Is it important to have good bookseller software? When you are just at the starting point of any retail business, inventory management for books may not seem so complicated. However, as your business scales and the inventory amount increases, it will become harder and harder to manage everything.
Inventory management software help booksellers sell their books on marketplaces and manage inventory fast and efficiently. They track the number of items you have overall (in your warehouse shelves or other retailers and distributors); they keep the prices updated, help avoid overstocking and understocking, take care of shipping and delivery, etc. All in all, book inventory software for booksellers provides total control over your inventory and helps make wiser purchasing and selling decisions.
In this article, we’ll cover several most effective inventory management systems and compare their features and prices so that you can choose the one that suits your business most and improves its efficiency and overall customer satisfaction.
Book Inventory Software Comparison*
|SHIPPING AND LOGISTICS||PLATFORM||PRICE/PLANS||PROS & CONS|
🛒All major marketplaces
|Windows||💳Starting at $99 per month (based on a percentage of monthly sales)||➕ Flexibility
➕ FBA integration
➕ Integration with all major marketplaces and shipping software
➕ Suitable for high-volume sellers
➖ Issues with re-pricing features
➖ Not web-based
🛒All major marketplaces
|Windows||💳No free trial; contact for more details||➕ Integration with all major marketplaces
➕ Integrates with most major shipping carriers
➕ Flat fee for smaller clients
➖ No free trial
commission for each sale
|➕ FBA and/or FBM integration
➕ Repricer can be tailored to specific needs
➕ Customizable forms
➕ Barcode inventory listing
➕ Suitable for high-volume sellers
➖ Limited integration to smaller marketplaces
|The Art of Books||
💳The first 30 days are free
|➕ Free trial
➕ FBA integration
➕ A finely tuned interface for inventory listings
➕ Exceptional customer service
➖ eBay setup is complicated
💳$250 one-time set-up fee
|➕ Minimizes accepting unneeded and unwanted books
➕ Available as a web app and software
➕ A smooth POS system
➖ Fixed set-up fee
➖ No trial period
|Cash Monkey Software||
|n/a||Web app||💳Pricing is based on revenue and modules chosen||➕ Suitable for high-volume sellers
➕ Custom module and feature
➖ Not suitable for small sellers
➖ Mostly Amazon-focused
💳Starting from $260.00 per user, per month
|➕ Perfect for small bookstores, museum stores, gift shops
➕ Integrated email functionality
➕ Free trial
➕ Great support team
➖ More POS than an inventory system
* All the information in the table was taken from various open sources, official websites, and public customer reviews. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that it’s 100% relevant and up to date.
Monsoon has been offering end-to-end e-commerce software solutions for 21 years. It started in 2002 as a part of Powell’s Books. Nowadays, the platform allows online merchants and multi-channel retailers to optimize the inventory across marketplaces and gain the most profitable sales. Other features of the platform include automated listing, dynamic repricing tools, automated order fulfillment, shipping, a dedicated account manager, and expert customer support. Monsoon integrates well with all major online marketplaces and shipping software and enables multi-marketplace listing (e.g., Amazon, eBay, BooksRun, Walmart, Biblio, etc.).
Indaba is another inventory management software and a multi-channel e-сommerce platform for online retailers that provides functionality for books inventory management, multi-channel listing, price management, order fulfillment, and reporting. They work with all major marketplaces (Amazon, eBay, Biblio, Alibris, Textbookx, etc.) and carriers (FedEx, UPS, DHL, United States Postal Service). They also offer integrations with shipping and logistics software programs (DesktopShipper, BestManifesting, DYMO, Endicia). Indaba doesn’t have a free trial version or period; however, they offer flat fees for smaller clients. Overall, they charge their clients based on the percentage of sales. They also have their own marketplace—Indaba Direct— that integrates with Indaba Merchant inventory management software.
Neatoscan offers “powerful tools for smart sellers“: Neatopricer book scanning application (which it is most famous for), Neatoscan inventory evaluator, and Neatoscan inventory manager. While the entire Neatoscan website can’t boast of having the most state-of-the-art website design, their inventory management software is “a complete turn-key solution for online sellers that seamlessly integrates with the online business that let you save time, cut costs and increase productivity.” The system features inventory prescanning and receiving, inventory management and shipping, customized preset rules, FBA integration, and reporting. This marketplace management solution for booksellers allows you to track all your listings, sales, and items shipped, create customized packing slips, process refunds, and cancel orders. The average commission ranges from 1% to 3% for each sale. It supports the following marketplaces: Amazon, eBay, AbeBooks, Alibris, etc.
