A Witsie has created an alternative for students to buy and sell products. 

A third-year Wits chemical engineering student has set up a digital space which allows students from different universities to buy and sell a variety of student-related products such as textbooks and electronic devices online.

Sifiso Ngcobo, 20, designed and created Unispaza (unispaza.com), during the December holidays and launched the website in January this year.

“I just made this platform, to make it simpler for students to sell their stuff at a good price,” said Ngcobo.  “We sell almost everything, we have laptops, fridges and pillows, everything you’ll need as a student,” he said. Ngcobo says that the site focuses on students because students need to buy products at a lower rate, and Unispaza provides a cheaper alternative for them.

Ngcobo told Wits Vuvuzela that “growing up in Katlehong, you can find anything in a spaza, anything you need.” He said that he wanted to create a platform which is inspired by the idea or concept of a spaza, ‘getting anything you need’.

The website allows student to be sellers or buyers and puts the two groups in contact with each other.

Wits student, Lesego Kabe, who sells his textbooks using Unispaza, said the digital platform is ‘easy and convenient to use’. The 21- year old Kabe told Wits Vuvuzela that he prefers using Sifiso’s site compared to other book sellers.

“You are forced to sell your textbooks at such a low price, you are losing value for your textbook, with this platform you can literally choose your price,” said the second-year metallurgical engineering student.

Kabe said that he was pleased that Ngcobo found a buyer for his textbook after two days. Ngcobo charges a 10% commission fee on the products sold through the site.

Kabe, 20, told Wits Vuvuzela that “hosting the site is not cheap, (as) each month I have to pay a fee for my security, advertising and deliveries”.

He said that he delivers all the products to students on campuses, residences and in Braamfontein. Ngcobo said that it is tough to balance both studying and running his business, “I am always busy,” he said.

Ngcobo said that he has invested a lot into the website as it is not a short-term goal. “I want it to work, I hope the site can operate in all educational institutions in South Africa”.

FEATURED IMAGE: Unispaza, a digital platform which allows university students to sell and buy products.