How do I Send Inventory Files?

There are several ways to upload book records, to add new listings and remove sold books, as well as to update existing listings. AbeBooks accepts files created in almost any type of inventory management system or spreadsheet/database program, but files sent to AbeBooks must be in a tab delimited text format. You must let us know what type of file you will be using before you send your first file. If you change your file type at a later date, you must also let us know. Simply contact Customer Support.

Files can be uploaded through your [My Account] page but you can also use FTPS (file transfer protocol secure) or upload directly from HomeBase 3.0 – our own inventory management software. New sellers will be asked what inventory upload method they intend to use during the registration process.

When you sell a book in your bookstore or on another marketplace, it is vital that you remove the book from AbeBooks. You must also be careful not to accidentally re-upload books that have been previously sold.

To remove sold books, you can do any of the following:

  • Mark the book as ‘Sold’ or change the Quantity to 0 in your inventory management system and upload the change to AbeBooks.
  • Create and upload a tab delimited text file that you name delete.txt or – the file extension must match the extension you use on your regular inventory files. Your delete file must include only book listings you want deleted and should contain exactly the same fields as you use when sending books that are ‘for sale’. Because you name the file delete.txt, we will know that all books in the file are sold and they will be removed from your online inventory.
  • Send a file containing just a list of the book ID numbers you want deleted. Each book number must be on a line by itself and the file should be named delnum.txt or – the file extension must match the extension you use on your regular inventory files.

New sellers uploading their first inventory file, or existing sellers uploading in a new format, must notify Customer Support and provide:

  • The software used to create the file.
  • The field names included in the file, and the order in which they appear.

To upload an inventory file via [My Account]:

  1. Click [Upload a Book or Picture File] in the ‘My Books’ section of your [My Account] page.
  2. On the next screen, you will be prompted to [Browse] for the file you wish to send. Once you have located the file, click [Send File].

To upload an inventory file via FTPS:

FTPS allows you to securely transfer files from one computer to another over the Internet.

HomeBase 3.0 and 2.3.30 include built-in upload features. If you are not using HomeBase, you will need to install FTPS software. Free examples include FileZilla and Cyberduck, which are suitable for Mac or PC users.

To protect the security of your information, AbeBooks will only accept files via FTP Secure (FTPS), and not FTP. Ensure your software’s security or protocol field is set to ‘explicit FTP over TLS’.

This might be phrased differently depending on your program, but the key terms to look for are ‘explicit’ and ‘FTP over TLS’. Some examples are:

Cyberduck: FTP-SSL (Explicit AUTH TLS)
FileZilla: Require explicit FTP over TLS
Transmit: FTP with TLS/SSL

Follow your software’s instructions for uploading a file – the parameter settings are as follows:

FTP name –

User ID – Your AbeBooks UserID. Enter it in UPPERCASE with no spaces. Your UserID is not your AbeBooks email address. If you don’t know your UserID, go to [My Account] and click ‘Account Details’ under ‘My Personal Information’. Your UserID will be displayed at the top of the page.

Password – Your AbeBooks Password, which is case-sensitive

Learn how to upload book images