Students create website ‘like Craigslist for Sam Houston’ for textbook selling
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 00:05
The spring semester is coming to an end, which means some students are ready to sell back their textbooks.
While the bookstore offers students one option for returns, it does not always guarantee a 100 percent refund.
In fact, the bookstore often only gives a small fraction of the original price back.
That’s one reason why two Bearkats have teamed up off of the football field to provide a new alternative service to satisfy SHSU students ‘ buying and selling needs.
EduMarket creator Matthew Foster and partner Seth Patterson said their new free service site launched for Sam Houston State University in December.
“It is like a Craigslist,” Foster, who is a Computer Science major, said. “The only way it is different is that it is only for Sam Houston.”
Users are required to provide a university email address to access the service as a means to provide more security and reduce the risk of fraud and scams that sometimes take advantage of buyers on similar classifieds sites.
“Therefore it is safe and exclusive,” he said, adding that this was one of the main reasons the new service was built.
The creator is able to ensure that only SHSU students are using the site because the email address shows the user’s domain. “So if you don’t have that email address in there then you won’t be put into the site,” Foster said.
Patterson said the two also created the site because there seemed to be a need for the service since there was not a Craigslist for Huntsville. “I like it because it’s the Craigslist for Sam Houston,” SHSU Business Marketing Major and EduMarket user, Colton “DJ KickFlip” Cornett said.
The service has categories ranging from clothing to video games and everything in between, but Patterson emphasized that the service could prove to be useful when selling back textbooks.
“Everybody gets screwed when they go try to sell (back) to the bookstore,” he said. “They bought a book for $300 and they sell it back $40. They could sell it to another student for $100, they’d be happy and you’d be happy. You don’t get to negotiate with the bookstore. ”
The service includes internal messaging, so that buyers and sellers are able to negotiate the best price and arrange the exchange.
“Payment arrangement is made between users,” Foster said. “I bought a calculator off of there a month or so ago. I was just messaging the seller back forth and then we met in the LSC. I gave her the cash, she gave me the calculator-it was easy.” The two explained that users would be unable to receive replies to messages about their items with an illegitimate email address.
“Say you put in MMM001 and that’s a fake (address),” Patterson, who is an Accounting major, said. “Then how are you going to get someone to message you back and you get that message?”
Made by students for students, Foster said it cuts out the middleman. “You’ll find a place in between where you are both happy,” he said. “You are selling to other students, so you negotiate with students what price it is.”
Management Information Systems student Latitus Reason discussed his experience with selling back textbooks. “If I wasn’t early I didn’t get too much money back,” Reason said. “The longer I waited to sell back the less money I got for it. If it wasn’t a newer book I definitely didn’t get any money back,”
Reason said he would use EduMarket because he’d know who is clientele is that he would be negotiating with. “I know I’m selling it to people that are going to need it,” he said. “If they’re on that site then nine times out of ten they need that book because they don’t want to buy it at bookstore prices.”
“Even though I’m selling it cheaper than the bookstore would I’m getting more money from selling it (to other students), than the bookstore would have given me back,” Reason said.
EduMarket can be found on Facebook and Twitter, but is now also available as an iPhone App to add another convenient way to access the new service.
In the last two weeks since the launch of the EduMarket app, the service has had 100 downloads with 74 listings and 400 unique visitors on the site. There are plans to make the app available to other mobile devices in the future.
To visit the site, go to www.edumarket.me
Note: The Bookstore was not able to be reached for a comment about prices by press time.