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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Students build Web site for collegians

    Corey Capasso, a pre-business freshman from Bergen County, N.J., has created a free website for students to sell used items. The site, www.collegesellers.com, currently has about 100 items for sale, and Capasso thinks it will be popular with furnature, textbooks and home appliances. (photo by chris coduto/arizona daily wildcat)
    Corey Capasso, a pre-business freshman from Bergen County, N.J., has created a free website for students to sell used items. The site, www.collegesellers.com, currently has about 100 items for sale, and Capasso thinks it will be popular with furnature, textbooks and home appliances. (photo by chris coduto/arizona daily wildcat)

    Students who launched a classified advertising Web site targeting Arizona college students are now planning to take their business to a national level.

    Marketing senior David Molite, pre-business freshman Corey Capasso and Arizona State University finance senior Ryan Hegna started the Web site www.collegesellers.com two years ago so students could buy and sell items with fellow students at their respective campuses.

    Molite described College Sellers as a warehouse of information, pictures and contact information that enables people to complete transactions offline. The postings range from textbooks and furniture to internships and jobs, he said.

    Molite, the director of operations, said the company will start franchising in August as soon as professionals finish revamping the Web site.

    He said he is confident their plan of expanding nationally will work and stay competitive because of how far they have already come.

    “”It’s pretty rare to franchise a Web site,”” he said.

    Capasso recently started traveling to colleges to present a business plan to other motivated students. He provides potential students with a marketing plan that outlines how they could run a portion of College Sellers at their campus.

    Capasso said they already have 16 students interested in buying a portion of the company at colleges that have a population of 30,000 or more.

    Hegna, the director of operations of ASU’s division of College Sellers, said the founders have been planning to make it a national business since they started, and the only way to do that is to make it a franchise.

    Hegna said he was inspired to start the company when he realized he had a need that wasn’t being met.

    “”I would be the type of kid that would (list) all my textbooks on paper and post them on campus,”” he said of how he tried to sell his books.

    Even though the original idea was to create a place that would bring students together to buy and sell textbooks at lower prices, the founders eventually included other items commonly used by college students.

    Hegna said many students were tired of textbook prices offered at college bookstores but still used them because it was convenient.

    Capasso, partial owner of College Sellers, said once they grow enough, he hopes students will find College Sellers the most convenient option and that it will become the icon of their market.

    “”We want to make the ultimate college marketplace,”” he said.

    Capasso said the group will succeed in establishing the company at other colleges because there is a demand for the service.

    “”It’s a very niche market that’s not getting fulfilled and we’re just entering that market,”” he said.

    Hegna said the company is currently at a test marketing stage in which it allows schools to try out the service for free.

    He said the company expects to be profitable by spring 2007 by charging $1 per posting, by selling advertising space and through the franchises.

    “”I think it’s a very obtainable goal and we’re going to get there,”” Capasso said.

    Molite said becoming a franchise will benefit the business because it will ease site management and will help create focused marketing.

    He said he doesn’t know how much the company will charge for the franchise but that it will be dependent on the population of the buyer’s college.

    Molite said he has enjoyed the process of starting a company with his friends.

    “”It’s been fun. It’s the most rewarding thing ever,”” he said.

    He advised other students interested in starting their own businesses to do so only after knowing what they’re getting into.

    “”Do your research, but do it right,”” he said. “”That’s the key.””

    Once the company branches out, Molite said he didn’t know how much it will grow or how much it will make.

    “”The sky’s the limit,”” he said.

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