If you’re looking for any and every book under the sun, Barnes and Noble is typically the place to go.
The other day I noticed something called ‘Barnes and Noble Marketplace.’ I was extremely curious, what is that?! Is it still in business? And if so, how does it work?
We looked into it and this is what we found…
What Is Barnes & Noble Marketplace?
Barnes & Noble Booksellers is an American retail chain with over 600 retail stores across the United States. As well as street stores, they have a vast online bookstore, and also once had an online “network of trusted sellers” called the Barnes & Noble Marketplace. This, however, no longer exists.
This article takes a look at the Barnes & Noble Marketplace: what it was, how it worked, and what happened to it.
What Was The Barnes & Noble Marketplace?
The B&N Marketplace was Barnes & Noble’s ecommerce platform. It used to work pretty much like Ebay or Amazon: buyers could search and shop and buyers could list and sell. The platform allowed buyers to place items in digital carts and then check out and pay.
The Barnes & Noble Marketplace offered millions of new and used items from a network of sellers often at discounted prices. B&N provided their signature security and guarantee to the whole enterprise and profited through the fees charged on sale transactions.
Sellers were either professional vendors with thousands of items or just one person with a few items. Barnes & Noble established and monitored performance guidelines but did not take or have possession of the items being sold.
Sellers were responsible for packaging and shipping sold items and for setting shipping fees. The site included a secure payment system and a resolution centre.
What Happened To Barnes & Noble Marketplace?
In 2020, Barnes & Noble announced that they were closing down their Marketplace programme. This was the program that allowed third-party merchants to sell on its ecommerce platform.
The decision came as a shock to the sellers, vendors, and buyers who had been using the site. However, experts in the industry felt that when U.K. bookseller James Daunt took over as CEO of Barnes & Noble in August 2019, there would be some serious changes within the company.
Participating sellers were sent the following statement in 2020:
After reviewing many facets of our eCommerce business, regretfully, Barnes & Noble has come to the conclusion that we will be terminating our Marketplace program.
The last day of operation on the Barnes & Noble Marketplace was Thursday, March 26th, 2020.
Sellers were then allowed a further 30 days to follow up on and/or process any customer returns and issues.
Barnes & Noble also reassured sellers that we will keep you in mind should we have any future projects that need marketplace support.
Whether this means that Barnes & Noble will be opening another similar Marketplace is unclear.
Was Barnes & Noble Marketplace A Good Platform For Selling Things?
Client feedback for the B&N Marketplace closure was mixed. Many sellers were disappointed and felt that the site had been easy to use and lucrative for sellers.
Other sellers felt that the B&N Marketplace site had “fallen behind the times” and needed “serious work on its interface” and to “fine tune the navigation console”. This particular seller then went on to point out that other ecommerce sites, such as Ebay and Amazon, were better developed and patronized by far more people.
Other feedback mentioned AMZ and Alibaba as global selling sites that were too big for Barnes & Noble to compete with.
Most sellers were unhappy with the short notice they were given regarding the closure, but some reported that the decision was “expected” anyway.
What Other Changes Were Made For Barnes & Noble?
When James Daunt made a series of internal company changes, he refined and simplified the company, restoring it to its core bookselling principle.
As well as closing the Marketplace, for example, closed a number of bricks & mortar outlets and cut corporate office positions.
He also gave store control back to individual store managers, saying that “each store will be managed by people who love and know books, understand their local markets and view their role as important to their community”.
This means that each store, instead of having their shelves filled centrally, can do it themselves. In other words, they can interact with local communities, take note of what local readers like to read and stock the store to match.
Daunt hoped that this new vibrant and very personal instore experience would match Amazon’s “personless” book buying experience and prompt more shoppers to “go for the real thing instead”.
Want to learn more about Barnes and Noble? Check out our related posts:
- Does Barnes and Noble Take Apple Pay?
- Does Barnes and Noble Price Match?
- Why Is Barnes & Noble So Expensive?
- rWhen Does Barnes & Noble Restock?
Barnes & Noble Marketplace used to be an online market platform for buyers and sellers to meet, interact, and then finalize transactions.
While many such ecommerce platforms saw more business than ever before during the Covid pandemic, Barnes & Noble decided to close down their virtual Marketplace.
They have instead turned to revitalizing their street stores and streamlining their book selling website. Barnes & Noble hope that buyers will find either form of purchase a satisfying and enjoyable experience.