Because they were tired of seeing so many pesky, textbook ad flyers displayed around campus, two GCC students decided to do something about it.
“I wanted a solution to high textbook prices,” said business major Alex Karibyan.
Karibyan, 19, created a unique website with his partner, computer engineering major Levon Ostakarayan, to offer students an alternative to regular retail bookstores and the messy, inefficient flyers posted all over campus bulletin boards. The site, called cclist.org, allows students to post and sell their textbooks.
Ostakarayan, 20, helps with the development of the website, calling himself “the back-end developer,” as he manages the database, programming, and sometimes the design. As the front-end developer, Karibyan is in charge of features, graphics, and overall design.
The creators themselves do not plan to make any profits from this enterprise. They just want to help students sell their books.
“We are not making money and don’t intend on making money,” said Karibyan. “We’re doing it because we want to help students, since we are college students ourselves and we know the struggles.”
Students who visit the website will find that it is very easy and simple to use. Once they select their school, they are redirected to a list of subjects and corresponding textbooks (posted by students) specific to GCC. However, in order to post something, students must create an account, which Karibyan said only takes a few seconds.
Users negotiate prices and make the exchange in person, after contacting each other through the website. If students are wary of posting their names and numbers online, they can also use an email address.
“If they don’t feel safe at all, they can just use the comment box,” Ostakarayan said.
The website also allows users to mark their books as sold, which deletes their posts altogether.
“We take many precautions to make sure our database is secure,” Karibyan said. “That’s one of our most important tasks.”
Although Karibyan and Ostakaryan want to branch out to different schools across the nation, they decided to test it out at GCC first.
Some students have already begun using the website and are thankful for its inception.
“The website is great, considering the fact that it’s in its very first testing stage,” said Lorena Stoytcheva, 19, a said Lorena Stoytcheva, 19, a psychology major. “You don’t have to go through a lengthy process to register for an account and posting book ads is very simple.”
Peter Katalaris, 21, an administration of justice major, said he discovered the site after seeing a post on Facebook by one of his former professors.
“If the school can get the word out about the website, it can be more successful,” he said.
Karibyan agrees that the more students they have using the site, the better it will work.
“When you make something like this, you don’t expect the feedback to be great in the beginning because there are always bugs and issues,” Karibyan said. “But to our surprise, the feedback was very positive.”
The website is still in the beta testing stage, meaning Karibyan and Ostakarayan plan to add more features and adjustments. In the future they will implement a forum, include more categories for students to post in and add
job listings. Tutors and students in search of a tutor can post on the site as well.
So far there have been nearly 200 posts to the website. The creators are hoping more students will be made aware of the site.
Karibyan believes students will help determine the future and direction of the site.
“We do not want to pave the road ourselves,” he said. “We want to pave it with the people that will be walking on it.” For more information visit cclist.org.