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Website helps buy, sell stuff in collegeMay 9, 2012 @ 6:13 pm (Updated: 3:05 am - 5/11/12 )
It's such a simple idea, it seems like it should have been done before - college students buying, selling, and swapping things online within their campus communities.
A Seattle-area mom is behind a new online service for college students that's set up the same way Facebook started.
Tina Snyder has a daughter going to college in Portland and another at a Seattle university.
One of them wanted to purchase a bike on Craigslist and was going to try to find a friend to go with her to meet the buyer. Mom asked her, "Don't you have some kind of advertising system at your school?"
Another time one of her daughters was looking for a ride home. Again mom asked why something like that isn't posted on a campus intranet?
"She said, 'Well, I can walk around the dorms and look on bulletin boards.' I thought that sounded so old school," Snyder says.
Snyder also noticed when she went to college to pick up her girls at the end of the year, students had abandoned items in the halls and by the garbage bins.
Students were abandoning or trashing perfectly good microwaves, furniture and other stuff they just didn't want to schlep home for the summer.
She did some research and found a lot of colleges across the country don't have a kind of Craigslist classified advertising service that's specific to their campus.
We assume students are more connected than ever with social media, but Snyder found they often didn't know someone living in the same dorm had an item they were trying to sell, that would have been of value to the right buyer.
Snyder, with a background in computer IT, created the college classifieds website CampusWall .
"What I wanted to do was keep it very specific to a college campus and only allow students to register with their .edu email address," she says. "They are only selling and buying and swapping within their own campus community including students, faculty, staff and alumni."
Sound familiar? That's how Facebook started out, being able to share information only within a system set up for a college.
Facebook's membership was initially limited to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities before opening to high school students, and eventually to anyone aged 13 and over. That little company has done well with an IPO expected next week.
"I don't have any visions of anything like that," Snyder says. "My first goal came from the mom standpoint, wanting to create something safe and secure for my daughters.
Campus Wall is available at nine colleges in Washington state, 15 in California, and dozens of others around the country. She plans to expand the service before students go back to college in the fall.
By LINDA THOMAS
Photo by Shane Opatz. All that stuff that parents moved into college dorm rooms last fall is now being crammed into cars, ready to return home.
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