Looting UB’s campus
CampusLOOTr gives students safe, easily accessible bazaar
Published: Sunday, February 3, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 3, 2013 17:02
Harrison Kim was surrounded by things he didn’t use. He had a mini fridge, a huge bag of clothing in his closet and no way of efficiently getting rid of either. He didn’t want to throw anything away – his things weren’t broken; he just didn’t need them anymore.
So he decided to do something about the clutter. He created CampusLOOTr.
Kim designed CampusLOOTr, a free website targeted toward students, to facilitate trade between students exclusively at UB. Kim, a senior business major, created the website to be a free way for students to buy and sell items safely and efficiently.
CampusLOOTr is unique because the transactions all occur face to face between students. This saves students from paying shipping fees to sell items. Kim said the strictly UB community guarantees vendor and buyer can meet on campus with little to no hassle.
“I think [CampusLOOTr] is the perfect formula for students,” Kim said. “You have Facebook, eBay, Amazon, Craigslist and all of those websites. They’re good if you’re out of school and you want to sell something. But students want to keep their money and students are really busy. They don’t want to go to the post office or they may not have the means or transportation to get there and buy these things.”
He sees CampusLOOTr as a unique way to help students. By pairing with Environmental Affairs, he is helping to eliminate waste on campus and helping students save money. He believes it’s wasteful to buy something when someone is willing to give it to you.
Along with four other students – including Linghui Tang, computer science major; Ying Yang, computer science major; Maria Lee, graphic design major; and Christopher Oh, business major – Kim has recently launched the beta version of the online trading hub.
CampusLOOTr gives students the opportunity to post items on the website they would like to sell. Interested buyers contact the seller and discuss the details of the purchase. Kim said students can sell practically anything on the website – sneakers, fridges, skis, perfume and anything that isn’t dangerous or illegal.
“With [other online sites], you always hear those stories about how someone meets up with a vendor from Craigslist and gets killed,” Kim said. “And with Facebook group pages, a lot of the pages get lost because everyone is posting all different kinds of items they are selling.”
The website works on a system of organized private messages, so losing posts and information in the shuffle will not be considered a problem. The website’s privacy also ensures user information will never be given out to a third party.
To use the website, a person signs up with his or her UB email address. So if someone is not a UB student, he/she cannot access the website. This makes it easier to get in contact with users if a problem arises or if a user wants to learn more about who is selling a product before completing a transaction.
CampusLOOTr has no limit to the amount of items you can sell (unlike eBay and Amazon). Kim and his team make no profit from the website.
“A lot of people ask me what the catch is – there is no catch,” Kim said. “It’s completely free, and it’s always going to be free.”
It is simple enough to avoid frustrating users, and CampusLOOTr breaks down the website’s categories into subsets so a user doesn’t need to spend all day looking for what they want, Hong said.
Just a few days after its official launch on Jan. 28, Kim said the team has already begun planning and working on CampusLOOTr’s 2.0 version. In the coming weeks, the team hopes to make the website more user-friendly.
Plans for the future include creating more categories and subcategories, incorporating online credit card purchases and launching a mobile app that will allow sellers to upload pictures of their items.
Kim believes UB students will like the different features CampusLOOTr will soon be implementing and notes that the website is always a work in progress.
Although CampusLOOTr is still in its beginning stages, students can begin browsing and shopping online.
“The website is in beta,” said Matthew Siwiec, a junior Asian studies and economics major. “There will be some minor, faulty details or a lack of actual items on sale, but I think once people start catching on to the website, it will pick up and a lot more stuff will be on sale.”
Kim and his team are looking for feedback on CampusLOOTr.com and although people have suggested allowing other schools access, he wants to keep it solely for UB students.