Alibris Books

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

andre of Juno Beach, FL on
Satisfaction Rating

I've read the reviews and I just don't get it. Ordered several books over the years and I have never been disappointed. Some books arrive sooner and others later, all books have always been in the condition described by seller. There is no other site that gives you a better price. Relax and read a book while you're waiting for the next one to arrive!!!

Dennis of Lemont, IL on
Satisfaction Rating

I bought a rare book for over $300 and had to return it. Sent it back May 5, the vendor processed it May 10 (good for USPS and over a weekend) and on May 30 the vendor told me that Alibris said they processed it May 19th! Taking 9 days to issue a refund after the vendor "OK'd" it, unacceptable for me. BUT I did NOT get my money yet. I wrote to them on May 30 since my PayPal account still did not show the refund! If I did not follow up with them, they would have kept my $300+!!!

Two emails to Alibris in 6 days and today, FINALLY, a "Pending" refund is shown on my PayPal account. It looks like they will not credit my charge account I used through PayPal either. Alibris has NO call-in number, you MUST use email and their Customer Service response time and ability is TERRIBLE. They have the worst Customer Service I have ever experienced anywhere and I really think they do not care that it is bad!!! I will never use Alibris again. Now I know to work directly with the vendor. They were outstanding in helping me.

M. of Emmett, ID on
Satisfaction Rating

I bought strictly because of their WRITTEN rapid shipping. Only to find out it was an outside seller and it would take 10 - 14 days for the book to arrive, versus the 2 - 4 days as promised by Alibris. I asked that they pay for expedited shipping since they'd given wrong info, instead, they blamed me for checking that I wanted 2 - 4 days shipping. Huh???

Laura of Reno, NV on
Satisfaction Rating

We returned our rental book on May 10, 2017. Alibris received it on May 25, 2017. Due date was May 25,2017. Alibris billed our credit card $68.35 1 day after it was received and processed on May 26, 2017. After 6 or 7 emails and the customer service representative for Alibris state that there should be no charges at all. It is their policy that states a 20 day grace period for shipping and that the customer would no be charges for lost or delayed shipping via the carrier. That's in their policy list. This is May 31, 2017 and still no communication from them for the status of the refund to our credit card. We have all the email documentation that state they had the book on the 25th and no charges should appear.

Brandi of Blacklick, OH on
Satisfaction Rating

I paid for expedited shipping to receive my book within 5-7 days, which is already a long expedited shipping program, when purchasing a college textbook. I received a shipping confirmation email saying the book has shipped. I received the book 3 days after I was supposed to receive (after paying for expedited) and the shipping date is well after the date of the email I received saying that my book had been shipped. In addition to this, they sent an international version which is literally missing pages, as in the pages go from 214 to 436 to 437 and back to 217. All of this I share with the Alibris customer service team, who doesn't respond for 12 DAYS(!!) and send a canned response saying "I'm sorry... I hope you'll give us another try." THE WORST EXPERIENCE!!! I can assure you that I will NEVER use this company again.

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Talan of Long Beach, CA on
Satisfaction Rating

Book advertised in "good condition". Arrived with a torn spine. Alibris would not get involved and referred me repeatedly back to the seller via recorded messages. Still no resolution or response from seller or Alibris after 3 days and several Emails as well as phone calls (unanswered as per company policy!!)

Janel of Virginia Beach, VA on
Satisfaction Rating

Unfortunately I didn't look up reviews first which I wish I did. I ordered one book through Alibris and was shipped May 02, 2017 and stated on my order details it would arrive no later than May 12, 2017. Well, it's the 12th and still no book. The number provided is 510-594-4586 and there is no live person to talk to and says on their phone line their best way of contact is through email? Very bad customer service overall!

Joyce of Calgary, AB on
Satisfaction Rating

I ordered 40 days ago, and start tracing my order since after 14 days of shipment, customer reply got to wait till 30 days. I email every day after 30 days, no reply from customer service, no contact phone number!

S. O. of Bishop, CA on
Satisfaction Rating

I highly recommend buying from, especially for hard-to-find books as well as used study books. The prices are usually the best online and many of the booksellers are charitable organizations and small businesses. I have been buying routinely for over 6 years, including sending gifts, and I have had ZERO complaints or problems. The booksellers are very conscientious and reliable.

