Beneath the weight of tuition, fees and living expenses, students may struggle to purchase their textbooks, especially at full prices.
One Georgia Southern University student seeks to help students purchase textbooks at affordable prices through his website, bookex.shop, where students can buy and sell their books directly to students enrolled at the same university.
Meet Chikamso Anayor Achu
Chikamso Anayor Achu, creator of Bookex, is a junior electrical engineering major who grew up in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He aspires to become an engineer or entrepreneur after he graduates.
Anayor Achu said he created Bookex after thinking about a financial problem students often face.
“The average college students spends about $1,200 a year on textbooks," Anayor Achu said. "And you think about it, most college students are already deep down, knee-deep in loans and everything. Most college students are struggling to pay."
According to College Board, the average college student at a four-year university students spends about $1,298 a year on books and supplies.
"People are getting ripped off everyday for their books," Anayor Achu said. "It just kind of came to me that I could solve this problem, because that’s what we do with technology. We try to use technology to solve problems.”
The best way to solve this problem, Anayor Achu said, was to create a website for people to exchange books on campus.
Anayor Achu started working on the website in May 2017 and completed it in Oct. 2017, but he waited until the payment methods were running smoothly before he released it to the public.
“I didn’t want to put out something that wasn’t 100 percent or my best, so I made sure it was the best it could be, at least for now… I want people to trust it, first of all," Anayor Achu said.
How it works
Unlike most textbook outlets, Bookex allows students to purchase used books exclusively from fellow students at their university campuses.
On the website, students can sell their old textbooks to other students on their campus through a bidding system. After someone buys a book, they can use the website's messaging system to choose a safe, public location to meet and receive the book.
Through the bidding system, Anayor Achu said, students can purchase books at prices they can afford. Meanwhile, students can sell their books at fair prices - a feature Anayor Achu believes other buyback outlets lack.
“I’ve talked to people who’ve personally bought books for like $300 and they get like 10 bucks for it [through other outlets], and we all know those books are worth more than that," Anayor Achu said.
For more information on how to use Bookex, view the website's infographic.
The future of Bookex
A mobile app for Bookex is in development, Anayor Achu said. Additionally, he is trying to expand to other schools.
In the meantime, he is looking for people to join his team, including marketers, computer programmers and graphic designers.
"I feel like if you're highly motivated, and you think you can help, we can find something for you, like graphic design. We need posters, marketing," Anayor Achu said.
If you are interested in working on Bookex, contact Anayor Achu at email@example.com.
A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the Bookex email as "firstname.lastname@example.org." The error was corrected on Jan. 26.