Marketplace FAQs




What this is:

  1. What is Marketplace?
  2. How do I use it?
  3. Who can join?
  4. Is it free?
  5. How many books are on Marketplace?
  6. Why should I trust you guys?
  7. Who created Marketplace?

How you use it:

  1. Won't it be hard to manage pricing for all the books I want to sell?
  2. How do I search for a bunch of books at once?
  3. What forms of payment do you accept?
  4. How will my books arrive?
  5. If I sold books, how do I get paid?

Questions you've asked us:

  1. I received a damaged book. Can I return it for credit?
  2. Where's my shipment? I see a date on here but it hasn't arrived.
  3. When I upload a list to sell books on Marketplace, who sees it?
  4. I keep trying to upload something and it FAILS. Why?



What is Marketplace?

Marketplace is great! At its core, Marketplace is an alternative sourcing platform that directly connects bookstores to each other for textbook sourcing and selling. 

Direct sourcing from peer stores nationwide increases your logistical efficiency, and brings higher margins to your store and significant savings to students. And selling off your store's dead stock and overstock in bulk saves you bushels of hassle. 

We make Marketplace even easier to manage two ways. You have the option to "bin and hold" your orders, which means we collect all your orders and hold them at our warehouse until you want them, then send you one shipment. Second, we consolidate your invoices for you, which saves your accounting staff a couple headaches. 

Reach out to us and we'll get you a quick tour!

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How do I use it?

Your choice! If you're an adventurous spirit, just start clicking around. We tried to make Marketplace easy to use. 

If you'd rather have a guided tour, send an email to our Store Support team at They're a group of friendly experts; you'll have a great time. 

Finally, if you've already prepped the popcorn, we have a few training videos for you here

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Who can join?

Any bookstore, institutional or private, can join Marketplace. All you need is an invite code from one of your peers. 

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Is it free? 

Yep! We have no fees, no subscription plans, nothing. We make money off commissions when someone sells on Marketplace, and we keep those commissions to 9%, half of the going industry rate. 

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How many books are on Marketplace? 

Millions. Literally. It depends on the season, of course, but when we aggregate all peer inventory, Sidewalk inventory, and Sidewalk partner inventory, there are usually upwards of twenty million books available at any given time.

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Talk to me about trust. Why should I trust you guys? 

Because we've put our money where our Marketplace is. We financially back every transaction, which means that all payments flow through Sidewalk, and many of the shipments originate from our operations facility in Ogden, Utah. We make every effort to ensure sellers fulfill orders accurately per plan, and stand behind the service as refunds sometimes need to be issued due to inventory shortages, etc. 

Not many things in life are risk free. Marketplace is one of them. 

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Who created Marketplace? 

A great little company called Sidewalk. (Hi there!) We're here to change the way that content works in higher education, forever. We're working on ways to help stores source smarter, to change the ways faculty adopt content, and--just like we always have--help students (and stores!) save money through textbook rental. Check out our story here, or drop us a line

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 Won't it be hard to manage pricing for all the books I want to sell?

We have built an extremely powerful pricing tool in Marketplace that automatically adjusts your books' prices based upon online and local demand. All you have to do is upload your books and let the system take over from there.

And if you'd prefer like ultimate control, you can manage your books' prices manually as well. 

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How do I search for a bunch of books at once? 

We've made it easy: just upload your entire wantlist, and Marketplace will generate results.

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How will my books arrive?  

You can have us ship your books to you one of two ways:

  1. Directly from the seller, based on the shipping method you choose at checkout. This is faster, but we can't check the quality of books you'll receive.
  2. Bin and hold. In this option, your books will be consolidated here at the Sidewalk warehouse in Ogden, Utah. Your books will then be delivered to you within five days of your selected hold date. 

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What forms of payment do you accept?

Two choices.You can pay by check by selecting PO (due 30 days after purchase) or by credit card. 

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If I sold books, how do I get paid?

Whenever you're ready, go to your Payments page from your account and click on Disburse. Choose your disbursement amount, and we will send a check to the address you've provided in your seller profile. 

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I received a damaged book. Can I return it for credit?

Yes. Two ways to do it:

If you don't think that returning the damaged book will put you over our 20% return maximum, you can process the return in Marketplace so your invoice is automatically adjusted. Easy.

If you are going to be returning a full 20% of the books you ordered, you will want to send the damaged book back separately. In that case, we might need pictures to evaluate the damage, and if we agree that it's unusable, we'll need to manually adjust your invoice. Reach out to Store Support and we'll get started. 

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Where's my shipment? I see a date on here but it hasn't arrived.

If you're looking in Marketplace at a big date next to your order, that's the date the order was shipped to you, not the date it was supposed to arrive. So that might help you right off the bat--but if you still have questions of any sort, reach out to us at and we'll look into it for you. 

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When I upload a list to sell books on Marketplace, who sees it?

If you upload a list (everyone should do this once in their lives), your inventory will be available to other Marketplace users only. If you're thinking of complaining: we did that on purpose. Your inventory shoots straight to the subset of pre-qualified industry bookstores who value your inventory most highly. It's neat. 

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I keep trying to upload something and it FAILS. Why?

Oh no! That's frustrating. It could be for a couple reasons.

First, check your data! We've seen a few spreadsheets come over with words (e.g. "N/A") in the ISBN column. That won't work. 

Second, check your template. If you're using a Marketplace template that you've taken and modified, for example, Marketplace will refuse to play nice. If you want to try with a fresh template, we've attached blank want list and sell list templates to the bottom of this article. 

Third, check your file type. Lists you upload to Marketplace should be .CSV (comma-delimited) files. Anything else and Marketplace will stamp it's little foot. 

If you're still stuck, send your file over to Store Support and we'll take a look. 

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Did we miss your question? Do you just want to say hello? Great! Send an email to, and we'll get you taken care of. 


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