It’s either happened to you or someone you know: standing in line at the bookstore to sell back your old Bio book-the one you paid $130 for-and receiving a pittance in return, even though you know a used copy still sells for around $100. It’s not that the good folks at the bookstore are trying to scam you-they deal their used books through a national wholesaler that sets the prices. This semester Student Council has created a new book buying system with the goal of helping students sell their books for more-or purchase them for less.
The basic premise of the site (located at http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/org/bookbuyback/) is to remove the middleman, so students sell directly to each other. The system was first proposed by Student Council member Jon Fombonne ’05, whose initial idea was to create a sort of outdoor book fair at the beginning of each semester. “I realized how unorganized that can be,Ãƒ“ he noted, and went on to explain: “I saw that my brother was using a similar book buy back system for all the colleges in Montreal, that just connected students to each other based on what books they were selling.”
According to Student Council co-president Andrew Gisselquist ’05, plans for a system of this sort had been discussed back and forth in the past, but it was only this past semester that they were able to put everything together. Much of the success is owed to ITS associates and webmaster Chase DuBois ’07, who worked through winter break in order to get the website out in time.
The book buyback system has its drawbacks, of course-fellow students would likely not care if you dropped your class and no longer needed their books-but on the whole, it seems that the website will be a help in buying books in the future.
Gisselquist agrees, “I was able to sell a book the first day I placed it. It looks like this will be a lasting tool for students to use.”