How Can I Download a Backup of My Inventory?

While AbeBooks offers the ability to download a copy of your current online inventory, booksellers should not rely on the ability to download their inventory from AbeBooks as a method for recovering a backup copy of their data. Booksellers are responsible for maintaining a current backup copy of their inventory on their own computer.

AbeBooks is not responsible for lost or inaccurate information. Upon upload, inventory data is converted from its original format to AbeBooks’ format and some information (such as location, notes, and the price originally paid for a book) is not saved within our system. Sold book records are also not saved by AbeBooks, so cannot be downloaded.

Booksellers are also required to maintain back-up copies of photos that they upload to AbeBooks. AbeBooks offers no facility for downloading seller-supplied images.

The instructions below will walk you through the process of downloading a copy of your current online inventory from AbeBooks. The file will be in HomeBase 2.3 format and can be imported directly into either HomeBase 2.3 or 3.2. However, if you are using a different inventory management system, Customer Support can help you import the data into whatever system you are using.

There are three main steps involved with this process:

  1. Create a HomeBase import file.
  2. Download the import file from the Members Menu.
  3. Import the file into HomeBase.

Instructions for each step below. It’s a good idea to read through all of the instructions before beginning.

A Note About The HomeBase Data Fields:

HomeBase includes a few fields that are not used with our online system. Some of these fields, such as Notes and Location, are not stored on AbeBooks and will not be included in your download file.

Step One – Creating a HomeBase Import File

  1. Sign on to your AbeBooks account with your email address and password.
  2. Click the [Request Inventory Report (for HomeBase 2.3 – North American format)] link in the ‘My Downloads’ section of the menu.
  3. Click the [Initiate File Download] button.

We’ll send you an e-mail once the file has been created.

Step Two – Downloading the Import File

Once you receive the e-mail notification, you can download the file.

    1. Sign on to your AbeBooks account with your email address and password.
    2. Select [Download Pending Files] in the ‘My Downloads’ section of the Menu.
    3. Right-click [Click here to download the latest HomeBase import file.].
    4. From the shortcut menu that appears, select [Save Target As] or [Save Link As], depending on your browser. The “Save As” screen will display the default file name – “HBImport.txt”. Select the location on your computer where you want this file saved. For example, you may select C:\Program Files\hb2\export or your desktop. If you’re using Internet Explorer, make sure that the “Save as Type” field is .txt and not .html.
    5. Click [Save] to transfer the import file to your computer.
    6. Click [Close].

Step Three – Importing the file into HomeBase:

      1. In HomeBase, Click [File] (top left corner of the menu bar)
      2. Select [Import/Export] then [Import].

Choose either:

        • Merge – Combine book records already in your database with the file you’re importing.
        • Zap – Delete any existing records in HomeBase and replace them with the data you’re importing. This option should only be selected if there’s a problem with your current database. ** Note: Zap does not replace your current catalog structure, so when you import your information, the previous catalogs will be used. (Please refer to the Warning at the foot of this note.)
      1. An “Import Books” screen will appear. Select the “HBImport.txt” file you downloaded in Step Two. Click [Open].

A transfer bar will display the progress of the import. The timeframe depends on the number of books in your import file.

An “Error Report” of any data that was not transferred correctly will appear once the file has been loaded. Click [Print] to print the report, [Save As…] to save a list of any errors, or [Close] to exit.

HomeBase will scan your book reference numbers. We recommend selecting [Yes] for the option to have auto-generated book numbers.

Important Account Information

If you’re just starting to use HomeBase 2.3, please send a quick note to our Customer Support team to let us know that you have changed your inventory management program.

And Finally – A Warning!

The ZAP function is often used to bring ALL of your book data from AbeBooks into HomeBase. You must be aware that this procedure should only be used if you do not have any existing data in HomeBase 2, or if you are sure you wish to overwrite all of your current HomeBase data. If you select ZAP you’ll lose any existing wants, multiple catalog listings, client data, and invoice data.

If you have any questions about any part of this process, please don’t hesitate to contact Customer Support.