Science - December 9, 2004

Student launches book website

Wageningen students who are looking for second-hand textbooks can now go to a new website. Ads can be placed and looked at for free on www.wageningen-book.com.

The Iranian PhD student Bouda Vosough Ahmadi has been studying in Wageningen since 2001, and came up with the idea for the website when the Leeuwenborch moved to the IMAG-building. ‘At the entrance there was a table where people left books behind that they no longer used. Anyone who wanted a book could take it for free. It occurred to me that a website would be a way in which people can offer their old books any time they want, and people looking for books can easily find out what’s available. It’s a winning solution for both parties.’
Unlike other virtual trading sites, such as marktplaats.nl or e-bay, users do not have to pay for the service. Contacting a seller and payment take place outside the site. Someone who wants to sell a book places an advert with a contact e-mail address. Buyers can then get in touch with the seller themselves and come to agreement about payment and collection.
It is not only books than can be traded. ‘I have made various categories. PhD students, for example, can post articles that they no longer need. And there’s also a miscellaneous category,’ Vosough Ahmadi smiles. He hopes to cover the costs of keeping the website online through the small ads on the site. ‘I have taken a risk here, but I hope that visitors click on the ads now and then, because that’s the way I can earn back the costs I have made.’
Vosough Ahmadi has plans for the future as well: ‘If there’s enough interest, I want to approach Dutch book websites and Wageningen booksellers, such as Kniphorst. We can probably negotiate price reductions for people who buy their books through the website.’ / JH

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