Editor’s Note: This story originally aired in July. It aired again on CBS4 News at 4 p.m. on Sept. 2.
DENVER (CBS4) – It’s a ritual each fall, buying college textbooks. Many students aren’t prepared to watch the totals add up, but some are finding relief on a new website, swoopthat.com.
Colorado State University student Alex Ruiz pays for her own textbooks. She went to the site, typed in her university name, class and section. The website identifies the books needed and searches the country for the cheapest sites to buy those books.
“This one cost $50 and it shows I can get it for $20,” said Ruiz.
Swoopthat.com is the brainchild of some recent college graduates, including founder Jonathan Simkin.
“I was pretty frustrated with book prices. I was an engineering major, so my math and science books were just outrageously high,” said Simkin.
He tested his idea on his fellow students at Harvey Mudd College in southern California.
He found 750 students saved more than $16,000 on textbooks in one semester. That’s when he launched the site nationwide. Five hundred colleges are now on the site , 1,000 will be up and running by fall.
Instead of spending hours online searching individual sites, swoopthat.com does it for you in just minutes and lists the shipping costs as well.
“The site lets students compare prices of new, used, rented and digital books with general savings of up to 75 percent,” said Simkin.