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AbeBooks reviews

57 reviews
Categories: Books, Rare Books, Textbooks
Suite 500 - 655, Tyee Road
Victoria, BC V9A 6X5, Canada
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57 Reviews From Our Community

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After working with customer service via email, they refunded my money. (in 8 reviews)

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New Reviewer

I purchased a book and the seller said he didn't have it and cancelled the sale. 6 emails to get a refund, then they refunded for the book NOT the shipping. 6 more emails to get the shipping refunded. THEY CANCELLED I DIDN`T!!! Then I get my Visa bill and I have been charged for currency conversion. WTF? It's costing me money because YOU cancelled the transaction!!!!!! Contacted Rosalyn M. - AbeBooks Customer Support and was told it wasn't their problem. So ended up paying money for a book I would never receive because the awful seller was too lazy to take it off his listings. Take my advice and buy on ebay, amazon,chapters alibris or bookfinder4u!!!!! No issues with them!

Tip for consumers: Don't use it - they don't control the individual sellers and they will not stand by them once the transaction is over.

Ask Laura about AbeBooks
New Reviewer

Tried to sell me a book as a "First Edition" that was NOT a first edition, for $100+, and then concocted bizarre "cover stories." These people are either stupid, or crooked, and I'm not exactly certain which is worse. [To add insult to injury, they brag that they ship 99% of their books in customized boxes, but this "fake First Edition" arrived in a typical carrier package--with no protection from damage, bending, etc.]

Ask Johnny about AbeBooks
New Reviewer

This is a terrible company. They sent the wrong book and then when I tried to have the book refunded they claim my returned book was never sent. Horrible service. They actually closed my claim and told me "too bad". The book I purchased was rare and expensive. These people are the worst kind of internet business. Take your business elsewhere.

Ask Aaron about AbeBooks
New Reviewer

I am extremely disappointed with my recent experience. I was thrilled to find an out of print book for an excellent price... When it didn't arrive, I was told that it "obviously" had been "lost in the mail." I was offered a replacement or a refund, and opted for the replacement. I was then informed that they had no more available and my refund was issued. When I started my search over again, I saw that the same AbeBooks seller, Extremely Reliable, had one copy of the book available at ten times the price (several hundred dollars). I suspect that the original price was a typo, and that instead of honoring the listed price (oops!), told me the book was "lost" and that no more were available. Not happy.

Tip for consumers: I will say they responded promptly to my "Where's my book?" query (even if the response was a lie), and issued the refund quickly as well (after the second lie). I have used AbeBooks in the past with no problems...but I have to say this go-round was a complete turnoff.

Ask Pete about AbeBooks
New Reviewer

I got a textbook that normally would be 70-120+ dollars in great condition for 17. Free shipping. The package came in a week and the shipping label even had a handwritten note thanking me. I don't know what the bad reviews are about. I was super SUPER impressed. I got another textbook for 5 dollars that should have cost 60+ and it should be coming soon. Check it out!

Ask Eric about AbeBooks
New Reviewer

I just wanted to make sure I wrote this review because I came here and saw a lot of negative reviews before I went ahead and purchased from this company. I will have to say, I am so impressed with AbeBooks. My boyfriend needed some textbooks for school and didn't want to pay $200 a piece so I did some research and found AbeBooks and we paid $65 for both textbooks total. I placed the order Monday evening and we received the books on Thursday!! We were so pleased with how quickly we received our order. I would highly recommend this as an alternative to purchasing from any university bookstore or even Amazon. You cannot beat the prices.

Ask Erin about AbeBooks
New Reviewer

I did my first college book order online for my daughter. One of the places I ordered from was AbeBooks. I ordered an eTextbook on August 9th, and as of September 3rd I still have not received it. Meanwhile, my daughter's classes have already started which put me in a bind since she needed that book. However, when I contacted the seller, he was extremely apologetic and accommodating. He issued a full refund without hesitation, taking my word for it that I never received the book. I was pleasantly surprised and glad he was so easy to work with.

New Reviewer

"Paid extra to have a book shipped priority when I received it, it had been shipped media mail. When I contacted Abe Books about having the difference in my shipping money refunded, they basically said that's your problem and we won't help. That it's the sellers option to ship however they want as long as it gets there in time. Why allow shipping options then? What a rip-off!! Have to contact seller and hope he refunds my money. Abe Books has no accountability with their sellers and does not stand up for the customers. Would never use again. Amazon has waaaay better customer service. "

Ask Holly about AbeBooks
New Reviewer


I fell for their sellback price offer and agreed to sell my book to them. They sent me the shipping label.
Within 1 month, I have not heard back from Abebooks so I wrote them an email since they do not provide any phone numbers.
But they never responds any of my emails.
I think they just did scam me, took my book and refused to pay me with the price they offered.
It has been 6 months and it got to a point where I am getting tired to reach them and just let them steal my book.

