Student competing with TCU bookstore by starting online business

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    The TCU Barnes and Noble Bookstore is facing competition from students offering to sell cheaper books and deliver them for free.

    Josh Dennis, founder of Frogbookstore.com, said expensive books at the TCU Bookstore prompted him to start his own business, which launched last week.

    “I want to help students and created a business that makes it easier and cheaper for students to buy books for classes,” the junior entrepreneurial management and finance and real estate major said. “This way students won’t get frustrated.”

    Dennis said because he is a TCU student, he has been in the position of buying books and spending too much money, so he wants to cater to the typical TCU student’s needs. All students have to do is go to the Web site, type in the course and department numbers, and he and a team of three will find the specific books TCU requires for the class, he said.

    Dennis said the Web site is registered as a small business through the Tarrant County Courthouse.

    “I have a passion for entrepreneurship and saw an opportunity and jumped to it,” Dennis said.

    The books are supplied through a partnership with wholesale book dealer Texas Book Company, he said.

    A single package will be delivered to any the dorm, apartment or house in the TCU area free of charge, Dennis said. Books will be delivered within 14 business days and students can return a book they do not need or want within 30 days.

    The campus bookstore has a similar offer that allows students to submit a request online, and bookstore employees will find the books students need.

    Dennis said he guarantees 20-60 percent savings compared to bookstore prices. He said his business will also help students find a way to sell back the books because the store does not offer buyback through the site.

    Llisa Lewis, manager of the TCU Bookstore, said she would not comment until she had looked at the Web site.

    Dennis said that as an incentive, for each person a customer refers, they will get $10 toward their next order at Frogbookstore.com. If his revenue goes as planned, he said he will be hiring more students to work with him.

    Caitlyn Nygaard, a junior graphic design major, said that not being able to buy the books on send-home would be her only problem, but avoiding the book buying hassle would be great.

    “I don’t live on campus, so it would be a relief to not have to stand in long lines to purchase heavy books,” she said.

    Rachel Schulte, a junior fashion merchandising major, said she is unsure of buying books online because unlike the bookstore she does not have someone to ask to make sure the books are correct.

    She said the fact that Dennis’ Web site allows for a money back guarantee and book returns makes her feel more at ease about using the site.

    Solomon Yisa, a freshman prebusiness major, said he is afraid of technical difficulties through the site but because it is run by TCU students he is more likely to trust them.

    “If the site makes it easier and cheaper for students, why not use it?” Yisa said.