Misha of Cottonwood, AZ on
Satisfaction Rating

I found a rare book on Alibris for only $25, and it was selling on other websites for $88 plus. The book came in just 4 business days. They were very efficient and I would order from them again. I was worried about the online reviews after I purchased the item, but was pleasantly surprised when my book came faster than other books I ordered that day, from other sources.

G. D. of Atlanta, GA on
Satisfaction Rating

Purchased DVD and was sent VHS. Emails to customer service never gets answered. I should have read reviews and would have avoided this problem. If I pay to return this item, I don't know if I will get my money back since no one will respond to me. I paid with debit which is verified with order number.

Kevin of Rigby, ID on
Satisfaction Rating

I was able to find a book that I needed that was out of print. It was normally $95.00, but I only paid $35.00 through a company I found through Alibris. I was very pleased with the quick and quality service I received.

Gina of Hastings, Other on
Satisfaction Rating

I ordered a book from Alibris which was described as 'Like New'. It arrived yesterday and has a crumpled dust jacket some of which is torn and held together with tape. I would not describes this as 'Like New'. I tried to contact the supplier direct but my e-mail was returned.

Kamila of Lebork, Other on
Satisfaction Rating

I would like to complain on the reliability of service that the company provides. I placed my order at their shopping site on Thu Sept 29 05:11:53 PDT 2016. Today is Nov 11 and I still did not receive my parcel to Poland. It is a pity I did not read any of those complaints before.

James of Little Rock, AR on
Satisfaction Rating

Ordered book by a particular author. Received book with correct title but incorrect author from vendor Prairie Wind Books. Sent two emails to Prairie Wind stating issue with no response. Sent email to Alibris and got boilerplate reply "Heavy load etc". Never heard back from Alibris other than brush off automatic email. Finally went to PAYPAL and in a couple of days they said the issue had been resolved and that Prairie Wind Books had issued refund. We'll see. Forget both Prairie and Books and Alibris. Will never buy through Alibris or Prairie Wind Books again.

James of Yakima, WA on
Consumer Increased Rating!

I just wanted post a "real-time" comment regarding an order that I just placed with Alibris Books. I have been attempting to track the packaged which seems to be stalled in Kentucky (via USPS). I am concerned because I should have received the book on 10/11/2016. I sent an email and got the response that "due to high email volume... blah blah blah" and that in order to "keep costs down," email was the best way to communicate. I need this textbook by next week! Which is why I chose Alibris Books in the first place because they claim I would have it before my deadline and within the shipping time frame. I started getting nervous when I found this website and all the negative comments about this vendor. I am hoping that their practices have improved and that I won't have to go through the same things that a lot of people reported. I will leave a feedback update soon. Fingers crossed.

lee of Dixon, CA on
Satisfaction Rating

I don't know how this company exists. Its customer service is below zero. There is no phone number. You send them an email. No responses. No refunds, like you talk to the wall. Then more than a month later they respond and said that it is seller responsibilities. If it is the case, why do we have to use them for? If you don't want to waste your time and money, buy your textbook somewhere else, but not with this company. I love Amazon for its customer service. I want to complaint with the BBB and Consumer Affairs about this company. They never refund my money. Then they sent you a customer satisfaction survey, which is not a survey. It's a fraud.

C A of Killeen, TX on
Satisfaction Rating

Beware of doing business with this company. I had a book sent to my mother who lives in an apt. building. The post office listed the package as refused. My mother said that a package was never delivered to her. Obviously, the package was delivered to the wrong apartment because it was given back to the postal worker. The post office then returned the item to the sender. The sender says they haven't received the return (6 weeks after postal return). I explained the situation and asked for a refund several times from both the sender as well as Alibris. All I get is the runaround. I finally just disputed the charge with my credit card company. I will not be doing any business with this company again.

Nhung of Salt Lake City, UT on
Satisfaction Rating

I ordered two book through Alibris. My first book was wrong item and I returned it, but Alibris never refund me. I'm tried to contact the seller many times and no respond. I'm so tired of dealing with Alibris. I had to go through my credit card company to get my money back. My second order never came. Alibris said the book is located International so it will take 1 month to get to United States. But I never receive the book. I'm so upset. I will never shop on Alibris again. I tried calling Alibris. They don't have a contact number and I tried email and they don't respond.

