Amazon Launches New iPhone App for College Students

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Just in time for back-to-school season, Amazon has launched a new iPhone application targeted towards students. With the “Amazon Student” app, college students can perform instant price checks on textbooks and other items, keep lists of items they want to buy, and post used textbooks, games, movies, or gadgets for trade-in.

The app includes a barcode scanning feature, like Amazon’s main mobile application also does. This allows students to use their smartphone to check prices on books, music, DVDs, electronics, apparel and “just about anything else,” using their phone, says Amazon. Items students want to buy can be added to a “Wish List” or can be immediately purchased. Amazon is also giving students free 2-day shipping on purchases for 6 months, with all the  shipping benefits of Amazon Prime.

The most interesting feature of the app, however, is the new “Trade-in” option, which lets students easily check their items’ trade-in value and choose to sell those items they no longer need to other students, including textbooks, video games, DVDs or other electronics. But instead of receiving cash for trade-ins, students will receive Amazon.com gift cards. Shipping is also provided for free on any of the trade-in items listed.

The trade-in feature appears to be an extension of Amazon’s “Textbook Buyback” program, available at www.amazon.com/sellbooks. There are now nearly 1 million books eligible for buyback and students can receive up to 70% back when trading them in through this service, says Amazon.