BIG WORDS saves college students BIG BUCKS

By Brittany Gregg, Opinion Editor

No matter what college you’re in or what classes you’re taking, every student in every class asks the same question every semester: “Do I need to buy the book?” In a perfect world, books would be affordable and this question would be irrelevant. Unless I’m missing something, we don’t live in a perfect world and that means students are always looking for cheaper ways to get the books they don’t want to buy. There is a better way to get cheaper books and by using the new website students can find the best deal on their textbooks. is for those student who are still searching for the best deal within their budget or would simply like to make their money work for them come summer or fall classes this year. The website is a price search engine that compares combinations of items and stores, calculating the shipping and promotions available for each. The site then selects the cheapest combinations, saving students the most money. Whether students are looking to buy, rent, or sell textbooks, the “Uber-BOT” will find the cheapest textbooks, saving students an average of $1,000 annually.

According to, it is the “only site that allows you to consider buyback pricing when purchasing, so that you can tell whether you’re better off to rent textbooks, or buy and then sell them back at the end of the term.”

Students who cannot afford books have developed a multitude of strategies to gain access to the information without going hungry. They might share textbooks with a friend or classmate. They might go to off-campus bookstores to avoid the ridiculous mark-ups on campus. Many students will get the e-reader version of the book for magnitudes less than the print version. A few textbooks are held in small quantities at Akron Public Library and in Bierce and students will race to check them out. Sometimes there’s no way around paying and you just have to pick up a second (or fifth) shift. Regardless, everyone whose parents aren’t made of gold has a strategy for buying books.

Free services like BIGWORDS are sorely needed. Textbook prices are ridiculous. My friend Rachel just bought a Spanish book for $275. Another friend of mine spent $500 freshman year for a math textbook. A study done by the U.S. Government Accountability Office has found that the price of textbooks has increased at three times the rate of inflation. Students are being made to choose between textbooks and rent, and it’s criminal.

So if you are amongst the students still in need of books or advice for future purchases, be sure to do your research and find the website that saves you the most money. Give BIGWORDS a try and maybe let yourself turn the heat on this semester.