The annual rush of students scrambling to get their school supplies is coming to a close, but it left plenty of room for students to share about their bargains on pricey necessities.
Before professors can transition from their syllabus to their lectures, many frantically look for the best deals on textbooks, school supplies and electronics. For mechanical engineering major Dakota Daffron, it was not about the money.
Earlier this semester, Daffron put a twist on selling his iClicker remote to students on the “Book Trade and Advice” Facebook group. He decided to have a little fun and started an online auction.
“The process was very simple. I made the post stating what I would accept as the starting bid,” Daffron said. “From there, people began to bid and make very intriguing offers.”
One of these offers included someone willing to give up their “first-born son” as a joke. But Daffron already knew what he had in mind. He wanted something to eat.
“I chose the snacks over money because I thought it would make the transaction much more fun,” Daffron said.
From all the bids, one was named the winner. Philosophy major Vincent Gonzalez was the proud new owner of the iClicker. But at what cost?
Gonzalez traded six apples, six oranges, six Cup Noodles, five mangoes, two Fruit Roll-Ups, a bottle of Tajin chili powder and a bag of Lays potato chips for the iClicker. At first, Gonzalez thought the post was too good to be true.
“I was at first in disbelief,” Gonzalez said. “I had never seen someone barter in the Fresno State group, so my first job was to do some investigating.”
After waiting to see the first bid, Gonzalez decided to join the conversation. He said he offered those specific snacks because they were easy to obtain and some were already in his home.
“The reason why I offered pre-sliced mangoes was because all the other offers did not include his earlier request [for mangoes] so I believed the bid would become more of value,” Gonzalez said.
Originally, Gonzalez said he did not win the auction. He said that Daffron selected the top three bidders (Gonzalez being one of them) and told them to pick a number between one and 100.
Whoever selected the winning number would get the iClicker. Gonzalez said he lost, but a few days later Daffron contacted him asking if he was still interested after the first winner did not come through.
“That’s when the final payment was made,” Gonzalez said.
The Collegian asked Daffon if he believed the snacks were a fair trade for the iClicker, which is currently for sale for $53.75 at the Kennel Bookstore.
“I wasn’t worried about getting a ‘fair deal.’ I think that the experience of trading the iClicker for food was worth it by itself,” Daffron said. “I would have been satisfied with just one Cup of Noodles since I didn’t need the iClicker anymore.”
The Collegian went to a local grocery store and added up the amount of all the snacks that were traded for the iClicker – the total was about $27.
Both Gonzalez and Daffron say they would consider trading school supplies for food again if the opportunity came to them.
“The experience was positive, and I was able to save money at the same time,” Gonzalez said. “Both parties were more satisfied with the trade than what money could have done.”
Editor Hayley Salazar contributed to this story.