How do I Process Orders?

When a customer orders one of your books, the order will appear within your AbeBooks account and you will receive a notification email. Both AbeBooks and the customer expect the order to be processed as quickly as possible.

To maximize customer satisfaction, AbeBooks expects booksellers to process and ship all orders within 48 hours of receipt. Credit Card orders not processed after 96 hours will automatically cancel and will count as unfulfilled orders in the Completion Rate calculation. Such cancelled orders cannot be reinstated, and have not been paid for. The book should not be shipped and should be re-listed for sale.

Bookseller direct orders (e.g. PayPal, money order, check) not processed after 96 hours will automatically confirm. Buyers are notified of auto-confirmed orders and will expect the book to be shipped. It is your responsibility to reject/cancel any seller direct order you do not intend to ship.

If you will be unavailable to process your orders, you can temporarily remove your books from the site by putting your inventory on ‘Vacation’.

We recommend logging into your AbeBooks account at least once a day to check for new orders, rather than relying solely on email.

Learn more about API and other order processing options for large volume sellers

Process orders by following these instructions:

  1. Access the order by any of the following methods:
  2. Click the link in the email notification.

    Go to [My Account] and click [New Orders] in the ‘My To-Do List’

    Go to [My Account] and click [View and Process Orders] beneath ‘My Sales’.

  3. Click [Process Order] for any order in (Ordered) status.
  4. Select the appropriate radio button, as outlined below.
  5. Once you’ve made your selection for each book in the order, click [Save Order Changes].

Radio Button Options:

For credit card orders, your options are:

  • Will Ship – You have the book and are ready to package it for shipping. The buyer’s credit card will be charged immediately if you select this status. If the credit card transaction processes successfully, the shipping manifest will be available on the next screen.
  • Extra Charges – If the amount charged will not cover the cost of shipping, taxes, or other charges, this option allows you to submit a request to the buyer for additional funds. The order will be put on hold until the buyer accepts or rejects your request. After the buyer responds to your request, you’ll be notified by email and you will need to return and process the order to ‘Will ship’ or ‘Rejected’ to prevent it from expiring. Learn more about extra charges.

  • Reduce Shipping – If you’d like to reduce the shipping charged on a light book, or on additional items in a multi-item order, select this option. There is no need to wait for approval from the buyer to ship the book. Learn more about reducing shipping.
  • Previously Sold – Select this option if the book was previously sold and is no longer available.
  • Rejected – If you are unable to ship the book for any other reason, reject the order.
    • For seller direct orders (e.g. PayPal, check, money order, etc.), your options are:

      • Availability confirmed – The buyer will be notified of the book’s availability. For all seller direct payment methods, it is your responsibility to contact the buyer to make payment arrangements. The shipping manifest and buyer contact information will be available on the next screen. Do not ship the book until after you have received payment. AbeBooks is not responsible for orders shipped prior to receipt of payment.
      • Previously sold – Select this option if the book was previously sold and is no longer available.
      • Rejected – If you are unable to ship the book for any other reason, reject the order.

      Again, once you’ve made your selection for each book in the order, click [Save Order Changes].

      If the buyer’s credit card is declined, you will be notified on the next screen and the order status will update to “Credit Card Rejected.” If you receive such a message, the order is cancelled and the book should not be shipped. We will automatically re-list the book for sale.

      If the credit card processes successfully, you will receive a Success! message and have access to [View Shipping Manifest]. Click this link to retrieve the buyer’s shipping address. You can print the manifest to use as a shipping label or include inside the package as a packing slip.

      You can now ship the book.

      Important Notes about Shipping:

      Booksellers are required to ship books using a method intended to deliver the book in the timeframe quoted to the buyer.

      Responsibility for undelivered items lies with the bookseller, therefore we recommend shipping with a carrier that provides signature confirmation whenever it’s available for the buyer’s country. In the event of a dispute, only signature confirmation will protect the seller against claims of non-delivery.

      The bookseller is responsible for the condition of the book when it is delivered to the buyer. We recommend that booksellers package orders securely to avoid damage.

      Purchasing insurance protects you, the bookseller, in the event that an item is lost or damaged in transit and the buyer is subsequently refunded. As such, the cost of insurance should not be passed on to the buyer.