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Is Alibris.co.uk a decent alternative?
Last Post 20/08/2015 10:03:57 by falk. 5 Replies.
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sofa
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New Member
Posts:2


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19/01/2013 13:11:30
    A few years ago I got worried about Amazon's domination of the market and I looked for alternatives. The only good alternative I could find - an online seller of new and used books with an extensive catalogue, and not owned indirectly by Amazon! - is Alibris. (www.alibris.co.uk) I've been buying from Alibris ever since and it's a very good service from a customer's point of view, at least when it comes to new and used paper books it's almost identical to buying from Amazon.

    But does anyone know whether Alibris is indeed a decent company to buy from? As far as I can tell they are owned by the American private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners, which doesn't sound that promising, but I haven't seen or heard anything particularly evil about them. Does anyone recognise this company or know how 'ethical' they are?

    Many thanks,
    Sofa Gradin
    London
    Rob Harrison
    ECRA STAFF
    Senior Member
    Senior Member
    Posts:36


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    22/01/2013 18:06:42
    Hi Sofia,
    Just been looking at Alibris. It operates a bit like amazon's marketplace as a platform for smaller bookshops to sell their stuff. Oak Hill Capital Partners' lead investor is Texas Billionaire Robert Bass, described as the 57 richest man in America in Forbes 400. Oak Hill's portfolio holds shares in around 60 companies with everything from Aerospace and Defence to Wholefood Retailers.
    Like amazon's marketplace (which we're not including in the boycott call) you're not buying durect from Alibris, but the company itself does not provide a convincing story of a dutiful tax payer. As a private group we can't see its accounts but the presence of the following companies at the same address (201 Main Street, Fort Worth, Texas) is of some concern.
    Oak Hill Capital Management Partners (Bermuda),
    Oak Hill Capital Management Partners II (Cayman),
    Oak Hill Capital Partners (Bermuda),
    Oak Hill Capital Partners II (Cayman II), L.P.
    Oak Hill Capital Partners II (Cayman), L.P.
    As well known tax havens this kind of company structure provide strong evidence of an active tax avoidance strategy.
    sofa
    New Member
    New Member
    Posts:2


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    07/02/2013 17:30:23
    Hi Rob,
    THANK YOU for this info!! And yes, how disappointing, though hardly surprising...

    Alibris probably takes a cut of the marketplace sales just like Amazon, so ideally I wouldn't buy anything via either of them. What a sad world...
    Sofa
    ironhide0
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    Posts:4


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    30/03/2013 16:13:46
    If you have to decide between the two, it is worth noting that Alibris donate more when you use give as you live.
    falk
    New Member
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    Posts:2


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    19/08/2015 15:40:47
    Biblio.com has a very good database and looks to be a pretty decent company:
    http://www.biblio.com/company/our-story . And they seem to offer booksellers a better deal than Abebooks, too.
    falk
    New Member
    New Member
    Posts:2


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    20/08/2015 10:03:57
    PS on Biblio.com I came across this community non-profit bookshop:

    http://www.biblio.com/bookstore/cle...p-clevedon

    - perhaps there are more such thoroughly unAmazonian outfits listed there?
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