Student textbook exchange saves students money via Facebook

There are numerous equations which factor into the obstacles the average college student faces.  Students not only are required to divide their time wisely between studies, social life and work in order to succeed, but must also face the pressures of affording an education. Affording a class does not stop at paying for the units; there are supplemental costs for necessities which accompany a class, such as textbooks.  Facing the obstacles of rising class costs and other costs, the average college student is required to be more thrifty than ever. Luckily, students have each other to rely on.Sarah Ha, a 19-year-old business major, understanding the financial burdens students like herself experience, decided to create the CRC Textbook Exchange Facebook group.

A thrifty alternative to Amazon or textbook stores, The CRC Textbook Exchange group allows students to post advertisements for textbooks they are interested in selling or purchasing.

“I decided to create the group because I despised buying and selling books online to complete strangers, and I was hoping that some of my friends would have what I need,” Ha said. “And of course, I was hoping that my friends would give a much more reasonable price for these textbooks compared to bookstores.”

Free for anyone to add, the group has successfully grown to more than 500 members, said Ha.

Ha said she has saved $150, and students also said the group has helped relieved them of the burden of textbook costs.

“Going on my fifth semester here at the Los Rios Colleges, I obviously like most others, wanted to find different methods to obtain books that will be cost efficient,” Niro Hernandez, 20, a nursing major said. “To be able to use a book and sell it for a fraction of the cost is good, since we all need money nowadays to make ends meet.”

Hernandez said not only does he use the group to purchase or sell books for himself, but also his friends.

The connection among students the group has created is one of the benefits, said Ha.

“The social media outlet is an amazing way to reach out and help people,” Ha said. “Because of mutual friends and their connections, the group was able to grow so much in such little time.”

Hernandez said he discovered the group through a friend, a common way other students found out about the group.

A 20-year-old business administration major Vina Nguyen, who said she was invited by a friend to join the group, said despite not experiencing success with purchasing or selling books, she supports the group.

“I think it’s a great way to connect and save money,” said Nguyen.

Although the group has been successful, some improvements–such as organization–could be made, said Hernandez

“It’s nice to know each person is trying to help another person obtain a they need, but to scroll down dozens of comments just to find h right one is very time consuming and difficult,” Hernandez said. “It’s practically a race to get to that comment first before anyone else sees it and get that specific book.”

While the group still has time to grow, Ha said she is satisfied with its progress.

“The CRC Textbook Exchange served its purpose, which was to save money for college students,” said Ha.