Swap site saves students money

By Annie Stodola

After getting fed up with prices at his school’s bookstore, University of Michigan-Dearborn student Jeremy White decided to do something besides complaining about it.

White developed a book swap website for Michigan – Dearborn students last fall.

Originally White said they saw some resistance from Michigan-Dearborn, as they thought he was taking away from the bookstore’s profits.

“It’s a Barnes and Noble store and has a thin veil of being our official bookstore,” White said.

After seeing success with the program, White decided to branch out to other universities.

During the middle of winter semester, White created similar book swap sites for Henry Ford Community College, University of Michigan-Flint, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Oakland Community College and Wayne State University.

On the site, students are able to sell books for better prices than what bookstores generally offer.

This week, White contacted the Oakland University Student Congress about potentially starting a book swap site for Oakland University students.

“I contacted student government and they already have a site,” White said. “It has 13 books on it so there’s something different about what we have.”

The Michigan-Dearborn currently has about 700 books and over 600 users.

OUSC student services director Brett McIsaac is in support of White’s book swap site for OU.

“The hope is to reduce the cost of college to students by not having to buy new books,” McIsaac said. “Every professor has told me that old editions are fine, but the bookstore won’t buy back the books anyway. But it is sellable.”

McIsaac also said OUSC is in support of White’s website rather than the old OUSC site, citing the user-friendliness of the new page.

“This one, you can create an account, submit a book and you can search for a book using any categories,” McIsaac said. “Students can start using it right now.”

He also stresses the local aspect.

“On Amazon, you have to pay shipping fees,” McIsaac said. “Craigslist can be shady. It’s made for Oakland students so you know you’re dealing with someone locally.”

White said this is what separates his sites from national book swap sites.

“There’s countless websites out there that do the exact same thing, but mine specifically focuses only on the local school,” White said.

White hopes to continue to expand the program to offer swap sites for other universities in Michigan. Schools can e-mail [email protected]

The Oakland book swap website can be found at www.oaklandbookswap.org