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UCL graduate launches BookSpot: a new online platform for buying and selling university textbooks

16 October 2015

UCL graduate launches BookSpot: a new online platform for buying and selling university textbooks

Former UCL student Julia Knyazhanskaya (BA hons Economics and Business with East European Studies 2013) has launched BookSpot, an online book exchange for London students. It allows students from UCL, Kings College London and LSE to buy the second hand textbooks they need and to sell those they no longer require.

Julia explains, “I first had the idea for BookSpot in my final year at UCL, when several students that I had never met from the year below tried to reach me via Facebook to find out whether I would sell them my second year textbooks. I realised that it would be much more convenient if there was an internal platform where students could show prospective buyers the textbooks they have for sale.”

UCL support

Once the idea was in place, Julia found that UCL was able to provide assistance and advice in helping BookSpot become a reality.

BookSpot

She said, “When I started working on the project, UCL was very supportive. I was able to organise a free meeting with a Student Business Advisor in UCL Advances, which was very useful. It provided me with feedback about all aspects of the project, including the legal, marketing and financial side of things. Staff from UCLU and UCL departments that I approached were also very generous and willing to help out.”

By using BookSpot, UCL students will be able to raise extra cash by selling the textbooks they have finished with, and can save money by buying second hand copies of those they need. The platform has a simple registration process that allows students to register via Facebook.

Julia hopes the process will soon be made even easier, with the introduction of a BookStop app.

She said, “At the moment BookSpot is a website, but we are now in the process of developing an app, which will be even easier and more convenient to use for the students.

"We are also thinking of expanding into the E-book market and are talking to different publishers to expand the platform so that they can offer E-textbooks directly to students. This will give students a greater choice, as many are now reading their textbooks online. In the long run we hope that we will be able to set up partnerships with publishers and become the number one book retailer and book exchange for London students.”

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