Frequently Asked Questions
Why am I not seeing my inventory?
The portal is currently only able to display each items inventory level if there is less than 100,000 items listed.
If you are not seeing your inventory on site, It can take 24-48 hours for your items to be updated on the website. If you don't see changes right away, please do not keep uploading files or editing your items. Please wait 24 hours before contacting Seller Relations at 1-866-897-1763 with your issue.
Can I request additional shipping fees from BN.com customers?
No. It is recommended that Sellers raise the price of heavy items to cover any additional shipping costs associated with those items.
When do I get paid?
Payments are made every Tuesday via ACH transfers. If you are a new seller, there is a 28 day waiting period for the first payment.
Why can’t I list my item?
There are a few reasons you may be having issues listing your items.
- The item is not present in our catalog for sale on the marketplace.
- The item number was accidentally incorrectly typed when trying to load the inventory.
- You already have the UPC assigned to a different SKU in our database.
What is a business hold?
Why is my account in review?
An account is placed in review if the profile is incomplete (missing a credit card, banking or other information). Additionally, if there is issue authenticating the information in the account, it will be placed in review.
Why do you need my SSN/ITIN/EIN?
We are required to collect certain tax identification information from all of our Marketplace Sellers in order to ensure that we are able to make full payments without tax withholdings. In order to avoid any interruption in your listing privileges, we need you to take the following steps. If you are a US person, please sign into your Seller Account and add either SSN or EIN information to your settings page as soon as possible. If you are not a US person, we need to you send us an appropriate signed, original Form W-8 confirming that you are not a US person to the address below:
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Attn: Vendor Maintenance C-level
1400 Old Country Road
Westbury, NY 11590
For your convenience, the different forms and instructions to each can be reached by clicking the link below. Be assured that we keep all of your information private and secure. Accounts that have not been updated within two weeks of this email will be put on Hold.
Why can’t I load my image?
To create a more consistent buying experience for the bn.com customer, one standard image is used for all of the listings.
What are the requirements and guidelines for selling items on BN.com?
- All listings must be priced between $1.99 and $2,500.
- Every book must be assigned a SKU. You choose any number, but you can only use it once: it cannot be used for two items or re-used after an item is sold.
- All listings must have a "condition" - a brief description of the overall state of the item. Condition choices are: New; Like New; Very Good; Good; and Acceptable.
- All listings must have either a valid ISBN or a title.
- The Comments field for each listing must contain a complete and accurate description of the item it represents. Items that inaccurately described must be completely refunded including shipping at the expense of the seller.
- International editions must be listed with their international ISBN and must clearly state "International Edition" in the comments field.
- Listings for Print on Demand titles must clearly state "Print on Demand Edition" in the notes in their Comments field.
- Sellers cannot reference their own store contact information, website, conditions of sale, or return policy anywhere in the listing, including in the Comments.
- Sellers cannot solicit customers to view or purchase items directly through personal websites or any other channels.
- Only one listing is allowed per physical copy of the item. This includes opening multiple accounts to list the same item.
The following items cannot be listed or sold on BN.com:
- Items that are not in the Seller's possession
- Items that have been illegally printed or stolen
- Items that have not yet been published or made available to the general public
- Promotional items, including Advanced Reading Copies
- Ebooks and other electronic editions, either transmitted digitally or copied to a CD or any other media format
- Illegal books or materials
- Cannot split open an item and repackage as two or more separate items.
- Teacher/Instructor editions of textbooks
- Items that do not compliment or supplement Barnes & Noble's product offerings.
- Items distributed via the Fulfillment by Amazon program
What if I am not located in the US?
If you wish to sell on our marketplace but are located outside the United States, the following are additional requirements:
- A US Bank account
- You need to submit a W-8 tax form (US IRS website) to the below address before you can begin to sell.
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Attn: Vendor Maintenance C-level
1400 Old Country Road
Westbury, NY 11590
- Must provide a valid physical address for a customer to return items.
How do I accept or reject orders?
You can accept or reject orders from the Dashboard or the Orders page. To choose individually, just use the Accept or Reject button for each item. To accept or reject all your orders, go to the top of the Orders section and choose "Select All," then "Actions," and then "Accept" or "Reject."
How long do I have to process an order?
Sellers must accept or reject pending orders by the end of the second business day after the order was placed. (For instance, an order placed on Wednesday must be accepted or rejected by the end of the day on Friday. An order placed on Thursday must be accepted or rejected by the end of the day on Monday, since Saturday and Sunday are not business days). BN.com will automatically reject orders not accepted or rejected by 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time of the second business day. Business days include all days other than Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays recognized by the United States Postal Service.
How is a refund total calculated?
What are my shipping options?
