New app makes selling and buying books easy

Frustration is the reason behind his successful invention; an app for selling secondhand text books.

When he started university in 2016, Tamir Shklaz was overwhelmed by the difficulty in finding textbooks at reasonable prices and there was no proper platform to easily get affordable books online.

At some point, he says, he was advised to go and look at a noticeboard, which became even more confusing for him.

“I was so frustrated. I knew I was not alone in this – many other students go through this struggle, which is very unnecessary­.”

Bored, one day Shklaz decided to find a solution to this problem and started learning programmes such as Java with the idea of starting an easy-to-use application to buy and sell used books.

“It was not easy, it took more than a month to learn the basics. In January I approached fellow students who were also pursuing the same degree as mine.

We learned different programming languages and eventually started creating the app Quillo. At first it did not come out right but we kept working on it.

“We went live on the first day of this academic year and students just loved it.

“Since then, we have been receiving tremendous support from the management and students.”

Within a short period of time, they had about 2000 downloads.

Shklaz says because they wanted to make it available on different programmes, the process was double the load and too much for some of the students.

“Some dropped the idea and I was all alone trying to make it work. I then met Tristan Brandt who has since been an amazing partner­.”

He says the app creates a platform for UCT students to buy and sell their secondhand books without any hassle.

“They meet online, the process is simple and flexible. After the buyer has decided to make a purchase they can either meet in person or via the app.

“We take 10% commission per book sold, but should they decide to meet in person, we do not get the commission and we have no problem with that. Making profit was never part of the plan – all we wanted was to help students access needed books quicker and cheaper.”

Shklaz saw a business opportunity when he realised the success of the app and its potential to grow beyond UCT.

He says in the space of a year or two he would like to see the app expanded to most universities across the country.

“We realised if we do not charge anything, chances of it growing even beyond would be very slim. The app would only be useful to UCT students, leaving many still struggling in other institutions.”

Shklaz says his love for programming started many years ago when a family member introduced him to it at the age of nine, and “there was no turning back”.

Quillo is available online and can be downloaded on IOS and Android devices.

Tamir Shklaz’s frustration is the reason for his successful invention – an app to sell secondhand text books.

When he started university in 2016, Shklaz was overwhelmed by the difficulty of finding textbooks at a reasonable price and there was no proper platform to easily get affordable books online. At some point, he says, he was advised to go and look at a noticeboard, which became even more confusing for him.

“I was so frustrated. I knew I was not alone in this – many other students go through this struggle, which is very unnecessary­.”

One day when he was bored, Shklaz decided to find a solution to the problem and started learning programmes such as Java with the idea of starting an easy-to-use application to buy and sell used books.

“It was not easy, it took more than a month to learn the basics. In January I approached my fellow students who were also pursuing the same degree as me. We learned different programming languages and eventually started creating the app Quillo. At first it did not come out right but we kept working on it.

“We went live on the first day of this academic year and students just loved it.

“Since then we have been receiving tremendous support from the management and students.”

Within a short period of time they had about 2000 downloads.

Quillo is available online and can be downloaded on IOS and Android devices.

Shklaz says because they wanted to make it available on different programmes, the process was double the load and too much for some of the students.

“Some dropped the idea and I was all alone trying to make it work. I then met Tristan Brandt who has since been an amazing partner­.”

He says the app creates a platform for UCT students to buy and sell their secondhand books without hassle.

“They meet online, the process is simple and flexible. After the buyer has decided to make a purchase they can either meet in person or via the app.

“We take 10% commission per sold book, but should they decide to meet in person, we do not get the commission and we have no problem with that. Making profit was never part of the plan – all we wanted was to help students access needed books quicker and cheaper.”

Shklaz saw a business opportunity when he realised the success of the app and its potential to grow beyond UCT.

He says in the space of a year or two he would like to see the app expanded to most universities across the country.

“We realised if we do not charge anything, chances of it growing even beyond would be very slim. The app would only be useful to UCT students, leaving many still struggling in other institutions.”

Shklaz says his love for programming started many years ago when a family member introduced him to it at the age of nine, and “there was no turning back”.

He knew programming was something he wanted to do for a living.

He says his fascination with computers grew from there. He decided to do a degree in electrical and computer engineering and is currently in his third year.

Shklaz says for him programming is all about problem solving and challenging yourself.

He advises that anyone wanting to study programming should start playing with software available online and try to create apps “even if nobody is going to use them, just make them and explore. You will be amazed how your idea could turn into something huge”.V For more information, visit www.quillo.io/app

Tamir Shklaz’s frustration is the reason for his successful invention – an app to sell secondhand text books.

When he started university in 2016, Shklaz was overwhelmed by the difficulty of finding textbooks at a reasonable price and there was no proper platform to easily get affordable books online. At some point, he says, he was advised to go and look at a noticeboard, which became even more confusing for him.

“I was so frustrated. I knew I was not alone in this – many other students go through this struggle, which is very unnecessary­.”

One day when he was bored, Shklaz decided to find a solution to the problem and started learning programmes such as Java with the idea of starting an easy-to-use application to buy and sell used books.

“It was not easy, it took more than a month to learn the basics. In January I approached my fellow students who were also pursuing the same degree as me. We learned different programming languages and eventually started creating the app Quillo. At first it did not come out right but we kept working on it.

“We went live on the first day of this academic year and students just loved it.

“Since then we have been receiving tremendous support from the management and students.”

Within a short period of time they had about 2000 downloads.

Quillo is available online and can be downloaded on IOS and Android devices.

Shklaz says because they wanted to make it available on different programmes, the process was double the load and too much for some of the students.

“Some dropped the idea and I was all alone trying to make it work. I then met Tristan Brandt who has since been an amazing partner.”

He says the app creates a platform for UCT students to buy and sell their secondhand books without hassle.

“They meet online, the process is simple and flexible. After the buyer has decided to make a purchase they can either meet in person or via the app.

“We take 10% commission per sold book, but should they decide to meet in person, we do not get the commission and we have no problem with that. Making profit was never part of the plan – all we wanted was to help students access needed books quicker and cheaper.”

Shklaz saw a business opportunity when he realised the success of the app and its potential to grow beyond UCT.

He says in the space of a year or two he would like to see the app expanded to most universities across the country.

“We realised if we do not charge anything, chances of it growing even beyond would be very slim. The app would only be useful to UCT students, leaving many still struggling in other institutions.”

Shklaz says his love for programming started many years ago when a family member introduced him to it at the age of nine, and “there was no turning back”.

He knew programming was something he wanted to do for a living.

He says his fascination with computers grew from there. He decided to do a degree in electrical and computer engineering and is currently in his third year.

Shklaz says for him programming is all about problem solving and challenging yourself.

He advises that anyone wanting to study programming should start playing with software available online and try to create apps “even if nobody is going to use them, just make them and explore. You will be amazed how your idea could turn into something huge”.V For more information, visit www.quillo.io/app