Anyone who takes a gander the Class of (insert your graduating year here) Facebook group sees it swamped with people trying to sell their old textbooks, tickets, furniture, or, well, anything for that matter. Joshua Anderson is trying to tidy up Facebook, and move that business to his company, Uvalue.
Anderson used to have a part time job buying textbooks from students until he realized he could make this process easier. He started working on the concept of Uvalue and was then accepted as a Kauffman Entrepreneurship Engagement Fellow. He officially founded the site in May and is working on improving it and getting the word out that it even exists.
The online marketplace works similar to eBay and Amazon, except Uvalue takes only a 12 percent commission compared to the 16 percent cut eBay and Amazon take. Anderson will expand the site first throughout the state and then nationally, but Syracuse students can rejoice because the site will direct them to a specific school page, no matter how big Uvalue gets. So, not only do users keep more of their money, but the buyer is right on campus.
“For me to have a business so soon and to build something that is scalable and can have an impact, that doing something on the web was the best way to go,” Anderson said.
Uvalue holds the money for 48 hours to make sure the product works and sends the money to the seller afterwards. If you get ripped off and notify them within two days, the refund is all yours. But if you're lazy and wait, then it’s your own damn fault. Anderson wants to create a sense of security with this policy and uses college email addresses to help verify people.
One hundred students have already taken the plunge: It’s about time Facebook becomes less of an advertisement and more of place to stay in touch with friends—let Uvalue be your college’s online-store.