The business of ed-tech: Textbook shopping made easy

Site allows students to save hundreds of dollars in an efficient way

textbooks-online-shoppingDavid Miller knows that when a college student pays $30 for a textbook they had seen available for $200, they’ll never go back.

That’s the story of cash-saving deal students find regularly once they’ve scoured the web for the cheapest versions of books required for their various classes. It’s Miller’s site, SlugBooks.com, that brings efficiency to the process.

SlugBooks, launched in 2008 at the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz–where Miller attended college–has helped even the textbook playing field in recent years. A quick SlugBooks search will show a student where they can get the best price, even if it’s at their campus bookstore.

“Anyone who compares prices will see pretty clearly that there is a lot of value in doing that,” Miller said. “Most students only view their campus bookstore as the main source is because the fallacy that shopping online is somehow complicated or complex. … But a service like this makes it a no-brainer for anyone who uses it and saves a bunch of money.”

(Next page: Why not electronic textbooks?)

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