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 Introduction to Swapbooks
 
Swapbooks.com - The Inside Story
Every student has returned his/her books to the bookstore and felt helpless at the ridiculously low prices at which the bookstore is willing to buy them back. On top of it all, seeing the same used book sold to the next student in line at a much higher price is enough to drive a calm, educated student into uncontrollable frenzy

Every student has become annoyed by the unnecessary number of flyers posted and mass emails sent by students trying to sell their used stuff to other students and has wished there was a place where this could be done without disturbing others.



The Concept
To create an anonymous, online student-2-student marketplace where students can post ads for all of the books they wish to sell and search for all of the books they wish to buy at specific schools.



The Solution
Swapbooks.com was founded in June 2000, in Boston, Massachusetts with one common goal: to help students avoid getting ripped off by bookstores and other businesses that practice ruthless pricing strategies.

Akshay Vazirani developed the initial concept in early 1998. In 1999 Akshay met Onur Birsen through mutual friends in the Boston social scene. Akshay and Onur spend many days formulating the concept and looking for a third partner to bring it all together. It was only after the addition and help of Daniel Toffling (now the CEO), who Akshay randomly met in a school computer lab, that the concept clearly laid out by Akshay and Onur was seamlessly implemented.

The new version of Swapbooks.com is a completely new, redesigned, re-coded version of the original concept. It took a whole team more than 12 months to complete, and has brought many new advantages to the existing user community.



The Product and Technology
Ads without Compromising Privacy: Users can register and post free ads for their books Easy, Effective, Dynamic Searches: users can search for a specific item used, at one or all of the schools listed on the site. The dynamic nature of the site allows school names to appear only if a user from that school has posted and ad, saving the searcher valuable time.

Safe, Anonymous Transactions: once a requested used item is found, the interested user can send an email offer directly to the owner of the item without knowing his/her email or identity. If the two parties agree, the entire transaction can be executed and managed using the new Swapbooks.com system, without having to use 3rd party escrow services.

Order Tracking: The system allows students to track their orders via USPS so that disagreements and false claims are minimized.

Wish Lists: members can create wish lists of the book(s) they want, so that other users can view them, and they can be notified when they become available.

Mobile Alerts: Swapbooks.com users can now select to receive mobile updates on their cell phones in the cases that their books are sold, or item on their wish list becomes available.

Seller Rating System: the new system allows buyers to rate sellers, post feedback about them and protect the Swapbooks.com community.


 
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