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Spree: Buy and Sell Within SCU

It is far too often that we end up with an excessive amount of things in our lives, leaving us with overfilled closets and garages of what could be useful things to someone else. Getting rid of those things and preventing them from being wasted is a different story. Luckily for the SCU community, a new app developed by some of our very own is working to relieve us of these things we want to get rid of or guide us directly to the things we really want.

Spree is a free application (available for iPhone users), developed by seniors Marco Ciccone, a finance major and entrepreneurship minor, and Riley Parsons, a bioengineering major and entrepreneurship minor, that allows anyone with an @scu.edu e-mail address to engage in the buying, selling, and trading of goods and services. 

“The idea for Spree was created when I experienced the inconvenience of not being able to sell my textbooks directly to other SCU students without having to go through the bookstore,” explains Ciccone. “Spree was created as a platform to connect students so that they could conveniently and securely exchange items with one another. I realized I had a genuine need for a platform like that, so I set out to create a company around the idea.”

Users are only permitted to use the application after verifying their e-mail address, so you can undoubtedly trust that this is a strict Bronco-to-Bronco exchange! With the microcosmic approach that Spree has, students, faculty, and staff need not travel far to buy or sell used goods, cutting down on wasted transportation costs and energy used when searching for similar items on websites like Craigslist.

To promote what Ciccone and Parsons call “hyper-local commerce,” they developed Spree for mobile users with a few keen observations: People’s phones have GPS trackers, so finding one another in a small area is easy. Using the SCU community as a binding agent creates a network of thousands of people who are automatically connected via e-mail. And SCU community members will begin to rely on each other more internally to exchange goods and services instead of looking to outside sources that may undercut them or may be unreliable. Ultimately, these strategies will strengthen the SCU community. For Ciccone and Parsons, SCU only marks the beginning. The two hope to expand Spree’s secure network idea to inter-university and intracompany commercial exchange. Anywhere that there is an existing community with a way to verify identities, Spree can accommodate. Be on the lookout for Spree to pop up in other institutions.

For a university that already strives to promote sustainability, be it in efficient transportation, supporting local economies, conscious consumerism, and reducing, reusing, recycling, and respecting our stuff, Spree is an all-in-one promoter of the values that we abide by at SCU. Products’ life cycles can dramatically be extended and put to good use by people in your own community, allowing for you and anyone else who may buy your used goods to get the best value for whatever you originally bought.

Listings appear similarly to Facebook’s scrolling Newsfeed with a picture, short description, and price for the good or service. Users can click on posts and begin internal messaging within the app with the seller and coordinate logistics and negotiate prices. There are currently 400+ users on Spree, so do your part to support your fellow Broncos and download the Spree - Student Marketplace app, which won the 2015 CIE Business Plan Pitch Competition Grand Prize! Not only will you rid yourself of unused things that you’ve accumulated over time, you will be promoting and embodying what it means to be sustainable. Keep those goods out of landfills and creating a safe, hyper-local place of commerce. It’s a win-win-win situation, so what are you waiting for?

This piece has been slightly edited from its original form. It was originally written and published by Alec Kwo ’16, Intern for Student Engagement at SCU’s Center for Sustainability.

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