Former U. South Florida Students Create Bookstore Alternative

By By U Wire

By U Wire

TAMPA, Fla.?Former University of South Florida students Christian Beiter and Paul O’Grady were frustrated from buying expensive books from the University of South Florida Bookstore and selling them back for a small percentage of the original cost.

Their response was to join forces with programmer Matthew Oucen and create a Web site with a simple message for students: “Don’t be stupid!”

Beiter said the goal of the site is to provide students a place online where they can sell their books to one another.

“We were sick of how students got ripped off by the bookstore,” Beiter said. “This is a way they can save some money.”

Beiter said the students benefit by selling the books to themselves on a Web location that is free of charge.

“We don’t make any markup,” he said. “All we are really is kind of like a classified.”

On the Web site, Beiter and O’Grady said the idea for the site came about when it was discovered that a book bought from the Bookstore for $110 and sold back for $33 dollars was put back on the shelf at a price of $85.

Beiter said a student could log onto his site and either buy or sell a similar book for $50.

“That kind of markup is ridiculous,” he said. “[A student] with five classes can save $150 each way [on our site].”

On the Web site, students are provided an area in which they can search for a particular book or place a book on sale. In addition, there is an Amazon.com search engine in which students can buy new books at what the designers say are prices cheaper than those at the Bookstore.

He said while the service is free to students, the original goal was to make a profit. Beiter said so far, however, all profits have been put back into the site.

“Long term, we eventually want to make money,” Beiter said. “But right now, we’re not really worried about it.”