View Full Version : It's finally live!! Calling all students who have books to sell!

04-05-2005, 01:16 PM
After months of planning and development - it's finally live


A place for students to buy and sell their books.

Obviously as it's just launched today there are no books on there. I know many of you are students - so if you have books lying around, why not put them up on the site.

You have nothing to lose - it's completely free to buy and sell. In fact you could win an ipod shuffle! So why not!

Would love feedback on the site too :)

04-05-2005, 01:33 PM
Not much to say...

Good Idea
Looks good
Works good

all the best with it!


04-05-2005, 02:21 PM
Looks great. One point - it might be a good idea to drop the font size of the "Browse by subject" box text to match the rest of the site.

Now where'd I put those books to sell...

04-05-2005, 02:30 PM
Hi Elaborations,

Great site! If you've got some promotional posters I'll gladly stick them up on all the notice boards at my uni?

There's always adverts from students selling books at uni, but if you want to do it, you'll had to move pretty fast as it's nearly the end of semester.

Just a thought

04-05-2005, 02:38 PM
Thanks packavelli!!

Yes that would be great - I have flyers already printed and posters are getting printed this week.

I'm also writing up a student notice which anyone can print off an stick up.

So if anyone is willing to help out that would be great! Please email admin@eunibooks.co.uk


04-05-2005, 04:56 PM
It's a very nice site, though the header is a little large considering the amount of whitespace.

Definitely worth grabbing some books to put online.

Three questions:

1) Why focus on just text books (and uni books at that)?

2) Why do people have to register to buy books?

3) Who are you using for payment processing?

04-05-2005, 05:12 PM

I am not sure how it will work as it will take so much advertising to get people using it ......

.....and when I was at Uni people you could just put a note up with what books you wanted to sell and the year below would always buy them. I notice the big book shops now doing second hand and buy back offers.

Maybe open it up to more than just students? So like amazon but just second hand books. I do like the idea behind it though - in that you promote a service that effectivley runs its self apart from the marketing.


04-05-2005, 05:12 PM
In answer to your questions:

1) Why focus on just text books (and uni books at that)?

My target market is university/college students - so it's only for educational books. My decision behind that is quite complex. Originally I didn't like the idea that there were sites out there charging such huge percentages for a sale. For example, Amazon charges 17.25% on the sale of any book! I used to sell my uni books on there, but realised that I was getting practically nothing out of it. So I decided to set up a cheaper service. I also thought it would be great to create a kind of community for students/academics/people with educational books. The site is not limited to university students, in fact you don't even have to be a student - you could just be wanting to sell educational books you have.

2) Why do people have to register to buy books?

Because we need them to agree to sign the terms and conditions. And also put their name and email address etc into the database. When a user buys a book, we send an email to the seller with the buyers contact details and an email to the buyer with the sellers contact details. It's then up to them to get in touch arrange payment and post the book

3) Who are you using for payment processing?

There is no payment processing involved. In the future (maybe in about 12 months time) I will be added a system where users will be charged the price of a text message (probably £1) if their book is sold.

The way I'm planning to do this is .. the seller lists a book for free, when a buyer pays a book, the seller will get sent an email notifying them there is a buyer for the book - they will then be asked to text a code to a number. Once this has been done, the buyer and seller will receive emails as detailed above.

Originally posted by ..DN..

I am not sure how it will work as it will take so much advertising to get people using it ......

.....and when I was at Uni people you could just put a note up with what books you wanted to sell and the year below would always buy them. I notice the big book shops now doing second hand and buy back offers.

Maybe open it up to more than just students? So like amazon but just second hand books. I do like the idea behind it though - in that you promote a service that effectivley runs its self apart from the marketing.


I agree with what you say, it would require a lot of advertising - which has been planned. Also planning a PR campaign at the same time.

Yes big book shops buy back your books, but it's a tiny amount they give back to you. Because they want to sell it on themselves to make some profit.

As I mentioned above, it's not just for students :) It's for the sale of educational books - there are many specialist book shops out there which sell just science books or just books which relate to a particular subject.

04-05-2005, 05:26 PM

I think that £1 for when a book is sold is quite a lot- depending on the sale price of course.

A lot of the books wont have a high retail price, ie. revision guides which can be bought from a shop for around £8. These will innevitabely sell for less, say £5 on your site, of which £1 is a higher cost than amazon.

Maybe you should charge a % rather than a fixed fee?

The site looks great though! good luck!


04-05-2005, 05:29 PM
I will definately consider that - the prices will have to be fixed rates because the payment will be through a text message.

I will probably have a lower rate for books under £10 (or something like that). I'll have a long time to think about that anyway :D

04-05-2005, 05:49 PM
I would be put off by the idea of registering first to view the catalogue. I dont really think thats a good idea because you may loose customers like me who dont want to be bombarded with sales emails.Why dont you have that faclity when a person buys so they can register.

Secondly instead of the just launched banner why dont you put some of the best selling books or what you think will sell more on that page. Customers shouldnt dig for info. At the moment you homepage isnt showing your speciality. which are books, dispaly them. The just launched may also mean an amateure business so that can put potential customers off. remember customers only make a decision in 6sec so make sure you grab their attention so they keep surfing your site

these are just my thoughts elaborations otherwise its a nice clean site.

It also doesnt highlight clearly that its free to sell. thats got to be your selling point as well so you can have a huge range of books

04-05-2005, 05:49 PM
So, am I right in saying that, should I buy a book from your site, I have to arrange payment details with the seller?

04-05-2005, 05:55 PM
yep - just like ebay ....

When you buy a book or sell a book and everything is complete, the seller can leave feedback for the buyer and the buyer for the seller.