Camille of Upland, CA on
Satisfaction Rating

I read a couple of the reviews before I wrote this one and they are true. The seller I dealt with lied about sending the book out even with the tracking information. It took them a week to send it out and then they sent it to the wrong address. The book is in PA somewhere and I'm in CA. I ordered it from them because I needed the book immediately and they are located 30 minutes away. I figured I would have the book within a few days. I have tried contacting Alibris twice through email. Like another person said the response was that they are very busy so it may take awhile to get back to you and not to email them another time but to reply to the original email. Sorry I forgot the exact wording but someone else that wrote a review said it correctly.

I'm writing this so that people look for another source to buy their books and they don't have to deal with these problems. The seller said to send the book back to them once I receive it and they will refund me. My problem with that is they sent it to the wrong address who knows when if ever that I will receive this book not to mention I need to purchase this book again and I need it now. Oh and I'm the one to pay for it to be shipped back to them? I'm going to dispute the charge with my credit card company but beware any of you that's thinking of making a purchase with them.

M. of St. John'S, NL on
Consumer Increased Rating!

My order required two textbooks be shipped, from two different sellers in the US, to me in Canada. The order processed. One shipping notification came later, followed by an email from the seller which included tracking information. A separate shipping notification for the second book included no tracking information and wasn't followed up by anything from the seller.

Alibris communicated a Sep. 10th outside estimated arrival date. This passed, no books. I checked back on the one tracking notice sent and was concerned to see that book had been delivered - to PA, on Sep. 1. I contacted the seller, who responded the next day. They'd sent the book to a consolidation centre and could offer no further information about it. The tracking info includes an estimated Sep. 15 delivery date. I still have neither the book nor further information on where it is.

I didn't receive the other book either. Contacted that seller, they responded after 2 days, advising that they couldn't find tracking information, hadn't shipped the book and couldn't because they didn't have it in stock. The seller copied Alibris on the email, instructing them to refund me. That was 5 days ago, no refund yet. I've now had to order that book elsewhere and am still waiting for it.

I've emailed Alibris directly, a week ago, then followed up after I received the second seller's email. No response, only an auto-reply indicating a high volume of incoming emails. Noting others' reports of a lack of responsive phone number, today I resorted to messaging Alibris' Facebook page. Another auto-reply, about being backed up with the back to school rush. A 20-year-old online book business, unable to cope with back to school?

Mari of Katonah, NY on
Satisfaction Rating

Just like the previous reviewer, I emailed Alibris after I received a book that was so beat up it was unreadable. I emailed them, got the same auto response and haven't heard from them yet. But they do keep sending me daily emails with discounts. Don't know what's up, they used to be really good, but they might as well be based in India now since their customer service is worse than Verizon.

Jana of London, Other on
Satisfaction Rating

I am VERY disappointed with Alibris services. I ordered 2 books. They were shipped on 7th and 8th July, 2016. Today it is 20th August and I have not receive any of them yet. I contacted customer service via email and the answer they sent me: "We're currently experiencing a high volume of incoming emails, so if you don't hear from us right away, please don't send a second message. Also, in order to keep our prices low, we're only available by email, not by phone." There is no one to talk to and I have no idea where my books are. When I checked my order status it says "shipped + date" but no other information about shipping is available. PLEASE READ REVIEWS BEFORE YOU ORDER A BOOK FROM ALIBRIS. I never had this experience with eBay or Amazon! Even books are more expensive there I believe it is worth paying for services and reliability!

Laura of Hannibal, MO on
Satisfaction Rating

I had ordered from this company over 20 years ago, when they first opened with no problems. As matter of fact I ordered from them frequently. Well, I was looking to order some books and to save money. Wanted to order them used, but in very good condition. I remembered this company from years ago and decided to place my order through them as they had all the books I was looking for under $30. I wish I would have done research on current company reviews because I certainly would have thought twice about ordering from them if I had. I placed my first order for the first five books on August 7 and then decided to go ahead order the last two that I wanted on the morning of August 8, so I would have the complete set of seven books.

They stated that all books shipped the afternoon of August 8. I was pleased with the prompt shipping. Well, I got to browsing the internet and came across less than favorable reviews for this company. It has now been several days past when they were said to arrive and I am beginning to worry that I will have problems getting the books or a refund. It looks like I will probably have to contact my state Attorney General for assistance, but I am giving them a few more days. Save yourself some trouble and do not order from this company.

