Former Student Creates Textbook Exchange Site

Former DVC student Chris Sargisov has launched an online textbook exchange program in which a DVC student seeking a particular textbook is matched with another student here who wants to sell it.

Sargisov, 27, said he always bought his books at the DVC bookstore or online, but after transferring to California State University East Bay, he realized he might have another option. 

While talking to a classmate in December 2007, Sargisov learned she wanted to take a class he was already taking. He offered to sell her his textbook, and she accepted. 

After the conversation, Sargisov said he had an idea: “I figured, why don’t I swap all my textbooks?”    

Thus, the textbook exchange program was born. 

After meeting with several developers and finding a website designer, was launched in February 2009.

“I’m always looking for ideas,” said Sargisov, who majored in business. “This is something that’s been talked about but never really tried.”  

The concept is straightforward: Students log on, register and list the textbooks they need and want to sell.

The website is free and does not have any ads. Sargisov said he currently funds the project himself.

While there is no way to make sure those who register are actually students, he encourages users to be on the lookout for suspicious activity and to use discretion when arranging an exchange.   

Once a match between two students is made, they can make arrangements to meet.

Sargisov said will have access to Amazon’s book database in the future to make sure that students get a fair price. But until then, “they will work it out,” he said. 

Student Andrew Applegate, 19, said he buys most of his textbooks from the campus bookstore but does not believe he always gets a fair price.  He said he would consider exchanging textbooks with students, “if the price is right.”   

Currently, 217 different textbook titles are listed. 

To make the exchanges more convenient, matches are campus based, meaning that students are only matched with those who attend the same college.

Though Sargisov wants to make DVC the “pilot program” for, five other campuses are currently participating. 

Of 112 currently registered users, 74 are DVC students.

In the future, Sargisov said he hopes to add various other features to the website, such a club application and an “educational platform,” a social network through which users can discuss their classes and give and receive help.