The Story behind the Code

App Logo

Description & Inspiration

Wash U´s Free & For Sale App enables students looking to buy and
sell furniture, clothing, textbooks and other items to connect to
one another more efficiently. With the cost of college constantly
rising, students have begun looking to one another for help getting
textbooks and other college essentials. Used textbooks and furniture
are in huge demand right now.

The current means students have of doing this are insufficient and
difficult to use. General-purpose sites like Craigslist are too broad
in focus and meeting complete strangers can be dangerous. Specialized
services like the current Free & For Sale page on Facebook are hard
to use; browsing is cumbersome, older postings that are still unsold
often vanish, and it´s hard to tell what items have been sold.

Current Features

  • Students can log into the app with any valid email.

  • Students can browse item listings

Features in Development

Because of the short turnaround from development to this presentation,
some features are partially coded into the app and not fully functional.

Works-in-progress include

  • Searching and populating listings. The search bar is currently
    displayed but not yet functional and interaction with the database
    to retrieve listings is non-existinant.

  • Wishlist with notifications and price matching. Enable students
    to specify what items they´re looking for and what price they´re
    willing to pay. Send notifications to the user when posts matching
    their wishlist are online.

  • Remote listings. Listings are currently stored on a database on-phone.
    A full release would have listings stored on a server and query for
    information instead.

  • A separate textbooks tab. Separate listings for textbooks from normal
    items that allow users to search by course number or ISBN.

  • A ¨People, Projects and Services¨(PPS) tab. Allow people looking
    for help with various projects (e.g. ¨need coders for a game I´m working
    on¨, ¨looking for help moving¨) or social events (e.g. ¨Extra concert
    tickets. Who wants to join me?¨, ¨need 3 more people for D&D¨) to connect.
    PPS postings could be tagged by the posters and users looking to join
    projects could browse by tags that match their interests.

  • In-app messaging and privacy settings. Users would go by local
    usernames on the app instead of by their emails for greater anonymity.
    Interested buyers would message in-app using AT&´Ts in-app-messaging API.

  • Listing cleanup. Old posts would automatically be removed from the
    database after a set period. Fixes the current Facebook problem of sellers
    forgetting to take down posts after they sell.

Future Features

Some features were discussed during development and implementation is in
sight, but minimal coding has been done for them at this time.

Later features include

  • Pricing mechanics. Calculate average going-rates for recently sold items
    and provide feedback to users, such as offering pricing suggestions to
    posters based on prices of similar items. Allow users to submit bids on
    postings labeled ¨best offer¨.

  • Greater personalization. Some users like anonymity, but others may want
    to expand their profiles and include more information about themselves.

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