Rhonda of Austin, TX on
Satisfaction Rating

Terrible company! No "Live" customer service at all. The book was Labeled incorrectly and I followed the process to return immediately. Multiply email attempts to seller and website. Seller has NOT made any contact. Website did response (several days later) stating I must work directly with the Seller and Alibris offered a $3.00 discount on my next purchase. The discount is a Joke! I spent $15+ to return the book and still no refund or contact. I will NEVER use for any future purchases.

A Google of Highlands Ranch, CO on
Satisfaction Rating

Alibris has no live agents to talk to on the phone. As a matter of fact, Alibris has no contacts by phone. You have to email them and you will never get a response back. Don't order any books from this company, because they will take your money and you will not receive your merchandise or get a refund. This company is a scam! I should have read the reviews on this company before I made my purchase from these scam artists. Thank goodness my loss was minimal. Not recommended.

Kathleen A of Johnston, RI on
Satisfaction Rating

I placed an order for a book from Alibris Books through eBay's April 5, 2016. I received a refund and a notice from ebay on June 18, 2016. I received a notice of cancellation from Alibris Books on June 29, 2016. When I emailed to complain they stated that they notified me of the cancellation immediately after I ordered the book. Their idea of Immediate is 3 MONTHS??? Things happen, items go out of stock but interesting that the same book, in the same condition is currently listed on for DOUBLE the price of what I paid. I reported them to ebay. Do not do business with them.

jason of San Diego, CA on
Satisfaction Rating

I love shopping for books! Alibris' site was easy to use and it had a huge selection of books to choose from. I found all the books that I was looking for and more. I did have one book that was cancelled, but the rest of my orders arrived on time or earlier. I still enjoy my physical books for me and my child. They don't run on batteries and I can see how much I have read. Also, I find that my daughter concentrates and remembers more when I read to her using a physical book than a digital one.

Christine of San Carlos, CA on
Satisfaction Rating

I wish I had read these reviews before I used their website! They have the WORST customer service department. It takes days to hear back. The individual sellers are incompetent and your book takes forever to ship! Worst of all they overcharge on shipping!!! Do not buy from them! Not worth it at all!

Steve of Need This, IN on
Satisfaction Rating

I ordered a few different books from here. First order: I ordered 7 copies of the same book. They separated my order into 3 shipments without telling me, and only gave me tracking info for one. When I asked them about it, they sent me two more tracking numbers, and one of them doesn't work. Still waiting for my orders to arrive. Second order: My order got cancelled 5 days after I placed it. I saw that the book was available again on the website and ordered it again. 5 days later, I got notified that my order is cancelled again. No explanation whatsoever. They do a terrible job of communicating with the customers. Not recommended.

Expert Review

ConsumerAffairs Research Team

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.

Founded in 1993, Alibris is an online marketplace website headquartered in California that facilitates purchases between independent sellers and website users. Among other products, Alibris features textbook sales and rentals.

  • Large inventory: Alibris Books partners with many independent retailers and also has its own large warehouse, so it offers over 25,000 textbooks for rent. These include hard and soft cover books and audiobooks in nearly every subject.
  • Worry-free guarantees: You have 21 days after you place an order to return your rental for a full refund. Books are guaranteed to be free from excessive damage, and you may return them if they are damaged or otherwise unsuitable. You can also return them if you drop a course or don’t need the book after all.
  • Grace period: Unlike many other rental companies, Alibris does not begin charging late fees immediately if your book is not returned by the due date. You have a full 20 days after the end of your rental period to return the book before being charged the retail price of the book.
  • Quick shipping: Most books are in the warehouse and ship within two days of your rental order, so you receive your books quickly in time for the start of the term.
  • Normal wear and tear is accepted: Some rental companies charge damage fees for normal wear and tear. Alibris recognizes that normal wear and tear is to be expected and doesn’t charge a fee unless the book is actually damaged (such as missing pages, a torn cover or a broken spine). You can even highlight and write sparingly in the margins of your Alibris rentals.
  • Best for college and university students on a budget and those who want to highlight their books.

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Alibris Books Company Profile

Company Name:
Alibris Books