I just want to share this so anybody else will learn from the mistake I made.

New Reviewer

I've ordered a serie of three books impossible to find anywhere. It was really expensive ($400) and I only received them months later (it was supposed to be two months, it was almost four and the sender said they didn't put a tracking number because it was too expensive !!)

I received two of the books I wanted. The third one was missing and instead I got other books!!!! From the same author and being PART of the third volume but two were missing. I've got $400 stolen from me since the whole point was to have a collection of three volume representing the life's work of the poet.

I wrote them absolutely furious, they said they could send me the third volume when they would have it ("some day", WTH !!!) or that they could refund me but I had to put a tracking on the books!! I had to find a company to send the books internationally and I didn't want to deal with them and lose more time. They then wrote me saying the return/refund got cancelled because it took me too long, WTF!!! So I got sold the wrong books, I paid for them and I'm stuck with them because I didn't send the books back fast enough (hello, I had to wait 4 month and you can give me one ?)

Do NOT use this company, they probably are lying about the book you are looking for. They are unbelievable in a very bad way. I still can't believe how screwed I am!

New Reviewer

I ordered two Books one arrived no problem
The other shipped by Hemingways was not even the book it was a box of tarot cards ??
There’s is now way to reverse anything with these guys I got this note from Hemingways
When I filled in the web site enquiry
I can confirm that we would not have shipped you a box of tarot cards as we
don't sell them, can I ask if the packaging is ours? And if its looks as
though it has been opened at all?
Kindest Regards,

I sent them a photo of the product and the invoice but received a huge list of useless emails that got further away from the point that was they shipped the wrong product
I could have my money back (maybe ) if I shipped the item back at my expense
Don’t use them pay a few more $’s

New Reviewer




This is the worst company ever to deal with. Don't buy OR sell books here! They $#*! and flipping don't do anything.

I recently graduated college so I decided to sell all my useless books since I won't be needing them for law school, obviously. I NEVER RECEIVED MY PAYMENT. So I emailed them, like anyone who didn't get a check in the mail after a couple weeks would. They told me I had to wait another 15 days for it to get to me... It had already been 2 weeks. So the 15 days went by with still nothing in the mail, I emailed them again and then they told me that I had to wait 45 days after the check was issued. So YET AGAIN I waited longer. I didn't get a check STILL. And emailed them. At first they were going to send me a new check but then they were all "our records indicate that cashed our check 5/27/14, we can email you the invoice if you'd like." Ummm, yeah, wtf send it.

I checked with my bank after looking at my account online (since I didn't have any deposits to my checking or saving account) and my bank confirmed it. I told them I didn't have any deposits on that day (in fact no activity at all!) and they said they would send the check.

I got the email with the check and it wasn't cashed by my bank and it didn't have my signature!!!! They refused to send me another check. Mother F*****s. The last I checked this wasn't a charity and them not paying me for my books I sold is theft.... To which point, since they've been so uncooperative, theft charges will be pending. This is utter bull$#*! and I HIGHLY SUGGEST NEVER. USING THEM. There's a reason their rating is so low.




New Reviewer

Abebooks pockets 12% of the price of every book that it sells. It has no interest in dealing fairly with customers' grievances but is concerned only with not alienating its manifold milch cows. I've repeatedly asked them to allow customers to review sellers and they have steadfastly ignored my request. (The current system of stars is designed merely to blackmail dealers into advertising only on the ABE site.) Most dealers, it is true, are honest folks trying to earn a living in difficult times, but there are too many who are unfit to sell books and against whom the customer has little redress.

New Reviewer


I ordered a textbook that was listed as a 2 book set. Priced for $20 cheaper than the Amazon listing for same book set. After waiting for over 2 weeks, I only received one book. Spoke to customer service about "Extremely reliable" bookseller. The missing book was suddenly out of stock.... I requested to return for full refund, and was told I would have to pay the return cost. I paid the $3.19 to return book and have still not received my refund. It's been 29 day since then. I re-contacted the Abe book company about my refund. All the can tell me is that a refund has been requested.
I ended up buying the set off of the Amazon website and received both books in 3 days. I looked and looked for a review section on the Abe books website. It makes since that they do not have one, because they suck! I do not like dealing with company’s that have piss poor customer service. I will continue to bash this company on any and every website that allows me too.

New Reviewer

when I bought a book for 5 dollar, I was charged 45 dollars for delivery costs. I think that Abebooks must show the real prise, because if they did I would have bought the book elsewhere.

