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Online Bookstores: cheaper options and better deals?

Summer semester is in full swing, and so are the long lines at the bookstore.

Increasing book prices, tuition and debt are leading students to take up more convenient and often times cheaper options when buying a book.

“My math book at Georgia State University’s bookstore was $157,” education major Ashley Hills said. “But at Chegg.com it was $17.68 with shipping included.”

Bookup, a new online textbook store ran by Georgia State students Dinesh Agarwal and Jay Moran, is expected to launch this coming fall.

“Bookup is essentially a digital version of a hallway bulletin board,” they said. “Except it does the work for the students.”

Students can post books online to buy, sell, and trade. Bookup then matches students with other students based on their needs. Students are notified over SMS of possible matches, and once applicable, the transaction can be done completely over the phone. Pickups can be fulfilled on school campus, or the books can be sent through the mail.

Currently in test-mode, Bookup.co is seeking out more students to test out the service.

“As a token of our appreciation to our beta testers, we’re waiving all transaction fees for the beta period, and beta testers will continue to be exempt from fees for one semester once the service fully launches,” Moran said.

Wake Forest University

Jay Moran is currently studying Computer Information Systems and Business Administration. Dinesh Agarwal is a recent Georgia State graduate with a Ph.D. in Computer Science. Piper Hale is also a co-founder, and recently Ilandi Badenhorst was added to the Bookup team.

“We are really proud of her work,” Moran said.

CheckMyBookstore.com is another online bookstore.  William Jennings Jr. established it in June of 2011 and like Bookup.co, users can buy, sell, and trade textbooks online through the user’s personal bookstore automatically created when signing up. To upload and search for books within its database, CheckMyBookstore.com utilizes ISBN or book title searches to find possible matches.

What do these online stores have in common? Unlike Chegg.com, Bookrenter.com, and Amazon.com, these online stores were created for students by students.

As online shopping increases, it will be interesting to see if prices at the student bookstore will adjust to more affordable levels.

 

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