Dare to compare: The search for the cheapest textbook. Aug 10, 2012

With rising costs, students turn to sites, help for finding cheap course materials
Tuition rates are on the rise for college students, along with associated costs. The Charlotte Observer estimated the cost of books and supplies for the 2011-2012 school year to be between $1,168 and $1,213. Although students are saving an average of $47  a semester on course materials and books compared to four years ago, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that students spent about $655 on course materials in the fall of 2011. 
Students looking for a way to alleviate these costs are turning to options other than simply buying textbooks from campus bookstores. Many students are downloading their textbooks as ebooks, which not only saves money, but space as well. Along with ebooks, textbook rentals are becoming increasingly popular among college students. Several campus bookstores have added the option to rent books, but a variety of online textbook rental sites often offer lower prices. 
Textbooks are a $10 billion industry, and in this sea of options, college students can feel overwhelmed. Many turn to social networking sites and online forums to ask other students where they can find the best prices. BookSquad, a textbook price comparison site, offers an attractive solution.
BookSquad includes prices from larger sites like Amazon and as well as smaller book rental and retailer companies. Students enter the name of the textbook or ISBN to see a snapshot of prices for any entered textbook, which includes new, used, rental and ebooks. Students then have the option of adding their books to a virtual backpack to earn even more deals. 
Michael Feintuch, CFO of BookSquad, said it saves much time and confusion for college students looking to save on textbooks. 
“Textbook rentals can be 50 percent cheaper than purchasing them outright,” Feintuch said. “But with fees and conditions, sometimes it’s cheaper to buy used and then sell the textbook back at the end of the semester. Instead of students searching ten or more sites to find the lowest priced options, BookSquad does the heavy lifting - and saves students up to 70 percent.” 
BookSquad was founded in 2011 and is a leading online company for college textbook comparison shopping. Currently the site offers course search feature for more than 2,000 universities nationwide. BookSquad also helps students with finding the best venue for selling textbooks back at the end of the semester, helping further ease financial burdens. More information can be found on the company’s website, 
Contact: Beki Winchel 
Phone: 608-520-7353


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