Web site takes textbook-buying to the iLevel

August 19, 2009 by Kristina Medley NMSU Round Up

Bigwords.com makes saving money and ordering text books fun for students

Toward the end of the summer when students are preparing to return to college, many bookstores run specials or feature discounts, but one company has taken textbook-buying to a new dimension.

Bigwords.com, the current leading college textbook comparison Web site in the world, is now offering its services through an iPhone application, allowing students to find the cheapest textbook that also suits the student’s individual preferences.

“We’ve taken all the best parts of Bigwords and put them into the iPhone app,” Jeff Sherwood, CEO of Bigwords.com, said.

On average, the Web site saves students $225 on multi-item textbook orders, Sherwood said. Students are able to type their schedules into Bigwords, and the Web site searches the Internet and comes up with the lowest total cost for the entire order, usually finding books 50 percent cheaper than campus bookstores and 20-60 percent cheaper than other online retailers.

“Students want the cheapest prices, to make sure they have the right book, and for it to show up on time,” Sherwood said. “[Bigwords] compares all major services and is the smartest way to buy.”

Sherwood said Bigwords originated in Annapolis, Md in 2001, as an international Web site. Sherwood said the textbook industry has not changed for 150 years, making the campus bookstore the main option for students, while limited availability of used text books kept prices high. Sherwood’s goal was to create an alternative to the college bookstore.

“The basic idea is that [Bigwords is] the smartest way to shop for textbooks,” Sherwood said. “We stay on top of everything students need to know.”

According to a Bigwords.com press release, the iPhone application was released on Aug. 12 and provides an alternate option to the textbook search, while allowing the student to be on the go at the same time.

Tania Kempf, public relations and communications consultant for Tool Guy PR, said Bigwords presents more options for students. Kempf said the iPhone application also allows the student to have a little more fun with his or her textbook search.

“It’s a great option for students looking for deals, because it presents all available options,” Kempf said. “The new app makes it even easier for students to find what they need.”

The iPhone Textbook Application can be downloaded for free at www.bigwords.com/iphone.

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