Textbook bills bite into every college student’s budget.
But the $5.5 billion industry is about to get some local competition.
Matchio.com, the brainchild of senior Tatenda Furusa and his Springboard business competition team, will launch by the end of the week. It’s something like Craigslist in that it allows people to list goods to sell and buy online.
It’s unlike Craigslist in that it is open only to Bradley students and it allows students to list and sell textbooks via the website, a user-friendly site aimed at making the process of privately buying and selling books easier.
“Matchio is launching a multi-platform tool that will cater to small and close knit communities for individuals to buy and sell locally, securely and faster,” said Tatenda Furusa, project manager for Matchio.
The process is easy. Log onto Matchio.com, create an account and start listing the books you need or the books you want to unload. The system lets you type in the ISBN or the course code, which it will then use to search for the book. It then gives you suggested prices for that book.
The next step is simple – just wait. The site will e-mail you and, if you want, text you when you have a buyer or a seller. Then you log back on, set up a meeting time in a public place in the neighborhood like One World or the Michel Student Center.
“60 percent of 250 students said they find it difficult to buy and sell books on campus,” Furusa said. “Ninety-two percent of that group overwhelmingly stated that they would prefer to buy and sell textbooks between each other compared to the bookstore or eBay.”
Furusa’s goal is to attract 1,000 students, about a sixth of campus, in the next few weeks. And if the site is able to attract the main students its after – those 700 or so who are part of the Facebook group “Bradley Black market Book Trade” – it’ll likely be successful.
“I think Matchio is a really good idea,” said sophomore music education major Sarah Casey. “It gives students another way to buy books so they don’t have to go to the bookstore. I’m definitely going to check it out, but I’m not sure it would really be more convenient than the bookstore.”