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U of C students create textbook bartering site

By Chase Little, February 12 2015 —

A group of students at the University of Calgary created their own online textbook marketplace that launched this semester.

MyUniTrade is a site where students can buy and sell their textbooks online. By messaging another student, you can set up a textbook exchange and ask for the price you want.

The MyUniTrade webpage currently has over 100 posts. A trial launch of the website last summer received over 6,000 page views. Prices on MyUniTrade range between $10–140.

Third-year commerce student and MyUniTrade co-founder Ian Feil said he’s always wanted to start his own business, adding that students currently have a limited marketplace for used textbooks.

“I had an idea that students should have a place where they can buy and sell used textbooks besides using Facebook and a student service on campus,” Feil said.

Feil works alongside fellow commerce student Tom Larose and two computer science students at the University of British Columbia Okanagan on the website.

He said one of the benefits to using MyUniTrade is that users can specify the price they want for a textbook rather than having a price recommended to them by a consignment office.

The website removes the middle-man. Bound and Copied takes a 25 per cent cut of the price so students make more money.

“If you use our service, you set the price. If you don’t get what you want for it, you won’t sell it,” Feil said.

Feil said the future of MyUniTrade includes a matchmaking process that connects users with textbooks required for their courses, a tutoring service and expansion to other schools.

MyUniTrade doesn’t offer online transactions, but Feil hopes it will in the future. For now, transactions take place at the meetings set up by users.

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