Students create ‘swap’ to alleviate book hassles

By Jordan Lewis

Each semester, in addition to signing up for classes, students undergo the complicated task of buying books.

Olivet students who purchase books from the campus bookstore or online may consider a third option: Swappable. specifically allows users to, “swap” books with other ONU students. The website, created by juniors Bruce Cheek and Joe Schindel, has been available to students since summer 2011.

The idea came when the two students noticed many of their peers would opt to trade books instead of paying for them online or in the bookstore; their website aims to make this process easier with a more organized system of trading.

According to web developer Bruce Cheek, the concept started off as a Facebook group, but eventually grew to a website this past summer. The Facebook group still exists, but the website has become a more streamlined version. According to the developers, the Facebook group will soon be phased out altogether.

The Swappable Website was designed over a period of more than 30 hours. The major advantage the website has over the Facebook group is ease of use, according to Schindel. The website allows users to quickly upload their schedule and see what books other students are selling or trading.

“It takes less than five minutes to upload your schedule and find the books you need; you can find your books almost instantly,” Schindel said.

In order to access the website, a student needs a username and password. Once the account is created, the student can search for books, similar to the process of finding books on Olivet’s bookstore website. Once a student finds a book he or she needs, the website links to the owner’s e-mail.

Not only is the website streamlining the way students buy books, it allows them to often purchase at a lower price than competitors.

“[Swappable] allows me to buy used books from my peers at a cheap price and I can sell my books too,” junior Jade Green said.

The site also shows what price Amazon is selling the book for, which allows students to price their book accordingly.

Another useful feature is that the website allows students to see what condition the books are in, Schindel said.

Cheek and Schindel agree if the website continues to be a success they would like to open it up to other schools in the area, or other Nazarene schools.

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