All Sellers are required to offer Standard Domestic shipping to the lower 48 States, the most basic level of shipping service, for every item listed. Shipping Options are additional levels of shipping service that can be made available to customers on BN.com web each Seller's listings at Seller's discretion. Expected Customer Arrival is from Order date. All options listed below.
|Ship Method||Expected Customer Arrival|
|Standard (48 States)||4 to 14 business days for addresses in the United States|
|Standard (AK/HI)||4 to 14 business days for addresses in the United States|
|Express (48 States)||3 to 6 business days to addresses within the United States|
|Express (AK/HI)||3 to 6 business days to addresses within the United States|
|Canadian||6 to 20 business days to addresses within Canada|
|International||4 to 6 weeks to addresses outside of the United States and Canada|
Each Seller can specify which of these options will be available for their listings as a default. BN.com does not specify which specific carriers or methods Sellers are expected to use when shipping items. Sellers are responsible for ensuring that customers receive their items within the timeframes associated with the shipping options that they have agreed to provide and that the customers have selected with their purchases
To help you determine where to ship each item that is ordered, as well as when it must be shipped and when the customer expects to receive it, BN.com provides the following shipping details with each order:
Shipping Via: This is the level of shipping service that the customer has selected (e.g. Standard Domestic, Canadian, etc.). Note that the different levels of service are not associated with specific shipping methods or carriers - instead, each level determines the timeframe within which the customer expects to receive the item ordered (see below). The shipping allowance that Sellers receive for each order is also determined by the level of shipping service that the customer selects.
Must Arrive Within: This is the number of business days after the "Ship By" date (see below) allotted for the delivery of the item, based on the level of shipping service that the customer selected. Note that if the customer does not receive the item ordered within the timeframe described here, he or she is entitled to a full refund.
Ship By: The item ordered must be shipped to the customer no later than this date, regardless of the level of service chosen. The "Ship By" date is always two business days after the order was placed. Business Days are Monday through Friday, excluding holidays observed by the U.S. Postal Service.
Ship To: The item ordered should be shipped to this address, provided by the customer. If the address looks incomplete or incorrect, please contact the customer before shipping the item to ensure proper delivery. Note that if the item is purchased as a gift, the customer who purchased it may not be the addressee listed here.
How and why do I issue a refund?
What are the shipping allowances?
For each accepted order, you will be credited with a shipping allowance. The amount of the shipping allowance is a percentage of the amount collected from the customer based upon the level of shipping service selected.
Sellers are expected to be able to provide any of the levels of service that they have offered for each listing using the allowances described below. Sellers may not request additional shipping funds from customers. BN.com recognizes that these allowances can exceed or be insufficient for the actual cost of shipment. It is recommended that you raise the price of heavy items to cover any additional shipping costs associated with those items.
Standard (48 States)
Standard (AK, HI)
Express (48 States)
Express (AK, HI)
Am I allowed to charge a restocking fee?
No, restocking fees are not allowed.
Can I accept an order without entering tracking?
Yes, click "Accept" as you would normally, and continue without entering any carrier or tracking information.
What happens if the order is doesn’t arrive by the promise date (Late/lost)?
Late Arrival: If the order is not delivered by the promise date and the customer is unwilling/unable to wait to see if it arrives, the seller is required to provide a full refund (including shipping) to the customer.
Lost Shipment: A shipment can be declared lost if the customer states that it has not been received seven business days beyond the latest estimated delivery date (calculated using the shipping method selected). Customers who inquire about lost shipments will be refunded immediately. If the Seller chooses to purchase insurance or tracking for their shipment, it is that Seller's responsibility to file a claim for the lost shipment with the carrier involved in order to recover damages. Customers cannot be denied a refund for lost shipment if the item has not been received within the selected timeframe plus an additional seven business days, regardless if the Seller has purchased tracking, insurance, or delivery confirmation.
The following calculations are used to determine when a shipment is considered lost, based on the level of shipping service selected:
Standard Domestic: Order Date + 21 business days beyond the order date.
Express Domestic: Order Date + 13 business days beyond the order date.
Canadian: Order Date + 27 business days beyond the order date.
International: Order Date + 7 weeks beyond the order date.
Do I have to include a packing slip? Where can I get one?
Yes. You can use your own or generate one through My Seller Account. Just go to Orders and then the specific order you need. You'll see "Print Label & Packing Slip." When you click on this, it will open a printable view in a new window.
If you are going to generate your own, the following fields are required: bn.com order number, order date, ISBN/UPC, Title, Ship to address, Ship from address, return address.
How do I add an item to sell?
You can add items individually or with a file through My Seller Account, or through sFTP. To add items individually or with a file, go to either Dashboard or Inventory in My Seller Account. To get a sFTP account either for yourself or a vendor, please contact Seller Relations at 1-866-897-1763.
