I went on Shark Tank, accidentally counter-offered Mark Cuban $50K LESS than he offered me, and am fixing the broken textbook industry with my startup. AMA!!
My name is Kasey Gandham. I'm a 23 year old entrepreneur and cofounder of Packback (www.packbackbooks.com), which I cofounded my junior year in college where we're launching pay per use digital textbook rentals for $3 to $5 a day in a rent-to-own model to fix/disrupt a broken textbook industry.
Along with my cofounder Mike, I went on the ABC TV show Shark Tank and accepted a deal with Mark Cuban for $250,000 for 20% of our company...even after accidentally counter-offering him $50,000 less than he offered in front of 8M+ viewers, the most watched episode in Shark Tank history!
The textbook industry, startups, Shark Tank, working with Mark Cuban...AMA!
EDIT: Hi guys, thank you so much for the amazing AMA, really has been a memorable moment for me as an entrepreneur. I got some great product feedback/suggestions from a lot of you and glad we had some thoughtful dialog on the industry.
Going at 8 hours straight now so I've gotta get some sleep. I'll answer a few more in the morning. If any of you at all want to email me, feel free to send me a note at kasey at packback dot co (not .com). Thanks guys.
EDIT: I'm just about done guys, thanks again. In case you're not interested in digging through the website, since most of the questions are regarding our products/models here's what we do:
1) $3 to $5 pay per use digital textbook rentals - students save on underutilized used books, publishers reclaim lost revenue due to the used book market, and we effectively put an end to rising textbook prices.
Our library spans around 2500+ books, is about to double to 5,000, and is growing every week as we sign on more publishers.
If you realize you need your book more often, we'll let you rent it for the semester and will refund you any money spent on daily rentals (hence the "rent to own"). Students typically rush into a semester making an uninformed purchase. Whether you use your book regularly or not, we hope this stops that. This is our vision for the immediate future of the industry.
2) Price Comparison (for buying physical books) - in the meantime while we are building our digital inventory, we also allow students to compare prices across major online retailers to find the guaranteed lowest price across the web for that specific book. This is a free service, and is not something unique or original by us. Several sites like Slugbooks, Bigwords, Texts, etc, have been around that all do the same thing.
3) Sell Tool/price comparison (when selling back books) - We'll compare buyback offers for you from major online retailers and will find you the best cash-back offers for each of your books. This lets you maximize your cash back on old books instead of selling to the bookstore. We've developed a pretty awesome user experience around this that I believe is pretty unique in the industry. One account on Packback will let you sell to multiple buyers in one session.
Due to the supply/demand of physical textbooks as a commodity, it is impossible for one online retailer to ever have the consistently lowest prices or best buy-back offers. The bottom line is it pays to compare prices when buying physical books. Ultimately, our vision is to fix the industry for all stakeholders with our digital rental models.
Thanks again to all of you!! Please do keep in touch over email, linkedin, twitter, etc.