Many University of Minnesota students are used to spending hundreds on textbooks each semester. And with new editions coming out annually, selling books back to the University Bookstore is not as easy as advertised.
Even if the University Bookstores buy back a student’s books at the end of the semester, they typically pay a significantly reduced price, undoubtedly making some students wonder if it’s worth it to buy their books through the University at all.
As a result, students have developed an alternative textbook exchange website at U-Swap.org, the Minnesota Daily reported last week.
Two University students and one student from St. Olaf College created the site. The Minnesota Student Association helped launch U-Swap and advertise it to students.
The site intends to make the process of buying and selling textbooks more student-friendly by specifically addressing issues of affordability and convenience. University students have already used Facebook groups like Textbook Exchange for years. With its MSA partnership, U-Swap gives legitimacy to student-driven textbook trading.
U-Swap is an important step forward in helping students respond to the issue of rising textbook costs. By creating an institutionalized textbook marketplace, U-Swap can chip away at the monopoly that publishers and University-affiliated retailers enjoy. Ultimately, students should have more power to choose as consumers.