AbeBooks Privacy Notice

Last Updated: 24 May, 2018.

AbeBooks.co.uk knows you care how information about you is used and shared, and we appreciate your trust that we'll do so carefully and sensibly. This privacy notice describes how we collect, process, and protect your personal information.

Controller of Personal Information

Any personal information provided to or gathered by AbeBooks.co.uk is controlled by AbeBooks Europe GmbH, Ronsdorfer Str. 77a, 40233 Düsseldorf (the data controller, referred to as "AbeBooks").

Unless stated otherwise, this Privacy Policy exclusively regulates how AbeBooks treats your personal data. In case you make use of services provided by third parties, the privacy policy conditions of these third parties apply exclusively.

What Personal Information About Customers Does AbeBooks.co.uk Gather?

The information we learn from customers helps us to provide and continually improve our products and services. Here are the types of information we gather:

  • Information You Give Us: we receive and store any information you provide on our website or give us in any other way. Click here to see examples of what we collect. You can choose not to provide certain information but then you might not be able to take advantage of many of our Services.
  • Automatic Information: we automatically receive and store certain types of information when you interact with us, such as information about your use, including your interaction with content and services available on our website. Like many websites, we use “cookies” and other unique identifiers and we obtain certain types of information when your web browser accesses AbeBooks.co.uk and other content served by or on behalf of AbeBooks.co.uk on other websites. Click here to see examples of what we collect.
  • Information from Other Sources: we might receive information about you from other sources. Click here to see examples of the information we receive.

For What Purposes does AbeBooks.co.uk Process Your Personal Information?

We process your personal information to operate, provide, and improve AbeBooks.co.uk and the services that we offer to our customers. These purposes include:

  • Purchase and delivery of products and services. We use your personal information to facilitate the processing of payments and communicate with you about orders, products, services, and promotional offers.
  • Provide, troubleshoot, and improve AbeBooks.co.uk. We use your personal information to provide functionality, analyse performance, fix errors, and improve usability and effectiveness of AbeBooks.co.uk.
  • Recommendations and personalisation. We use your personal information to recommend features, products, and services that might be of interest to you, identify your preferences, and personalise your experience with AbeBooks.co.uk.
  • Comply with legal obligations. In certain cases, we have a legal obligation to collect and process your personal information. For instance, we collect information from sellers regarding place of establishment and bank account information for identity verification and other purposes.
  • Communicate with you. We use your personal information to communicate with you in relation to AbeBooks.co.uk and the services we offer via different channels (e.g., by phone, email).
  • Advertising. We use your personal information to display interest-based ads for features, products, and services that might be of interest to you. To learn more, please read our Interest-Based Advertising notice.
  • Fraud Prevention and Credit Risks. We process personal information to prevent and detect fraud and abuse in order to protect the security of our customers, our sellers, AbeBooks.co.uk, and others. We may also use scoring methods to assess and manage credit risks.
  • Purposes for which we seek your consent. We may also ask for your consent to process your personal information for a specific purpose that we communicate to you. When you consent to our processing of your personal information for a specified purpose, you may withdraw your consent at any time and we will stop processing your data for that purpose.

What About Cookies?

We use cookies, pixels, and other technologies (collectively, "cookies") to recognise your browser or device, learn more about your interests, and provide you with essential features and services and for additional purposes, including:

  • Recognising you when you sign-in to use our services. This allows us to provide you with product recommendations, display personalised content, and provide other customised features and services.
  • Keeping track of items stored in your shopping basket.
  • Conducting research and diagnostics to improve AbeBooks' content, products, and services.
  • Preventing fraudulent activity.
  • Improving security.
  • Delivering content, including ads, relevant to your interests on AbeBooks' sites and third-party sites (see the Interest-Based Ads notice for how we use cookies in serving interest-based ads).
  • Reporting. This allows us to measure and analyse the performance of our services.

Cookies allow you to take advantage of some of AbeBooks' essential features. For instance, if you block or otherwise reject our cookies, you will not be able to proceed to checkout or use any AbeBooks products and services that require you to sign in.

Approved third parties may also set cookies when you interact with AbeBooks.co.uk. Third parties include search engines, providers of measurement and analytics services, social media networks, and advertising companies. Third parties use cookies in the process of delivering content, including ads relevant to your interests, to measure the effectiveness of their ads, and to perform services on behalf of AbeBooks.co.uk.

You can manage browser cookies through your browser settings. The Help feature on most browsers will tell you how to prevent your browser from accepting new cookies, how to have the browser notify you when you receive a new cookie, and how to disable cookies altogether. Additionally, you can disable or delete similar data used by browser add-ons, such as Flash cookies, by changing the add-on's settings or visiting the website of its manufacturer.

