Online Bookstore: Alibris

This online bookstore sells new books, used books, out-of-print books, rare books, and other media. More than a simple book store, this is an online network of independent sellers. Founded in 1997, Alibris grew out of Interloc, an online company founded by an antiquarian bookseller. Interloc was one of the earliest successful efforts to centralize used book data online, and Alibris continues to experience similar success. The network remained private until the late 90’s—when the company launched its website. As of February 2017, Alibris is owned by AM Holding Inc.

Here’s how it works: booksellers list their inventories on Alibris, which will in turn offer the books on its retail website, a library services site, and to B2B partners like Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Chapters Indigo. The network offers more than 150 million books from a network of over 15,000 booksellers across 65 countries. Most sales through Alibris are fulfilled directly by the bookseller. Alibris also supports a similar network for music (albums, cassette tapes, and CDs) and films (VHS or DVD). Talk about market reach.

Alibris is also an incredibly inexpensive place to purchase books. In logging onto their website, users are met with an initial $5 off coupon code and the promise of up to 80% off several books in their inventory. Browse thousands of textbooks, novels, cookbooks, children’s books, mystery books, craft and hobby books, business and finance books, romance… the list goes on. The staff also maintains a blog for reading recommendations, reviews, and literary interviews. Alibris’s new and different approach to online bookselling makes it a leader in the industry, and their prices are nearly always difficult to beat.