Instead, the foreign students run their own informal textbook exchange over a more general purpose departmental chat group, which works pretty well (and does tend to fetch the seller a slightly better price). I've managed to part with all but one of my intended sales so far (and only been reduced to haggling once), and I have a prospect for the remaining volume. There are, nonetheless, vagaries inherent in such an informal system, such as the e-mail I received this morning regarding my remaining text:
I saw your advertisement selling "Designing Interactive Systems". If you haven't sold it, would you be willing to lend it for one week for 25kr? I need to use it for around a week but won't need it after that I think. You can still sell it during the week that it's lent out of course. I'll put collateral of a library book I'd borrowed, let's say. Yes, it sounds like a little like how stock markets work! But I don't need to own the book, just to borrow it for a specific use for one week. Of course I'll treat it like a library book and shall not write
I would tend to say that this sounds more like the way that stock markets fail to work, but I'm willing to set that aside for now. I'll also not bother with the absurdly low offering price of 25 SEK (my sale price is 400 SEK, on a book that was originally priced at 1050 SEK), or even the fact that promising "not to write on it" fails to inspire much confidence in the condition the book might be returned in. And I've spent enough years working in bookstores to not be surprised by the "but I just want a few pages, couldn't I just borrow it and copy them?" line of reasoning from prospective customers.
No, the part that cracks me up is offering a library book as collateral. Sure, there's a downside for [name deleted] if he destroys my book and I refuse to return his library book as a result, but where's the upside for me? I have this vision of trying to ransom this kid's library book back to the University library…