Get Smart About Textbooks with CampusWise
A new way to buy and sell text books has become available for ODU students in the form of CampusWise.com. The brain child of sophomore Marketing and Physic majors, Max Hall and Austin Jones, CampusWise brings buyers and sellers together in a convenient hub that allows users to search for books without having to navigate through a web of pages.
The instructions are rather simple and easy to follow. Prospective buyers need only make an account on the website with their ODU email address. Since the service is available to just the Monarch community, this is the only stringent requirement. After that, buyers can search for the books they want by name and add them to the online cart until they are done shopping.
For sellers, an account is also necessary to begin the process. On the website, there is a link the ‘Bookshelf’. Through this link, sellers can add text books they want to sell, along with the price they are selling the book for. After that, the waiting happens until a buyer and seller cross virtual paths.
Once a buyer confirms they want a specific book (or books) an email is then sent to the seller(s). The prospective consumer pays all fees associated through PayPal, which does allow for the use of major credit cards in lieu of actually making a PayPal account. The owners of CampusWise then hold on to the money until the buyer and seller have met in person to trade off the book. As the middle men, Hall and Jones release the funds after five days, so long as the buyer doesn’t contact them about seller fraud. The CampusWise warns that anybody who hopes to abuse the system will be banned from the site and reported to the police. The only fee associated with the transaction is a ten percent convenience fee collected by Hall and Jones.
Previously, CampusWise was the recipient of a $15,000 Accelerator start-up grant. Then owned by Franck Tchouambou, Daniel Calabro and John Polizo, the older incarnation of the site was geared towards textbook sharing and carpooling. Around a year ago, Hall found himself studying with Tchouambou around the time that his frustration with his options for buying and selling textbooks began to reach its peak. After talking with Tchouambou, who had begun to use the site less and less, it was decided to transfer eighty percent of the business to Hall and Jones.
The owners of CampusWise are fired up for what they feel is a site “made for ODU students by ODU students.” They’ve begun a campaign of awareness and have spoken to the Mace & Crown, SGA and ODU radio. A raffle was held during homecoming week with the winner receiving free concert tickets. The pair have plans for advertising in the future, but are focused on generating buzz about the site in the meantime. Hall and Jones stand by their site and are certain it will simplify the overly complicated situation students face with buying and getting rid of their textbooks.
By Rashad McDowell
Assistant Technology Editor