Independent Online Booksellers Association


The Independent Online Booksellers Association is a trade association founded in 1999. One important benefit of belonging to IOBA is the ability to list your stock on (and you must be a member to do so). Although is the bookselling service of, they are two separate websites with two different functions. Listing on does not come free with your membership in IOBA, but the cost is very low. is a great friend of the independent bookseller, and we chose them to provide the hosting services for All bookseller operations for (uploading listings, uploading photos, and processing sales) are handled via your bookseller account on Biblio Direct.

IOBA member booksellers can choose to list their books only on, only on, on both websites, or on neither. If choosing to list on both websites, this can be done via a single (combined) bookseller account or via two separate bookseller accounts.

Combined Account: You can list your books on as part of a combined account, in which you also list the same books on The advantage of this approach is that you only have to upload your listings and daily changes once, and this will populate both websites. The same is true for uploading photos of your books. However, this also means that their descriptions and prices will be the same on both websites.

Separate Accounts: You can list your books on as a separate account. This means that if you also list on, two separate uploads of listings and photos are required. However, if desired, this does enable you to list different books on the two websites, and to assign different prices for the same book. Since there is no commission charged on sales, some booksellers use this approach to provide a savings to the buying customer who finds their books on

There is no requirement for IOBA members who wish to list on to also list on It is a top bookselling website and many members do, but it has its own monthly listing fee and commission structure.

There are several important differences between listing on and listing on, primarily relating to costs.

Cost of Listing on has a monthly listing fee only. No commissions are charged on sales. The monthly listing fee is a low, flat amount (shown in U.S. dollars below), based on the average number of items in your inventory, as follows:

0-1000 books ($7/month); 1001-4000 ($10/month); 4001-10,000 ($15/month); 10,001-25,000 ($20/month); 25,001-50,000 ($25/month); 50,001-100,000 ($35/month); and 100,000+ ($50 plus $5 for each additional 25,000 items listed/month).

Cost of Listing on has two options for booksellers listing there. One involves a monthly fee plus a commission on sales; the second involves no monthly fee, but there is a higher commission on sales. Click on for more information regarding these options and fees.

We want to be upfront about the benefits of listing on Right now this “safe harbor” website is still a work in progress. The fees are very low, there are no hidden costs, and we don’t interfere in your relationship with your customers, but we do not recommend joining IOBA just to pick up another selling venue, because will not make you rich overnight. Most of our members break even, some report good profits, and we completed a major upgrade in late 2009 that should make the site even more viable.

When you list a “hot” title on first, before listing it on the other sites, and customers find it through Google or BookFinder or viaLibri, the savings on commissions alone can cover a good part of the annual fee. Our built-in advantage is that you can pass lower costs on to the customers, and that should help to grow the site. Another strong advantage of listing on is that it provides a low cost commission-free website to which those members who do not yet have their own personal business website can refer potential customers to.

The long term goal of our trade association is to position favorably for the next seismic shift in the industry, as we are one of the few players guaranteed to stay independent and to keep your best interests in mind.

Just below you will find more key information about

Searches: Listings on are optimized to be searched or indexed by sites including BookFinder, viaLibri, Google and Google Products.

Pictures: Up to five pictures can be posted for each book. A single picture per book can be uploaded via FTP. Multiple pictures for a particular book listing are posted manually. Member booksellers listing only on (or as a separate account from their Biblio listings) who want to upload pictures will need to contact one time to get an FTP account set up with Biblio for use with your listings. Once this FTP account is set up, you can then upload batches of pictures by FTPing them to Biblio. Each picture must be named to match that book's inventory number.

Listings and Pictures for Those Currently on Biblio Who Are Adding as a Combined Bookseller Account: No manual or reloading action is necessary when you add to your existing Biblio Digest account. As soon as you are approved, every listing and picture that you currently have on Biblio will immediately appear on Under a Combined Bookseller Account, every future change or addition will be uploaded once and will appear on both bookselling websites automatically.

Categories: Biblio has a category system that also resides on It is not mandatory to use categories, though doing so may help customers find your books. If you choose to use categories, you will need to log into your bookseller account on Biblio Direct, where you will find this option under “My Books/Manage my subject lists and catalogs.” It is set up to convert to the same categorization you have chosen in Biblio. Booksellers pick a main category from the list of choices, and in most instances there will be secondary categories as well. After you have finished that, you can also activate your own categories.

Customer Payments for Sales/Credit Card Processing: Booksellers have a choice of handling their own credit card processing, accepting customer checks and money orders, using services such as PayPal, or letting Biblio do the credit card processing for them. Biblio’s card processing rates are 4.5%, and 3% for amounts over $500. Once you have applied for and established your bookseller account, you will enter your preferences under “Adjust my Dealer Direct Payment options.”

Application to List on The application to apply for a bookseller account on is located under the “Members Only” link on the home page at As always, to enter this section you need to use your IOBA member User Name and Password. If you have forgotten those, please contact If you already have a bookseller account on Biblio and also wish to list on in a combined account, simply contact Biblio Seller Support at, or call them toll free at 800-813-9432 (outside U.S. 828-350-0744).

Additional Questions About For information about or questions about listing your inventory there, please contact our IOBAbooks Committee Chair at

Any Problems With Your Listings on For help with any problems concerning your listings on, please contact Biblio Seller Support at, or call them toll free at 800-813-9432 (outside U.S. 828-350-0744).

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