Does AbeBooks.co.uk Share the Information It Receives?

Information about our customers is an important part of our business, and we're not in the business of selling our customers' personal information to others. AbeBooks shares customers' personal information only as described below, with our affiliates, and with our parent corporation, Amazon.com, Inc., and the subsidiaries it controls that are either subject to this Privacy Notice or follow practices at least as protective as those described in this Privacy Notice.

  • Buying and Selling on AbeBooks: If you purchase or sell products via the AbeBooks websites, we will transmit your personal data to the respective contractual partner (buyer or seller) for the purpose of processing the contract. If you sell products via partner companies (including those not controlled by AbeBooks), in individual cases it can be necessary that we also transmit your personal data to these companies for the purpose of selling your products.
  • Third-Party Service Providers: We employ other companies and individuals to perform functions on our behalf. Examples include, sending e-mail, removing repetitive information from customer lists, analysing data, providing marketing assistance, processing payment card payments, and providing customer service. These service providers have access to personal information needed to perform their functions, but may not use it for other purposes. They are obliged to treat your data according to this Privacy Notice and the relevant data protection legislation.
  • Promotional Offers: Sometimes, we may send offers to selected groups of AbeBooks.co.uk customers on behalf of other businesses. When we do this, we don't give that business your name and address.
  • Business Transfers: As we continue to develop our business, we might sell or buy other businesses or services. In such transactions, customer information generally is one of the transferred business assets but remains subject to the promises made in any pre-existing Privacy Notice (unless, of course, the customer consents otherwise). Also, in the event that AbeBooks.co.uk or substantially all of its assets are acquired, customer information will be one of the transferred assets. In this case your data is also subject to this Privacy Notice and the relevant data protection legislation.
  • Protection of AbeBooks.co.uk and Others: We release account and other personal information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law; enforce or apply our Terms and Conditions and other agreements; or protect the rights, property, or safety of AbeBooks.co.uk, our users, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for fraud protection and credit-risk reduction.
  • Other than as set out above, you'll receive notice when personal information about you might be shared with third parties, and you'll have an opportunity to choose not to share the information.

Transfers out of the European Economic Area. Whenever we transfer personal information to countries outside of the European Economic Area, we will ensure that the information is transferred in accordance with this Privacy Notice and as permitted by the applicable laws on data protection.

How Secure Is Information About Me?

We design our systems and devices with your security and privacy in mind.

  • We work to protect the security of your information during transmission by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software, which encrypts information you enter.
  • We follow the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) when handling credit card data.
  • We maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards in connection with the collection, storage, and disclosure of personal customer information. Our security procedures mean that we may occasionally request proof of identity before we disclose personal information to you.
  • It's important for you to protect against unauthorised access to your password and your computer. Be sure to sign off when you've finished using a shared computer.
  • Some of our affiliated businesses and service providers are located outside of the European Economic Area, including in the United States, and your personal information may be collected, used, stored and processed outside of the European Economic Area for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy.

Interest-Based Advertising

AbeBooks is an online marketplace. We may work with advertisers and advertising partners to display interest-based ads to you on other websites using information you make available to us when you interact with AbeBooks. Interest-based ads, also sometimes referred to as personalised or targeted ads, are displayed to you based on information from activities such as browsing selections or making purchases on AbeBooks.

AbeBooks does not provide any personal information directly to these advertisers or third party advertising partners. These companies sometimes use technology to send (or "serve") ads directly to your browser. They automatically receive your IP address when this happens. They may also use cookies, JavaScript, web beacons (also known as action tags or single-pixel gifs), and other technologies to measure the effectiveness of their ads and to personalise advertising content. We do not have access to or control over cookies or other features that they may use, and the information practices of these advertisers and third-party websites are not covered by AbeBooks' Privacy Notice.

Currently, we use third party-placed tracking pixels, web plugins, and cookies from advertising partners including but not limited to: Facebook, Google, and Criteo. Please contact Facebook, Google, and Criteo directly for more information about their privacy practices.

If you would like to opt-out of receiving interest-based advertisements on Facebook, you can do so here: https://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=ads. If you would like to opt-out of receiving interest-based advertisements on Google, you can do so here: https://adssettings.google.com/authenticated. If you would like to opt-out of receiving interest-based advertisements through Criteo, you can do so here: http://www.criteo.com/privacy/.

You can opt-out of receiving interest-based ads from third parties who are members of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) or who follow the Digital Advertising Alliance's Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising (DAA) by visiting the opt-out pages on the NAI website and DAA website.

Which Information Can I Access?

You can access your information, including your name, address, shipping destinations, payment options, profile information, and purchase history in the "Your Account" section of the website. Click here for a list of examples that you can access.