Do I need SFTP?
SFTP is advisable in the following situations:
- You are utilizing a third party inventory service provider.
- You plan on loading inventory files larger than 8 megabytes on a regular basis.
How can I find an ISBN, UPC, or EAN?
Most books have an ISBN, which is a 10 or 13 digit code, generally on the back of the book or the inside front page. Most movies and music have a UPC, which is often located at the bottom of the barcode.
How can I edit or delete my listings?
To edit or delete one item at a time, find the listing you want, either through Search or by going to the Inventory page. Then click the appropriate button to begin the process. To bulk edit your items, you can replace with a file through Inventory -> Add Items Using a File.
How can I upload my own files?
You can upload your own files using with either a standard option (for new items and/or edits) or purge & replace (to edit your ENTIRE inventory). First, go to Inventory, and choose the correct option. Then, file the correct file from your computer, and upload it into My Seller Account. (If you do not already have a file template, you one can be downloaded from the Inventory screen.)
If you choose purge & replace, remember that any inventory not included with this file will be deleted.
Note: Files can take from 24-48 hours to update on the website. If you don't see changes right away, DO NOT keep uploading files; please wait 24 hours or contact Seller Relations at 866-897-1763 for support.
What file formats or inventory management systems do you
An inventory file format is a set of conventions used to identify each column or data point in an inventory file. BN.com will process any inventory file that utilizes one of the three standard formats given below. You can also download a standard template with our headings in the seller portal. Most inventory software packages can create files for export in at least one of these formats. If you have questions about how to create an inventory file using an acceptable format, do not hesitate to contact our Seller Relations team.
- Tab-delimited (w/BN headers)
- Amazon Inventory Loader (The Amazon headers used for this specific format are based on the "Inventory Loader" template. In order to use the "Book Loader" template, please submit a custom mapping request.)
- BookTrakker (You can create a file from BookTrakker to be uploaded manually to My Seller Account but you cannot use BookTrakker to automatically upload the files directly to us since they use FTP and we use sFTP for uploading our files.)
Regardless of which format you use, each listing record in the file must possess the following five datapoints:
- Transaction ("A" for add, "D" for delete)
- SKU (alpha-numeric, not exceeding 15 characters)
- ISBN or Title
Also each inventory file MUST have one of the following filename extensions:
Why aren't my items appearing on the site?
It can take 24-48 hours for your items to be updated on the website. If you don't see changes right away, please do not keep uploading files or editing your items. Please wait 24 hours before contacting Seller Relations at 1-866-897-1763 with your issue.
How can I get a sFTP account?
You can request sFTP access after your account is established and in good standing for more than 45 days. After this time period, please contact Seller Relations at 1-866-897-1763 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the different conditions, and how do I choose?
New: An item that is unread and has no defects whatsoever.
Like New: An item that may have been handled several times or used slightly but that nevertheless has no defects of note and no signs of wear or aging. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.
Very Good: An item that may have minor signs of wear or aging. Similar to books in "Like New" condition, "Very Good" items do not have any tears or damage to the pages or binding and do not contain markings or highlighting.
Good: An item that shows more general signs of wear. A book may have a cracked spine, yellowed pages, markings or highlighting. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.
Acceptable: An item that is readable, with all pages intact, but showing significant signs of wear. A book may have damage such as a cracked spine, yellowed pages, markings or highlighting. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.
Why should I provide a thorough description?
When you provide a strong, clear, and accurate description of your item, the customer feels secure that the item will match the description. It helps them picture it in their head as well as be sure it's what they want. It also reduces the likelihood of an item being returned due to misrepresentation, and this saves everyone time and money.
What is a SKU?
A SKU is a unique number assigned to every item you sell on BN.com. It can be any number you pick - your own inventory system, the book's ISBN, or something random. However, you cannot use the same number more than once, and it must be alphanumeric up to 25 characters.
How should I determine my price?
We provide a comparison of the same item you're selling, including the number of available copies on BN.com, the range of prices available on BN.com, and the list price. You can use these guidelines to see where your book falls on to the scale, and set your price accordingly. Remember that you cannot set your price lower than $1.99 or higher than $2,500.
Why did I receive another order for an item that I have already marked as sold/deleted?
Generally, this happens when an item has been as sold or deleted but the system is still being updated with this information.
What is the payment schedule?
Payments are sent every Tuesday after the initial payment. They payment cycle is Monday through Sunday.
How much do I get paid?
Each item sold on BN.com is subject to a 15% commission fee, up to a $60 cap. This fee will be automatically subtracted from the amount credited to your account after the sale.
