Selling books made easy

As St. John’s students start the new semester, they are faced with the tedious task of deleting or saving dozens of e-mails entitled “Books For Sale” or “Urgent” that many other St. John’s students frequently send at the beginning of each semester.

And if you are among the unlucky few who almost never check your e-mail on St. John’s Central, you may spend quite some time ridding your box of book advertising e-mails, which could take up a vast percentage of your inbox quota.

It is pretty clear that the books at the school bookstore are overpriced and that it’s considered the last resort for a majority of students looking to buy or sell books. Their famous maxim “Books for Cash” should probably read “Books for Change” since students willing to sell back their books are often subject to an unfair bargain in return.

However, the present situation remains that students are beginning to seek reasonable deals elsewhere, even if it means transforming your personal mailbox into a forum for business transactions.

Students like Yesenia Martinez, a criminal justice major, can attest that books at the bookstore are too expensive after she reluctantly purchased an Intro to Forensic Science book for a whopping $128. So far, all of Martinez’s criminal justice textbooks have cost over $100 each.

In addition to this, the junior states that “the e-mails that I get every semester from people selling books can be very beneficial, in the way that I can get some books cheaper than in the bookstore. But it can also be annoying at times, because I would get 5-7 emails daily from students selling books.”

Meanwhile, Kyle Gouldthorpe, a sophomore, who has also been plagued by the tedious emails, proposed a solution that could possibly benefit both students and the University.

The business major stated, “I feel that the school should create a system in which it would allow us to sell our books, and by applying a five dollar mark up on them the school would get five dollars in profits for each book sold, and the rest would go in our pockets. Altogether it’s a win-win situation.”

This proposal may seem quite an idea to many students wanting to get a good bargain, however the concept would probably appear impractical to the University, since it may result in the loss of profits.

So what should students do with their books, besides filling up each other’s inboxes with annoying advertisements? Well, there is always the option of selling or buying books online on popular Web sites such as or Amazon. In addition, there is an even better solution that some students may not even be aware of, although they are probably using the sight already: Facebook.

As many Facebook users might know, there are applications created for almost anything someone could fathom. The most recent application is known as the “St. John’s Marketplace.”

It is a place where people can search for housing, jobs, and even free stuff. In the St. John’s Marketplace, students can find the Market Exchange Place for books, where they can buy, sell, or even compare prices of books with other students within the school.

One frequent Facebook user can definitely attest to the greatness of this application. Anna Chen, an education major, feels that the contents of the Marketplace are second to none.

The sophomore said, “The Marketplace application on Facebook is one of the most simple and recommendable networks you can use to sell and buy merchandise. It is fee-free, unlike eBay and Amazon where you have to pay a fee just to post your product online. Also, if you are worried about credit card theft, the Marketplace is theft-free. You can have a real live one-on-one chat with the buyer and bargain. You can’t do that on eBay or Amazon, can you? From my experience, I would recommend the marketplace to people because it’s easy and it’s a good way to save up money.”

In the end, students like Chen are satisfied, getting deals that the overpriced bookstore can not beat.