From the beginning, Alibris brought several new approaches to online bookselling: A partnership with independent, professional sellers. Marty and Dick decided early on that Alibris would be an at-risk partner, not a listing service. This approach attracted a large number of independent sellers and now enables Alibris to offer over 150 million books for sale. Provide marketplace selection to retail business partners. Alibris was determined to help other retailers deliver the vast selection of its seller network to their loyal customers, and thereby enable professional booksellers to reach business and library customers, not just consumers. Specialized logistics. Many business customers required orders to be consolidated, repackaged, custom invoiced, or shipped overseas at low cost. By building sophisticated low-cost logistics capabilities from the start, Alibris would serve those customers and booksellers could enjoy the benefit of increased sales. Superior market intelligence. Because Alibris naturally collects a great deal of information about book buying and selling, the company came to be able to offer both customers and sellers essential market information. Today, Alibris knows which books sell and at what price. Alibris helps sellers continually update prices and makes sure that business customers get data for hard-to-find and used books that are as good as new. Today, Alibris is a vibrant marketplace operating in the three fastest-growing areas of the worldwide media business: online sales, textbook rentals, and used/out-of-print books, music, and movies. Alibris helps independent sellers find buyers through marketplace solutions and partnerships with scores of leading global media retailers, including Chapters/Indigo (Canada), and Waterstone's (UK).
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