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New website links you to UC goods and services

20 August 2003


With literally tens of thousands of web pages associated with the Berkeley campus, finding the goods and services you need can be like looking for a pointed sewing implement in a pile of baleable livestock fodder. A new Office of Resource Development online venture aims to change that.

The recently launched Cal Marketplace website (calmarketplace.org) — a gateway to a variety of campus, vendors, stores, and places of interest — is designed to help shoppers more easily locate the items they’ve been searching for.

“Cal Marketplace is unique among universities in that it allows visitors to access most of the goods and services the university offers in one online location,” says Celia Owens, a business development analyst in the Office Resource Development. “In addition to being a great resource for the community, all of the items bought through the website benefit the campus departments they were purchased from.”

The easy-to-navigate site is divided up categorically under a number of different headings and also features “This Week’s Headlines,” an assortment of banner ads that link the user to the most currently relevant goods and services. Cal Marketplace links to 20 campus partners, some of which provide promotional offers and discounts for online purchasing.

For employees of the university who want to learn more about merchandise and service resources on campus, the “Faculty and Staff” page provides links to nine different Cal Marketplace vendors. To shop for discounted computer hardware and software, for example, users can click on The Scholar’s Workstation to navigate to their online store. For art lovers, the Cal Performances and Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies links provide the latest in ticket prices, show schedules, and special offers.

The “Books and Publications” header guides visitors to a full page of major publishing outlets and book vendors on campus. Those looking for the latest in cutting-edge literature need only select the University of California Press link to navigate to the its online store, featuring more than 3,000 books and journals. Likewise, the Bancroft Library link will be useful to those wishing to purchase Mark Twain-related publications or “The History of Early California” audiotapes.

Launched to coincide with the beginning of Caltopia, this weekend’s two-day celebration sponsored by Recreational Sports and the ASUC, the Cal Marketplace website is currently featuring a number of promotions aimed at celebrating Cal spirit. By clicking on the Caltopia banner, online shoppers can purchase tickets for the pre-game Tailgate Party on Evans Field, as well as the Saturday-evening concert featuring hip-hop artists De La Soul. The Office of Marketing and Management of Trademarks is offering a free Cal t-shirt to the first 200 people who bring a printable “Get the Red Out” coupon (available on the Cal Marketplace homepage) and a red shirt to the Caltopia Golden Bear Expo.

“We’ve had a really positive response to the site in our first week,” says Owens. “We’re trying to make it creative and fun, so that people who are just coming on can see that Cal Marketplace is a great way to find out about campus resources.”