Classy founder and CEO Mike Maclean shows off the Classy App on the Boston University campus. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
Local college students embarking on the upcoming school year won't have to deal with shady Craigslist meet-ups to buy and sell textbooks, furniture, gadgets and other dorm essentials, according to the creators of Classy, a new mobile app that launched Monday.
The free iPhone app, founded by UMass-Boston graduate Michael MacLean, will be piloted at Boston University, Harvard, Northeastern and Babson.
"I always knew there was a need for college students," said MacLean, 34.
While at UMass, MacLean noticed that students most commonly sold items with the help of Facebook, message boards, Craigslist and flyers.
Classy app. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
"The most cumbersome being Craigslist," said MacLean. "They haven't updated that site for a decade. Classy is a simple way of doing what Craigslist does and keeping it mobile, keeping it within your campus, minus all the creepy stuff."
Classy, whose name is derived from the words "classmate, classified ad and fashionable," is the first app to launch from Blade, a startup co-founded by Paul English.
"You just snap a picture in your dorm, put a price on it, and it's immediately for sale. We wanted it to be easier, more beautiful and classier than Craigslist. I think many people find Craigslist a little creepy," said English.
MacLean said the app had a test run at UMass in the spring, and was well received.
"Students used it and liked it. We got a lot of great feedback ," said MacLean. "If all goes well here, the plan is to expand it beyond Boston."
An Android version will launch next month.
-Any items that can be photographed can be sold.
-Right now Classy categories include books, fashion, electronics and "other."
-More categories will likely be created.
-Students must register using Facebook and an authentic college email address so the app knows they are "legitimate students."