givtake

GivTake is an online marketplace for college students to buy and sell anything from textbooks to tutoring services.

Photo: Irina Bit-Babik

From textbooks to electronics, GivTake will have Penn students covered this semester.

GivTake, a startup founded by sisters Erica and Karen Polle, a College junior and Yale senior, will have its soft launch this week. The startup is an online marketplace for college students to buy and sell anything from textbooks and dorm supplies to tutoring services.

“I think the way that college students tend to buy stuff is usually on Facebook, and I think that’s a useful tool because everyone has one,” Erica Polle said. “But we personally found that things could get messy, and things could get lost.” Instead of endlessly scrolling through a group like Free & For Sale, GivTake users can sort goods by category, price and payment or delivery options.

Users can make a free account on the site — givtake.com — and browse and sell listings at their schools. There are three main account types: one for students who want to buy or sell items, one for campus organizations wanting to sell event tickets, and one for businesses ranging from small Etsy-style boutiques to larger national companies.

GivTake is unique from other online marketplaces because it exclusively caters to college students, Polle said. GivTake also offers the options to exchange items and choose to pay either in person or online, unlike similar sites such as Craigslist, Amazon or Ebay, which only offer one of either option. Users can meet up in person and exchange items or buy with cash, or buy items online. GivTake also has an in-site messenger to allow for streamlined communication between buyers and sellers.

During the soft beta period, users will be able to access the site and provide feedback. A small number of users at Columbia and New York University will also have access to the beta version during this trial.

The startup will conduct its hard launch several weeks from now, in which it will add more vendors and listings as more people join. It will also add in services such as tutoring, once they receive more feedback from users. After the hard launch, the site will begin a promotional campaign offering rewards for users who refer the site to others.

“We want to be the go-to place for students to buy and sell anything and everything from textbooks and dorm supplies to tickets and electronics,” Polle said. “And we think there should be an easier and more efficient way to make, buy and sell things and make money on what they don’t want, and save money on what they do want.”

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