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(Frankfurt Book Fair – October 19, 2005) predicts significant growth for used book sales in Europe with an independent report published last month revealing the used book business is booming in North America.

The report, conducted by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), revealed used book sales amounted to (US) $2.2 billion last year. Online sales fuelled the business with a huge increase of 33 per cent from 2003 to 2004.

Abebooks - the world's largest online marketplace for new and used books - is already at the forefront of Europe's online used book industry with dedicated websites for UK, France, Germany and Spain. The site will celebrate its 10th birthday in May 2006.

"Thousands of European used booksellers will embrace the Internet in the next five years," said Boris Wertz, COO of Abebooks. "We are already seeing year-over-year growth of nearly 50% for our European websites and this trend will continue because more and more buyers are happy to purchase used books. In the US, there is high consumer satisfaction with used books and we believe European sales will increase as word spreads about the ease of finding used books on the Web."

Abebooks currently has 2,000 booksellers in the UK alone and Wertz predicts this figure will increase to 3,000 by 2007. A total of 4,500 European booksellers sell through Abebooks.

The BISG report revealed:

  • Used book sales in 2004 topped $2.2 billion – an increase of 11.1% from 2003;
  • Over 111 million used books were sold in 2004;
  • Online sales of used books were worth $609 million in 2004 - a 33% increase from 2003;
  • Used books sales represent 8.4% of total consumer spending on books.

Abebooks is well established in Europe. It acquired the German online marketplace for used books, JustBooks, in 2001 and launched its French website later that year. In 2002, the UK site was created and 12 months ago Abebooks bought – a Spanish website selling used and rare books.

The BISG study used sales data provided by online booksellers such as Abebooks, Amazon and eBay. The researchers also questioned over 500 booksellers and 2,000 consumers.


Richard Davies, PR & Publicity Mgr.,
Ph: 250-412-3238

About Abebooks is the world’s largest online marketplace for books, with over 70 million new, used, rare, and out-of-print titles listed for sale by more than 13,000 independent booksellers from around the world. Abebooks has millions of registered customers who collectively purchase up to 25,000 books a day from its 5 global websites (,,, and A true internet success story, has been selling books online since 1996, and is a private company based in Victoria, BC Canada, with offices in Germany and Spain. Internet Retailer magazine ranked Abebooks at No. 58 among North American online retailers in June 2005.

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