How and when do I get paid?
BN.com pays each Seller via direct deposit every Tuesday for the outstanding balance. If you have not entered your bank information, you cannot get paid.
Each time banking information is updated, we are required to send a penny test to ensure the account information is set up correctly. Upon receiving the penny please log into your seller account, go to Settings and click the box to confirm the penny deposit. *Do not click the penny box before you receive the penny as it will create a delay and you will not be paid.
Note: that it may take up to 28 days after your first order for your first payment to be initiated if there isn’t a delay in authorizing your banking information. You are responsible for maintaining accurate banking information in order to get paid.
How can I download my payment information?
Go to "Payments." You will see a link for "Download Payments" right on that page, which will download all your payments into a CSV file. You can also download only selected payments by doing a search for the desired dates. Once you get the results, you'll see a link at the top for "Download These Results.
Why can't I view my payment details?
If you are having issues downloading or viewing payment details, please call Seller Relations at 1-866-897-1763 or email them at email@example.com.
Why doesn't my balance go to zero when I'm paid on Tuesdays?
The reason your balance doesn't go to zero on Tuesday morning when we initialize payments has to do with our confirmation process for making payments. Each Tuesday morning we tally your current sales and refunds since the last payment and request that our bank initiate payment to your bank. It isn't until the next day (Wednesday) that our bank provides us with a confirmation that your account was successfully authorized for receiving payment. When we receive this confirmation, we create a "Payment" on your account and deduct the funds. Sales made between Tuesday and Wednesday morning will now show in your balance as opposed to $0. This process allows us to be notified very quickly if there is a problem with your payment so that we can contact you and resolve it.
How does feedback work?
After each purchase, the customer has the option of providing feedback about your service, using a scale of 1-5 (1 being poor, 5 being excellent). The customer can provide a numerical rating as well as comments about their experience.
We then take all of your ratings and average them together to calculate your "Feedback Rating," which we publicly display on the site. Customers may also view all the ratings and comments for each Seller by viewing the Seller's profile.
What are the feedback guidelines?
We ask customers to keep these questions in mind when giving feedback ratings:
- Was the item delivered within the timeframe described on the BN.com website?
- Did the condition of the item match the description of the item that the Seller provided on BN.com?
- If you contacted the Seller, did the Seller respond to your inquiry within 1-2 business days?
- Was the item packed with care for shipment so that it would not be damaged in transit?
- If a refund was necessary, did the Seller provide the refund in a timely manner?
If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, and if there were no other issues with your order, then the Seller probably deserves a rating of "5". If you answered "no" to one of these questions, consider giving the Seller a rating of "3" or a "4". If you answered "no" to two or more of these questions, you may want to provide the Seller with a negative rating of "2" or even "1".
Remember that a negative rating could adversely affect the Seller's business on BN.com. Before you provide a negative rating for a Seller for any reason, we recommend that you email the Seller to attempt to resolve any issues or disputes. Many Sellers are willing to go out of their way to make your experience ordering from them satisfactory.
How can I respond to feedback?
In My Seller Account, go to Feedback, where you will see all of your customers' ratings and feedback sorted with most recent first. To respond, simply click "Respond." You can also respond directly from the Order Details page. Simply find the order you need, expand the order, and choose "Respond."
How can I improve my feedback?
By going above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service! Ship promptly and with tracking information so that the customer is informed of the status of the shipment. Always use new boxes and bubble wrap. Show that you care about the books and the customer.
I have Feedback on my Alibris account. Is there a way to
have it transferred over to my direct account?
Yes. Just contact Seller Relations and let us know the name of your previous Alibris account. We can get the feedback moved over to your direct account in approximately 1-2 weeks.
How can I change my communication preferences?
Go to My Seller Account -> Settings.
What is the Vacation Setting?
When your Vacation Setting is ON, your inventory will not be displayed on BN.com and customers will be prevented from placing orders for your listings. Please use this feature when you will be unable to accept and fulfill orders within 2 business days.
To change your Vacation Setting, go to My Seller Account -> Settings. Be sure to select the appropriate Vacation Setting (OFF to display your listings, ON to prevent your listings from being displayed). Note that after you change your setting to ON, it may take several hours for your listings to be removed from BN.com. We recommend that you change your Vacation Setting to ON at least 12 hours before you will be unable to process new orders.
What is a business hold?
What messages will you send me?
We will occasionally send you emails regarding your account, a My Seller Account newsletter, or requests for volunteers for opinions on new products or services.
You can update all of your account information through My Seller Account -> Settings.
Note that if you need to change your first or last name, password, or email address, you must do it through your regular BN.com account settings. *It may take 1-2 hours for the password and up to 24 hours for the other information to pass to the seller portal.