Product Types – Seller FAQ

AbeBooks customers can easily refine their search results by certain product types. These search refinements give non-book items such as art, photographs, magazines, and various paper collectibles more visibility and help sellers with relevant inventory increase sales.

There are eight different product types which customers may use to refine their search results. They can refine by a single product type or multiple ones at the same time.

  • Books – note all unclassified items will be displayed in the books category
  • Magazines & Periodicals – magazines, newspapers, journals and all kinds of periodical publications
  • Comics – comics, graphic novels, manga etc.
  • Sheet Music
  • Art, Prints & Posters – lithographs, engravings, drawings, watercolors, posters, etc.
  • Photographs – daguerreotypes, print techniques such as photoengraving, photographs and albums with original photographs (photo books should be placed in the ‘Books’ product type).
  • Maps
  • Manuscripts & Paper Collectibles – a mixed category for items that don’t fit well into one of the other categories including manuscripts, autographed letters, and all kinds of paper collectibles (postcards, stamps, bills, etc.)

Using the New Product Types (Sellers)

To update your inventory to include product types, please follow the instructions in the section that applies to you:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you introducing product type search refinements?
Many sellers offer maps, art, prints, drawings, paper ephemera, magazines, and other non-book items on AbeBooks but historically, it has not been easy for customers to discover these items because they are mixed with books. The search refinements give customers new options to discover collectibles and help sellers to increase visibility for these categories.

All or most of my items are books – what happens if I don’t classify them as books?
We will continue to show unclassified items in the “Books” search refinement. Sellers specializing in books do not need to classify their items as “Books” while sellers with a mixed inventory can begin to adopt the new product type search refinements.

Can I assign a single listing to multiple product types?
No, each listing can only be assigned to a single product type. However, customers have the option to search in multiple categories at the same time.

How will this affect the existing book business?
Books will remain at the core of our business. However, we believe that the new refinements will also improve the experience for book buyers. We will carefully monitor customer reactions to the new search refinements.

Why don’t you offer a specific refinement for postcards (or other currently not supported categories?)
We have started by focusing on categories that are already used by many of our sellers. “Manuscripts & Paper Collectibles” is a mixed category that can include paper items or ephemera that don’t fit well into any of the other supported product types. As we learn more about the new product categories and the preferences of our customers, we may decide to support additional product type refinements in the future.