Each user will have a feedback rating, plus a figure showing the percentage of positive feedback. Users can read members feedback comments and see their ratings. As the site picks up and more transactions occur this feature will be more useful than it is at the moment (10 hours after launching the site!).

A seller can select their preferred payment method, which could be just paypal if they wish for a more secure transaction. As a buyer, you can buy from sellers who offer paypal or whatever your preferred method of payment is. You would then contact the seller and arrange your payment to be sent and let them know your postal address so they can post the book out to you .... very similar to how ebay works.

04-05-2005, 06:01 PM
How long is a book on the site for? a week? a month? until it sells?

04-05-2005, 06:04 PM
until it sells - no limit - and it's completely free for aggess - so really you have nothing to lose

04-05-2005, 07:15 PM
As a book fan, I'm all for recycling of them, good luck with it.

04-05-2005, 09:43 PM
Just wanted to say goodluck with your idea, I'm just leaving the bookselling world (manager of children's department in a bookshop 2 more days left!!) and thought about starting a book related business myself but tbh I don't think there's enough money to be made in books, it's such a small profit margin so I opted for something else. Having said that I think your idea is good and students and text books is definitely the way to go, text books are expensive, students generally poor!

Best of luck!


05-05-2005, 03:31 PM
I think it is a great idea if you get it set up correctly. You have several months to get this sorted and start promoting the site. September and October will be the busiest months followed by January and February.

I still have some Uni books that I have no real use for. Many students finish Uni with lots of books but move miles away from their old Uni where they could have easily off loaded them.

I am sure that if you create some posters the Uni admin departments wouyld arrange for them to be displayed in common rooms, canteens, libraries etc.

Good Luck


05-05-2005, 04:29 PM
hi elaborations. a great idea. when i was a student i always baulked at the proces for books. again if you have any flyers feel free to drop me a mail. i have a guy who does flyering for me in aberdeen round the universities and im sure if i paid him a few quid extra he would put these out too

05-05-2005, 04:31 PM
ps. i know theres nothing on there now but before going on a major advertising spree i would buy in a good selection to populate the site with forst. most people will just leave if its empty.

how are you generating revenue for this? is it via advertising if there are no costs to sell

06-05-2005, 01:38 PM
I am a librarian at a university and I think this is a great idea. The library gets a lot of donated textbooks every year which we don't actually need extra copies off so we end up giving them to a second hand book seller...

I shall certainly mention it to students here next time they ask about donating things we already have!

Good luck:D


06-05-2005, 01:42 PM

Thank you, that would be great.

When I get some spare time I will be calling some uni libraries to see if they can put up a student notice for me.

Could I possible send you some flyers and student notices to place in your library?

If it's ok, could you email me at admin@eunibooks.co.uk

Thank you!

06-05-2005, 01:51 PM
Wow, I didn't see all the other replies I had!

Thanks to everyone firstly ...

MikeH - I'll have to dedicate some time to phoning universities and requesting posters and student notices to be put up.
I contacted student unions and a company that arranges advertising for student unions, and you won't believe how much it costs!!! They guy I spoke to said if you want good coverage at all unis you are looking at £100,000!! Basically universities have realised how much they can make from banks and other massive organisations wanting to target students. So it's just going to be a process of calling them up myself and letting them know that this is a free service that would actually benefit students.

Fraser - thanks - if you've book to sell - go for it :D

Nemesis - yes, prices for books are so much! And with the introduction of top up fees etc, students are going to be more broke than ever! There are plenty of places to buy second hand books, but to sell books, places like amazon (which I used to use) charge so much - I couldn't believe it and think itheir fees are totally unacceptable.

Yes, there may be people who leave when they see it empty. But I've already had a fair few people registering which is really great! Also, I'm trying to get across the fact that the site has just launched, so naturally it will be quite empty. I may go to some car boot sales and either buy books people are selling, or hand out flyers to peope who are selling educational books and haven't sold them there.

No revenue at all for the first 12 months - completely free, read one of my previous posts where I mentioned about text messaging.

06-05-2005, 11:10 PM
Great idea and nice website....

I've just placed 7 books on there so hopefully I will get some interest for them.... :)

Iíve noticed that the website only adds newly advertised books to the bottom of the category page rather than sorting them, think it would be better if they were sorted by book title, also would be good to see Bradford on the list of universities :)

A few other comments about the website, i think the way users can add books is done really well and once you have an ISBN search it will be perfect. You should prevent or tell users not to add a £ symbol onto the postage cost otherwise they will have 2 ££ symbols under P&P cost (and then have to go through all 7 and change them! :D )

Good luck ,


09-05-2005, 11:02 AM
Thanks for posting the books up! I'm working on the double pound sign - will probably add it to the sell a book page so they know.

Does anyone know of any student noticeboards/forums/websites I could post messages up on to let students know of the site?


11-05-2005, 01:05 PM
You didnt happen to be part of this team did you?

I havnt heard any more on this subject though.

ENTERLiverpool, the University of Liverpool Enterprise Society was newly established in September 2003 under the leadership of Debbie Lowe, a third year undergraduate student studying Philosophy. It is run by a group of enthusiastic and entrepreneurially-spirited postgraduate and undergraduate students from across a wide range of faculties, and aims to promote enterprise, entrepreneurship and business skills for students throughout the university. Simple Swap will be an online service aimed at students in Liverpool, where second-hand books can be bought and sold. The ENTERLiverpool team will be using their £1000 prize money to establish the business for the benefit of students returning to their studies in September 2004.


11-05-2005, 01:08 PM
not me!

Did they launch the site or not?