Striking Amazon Sellers get Abebooks country closures reversed

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Amazon has bowed to pressure from striking Amazon sellers and reversed their decision to shut down Amazon owned Abebooks in Hungary, the Czech Republic, South Korea and Russia.

In a rare show of power, 550 sellers went on strike to get Amazon’s attention removing millions of books from the marketplace. The exact numbers are unknown, but the sellers removed somewhere in the region of 2 million to 3 million books from sale or put their accounts on holiday settings and the action made Amazon take notice.

The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, ILAB, an international trade body for the rare book trade of whom many of the striking sellers are members of, reached an agreement with AbeBooks to reverse its decision to withdraw from the international markets slated for closure.

“Dear Colleagues, it is with great pleasure I report to you that the booksellers in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia and South Korea will be able to continue to trade on ABE Books into the future if they wish to. They will not be cut off this month nor in the future. AbeBooks assured us that none of the booksellers, neither ILAB members or others will have to stop trading on ABE. I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who participated in this extraordinary and unprecedented protest. Without your voices and “vacationing” books we would never have gained the media interest. Without the protests on the list and the media attention I know we would not have so easily got this excellent outcome. I wish to thank every single person who wrote an email, withdrew their books, spoke to customers or the media, worked on the spreadsheet or any other of the many, many things that made this campaign so powerful. This historic, unprecedented action is a success for us all.”
– Sally Burdon, President, ILAB

There have been marketplace ‘strikes’ in the past, often aimed at eBay, but they have been too small and shortlived to gain attention even when featured in the national press. Striking Amazon sellers on Abebooks and in particular ILAB members achieved the unprecedented goal of enough publicity and action to get Amazon to reverse their decision.

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