By Lisa Johnson
The end of each semester comes with the stress of final papers, projects and exams ? not to mention worrying about selling textbooks.
BYU student, Nathan Given, has made it a little easier for students unable to sell back their books to the Bookstore. He created the Book Exchange, an online service where BYU students can find other students to buy or sell textbooks.
?It?s mainly like a classified ad system,? said Given, an information systems major from Los Alamitos, Calif. ?There?s a market to buy and sell textbooks between students, but students don?t have a way to do that. That?s why the Book Exchange exists.?
Since it officially re-launched last December, over 2,000 books have been sold using the Book Exchange. Given said, on average, Book Exchange prices are 45 percent lower than the new book price at the Bookstore and 27 percent lower than the used book price.
Given said students find the Book Exchange simple to use. Almost 5,000 different students have already used the Web site this semester.
Students are able to log in at bookexchange.byu.edu using their Net ID and password. There they can search for specific textbooks or list ones they need to sell.
But Given said he doesn?t want to step on the Bookstore?s toes and still supports their textbook buyback.
?The Bookstore buyback is a great opportunity,? Given said. ?I?m not saying this is better than the buyback. [But] the Book Exchange is different. It serves a different market.?
Karl Hale, assistant to the dean of students for Information Systems and Technology, is the faculty sponsor for the Book Exchange. He said many students know how it feels to end up with a bunch of books at the end of a semester?not being able to sell them back to the Bookstore.
?Every once in a while you get lucky and know somebody who will be taking the class you just finished,? Hale said. ?You get a good deal, and they get a good deal. It?s a real slam dunk.?
He said that is why students need the Book Exchange.
?It opens up a market to be available to a one-on-one exchange,? Hale said. ?I think it can be a real money savings for students.?
Of course the Bookstore buyback shouldn?t be overlooked, he said. Students need to educate themselves on the advantages of both.
?I would not say one is better than the other,? Hale said. ?I would say it depends on your needs.?
BYU student Jimmy Zimmerman uses both the Bookstore buyback and the online Book Exchange. Between he and his wife, they have sold six or seven books using the Book Exchange.
?Each semester we save probably around a hundred dollars or more using the Book Exchange,? said Zimmeman, an information systems major from Sandy. ?I think it?s a great service. It makes it really quick to contact a lot of people who potentially have the book that you want. And it?s all free.?