There are few industries as broken as higher education. Beyond the problems with the institutions themselves – which is way to big of a problem to get into here – the textbook model is completely broken. Company’s churn out $100-300 books, and update them every year so students are forced to buy the newest volume. Well, we had a chance to speak with a One Spark Creator that is looking to fix the textbook system: Textbook Boomerang.
In a nutshell, Textbook Boomerang allows students to trade their books with other students. The online platform uses a simple, 3-step approach to the process. Students list all of the books that they own, and all of the books that they need. Textbook Boomerang then uses their smart algorithm to find matches with other lists. If a student finds and selects a match, Textbook Boomerang provides them with a UPS shipping label. Pretty simple approach. The best part is the price: Textbook Boomerang costs a flat $15 fee to trade books, which covers the shipping and Textbook Boomerang’s operations.
The service is not yet available, but it should be up and running in time for the fall 2015 school semester. During One Spark, we had a chance to speak with the Jacksonville-based Textbook Boomerang team: