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New competitor arises in textbook exchange

Move over Amazon and Ebay — now there’s a brand new web site for students to sell and buy textbooks.

Collegecampusconnection.com, a site founded in August 2004, is an online marketplace for students to sell and buy books and other items as well as search for housing. The site connects students with other students from the same college, eliminating the cost of shipping and the wait for books to arrive, common qualities of similar sites.

There is no cost to use collegecampusconnection.com, except to place housing ads. Students can pay for purchases using credit cards, PayPal accounts or bank accounts.

The site was the idea of founder and CEO Kenneth Williams when he was a student at Ohio Northern University. Williams wanted an easy way to purchase books online from his room and be able to receive the book within hours, if necessary, and thought that others could benefit from such a service as well. Thus he began developing collegecampusconnection.com.

As of now there are not many listings on the site — none from the University — but Williams said it’s all up to students to change that.

“Don’t get discouraged because there are no books on there yet,” Williams said. “It’s up to the students to take advantage of it.”

Williams didn’t focus on promoting collegecampusconnection.com until mid-December 2004, so he’s not surprised there aren’t a lot of people taking advantage of the site yet. It does seem to be gaining popularity at his alma mater Ohio Northern University, though, mostly through word of mouth, Williams said. He said there are about 50 textbooks, 100 members and 52 housing ads on the site from people at Ohio Northern.

“Ohio Northern’s going well,” Williams said.

Williams hopes the trend of increased use of the site at Ohio Northern will be mirrored at other schools too.

“I want to see it at every campus — that’s the ultimate goal,” he said.

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