New Reviewer

i hate this company. i gave them my book as a part of their buyback program they provide-- and my book is exactly like the one they have on line . the only difference is that my book says custom and i checked it versus the other one before i sent it: hard cover; yes , same pages; yes . their reply was : sorry you will not get money for that . you f a h wasting my time

New Reviewer

I have ordered from Abe Books previously but I will not be ordering from them again.

For the past two semesters, my daughter ordered books from Abe Books that were water-damaged. This was clearly stated in the book seller's statement so we knew what we were getting.

After the semesters ended, we got a price from Abe Books for a buy back and shipped the books to them. When Abe Books received the books, however, they said the books were water-damaged and would not buy them back. BUT IT WAS OK FOR THEM TO SELL US THESE BOOKS IN THE FIRST PLACE, RIGHT?

When I complained Abe Books said it was their policy not to buy back water-damaged books. But why can they sell them in the first place? Anyway, when I asked to have the books sent back to me they stated that I had to pay return postage.

So now Abe Books has my water-damaged books which they will turn around and RE-SELL to another consumer. BUYER BEWARE!


New Reviewer

I bought from the seller BookwormUSA. I was worried when the delivery estimate was 3 weeks away, then I saw all these bad reviews, but it actually arrived in 3 days! I was sent a text the day before with tracking information.

New Reviewer

1. My latest experience with abebooks: I am reviewing it here because they don't let you. I can see why. The lighted magnifying glass was broken. They invited me to return it to the seller at my own expense which would have been half the cost again. When I asked if they would pay postage - they did not reply. Their customer service then sent a standard email to ask 'how my experience was'. When I told them, they said it was not for them to deal with.
2. My previous order they took. Then some time later, cancelled because they no longer had the book in stock. Lucky I wasn't waiting to hand in my essay before reading it. Abebooks - not professional. Will never trust to use again.

Apprentice Reviewer

First, there's a lot of complaints about abebooks not being the actual sellers. That's obvious because the seller and the city and state they're located in is plainly stated. Lots of websites do this, Ebay, Amazon and many more. Second, when people review abebooks it would help to name the seller. As far as textbooks, if it's the beginning of a semester there's probably thousand of students looking for books and who knows how many are on the same page when they hit that buy button. Now for my review. I've put in several orders through abebooks and I'm very satisfied. Books were as described and arrived within stated time. The companies I've ordered from were Better World Books and Thrift Books.

11-19-14 I just wanted to add an update. I ordered 3 books from Blue Cloud Books through Abebooks on 11-14 and they came in on 11-17. Very fast but the package only had to go from Phoenix to Tucson. The email for order confirmation was sent from so they must be affiliated with them.

New Reviewer

I should have read these reviews before ordering from them. The reviews are so skewed between negative and positive reviews it is easy for one to tell who is an actual customer and who works for Abes PR department trying to run damage control. I ordered a textbook which was described as used but almost new condition. The following day I received an email stating the book was an E-book - yet they were charging me $9.99 for shipping, $7.20 for commission and $4.95 for a process and handling fee in addition to the price of the book (e-book). Tried to contact customer service, impossible - yet they went ahead and processed my credit card. THIS ONLINE BOOK COMPANY SUCKS!!!! BUYER BEWARE - DO NOT USE THEM!!!

New Reviewer

Was excited that I could find an out of print book. Seller disclosed it as having traces of use. That was fine. Traces of use to me are, scuffing, dented corners, ruffled pages, maybe the spine is very flexible. This had a 2 inch tear on the back of the spine separating the binding from the book. No refund was offered. Not using this Scammer book store again. Most used book sellers will either refund or partially refund you. Would not trust any sellers within this website.

New Reviewer

Took them two weeks to process my order and another three to receive the book. The prices are not worth it considering the absurd delivery times.

New Reviewer

Looking for books in good condition and a lot cheaper than Amazon or a book store? This is your place, have been ordering from them off and on for years. No complaints, books always arrive in a timely manner, in condition stated and prices you can't beat.

New Reviewer

My textbook was supposed to arrive a month ago. I stupidly didn't check the reviews for abebooks before- if i did i would have spend the two extra dollars (literally) and gotten my book from somewhere else instead.
I have emailed the seller, and have not received a response yet!
My teacher is penalizing me for every day I don't have my book by lowering my grade.
I hate Abebooks!!

New Reviewer

Ordered a book from them with an estimated delivery date of 2 weeks later. When the confirmation email arrived the delivery date had changed to a month after the estimated delivery date shown on the checkout page. Then to top to all off its over a week after the new estimated delivery date and the book never showed up. Have requested a refund but haven't heard back from the site.

