RocLab, a student-run organization granting members opportunities to develop and implement their own software, released its newest project, Unicycle, Monday.
Unicycle is an online platform where UR students can buy and sell a variety of items to other students. Originally called “Ushop,” RocLab’s eboard decided to change the name to “Unicycle” earlier this semester, according to junior Marketing Lead and Product Manager Thanothii Ganesh.
“We liked it ’cause it was like ‘university’ and ‘recycling,’” Ganesh said. “Some wordplay that […] references the sustainable nature of the product, and that we want to keep that cycle going.”
Improving on-campus sustainability is one of Unicycle’s main goals, according to Ganesh. She said in an interview that students throw their things away at the end of the school year, or try to sell them on a variety of different platforms. RocLab wanted to create a central platform for students to be able to buy and sell items, ultimately reducing waste in the University community.
Prospective sellers and buyers can get started by logging into Unicycle with their UR email account. From there, they can enter their contact information, which will only be used to allow buyers to get in touch with the sellers. Any UR student can be both a buyer and seller.
Sellers may sell an item by clicking the corresponding button, and entering the “title” or name of the object, a short description, a price, and a few photos of the item. They may also list the item as “new” or “used,” and list the price as “negotiable” or “nonnegotiable.” From there, they may select which categories the item belongs to: dorm, clothing, school, electronics, and/or other. Once the seller clicks “create listing,” the item appears on their profile and the website ready to be bought.
Buyers may browse the site as a whole or as filtered by any of the five categories. They may also filter the results by price, condition, and negotiability. Although buyers are not required to sign in with their UR email account to browse the site, they must be signed in to purchase.
To buy an item, buyers click on it, then on the “Contact Seller” icon. This brings up a pop-up with the seller’s contact information, which you can use to contact the seller outside of Unicycle. Additionally, from this pop-up you can view the seller’s profile to see other listings.
Unicycle has no payment services, and according to Ganesh, RocLab will most likely avoid adding such a service for legal reasons.
“Right now, we are simply acting as a middle man between the buyer and seller. There’s no paywall,” Ganesh said. “It’s a place where you can make all your listings – have all your listings in one place, and sort of have a buyer browse through everything you have. So like, mass listing things on there. And then they can contact you from the website, and then you go off the website.”
Although RocLab does not plan to add an online payment system anytime soon, they do have other updates lined up for the site.
According to Ganesh, updates for the fall semester include allowing users to upload profile pictures, add bios, and connect with each other on the website itself. Additionally, buyers will be able to list items that they are looking for.
Unicycle can be contacted through their Instagram account, @ur.unicycle.