When two Quinnipiac students grew tired of waiting in long lines at the end of each semester to sell back textbooks, and only receiving a fraction of their textbooks value back, they decided to make a difference.
Mike Germano and Mike Radparvar, both sophomores, originated QUBooks.com, a web site designed to help Quinnipiac students save money when buying and selling textbooks each semester.
According to Germano, the web site has achieved success thus far.
“We originally made this site up to help save kids money,” Germano said. “In only one semester we have helped to save students over $5000.”
Students looking to sell used textbooks post their used books, along with their contact information, on the website. Students looking to purchase books may access the list of used textbooks by course. Once the buyer finds the book he or she is looking for, they contact the seller in order to negotiate a fair purchasing price.
According to Germano, this method will help drive down textbook prices in the bookstore, while hopefully increasing the money students receive when selling books back.
“This is a way of making them (the bookstore) more accountable for the prices of their books and the money we get from selling our books back,” Germano said. “We aren’t here to compete with the bookstore, but rather to make buying and selling more convenient for the students.”
While the web site has had success in helping to save students money, Quinnipiac Bookstore Manager Andy Tranquilli has not seen a reason to make any adjustments to the textbook buying and selling process.
“I’ve seen no impact whatsoever,” Tranquilli said. “Our bookstore is still in the top ten out of 700 Efollet stores for the number of students we serve.”
According to Radparvar and Germano, they have received nothing but support for their web site.
“We have actually had teachers come up to us and tell us they love the idea,” Radparvar said. “Some even recommend the site in their classes.”
“So far, every student that has paid us has said ‘Thanks’ and told us how much money they saved through us,” Germano added.
According to the QUBooks.com website, the organization boasts over 475 users and 390 textbooks. While the site is free to join, students must to pay a ten dollar charge once at least one of their textbooks is sold. According to Germano and Radparvar, the charge goes to making the website more convenient for students to use.
“We meet several times a week to try to make the web site run more smoothly,” Germano said. “We are working to expand our database of books.”
Books that do not sell on the site right away will remain posted indefinitely. According to Radparvar, however, selling books should not be a problem.
“If you competitively price your books, they will sell,” he said. “Kids search for a book, and will take the cheapest one offered.”
For the upcoming semester, Radparvar and Germano are offering the service free of charge to all the students who signed up last semester.
“We aren’t going to charge our existing customers as a way of saying ‘Thank you’ for having trusted us in the first semester,” Germano said.
Germano and Radparvar are also looking to expand their website to include a teacher rating system. Students will be able to categorize teachers based on such topics as learning style, which would allow students to select the teachers that best fit their needs.
“A teacher that is good for me may not be good for you because everyone learns differently,” Germano said. “This would help match students’ learning styles with professors’ teaching styles.”
For more information on the QUBooks organization, visit QUBooks.com. Questions and comments can be e-mailed to [email protected]