The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE student creates book-selling website

By Mario Montalvo/ne news editor

A new website started by a SE student is helping other TCC students connect to buy and sell used textbooks.

BookChanger.com is a free website that offers students a quick, convenient way to sell their books. The site has been active for only a few months and is the brainchild of Arman Radfar, a 24-year-old nursing student. The idea took about a year to develop, and Radfar runs the site himself.

He initially wanted to create a website where TCC students could connect with one another to make friends or form study groups, he said.

“After a couple of weeks, I realized people were mainly focused on buying and selling books,” he said.

Radfar decided to ditch his first idea and make a website dedicated solely to books.

“It’s like Craigslist,” he said. “We aren’t charging anyone.”

To sell on BookChanger, students must create a login or use their Facebook account. Buyers do not need to log in.

Users can search for books two ways: by name or by category. When buyers locate the book they’d like to purchase, they can click a link that gives them more information about the book and opens a form to contact sellers by email. A Google Maps widget marked with the preferred meeting area for the transaction is viewable from the page.

“The site is very easy to use,” said NE student Katie Dowden. “It’s very straightforward and doesn’t have a lot of text, which I like. It’s plain and simple but effective.”

Dowden likes that the site is free, she said. Sites like eBay charge for listings and take a percentage of whatever the item sells for and charge shipping and handling.

BookChanger eliminates the shipping and handling charge, and it’s faster, Radfar said.

“For example, you want to buy a book, you search it, you send a text or reply, the seller gets the email,” he said. “Tomorrow morning, you meet on campus and complete the transaction.”

Unlike Amazon or eBay, buyers can inspect the item before making the final decision to purchase, and payment is immediate.

“The thing I like most is its safety,” said student Rio Lam. “I think with BookChanger, purchases are more guaranteed than other sites.”

Radfar said he has no immediate plans to turn his website into a business. He’s happy as long as the website is doing what it’s supposed to do, and it’s not about money, he said.

A student recently contacted him asking if a particular book was available on his website, which it was, Radfar said.

“The cost was about 60 bucks on Amazon,” he said. “But this guy on SE Campus was selling it for 10 bucks, so he was excited, and I helped him to contact the seller.”

The website features some ads, but Radfar said he gets paid only if someone buys something after clicking on the ad. He mostly relies on donations from users and family members to keep the site running, he said.

“Some of my friends say, ‘Do you make money from it?’ But one of my greatest motivators is helping students to buy a cheaper book,” he said.

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