How do I Send Inventory Files?

There are several ways to upload inventory files – to add new listings, remove sold books, and 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.

Learn more about third-party inventory management programs that integrate with AbeBooks

If you sell on other marketplaces or in a storefront, it is essential to keep your online data up-to-date. When inventory is kept up-to-date, duplicate orders are less likely to occur, meaning fewer rejected orders. Please upload as frequently as necessary to keep your inventory current; most sellers find daily uploads sufficient but depending on sales volume, you may find you need to upload more or less often. AbeBooks reserves the right to control inventory update schedules for specific booksellers in order to ensure efficient processing.

Learn more about inventory management options for large volume sellers

To Upload an Inventory File via [My Account]

To upload an inventory file via [My Account] simply:

  • Sign on to your AbeBooks account.
  • Click [Upload a Book or Picture File] in the ‘My Books’ section of your [My Account] page.
  • On the next screen, you will be prompted to [Choose a file from your computer] for the file you wish to send.
  • Once you have located and selected the file, click [Upload File].
  • Once you file is successfully processed you will receive a confirmation email.

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 FTPS:

FTPS allows you to securely transfer files from one computer to another over the Internet. HomeBase, AbeBooks‘ free inventory management software, includes a built-in upload feature.

If you are not using HomeBase, you will need to install your own FTPS software. Free examples include FileZilla and Cyberduck, suitable for both Mac and PC users.

To protect the security of your information, AbeBooks will only accept files via FTP Secure (FTPS) with TLS 1.2 protocol support. Ensure your software’s security or protocol field is set to ‘explicit FTP over TLS’.

This might be phrased differently depending on your software, but the key terms to look for are ‘explicit’ and ‘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 settings you will need 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‘ then on ‚Marketplace Profile.‘ Your UserID will be displayed lower down on the page.

Password: Your AbeBooks API Key with no spaces › Learn more about the unique API Key

To Remove Sold Books:

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. If you receive an orders for previously sold book that you must cancel, it will negatively impact your Completion Rate.

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 (Note that the file extension – .txt or .tab – 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 you use when sending books that are ‘for sale’. Because the name you give the file is ‚delete‘, 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 – again, the file extension must match the extension you use on your regular inventory files.

Learn how to upload book images