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Student Senate promotes new site for students to buy and sell textbooks

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Free to OU students, Texts.com partners with schools across the country and is set on giving college students an easier, faster and less expensive way to obtain textbooks.

When looking to buy books, the user enters the book needed for the class in question in the search bar and is given all options. Student listings will show up first, followed by several retail listings ordered by price, allowing the user to compare every option for the book.

“The website is essentially a price match comparison tool, and a forum to gauge other (cheaper) ways to get textbooks,” Gabby Bacha, a senior studying political science and the president of Student Senate, said in an email.

If a student is looking to sell his/her used textbooks on Texts.com, the website will show the market value of the book and allow the student to price the book accordingly. This allows the student listings to be less expensive than the online vendors, but it will let the seller make more money compared to other buyback services because Texts.com allows sellers to keep 100 percent of the profit.

“Transactions can be quick, environmentally friendly, and can help students sell back their books at a reasonable price,” Bacha said. “I think it’s very intuitive to students, and will hopefully grow into an actual successful marketplace.”

Exchanging books on campus through this service allows books to go from one OU student to the next. Students must sign up with a valid OU email address, which makes it safer and more reliable than exchanging textbooks through websites such as Facebook or Twitter.

“My only concern would be whether or not my book would be bought,” Kyrsten Nitz, a first year pre-nursing student, said in an email. “Like every other student, I can’t afford to hold on to books I don’t need.”  

Some students question how Texts.com is different from similar search engines and resources that are already widely used.

“The service would be a marginal benefit to students, but finding cheaper and used versions of textbooks is something that a cursory Google search has proved relatively effective in doing,” said Jack Bruno, a freshman studying astrophysics in the Honors Tutorial College. “I don’t know that this would be much of a bump ahead of current options.”

Despite such speculations about the service, 108 OU students are currently using it to sell 153 books. For Bacha, this number is a good start, but she hopes for more.

“Many students have noted how difficult the textbooks process is: long waits, high prices, and occasionally questionable service,” Bacha said. “Our hope is that this resource can clear up these issues.”

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