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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Textbook-selling app debuts at Texas A&M

LiberWave
Photo by Photo by: Jena Floyd
LiberWave

Textbooks are an ever-present facet of most college students’ lives, and a new app co-founded by an Aggie hopes to change the way students buy and sell them. 

“LiberWave” is a virtual marketplace where students can view textbooks and notes for sale by other students in their local area. Texas A&M and Midwestern State University are the first campuses to get access to the app’s features, which went live in College Station this spring and hopes to expand across Texas’ universities by the end of the year. 

“With the app, you can list the [textbook], put in your ISBN, set your price, put notes if you want to sell your notes — if you want to be advantageous, want to sell your study guides or notes from your previous semester, you can include that as well,” said Josh Reola, Class of 2002 and co-founder of LiberWave. 

The app was born out of the dissatisfaction Josh Reola’s older brother Jake Reola felt with the way many students have to currently buy and sell textbooks. Jacob Reola, a Midwestern State University graduate, decided to come up with an alternative option that cut out “middle men” like Amazon and other platforms where textbooks are typically bought and sold. 

Josh Reola said the app is exclusively launching at Midwestern State and Texas A&M, and he hopes with the help of the Aggie community the app will grow and expand to more universities in the future.

“It’s just my brother, myself and a few other people, but we definitely want to start it big here at A&M and with the Aggie Network,” Josh Reola said. “That’s why I’m reaching out to Aggies, to see how awesome this family is and grow this startup.”

The duo has dubbed the app a mix of Tinder and Uber for textbooks — it allows students to both post books they want to sell and search for books they need without going to a bookstore.

Josh Reola said everything is done within the app, from money transfers to setting up the location where the two students will meet to exchange money for the books.  

“You can drop a pin on the location of where your book is at, but there’s an in-app chat in LiberWave that you can chat back and forth in,” Josh Reola said. “Once you meet up with each other, you confirm the transaction.”

Biology sophomore Diego Regalado said LiberWave can be very beneficial to students, especially those who are low income or have to work to get through school.

“Also it’ll help to find study buddies or people that have taken the class that can give you better advice than on ‘Rate My Professor’ because then you just get scared, but you can find people that can tell you how a class is and maybe give you practice tests or something,” Regalado said, referring to a website that gives the GPA breakdown and reviews from former students on a professor’s previous classes. 

Construction science sophomore Joseph Rotello said he would consider using the app because it is an opportunity for them to make or save money.

“So it would earn them more money than the bookstore would give them and it would save me money than just buying it up front, but at the same time it [can be] a hassle of trying to meet up with somebody and connect with them at some undisclosed location,” Rotello said.

Rotello said while LiberWave has the potential to be a great app, the aspect of meeting up with an unknown also person makes him feel a little wary to use it.

“I just feel like the meeting up with a person is gonna throw people off because it’s not really convenient for everyone and other people are going to be afraid of it and be like ‘I don’t want to meet somebody in some strange place,’” Rotello said.

 

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