Startups
Apps / Entrepreneurs

This UD student built an app to save big bucks on college textbooks

BookBandit was built by a college student, for college students.

Textbooks are expensive, and selling them back is a pain. (Photo by Flickr user Rob Wall)

The college textbook business can be a racket. Any college student or grad knows what it’s like to buy a book for $150, keep it in pristine condition and sell it back for a whopping $15.
University of Delaware senior Jim Jannuzzio created a free app aimed to give college students a leg up in book-selling industry. It’s called BookBandit.
“It is my mission,” Jannuzzio told us, “to give every college student the opportunity to purchase and sell their textbooks at the most practical prices on the market.”
BookBandit is a mobile app available on Android’s Google Play and Apple’s App Store. BookBandit, according to Jannuzzio, “has partnered with dozens of online merchants such as Chegg, AbeBooks, and Barnes & Noble to present the lowest prices available across multiple book suppliers and distributors.” Customers use BookBandit to browse those shops and find the cheapest price, and they’re able to select from and buy new, used or electronic books. BookBandit makes money through a small transaction fee.
“What our users love most is that BookBandit does the shopping, research, and sourcing while providing a single sign-in/checkout process,” he said.
Jannuzzio told us that he had the idea for BookBandit during his freshman year at UD. He sold a book he used for a single semester for 96 percent less than what he initially paid. “Dumbfounded at the cycle of overspending and then receiving less than half of what you paid,” he said, “I created BookBandit.”
His idea took off quickly, he said. “The system’s popularity quickly grew with over 3,500 downloads and orders placed widespread across the country,” he told us.
Jannuzzio is set to graduate this coming fall. He’s a part of the university’s Venture On for the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship.

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