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June 27, 2013 - Image 64

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-06-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

>> ... Next Generation ...

Affordable College Textbookr

MSU grad created a way to reduce
the cost of college textbooks.


olleges and universities will
university email address. Sellers are
suck up your money any way
required to type in the book's ISBN number,
they can. With tuition already
the condition of the book and the selling
burning a hole in your wallet,
price. Buyers are able to search for the
wouldn't it be nice if a college student
book they need by typing in the ISBN
could purchase textbooks that do not cost
number, author or title of the book. From
hundreds of dollars?
there, they are able to click the book they
Darin Gross, a 22-year-old entrepreneur
are looking for and see a list of all the
who graduated from Michigan
sellers. They can click on sellers'
State University in 2012, has
names, see how much they are
made this possible. With the
selling the book for and contact
creation of his website, Booklify.
them via email.
corn, students who attend the
"Users are required to provide
same university are able to buy
their university email address
and sell textbooks to each other
to ensure they are a student at
for a reasonable price.
the university," Gross said. "This
The idea came to Gross when
creates less of a safety issue and
Darin Gross
he was talking with a friend who
also confirms that buyers and
had just sold a book to the bookstore for
sellers are buying and selling books to
$20, which cost him $100. Gross happened
students who attend the same university."
to have needed the book his friend just
Booklify first launched in August
2012 at the start of Michigan State's fall
"He could have made more money, and I
semester. Gross figured because students
could have saved more money," said Gross
were going back to school and needed to
of Farmington Hills. "From there, I came up
buy textbooks, this would be the perfect
with the idea of Booklify.com ."
Michigan State has a startup weekend
"I saw a flyer for Booklify.com in a local
where a plethora of entrepreneurs gather
coffee shop in East Lansing right before
and pitch an idea at the beginning of the
school started last fall," said MSU student
event. There are about 30 pitches and
Taylor Lederman of West Bloomfield. "I
everyone votes on the top eight.
decided to check it out and see if any of
"Those in the top eight are the projects
the books I needed were listed on the site.
we work on for the weekend, and Booklify.
I ended up buying two of my books from
corn was among those eight," Gross said.
Booklify.com and managed to pay a little
"After the startup weekend is when my
less than half of what I would have paid for
business partner, Kyle Clifton, and I really
the used books at a bookstore on campus.
began to work on the idea."
My parents were very pleased."
The way Booklify works is quite easy;
Aside from placing flyers and stickers
college students simply sign up by using
around campus, the duo implemented
their Facebook account and enter their
a multitude of marketing strategies to


increase student awareness.
to focus on these three schools to improve
"When we launched our marketing
and make the system stronger. The pair are
campaign back at the end of the 2012
also in discussion about making Booklify a
fall semester, we held a large competition
nonprofit entity.
among the MSU Greek Life community and
Aside from Gross' endeavor with Booklify,
MSU student organizations," said MSU
he is part of Challenge Detroit, where
junior Kyle Clifton of Grand Rapids. "The
he works for Livonia-based Marketplace
organization that got the most students to
Homes in the property management
sign-up on Booklify.com received $500. It
department as well as the finance, tech
was extremely successful."
team and communications departments.
The idea of Booklify is not only to allow
students to purchase books for a decent
price but also for them to meet students in
the same major, which is why Gross and
Clifton want the buyers and sellers to
meet face-to-face in a central location
on campus.
11 1111M 1
"If you're purchasing a book
from someone, you most
® '44
likely have the same major,"
Gross said. "This creates an
'.=;';•=••• •
opportunity to find a study
Psychological Testing
partner, a tutor, or the
buyer can even purchase
notes from the seller.
Booklify.com is not only
about saving money. It's
about creating beneficial
Starrreum 'Mow NOToosmnre eirdw 60, /,,, Nw..4.3.1w, --r5er ■ coMls:13•1
relations for students."
Currently, Booklify.
Rink' ictl!Pstilwl(N7).
corn is only offered to
students who attend
MSU, Central Michigan
University and Western
Michigan University.
Partners Gross and
Clifton hope to expand
to other universities in
Shooting Under Fire
the near future; however,
their main goal now is





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64 June 27 • 2013

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