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Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Textbook website developed by Davis students

Waiting in long lines at the UC Davis Bookstore might be a thing of the past for some students thanks to davistext.com.

The new website lists and sells textbooks specifically for the UC Davis campus. Organized by department, the site allows users to search for their books by class and professor.

William Hsu, a sophomore economics major, launched the site this September after feeling frustrated as a first-year student unable to find out what books he needed earlier. The website is already sparking student interest while saving some students a couple of bucks.

The bottom line is that students are paying way too much for textbooks these days,” said Hsu in an e-mail interview. “Although it has become pretty obvious that buying books online can save students a lot of money, as students we choose not to.”

“Davistext.com solves this problem by letting you know which books you need for each class and letting you know about it weeks before class begins,” he said.

The website was designed, created and marketed solely by UC Davis students. In partnership with amazon.com, the site charges a flat shipping rate of $3.99 per book.

Chen Fei Fei said that she saved about $20 ordering three books from the site.

“The website has the original price, which is the price at the bookstore,” Fei said. “And I grabbed the ones that were with the highest discount, above a 30 percent discount.”

Because the website is new, however, there are concerns about its reliability among users.

“The thing I would be most concerned with is accuracy,” said Sam Young, a senior economics major. “What if [the site] says that I need a certain book, but that’s not the book that the professor actually uses?”

Hsu said he got the book list through negotiations with the university and that the information on the site is official and will be available each quarter.

Davistext.com also has a partnership program with clubs and organizations on campus to give back to the community.

“Since we make commission off of each sale, we are offering clubs and organizations 75 percent of what we earn when they partner with us,” Hsu said. “In fact, we give them their own sub-portal where members can purchase books at the same price, except that the proceeds will be directed to them.”

One sub-site is rotaract.davistext.com with the collaboration of Campus Rotaract Club of Davis – a student-run organization that mobilizes students and young people to do local and international humanitarian services.

Daniel Nanas, an undeclared sophomore, said his experience with the site was good overall.

“I only looked for two classes and they were much cheaper [than the bookstore],” Nanas said. “One book was $120 and I got it for $75. The downside was that it was shipping from Ohio and I missed about a week of reading.”

Hsu hopes that the website will be efficient and convenient for students for book purchases in the future.

“We designed a site that is very easy and intuitive to use making the checkout process quick, easy and secure,” Hsu said. “And I would argue that it’s now even easier than the bookstore because you can do it all without even getting out of bed and at the same time save a lot of money for whatever life throws at you.”


ANGELA RUGGIERO can be reached at campus@californiaaggie.com.


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