Campus, News

FullDorm, an online marketplace exclusive to students, expands to BU

Jeff Weiss, the founder of the website FullDorm.com, has been setting
up camp in the George Sherman Union and the School of Management
atrium trying to get students to notice his expanding online
marketplace.

Weiss, who founded the site in August to service Bentley University,

said he is expanding the service to Boston University.
FullDorm offers classifieds, real estate listings, a discussion forum
and a ride share service, where commuting students can search for
carpools.

Noam Newman, the chair of Student Union’s Off-Campus Council and a
senior in the School of Management, said Union fully supports the
website.

“We endorse FullDorm because it’s a tool to improve off-campus student
living, as well as on-campus living,” Newman said in an email.
FullDorm provides a safe place for students to sell and trade their
belongings efficiently, Newman said.

“Think about all the money that is lost every year as students who are
moving out throw out or leave behind various items,” he said. “Then
others who are moving in go to local stores and pay full price for
virtually the same items.”

While registering for an account to use FullDorm, students and faculty
must provide their BU email, creating a marketplace comprised solely
of BU community members.

Rather than use a website such as Craigslist.org which is open to the
public, FullDorm interactions can only be between local students.
“If you are looking to sublet or looking for a subletor, you may be
more comfortable with a BU student,” he said. “Well, now you have a
market directly for that community.”

Newman said the online forum would also serve as a good place “for
students to voice their opinions regarding university-related
affairs.”

“This is a completely safe platform that only BU students can view and
participate in,” Newman said. “This will hopefully encourage students
to be more involved in the university related matters that affect them
every day.”

Weiss said he expects FullDorm to grow rapidly at BU.

Within two weeks, 45 percent of the Bentley student population had
registered, Weiss said. Currently, 80 percent is registered.

“The site will sell itself,” Weiss said. “Facebook grew virally, and
while we have no viral component, we have no competition.”

Weiss said he hopes by the end of the spring semester that FullDorm
will be an established aspect of the BU community, and he will expand
to other campuses in Boston and eventually across the nation.

College of Arts and Sciences sophomore Alisha Tubis is one of the few
students who already has a listing on FullDorm.

“I decided to use FullDorm because it seemed like an interesting and
useful new website specifically for the BU community,” she said. “I
heard about it starting up so I figured I’d jump on the trend early.”

Tubis says she expects the new website to have an advantage over
Craigslist for BU students.

“It’s buying, selling, trading and speaking your mind with people you
see on a daily basis,” Tubis said. “There’s no need to worry about who
you’re doing business with—it’s all your peers.”

However, SMG freshman Alex Staikos, who is also a member of the Union
Off-Campus Council, said Union is skeptical about whether the website
will catch on with students.

“Honestly, the council is not very convinced the website has a large
competitive advantage over a site like Craigslist,” Staikos said.

“However, we hope that BU students will recognize the benefit of
dealing exclusively with other BU students and faculty, avoiding
potentially dangerous encounters or inconvenient travel to sellers and
buyers.”

Weiss said FullDorm already has a few thousand BU students registered
and he expects many more to register for the free service in the next
few weeks.

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