Every semester, students at UTD buy and sell used textbooks, but none of the options available provide a delightful experience or optimal prices. Local used bookstores, like Half Price Books, are unlikely to have the required books in stock, and the UTD bookstore, while convenient and better stocked for students, charges a significant markup on used books, and offers reduced resale value. There are many online options available which tend to provide lower prices and better resale value, but they have significant drawbacks in terms of convenience. Options like Amazon and Chegg.com, are targeted at books sales, but the students selling their books must have accounts with these services, and must spend time packaging and shipping their books. Buyers must spend a great deal of time searching those markets for the correct titles, doing price comparison, and when they purchase, they must wait for the books to be shipped, and must buy sight unseen.
With all these barriers and inconveniences, we believe that the used textbook market on campus provides a fantastic opportunity to create a solution to bring value, convenience, and delight to UTD students buying or selling their books.
Our goal is to create a service with an accompanying app specifically for UTD students that will enable them to buy and sell the textbooks they need for classes directly with each other with ease and for the best value. The app will use student’s UTD account in order to intelligently and automatically recommend the books required for their upcoming courses, as well as the books they may want to sell at the end of the semester. The app will connect buyers directly with sellers, as well as providing them the ability to communicate within the app in order to complete their transaction in person. In these ways, not only will the app cut out the middle-man from book transactions, it will also remove the fuss and inconvenience of buying and selling used books from student’s lives and provide a positive benefit to the UTD campus community.