The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 2nd

Student creates online textbook exchange

Students looking to find a good deal on textbooks now have a homegrown option.

Freshman Tim Kang has launched UNC Book Exchange, a website where UNC students can buy and sell textbooks.

Kang, a business and computer science double major, said he got the idea to create the website after seeing students try to buy or sell books over sites such as Facebook or Google Docs.

Kang wanted to introduce a more reliable and efficient method of textbook sales at UNC.

“I guess I got annoyed to the point I sat down and created a solution for it,” Kang said.

He created the site at the beginning of the spring semester, initially testing it on his friends. Kang said he began publicizing the site Friday.

Since then, the number of users has doubled, increasing from 92 users to more than 200, he said.

On the site, students can search for books using a professor’s last name, course name, title or ISBN number — all of which are user-generated. Students can also run an advanced search to select a preferred price range or see whether the book has been highlighted, along with other features.

If the students’ desired book is unavailable, they can request email notification when the book becomes available on the site.

The site is free for UNC students, who must register with their UNC email address to gain access to the site. Kang said even if the site gains popularity, he plans to keep it a free service.

Eric Sills, a freshman business major, sold a book on the site after finding out about it from Kang. He said the site was easy to work with, and he would recommend it to others.

“I think it’s just an easy and convenient way for people to find out what books people are selling,” he said.

Some students who have already tried to find better deals online said they would give Kang’s website a try.

Jenny Sun, a freshman biostatistics major, said she typically buys books on Amazon.

“It’s just easier because I don’t have to walk into a store,” she said. “You can find the best deal possible, and with textbooks already being so expensive, that’s important to me.”

Sun had not heard of UNC Book Exchange, but said she would consider using the site if she could find a better deal on textbooks there.

Kang said he has primarily advertised the site through Facebook and email, and that he hopes news of the site will spread through word of mouth as more people join in.

Kang said he hopes his site will spread across campus, and that it will become a popular place to buy books.

“People will use Facebook as a social network instead of a Craigslist,” he said.

Students can visit UNC Book Exchange at uncbookexchange.com.

Contact the University Editor at university@dailytarheel.com.

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