New Reviewer

They shipped the book within two days of the order and I received the book several days later. The book arrived in pristine condition.

New Reviewer

I bought a textbook on here because it was significantly cheaper here than other sites. However, even though it was shipping from Ohio to Chicago, it took 3 weeks to arrive! This is unacceptable because most sites at least ship within 2-3 days. I was without a textbook for a few weeks and this site alone is making it hard to catch up. My experience isn't as bad as some others, thankfully, but I'll never use this site again.

New Reviewer

DO NOT SELL BOOKS TO ABEBOOKS. Complete scam. I attempted to sell a book to their website. After sending, two weeks later I was informed that they could not buy my book due to "water damage" that was not on the book when I sent it. Typically I would think of this as not a huge ordeal, they would send me the book back and I would go about my life. Instead, abebooks states they cannot send the book back and keeps the book

New Reviewer

I searched by ISBN number and found two books from one supplier. I ordered the books and immediately sent an email to the seller asking them to confirm the ISBN number of the books before they ship as this series has the same title but four volumes. I gave them the Vol. 3 ISBN and they emailed bak "YES". Guess what...I received two copies of Vol1. They want me to pay postage to send their mistake back before they refund my money!!! Really! I emailed them to confirm prior to post. RIP-OFF They can send you anything and you must pay to return.

New Reviewer

I've only used this website a few times and did not encounter any problems. Got what I ordered and in a decent amount of time.

New Reviewer

I have ordered some 20 or 25 books or cassette programs over about 6 years w/Abebooks.
Not only have I ALWAYS gotten the correct book or cassette program,
but it has ALWAYS been in the "good" condition that was posted.
(In the "preowned books",usually there's been only 1 or 2 lines of writing in the whole book. I always order "in GOOD" or "in very good" condition--not "fair".)
To this date,there has always been speed of arrival,as the prompts will tell you how soon to expect it. When I order 3 books at a time, obviously, they might arrive at different days, due to different vendors.
So, until I have any different outcomes, I feel this site has been a blessing. (And I am NOT affliated w/any ABEBOOKS personnel in any way.)

CliffordII in Southeast, USA

New Reviewer

I ordered a book (a new copy) on Dec. 7 and finally received it (a USED copy!) on Jan 23rd, after several emails and the run-around from their sorry version of customer service. HORRENDOUS customer service. If these guys worked for me, they wouldn't work for me.

New Reviewer

Customer service is horrible...if you can get in touch. Sellers aren't held accountable. I ordered a book and paid extra for faster shipping. It never arrived and the refund took forever. I missed out on lots of class work because I was missing the book for 3 weeks. It was a horrible experience from start to finish. I would NOT recommend using!!!

New Reviewer

I ordered a computer science textbook from the site that claimed to be in good condition. Not only was the book in poor condition, it was the "India Version" of the text that clearly said on the front cover that it was not to be sold outside of India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.

Now I'm stuck with an illegal, useless book.

New Reviewer

The book I needed for my graduate class was so expensive everywhere I looked, but I found it on for half the cost! And it was delivered prompt to my door, just as described. I plan to order from them again this semester!

New Reviewer

If I could give 0 stars to this site I will. They listed the used book in good conditions and it has all pages falling. It is highlighted and some lines are so scratched that you can't even read. The price is not that cheap. Amazon had the same book "Like New" for $45 and abebooks sent this book in pieces for $40.

New Reviewer

The book that I ordered thru Abe Books was listed as a good condition book. What I received was nothing like that. The book I received had numerous torn pages, liquid stains and full of markings and highlights.

New Reviewer

We have ordered books from AbeBooks in the past without any problems. Recently I did order a book that I was charged for but the book never arrived. After working with customer service via email, they refunded my money. I have confidence that, if there are problems with an order, AbeBooks will resolve the situation fairly.

New Reviewer

Bought a book that supposedly should be unmarked and in mint condition from a 5 star seller, in fact the book was worn and ugly and had seller signature and address in ink on first page! Be warned, you wo´t be paid for return postage as promised!

New Reviewer

clearly not the site for textbooks, i'd avoid that one if i we're you, but for casual/enjoyable reading books, they are ridiculously cheap! i bought 5 books for all of $14 they were all in fine condition except one maybe- which had a falling apart cover, but its still readable and it was an old paper back anyways. not a bad deal all in all shipping was reasonably timed.

New Reviewer

Well, I ordered a book I need for class on 9/6. The shipping was 3 - 6 business days. 9/16 came and went (6 business days). It is now 9/22 and still no freaking book. Meanwhile I'm in class for two weeks with homework assigned and no book. This is the worst, absolute worst website to buy books from. I've never had a problem anywhere else. is terrible and I do not recommend them if you want your book.

