What if you could send all unwanted textbooks or books to a place where they would be put to good use?
There is now, thanks to Fresno State alumnus Andrew Gong.
Bulldog Book Recycling is an online book recycling hub, where students of all ages can sell or donate unwanted books.
The business concept, created by Gong, began when he started dabbling in resale five years ago. He founded the resale store in 2016 after visiting a book sale where he began to buy and sell books.
He launched the website last month, making it easier for users to sell and donate books.
“Fast forward five years into buying and selling [books], I decided a website was going to be the new front for diverting books from reaching the landfill,” Gong said.
After he spent more than 20 hours creating the website, users now have a solid platform to get rid of their books in an environmentally friendly way.
“My hopes for this website launch is to divert as many books as I can from the dumpsters to new homes,” he said.
The website has two forms for books: textbooks and other books. Those looking to sell their textbooks can refer to the “textbooks” section to insert their ISBNs. The form is sent to Gong, and then he locates price offers appealing to students.
Individual books or book collections can also be sold on the website. Bulldog Book Recycling buys paperbacks for $1 and hardcovers for $2. Users are also welcome to donate their books.
Ninety-nine percent of the time the books are sent to Amazon’s warehouse where they are brought in through the “Fulfillment by Amazon” program. This allows Gong to send thousands of books out to customers without heavy upfront investments.
In high school, Gong said, he was an upcycler – someone who transforms waste materials into new products.
He said on his second day of dumpster diving, he and his friend stumbled upon a bin of fresh fruits and vegetables.
“Looking back,” he said. “That amount of food could have been donated to charity, but instead it probably ended up turning back into compost.”
Gong said he saw the need to reduce wasted books in landfills and was inspired to get into the resale business of books.
Though the website is fairly new, Gong said business is great. Since narrowing the model toward the resale of books, he’s seen an increase in sales and is making plans to expand.
“I plan on opening a few positions for my business since it’s apparent this is not a one-man job anymore,” Gong said.
He said he wants to make the website as user-friendly as possible for students.
“I did have one person navigate and use a form on there [the website] with ease,” he said.
“After launching the website for a few hours, it was apparent I needed to make some changes to further make it and the online forms student-friendly.”
Students and community members can sell or donate their books at www.bulldogbookrecycling.com.