HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With all the college kids going back to school and U.H. starting on Monday, parents will be spending a ton of money on books. But a group of local students came up with an idea that could save you some dough.
This reporter took a look at bookzingo.com.
Melanie guided, "This is our first page you'll get to. So, from here, you select whatever school you go to. So we'll say Creighton University to start off. Click next. So, right here it brings you to our homepage."
Melanie Feldman is one of 4 students that set up the website. It's sort of an online marketplace that allows you to buy and sell books for your classes. Now, once you select your specific school, you can view the books that are up for sale. There are a more than a dozen mainland colleges in the database and several Hawaii schools including U.H., H.P.U. and some high schools.
Melanie continued, "You click on the book you want, you click request and basically you can configure your own message to the person selling it. And our site will send an email to them and right away from there you will come in contact with the seller."
It all started when Melanie and her brother Matt came back from college.
Matt Feldman shares, "[Melanie] was telling me how she bought her textbooks for 500 bucks and sold them back for 90 bucks and she was just like, 'It's such a big rip-off'. I was telling her how I want to start a company".
And they did.
They brought in their friend George who had some business savvy and Ryan Catalan who designed and programmed the site.
It launched on August 5th and they pride themselves on being user friendly.
Ryan detailed, "Now when you're looking through the site, there's sort of a list of the most recently posted books. You can see their covers and it just gives it a more visual feel and it's easier to identify the books you want to see."
As for the name, they spent 3 weeks brainstorming. There was "postorbit.com", "melenpost.com", "book-to-kid.com"...but those didn't work.
Matt shares, "My Mom actually found bookzingo and we didn't really like it at first. We were just like aaahhh... whatever. And then my sister was just like, 'We need to pick a name and move on. We're spending way too much time on this'. So once we found the name, we stuck with it and it just grew on us."
And it's catching on.
They already have more than 200 users and it's gaining in popularity.
They plan to keep adding schools across the state and colleges across the country. They promise that it will always be free.