New Reviewer

Ordered 9th edition of book
Recd 7th edition
Delivery took twice as long
Seller not willing to rectify mistake in any reasonable manner
"I just pulled it from the shelf and sent it without checking"
"The right book must have been somewhere"
"i am swamped with other orders and can't bother to rectify the mistake"
Abe books did not do anything about it. - just forwarded the emails to the seller.

New Reviewer

I have been using this site for years. It's the easiest way to find what I am looking for at a decent price. I have purchased MANY books over the years, and have been satisfied with each and every purchase. Additionally, I have been able to get out-of-print books on several occasions, at low prices. Whenever I need a book, or want a specific genre, is the only place I would ever consider visiting. This is one of my all-time favorite sites.

New Reviewer

I ordered a textbook and answer book from one of their sellers. The seller cancelled the textbook and sent me the answer book. What good is an answer book with no textbook?

Most importantly, their seller ratings are worthless. There is no way for book buyers to provide feedback, their "Bookseller Rating" is based purely on their internal data, which seems pretty meaningless.

New Reviewer
7/7/13 owns AbeBooks - they are a subsidiary company.

AbeBooks then acts as a kind of for book sellers.

THE PROBLEM HERE is that does not back up customers, they simply allow their sellers to do as they wish.

If you have any problem with a seller, AbeBooks "customer service" will simply give you "sweet talk" and pretend to care. In actuality THEY WILL DO NOTHING TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM. Nor do they seem to be very discriminate about who they allow to sell through their site, or even REPRIMAND them in any way if they conduct business poorly.

Simply, if you buy a book through AbeBooks you are just BLINDLY BUYING THROUGH A VEIL and you have no real idea of who the actual seller is. AbeBooks is the front, and their suppliers come from across the globe. PROBLEM: doesn't care what goes on behind the scenes, and if there is a problem they will not do anything more for you to rectify the situation other than simply passing a message on to the actual seller (which may or may not be a legitimate business in a country that you were/weren't aware you were doing business with).

BEWARE of and the sellers that they represent; and additionally question why would allow their reputation to be tarnished by this company that they own. Essentially then, question the integrity of!

These are the owners (who should all be ashamed) and their partners (who should be even more ashamed): Gail Wills, Darryl Vezina, William Yu (Director), Mariette Bedard, Jeryl Metz, Yung Choi, Sarah Stein, Courtenay Steele, Don Rosick, Charles Purro, Rick Pura (co-founder), Wilfred Eder, Jean Schmetz, John Tribone, Brent James, Jerome Joseph, James Wilson, Joseph Franc, Michael Villancourt, William Thornhill, Dougals Westerberg, Janet Novick, Barry Novick, Brian Hooley, Sue Connors, Judy Hamza, Thomas Nicol, Lilo Eder

New Reviewer
7/2/13 where they claim "Satisfaction Guaranteed". I ordered a book, only $4.42 where I was sent the incorrect copy. After asking them to correct it the policy is to send it back with tracking number. They want me to spend $3.99 to send it back and then I will have a net refund of 43 cents! As long as you pay for their mistakes then Satisfaction is Guaranteed! I got off with a cheap lesson on how bad is!

New Reviewer

I purchased from a seller - LE PIANO-LIVRE - and the book I received had a foul odor, writing on one of the pages, and was slightly warped, though none of this was mentioned in the description - the book was listed by the seller as being in "very good condition". When I went to leave feedback about the seller, I discovered that AbeBooks does not allow feedback for their sellers, as I learned from Shane Chapman of Customer Support. He then offered me a 10% "discount" on my next purchase, adding that perhaps the next bookseller I buy from might not be as dishonest as the previous one. Needless to say, I won't be buying from any more sellers on AbeBooks. The lack of a feedback system is why I was fooled into buying from a bookseller I otherwise might have avoided - but this is something that AbeBooks' Customer Support seems intent on ignoring. Avoid AbeBooks, unless you like your book-buying experience to be a crapshoot.

New Reviewer

I would highly recommend this site. I have bought many books from many different sellers, and have NEVER experienced a problem.

A wonderful resource for finding those special, out-of-print books you can't find anywhere else.

New Reviewer

Great place to get used or out of print books, so far I have encountered good merchants who ship your orders fast(er) than those selling through the big 'Ama' site. Most sell their books for less than what it costs to ship it to you. I recently ordered 4 books from different merchants all at the same time, Abebooks did the order, allocating the parts of the order to the corresponding merchant. I did not have to place 4 separate orders.

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