28 Oct Startup Profile: Haggle Textbooks
Two seniors at Texas Christian University (TCU), Mason Tucker and Daniel Younan cofounded Haggle Textbooks, a marketplace where students can buy and sell their textbooks from semester to semester with other students on their own campus.
Tucker and Younan came up with the idea around Christmas last year, right after selling their books back to the bookstore for pennies on the dollar. The spark of an idea for solving a problem led to some serious research. College students spend about $1200 a year on textbooks. Typically, campus bookstores do not buy back university specific books leaving students to find someone taking the class the next semester. The price inflation percentage of textbooks is the highest of any general cost faced by students; the prices are increasing even faster than tuition and housing. The pair found a way for buyers and sellers of used books to benefit by finding a higher sales price and lower retail price than the bookstores offer.
They developed a mobile application to facilitate the book deals. They went through over 50 iterations of the app before finally releasing it on the iOS app store this past summer. Using the app essentially streamlines the transaction and connects the buyer to the seller directly for mutual benefit. Currently the Haggle Textbooks app is only available through the Apple App Store—the Android release is eminent so look for it soon.
Earlier this month, the Haggle Textbooks team presented the idea to the Bill Shaddock Venture Capital Fund on TCU’s campus and took the first place prize—a $5,000 grant in addition to the favorable responses and business feedback they received. Mason Tucker’s presentation at One Million Cups in Fort Worth last week also captured positive responses from an enthusiastically supportive crowd.
Once they have conquered TCU, Haggle Textbooks looks to add other campuses and intends to employ on campus ”Haggle” ambassadors for evangelizing the app. Interested parties can contact Mason Tucker here.