UMB Student Tackles Textbook Fees

Felicia Whatley

UMass Boston MBA student Justin Van Nest confronted rising textbook fees by investing his own money to construct a free for students website,, where students can buy and sell books competitively priced, and without broker fees.

“When the new site is complete, students looking to purchase a textbook for their class will be able to search for other students selling their books by school, title or serial number,” said Van Nest.

An advantage of using is students can cut out the middle man to avoid paying fees contrast to using Amazon, Ebay, or, said Van Nest.

“Students selling their books directly will almost always be selling them for less than retail value, and [for less] than the [other] websites,” said Van Nest.

Van Nest compared Textbook Tango to other options including e-books for online reading or the new craze in renting out textbooks. He said it is not as personal or convenient as having the hardcopy text to mark as you wish and read wherever you want, but it is cheaper.

Van Nest created this site intending for the benefit of all college students.

“I know the cost of textbooks can be a real burden on people and that is one of the main reasons why I created It provides a forum for students to connect directly and sell, trade, or even let someone borrow a textbook,” said Van Nest.

The new will be an exciting and attractive site for students nationwide (and someday maybe worldwide) to exchange textbooks. Saving money is at the front of everyone’s mind these days.

“If I can play a part in helping a student get his or her textbook at a discount, I’m happy to do just that,” said Van Nest.