April 16, 2014
Marcus Ducheine and Travis Tyson are two USF students behind a new textbook buying and selling mobile application called Swap Shop. The purpose of Swap Shop is to facilitate the buying and selling of textbooks between students, allowing sellers to set their own prices and buyers to shop around their area for the best deals.
Marcus and Travis began development of the Swap Shop application in January 2013 with the help of the USF-based application developer Simply Advanced. Their working experiences with expensive textbooks compelled them to develop the application, hoping to benefit their fellow students with more affordable textbook options. Marcus worked in the Center for Student Involvement for three years and frequently observed student complaints about the burden of expensive textbooks, while Travis tutored high-school students struggling to prepare for college.
One of the most interesting features of the application is the ability to locate textbook deals using mobile GPS. The user inputs textbook information (title, author, or ISBN) and all potential seller locations and prices will appear on the map, allowing the user to find the cheapest prices offered in the area. If a desired textbook is not currently available, the user can choose to be notified by phone when a seller lists the textbook for sale. Other features include the ability to search for a textbook by scanning its barcode, a local and online bookstore price comparison tool, and a messaging system to facilitate communication between sellers and buyers.
The application will always be free for buyers, but it is only free to sellers for the first year. After the first year and two complimentary listing credits, sellers will need to pay a fee of $0.99 per sale listing.
The Swap Shop application is currently available for Android phones, with an iOS version planned for the future.