. 

Half can't flourish until Ebay put some effort into catalogue management and strict enforcement of seller standards.  Customers are scared of that site.

I was ready to sign up on Buy.com directly a week before Alibris made their big announcement. 

What gets me is that you can sign up directly on many of the sites directly that are `partnered' with Alibris without having to pay monthly fees.
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TheBook-Let
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Re: Alibris jacking up fees starting in January
Reply #11 - Dec 8th, 2009 at 8:06pm
 
"Here are the analytics comparing AMZ to Alibris to Half-now these figures mean something.  It definitely shows Alibris on a slide."

Now, that's interesting.  I checked out the stats and it almost mirrors my own sales percentages on my AOB report.  Amazon about 70%, Alibris is next, then Half.

Thanks for sharing that Compete link.  I've often wondered if there was a site like that.

Yvonne

http://www.thebook-let.com
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