Art of Books
The Art of Books has a simple design; however, it is a well-known book inventory management system that features inventory file upload, powerful automatic product repricing, fast lister, and shipping tools (integration for Endicia bulk label printing). With this software, you can adjust prices per venue as well. The company dates back to 2005 and has plenty of experience helping booksellers manage their inventory. At the moment, they offer a free testing period with limited functionality for 30 days; their further pricing is based on the number of sales. The sales commission ranges from 0.5% to 1.25%, with a $0.02 minimum per sale and a $20 minimum per month.
Basil supports new, used, and online book sales and claims that it “allows you to sell items simply and intuitively.” The software offers its services on a month-to-month basis and doesn’t have a trial period since there are no contracts. The initial set-up fee is $250, followed by monthly payments (from $225 per month depending on store size, volume, and product type). Basil bookseller software offers functionality for offline/online booksellers, including POS, inventory control, barcoding, purchasing, shipping, etc. It’s cloud-based; therefore, the inventory is updated in real-time.
Cash Monkey Software
Cash Monkey Software is a selling platform for bulk sellers. It is a listing, pricing, and selling tool for online booksellers. It offers inventory and order management, merchant listing, FBA listing, prescanning, and repricing. The tool is aimed at experienced, high-volume sellers who are focused on two major marketplaces—Amazon and eBay—and are currently working on adding more marketplaces. Depending on the revenue of a seller in question and the module chosen, the price for the service differs.
If you are looking for a reliable POS for booksellers, Anthology is a fair choice. It’s a full-featured POS/inventory management system and a powerful tool for booksellers across the U.S. and worldwide. Three software solutions are offered for customers depending on their needs, size, and budget: Anthology Classic (Windows-based), Anthology Private Cloud (APC), and Anthology Multi-store. Each of these options has tools to analyze inventory and leverage new markets, sell quickly, control and manage orders, keep all inventory in check, and so much more. The company dates back to 1989 when it was first founded to provide booksellers with a “powerful, easy-to-use, and inexpensive bookstore management system.” This is the last bookseller software on our list. Though it’s more a POS suitable for independent booksellers, museum stores, gift shops, and other small businesses rather than an inventory management software, we think it’s worth mentioning. The software price starts at $260.00 per user per month. No free version is offered, but there is a free trial.
Multichannel Inventory Management Systems and Marketplace Number Reduction
Most book inventory systems we’ve discussed in this article are all multichannel, which means that they support integration not only with Amazon and eBay but also with several (or many) third-party marketplaces.
Yet, it should be noted that the number of marketplaces where books can be sold is gradually decreasing. We all remember how Half.com merged with eBay and shut down in 2017. Barnes & Noble terminated their marketplace program in 2020. TextbookRush and Bookstores.com downsized their marketplaces due to a restructuring in 2019.
The tendency is understandable: not all alternative marketplaces can compete with Amazon. Some of them are getting outdated both in terms of functionality and interface; they lack the resources and staffing to keep up with global selling sites.
The omnipresence of Amazon stretches further to inventory management systems as well. A large number of them are now focused on integration with Amazon only. Some of the systems that used to be quite popular among booksellers are going out of business. Fillz, for example, was acquired by AbeBooks in 2006, which has its own inventory management software—HomeBase. Fillz continued working until 2019, when it was closed. The decision was explained by the need to allocate more resources to AbeBooks’s native marketplace. Considering the purchase of AbeBooks by Amazon in 2008, the entire case is a good example of how Amazon is gradually monopolizing the online bookselling market.
Yet, many systems are still there and offering their services to booksellers, large and small.
The Final Thoughts
Keeping track of your inventory is essential for every seller, regardless of where you sell. Spreadsheets won’t help you out in the long term if you plan to scale your bookselling business. And even if you don’t, an automated inventory system will do everything way better.
However, at BookScouter, we recommend choosing a books inventory management system with multiple marketplace integrations and a broad number of features. Why is it important to focus on many markets instead of Amazon only (no matter how large it is)? The more marketplaces you can use to sell your books, the more customers you can potentially reach. Not everyone prefers Amazon, and with a system that can send your books to other marketplaces such as Alibris, eCampus, TextbookRush, Biblio, Chrislands, TextbookX, BooksRun Marketplace, etc., your chances of selling them faster are way higher.