Classes are starting and the frantic final days of book buying are now. But rather than wait days or weeks (or with the back up in the mail rooms, maybe months) for a book you ordered online, hoping to save money, why not turn to a fellow student?
This is the question Book Swap co-founder and McCormick junior Stephen Suellentrop thought up with his roommate, Weinberg Junior David Caratelli during their freshman year.
“We had the idea to come up with this website toward the end of the year, the end of spring quarter. We decided to come up with the website over the summer,” Suellentrop said. “From there we came back and tried to find a niche for our website.”
After approaching Northwestern Student Holdings, the pair was redirected to ASG. After a little over a year, they now have funding and sponsorship from ASG, with help from their PR and Marketing director Weinberg junior Kate McGarrahan who was also working with ASG’s PR and marketing team.
The Book Swap site, which was fully functional on Friday, works as a facilitator for students. Students log in using their NetID and password. They are then able to either post a listing to buy or sell a book, which then goes into a database that finds them matches.
The compatible book seekers and sellers will be put in touch and made aware of their possible transaction. Then it is in the hands of the students to meet on campus and make the trade.
As of this morning, the site has 300 books being swapped with over 150 users.
“The point of our advertising in the fall is really just to get the word out there that book swap exists and that students can use it and then we’re really hoping for a big push winter quarter, after registration to get all of the freshmen and upperclassmen to put their old books up and to really get people into the concept of buying their books through book swap instead of using the other book stores,” McGarrahan said.
It’s not a swap in the traditional sense, of swapping book for book, as the name suggests, but McGarrahan says that it’s more of a “swap of information.”
“The fact that there’s someone out there who’s looking for someone. That someone else is what they’re trying to find, and we put them in contact with each other,” McGarrahan said.