|SGA launches Textbook Exchange website|
|Written by Drew Zimmerman, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Monday, 13 February 2012 13:30|
The Student Government Association has launched its Textbook Exchange website in an effort to promote an easier and more affordable means of buying and selling textbooks.
“It allows students to sell and buy books directly to and from each other, [as] opposed to selling and buying to a book store. It cuts out the middle man,” Trevor Kramer, SGA secretary of information technology, said.
The website is a joint initiative between SGA and Barnes and Noble, both of whom wanted to offer a formal and safe way for students to buy and sell books online, according to Zach Owens, SGA student body president.
“We wanted to create this resource because students have become increasingly price-sensitive due to economic conditions, and the prices of textbooks are getting more and more expensive. Oftentimes students sell back at the fraction of the cost they originally bought the book, and that’s only if the book store is buying back.
“Books go out of print and change editions, even very little and ‘new edition’ is still slapped on the textbook, so students are informally trading textbooks to maximize the value and minimize the hurt on their wallet,” Owens said.
The website requires students to log in with their ULID to ensure that the security and protection of the students is the most important priority, Owens added.
Students who are logged in can make postings and sell their own textbooks, according to the website.
Book searches can be filtered by class schedule and course offerings. There is also an arbitrary section search by ISBN number, which can be used to both search for and sell other books.
Postings are open for one month and list the name of the seller, the condition of the book, the seller’s comments, and the last time the book was used.
Recent sales are also listed as well as how much each textbook would cost the buyer.
“The students who are buying and selling the books will agree on the price,” Kramer said.
Textbook Exchange also provides a feedback page for students to leave comments on the site’s effectiveness and how SGA can improve their efficiency.
To build awareness for cheaper textbook shopping, Owens said that SGA has lobbied legislators for passage of affordability measures such as the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. They have also worked with the faculty for students to get book lists on time.
“However, hosting a textbook exchange website is the way we can help ISU students get the cheapest books possible,” Owens said.
SGA is planning a large marketing campaign at the end of the spring semester to encourage students to take advantage of the new resource.
“This is one of the biggest accomplishments of SGA, so we hope to build awareness among the student body about this resource to encourage use,” Owens said.