The Grad Shack, in partnership with ShopDirect, has introduced an online facility whereby students can now buy and re-sell their used textbooks and study guides.

Up until now, students have had to buy long lists of expensive prescribed textbooks that they mostly only use for the duration of their course. After that, the books lie unused.  As printing costs escalate, textbooks become more and more costly and students have to find the means to finance  these adding further strain to already limited budgets.
Chris Fraser, MD of Grad Shack and founder of www.gradshack.co.za, says: “We have realised that students fall into a highly pressured and over burdened niche book market. From now on they can recoup some of their investment by selling their used books online. In addition they can buy their next year’s books online, saving time and money. We are confident that this e-solution is going to prove to be a fantastic solution to their problem.”
James Flower, MD of ShopDirect, says: “Students can save up to 60% on the price of new books. While some systems do exist for the trade of used books, they fail to offer protection to both buyer and seller and are generally inefficient. The Grad Shack resolves this by administrating the flow of finance between the two parties through an easy-to-use online system that the ShopDirect team has created. Over a period of five years we have developed some 500 shops and the software used, sits at the very forefront of e-commerce  development.”
The Grad Shack concept uses e-commerce systems to facilitate trade and, importantly, is environmentally friendly. By purchasing used textbooks, students are assisting in minimizing deforestation and reducing carbon emissions brought about by the printing process that ultimately lowers the carbon footprint.
In addition, it promotes sustainable financial disciplines based on saving time, effort and, of course, money. Once the initial purchase is made, books can be resold at a minimal loss at the end of the year and those funds used to purchase books for the new year. This eases the burden on the students’ finances allowing them to worry less about the exorbitant cost of being a student and focus more on what is important – their studies.
“It is inevitable that textbook prices will continue to climb as the e-book market becomes more accessible and increasingly popular," sys Fraser. "Book retailers will be forced to fight to stay alive amongst spiraling operating costs and reduced profit margins.
"As students are already technologically savvy and familiar with buying and selling online, buying textbooks online is a no-brainer.  Clearly the time saving aspect is a bonus.  The days of standing in long queues and going from one bookseller to another in search of a sold-out title are gone.  All this can be done by the click of a mouse."