What Choices Do I Have?

  • You can always choose not to provide information, even though it might be needed to make a purchase or to take advantage of AbeBooks.co.uk features such as the shopping basket.
  • You can add or update certain information on pages such as those listed in the "Which Information Can I Access?" section above. When you update information, we usually keep a copy of the prior version for our records.
  • You have the right to access, update, and modify your personal data, and to object to its processing. You can exercise this right by sending an e-mail to privacy@abebooks.co.uk.
  • At any time you may ask us to stop sending you commercial e-mail by sending your request to privacy@abebooks.co.uk. Also, each commercial e-mail we send to you will tell you how to decline further unsolicited e-mail.
  • The "help" portion of the toolbar on most browsers will tell you how to prevent your browser from accepting new cookies, how to have the browser notify you when you receive a new cookie, or how to disable cookies altogether. Additionally, you can disable or delete similar data used by browser add-ons, such as Flash cookies, by changing the add-on's settings or visiting the website of its manufacturer. Because cookies allow you to take advantage of some of AbeBooks.co.uk's essential features, we recommend you leave them turned on. For instance, if you block or otherwise reject our cookies, you will not be able to add items to your shopping basket, proceed to checkout, or use any AbeBooks.co.uk products and services that require you to sign in.
  • When you consent to our processing of your personal information for a specified purpose, you may withdraw your consent at any time and we will stop any further processing of your data for that purpose.
  • Sellers can add or update certain information in the Members Menu.

In addition, subject to applicable law, you have the right to request access to, correct, and delete your personal data, and to ask for data portability in a commonly used and machine readable format. You may also object to our processing of your personal data or ask that we restrict the processing of your personal data in certain instances. If you wish to do any of these things, please contact AbeBooks.co.uk Customer Service.

Are Children Allowed to Use AbeBooks.co.uk?

If you're under 18, you may use AbeBooks.co.uk only with the involvement of a parent or guardian.

How Long do we Keep Your Personal Information?

We keep your personal information to enable your continued use of AbeBooks.co.uk, for as long as it is required in order to fulfil the relevant purposes described in this Privacy Notice, as may be required by law such as for tax and accounting purposes, or as otherwise communicated to you. For example, we retain your transaction history so that you can review past purchases (and repeat orders if desired) and what addresses you have shipped orders to, and to improve the relevancy of products and services we recommend.

Conditions of Use, Notices and Revisions

Contacts, Notices & Revisions

If you have any concern about privacy at AbeBooks.co.uk, please contact us at privacy@abebooks.co.uk.

Our business changes constantly and our Privacy Notice will change also. You should check our website frequently to see recent changes. Unless stated otherwise, our current Privacy Notice applies to all information that we have about you and your account. We stand behind the promises we make, however, and will never materially change our policies and practices to make them less protective of customer information collected in the past without the consent of affected customers.

Examples of Information Collected

You provide information when you:


  • search for products or services;
  • place an order;
  • provide information in Your Account (and you might have more than one when shopping with us);
  • provide information in your seller account;
  • offer your products through AbeBooks.co.uk;
  • communicate with us by phone, e-mail, or otherwise;
  • complete a questionnaire, a support ticket, or a competition entry form.

As a result of those actions, you might supply us with such information as: your name; address and phone number; payment information; your age; your location information; people to whom purchases have been dispatched (including addresses and phone numbers); e-mails to us; information and documents regarding identity and standing; corporate and financial information; credit history information; and VAT numbers.

Automatic Information

Examples of the information we collect and analyse include:

  • the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer or other device to the Internet;
  • login, e-mail address, and password;
  • computer, device, and connection information such as device application or browser type and version, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system, or time zone setting;
  • the location of your device or computer;
  • purchase and content use history, which we sometimes aggregate with similar information from other customers to create features such as lists of bestselling items;
  • the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through, and from our website (including date and time); cookie number; products and/or content you viewed or searched for, page response times, download errors, and page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs);
  • phone numbers used to call our customer service number.

We may also use device identifiers, cookies, and other technologies on devices, applications, and our web pages to collect browsing, usage, or other technical information for fraud prevention purposes.

Information from Other Sources

Examples of information we receive from other sources include credit history information from our affiliates and credit bureaus, which we use to help prevent and detect fraud and to offer certain credit or financial services to some customers.

Information You Can Access

Examples of information you can access at AbeBooks.co.uk include

  • status of recent orders;
  • your complete order history;
  • personally identifiable information (including name, e-mail, password, communications and personalised preferences, address book);
  • payment settings (including payment card information);
  • Sellers can access their account and other information, and adjust their language preferences, by updating their accounts in the Members Menu.