UBS – Used Book Service

Service for used books and textbooks


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CA Canada

In development

About the project Edit

Founded by Jean-Sébastien Cyr, we are a service for buying and selling used books and user manuals conceived by and for students.

The project allows student to drop their books off at a counter and connects them to other students and institutions which helps them sell quickly to people who need them. By allowing students to buy and sell used books, UBS help to lessen the burden of school fees.


In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Selling books and textbooks regardless which institution they come from. There are currently three locations to sell, buy and service: CÉGEP Bois-de-Boulogne, CEGEP Montmorency and Université du Québec in Montréal

Just leave the books on the counter at one of the points of service and they will be sold. Students who wish to buy used books simply stop by one of the counters. If unsold after a certain length of time, books are then sent to developing countries.

Payment by cheque or Paypal is accepted.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

. Lowers the cost of materials for students
. Reusing books (sustainable)
. Service goes to schools and negotiates with associations set up and gives an amount to rented locales (savings and sharing)
. Close to 150 boxes of 20 books per year to developing countries or countries in need including: Haiti, Cameroun, Burkina Fasso (sharing, aid)

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The potential for development is virtually limitless. Exchanges are easily made from institution to institution (if a teacher changes institutions or the book is used elsewhere, for example). A good network is all that is needed.

Two major obstacles: Co-ops who defend their markets even if they offer different services. Also, some student associations are hesitant to do business with an organization outside of their school.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

Sometimes the service lacks similar services. It can sometimes be complicated to sell or buy books and manuals from a discussion board whether physical or virtual. At one time, it was sometimes difficult to contact sellers or buyers (no cell phone). The person who initiated the project was part of a student association and could have easily proposed the project to student bodies and CEGEP de Bois-de-Boulogne.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

The down payment needed is minimal. Everything starts by a loan for a book. It’s the buyers who provide the cash flow to pay employees and the fee agreed to by the students.

Large cash flow generated by the activity allows the project to self-finance. Since 2013, opportunities for cooperation will bring opportunities for diversification with Coopsco. We remain open to suggestions for change to grow the project a little more. Franchises and software rentals are being considered.


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