The Campus Market is a college-centric Craigslist-like service that aims to prioritize student safety while reducing their carbon footprint. According to their website, The Campus Market is operational at 22 universities along the east coast – seven of which are North Carolina schools, including UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Wilmington and Duke. UNC Charlotte students can expect access to the website soon, as co-founder Brad Stinson is currently planning on having the service available by the end of August.
Stinson and co-founder Heather Morrow are both from North Carolina, which explains the prevalence of availability in our state.
“We thought this would be a good starting point because it made it easier for us, in the beginning, to reach out to students and schools that we could physically visit,” said Stinson.
They founded the company in January 2015, motivated by the abundance of students throwing away their lightly used belongings, as well as the low return students usually see when selling back their textbooks.
“We knew that if we created an environment that could be used by students for these purposes, they would come,” said Stinson.
Despite being a fairly recent startup, students have come. Since the company’s launch, the website has gained over 17,000 registered users, and Stinson expects to have over 30,000 students registered by the end of September. With this school year rapidly approaching, he’s confident in more growth, saying it has “no signs of slowing down” and the number of successful transactions between students “will increase exponentially.”
But what sets The Campus Market apart from Craigslist and other similar swap ‘n shop services?
Most notably, the company is unique in its focus on student safety, its dedication to sustainability and its decision to partner with local businesses.
On the safety issue, The Campus Market requires students to sign up with their school-specific .edu email address. This measure filters out students who attend other universities, as well as people who aren’t college students. Further, it eliminates the hassle and worry of driving long distances to meet up with potentially shady buyers and sellers.
Regarding sustainability, the company aims to reduce unnecessary wastefulness and increase money in students’ pockets. Anyone who has paid attention around move out time at the end of the school year has noticed dumpsters filled with lamps, chairs, desks and so on. The option to buy and sell within the local campus community might save these gently used items from a needless trip to the landfill.
A section dedicated to ridesharing and carpooling also serves to cut down on carbon emissions and foster ties between fellow students.
And when it’s finally time to get rid of those textbooks (or leave them on the shelf to collect dust), selling directly to another student could net a bigger return than the campus bookstore would offer, as well as save the buyer a considerable amount of money.
Lastly, The Campus Market plans to partner with local businesses, designating them as pick up spots for students who want to complete transactions in public. The participating businesses will see an increase in foot traffic, and Stinson hopes to provide students who utilize the pick up spots with discounts.
Students can sign up for The Campus Market here: http://www.thecampusmarket.com.