Thursday, October 2, 2014

New site seeks to help students

SwoopThat — Benjamin Carson (right) and Jonathan Simkin co-founders of ‘Swoop That.’

With the rapid approach of the end of the semester, students are beginning to think about their fall schedules and what classes they need to take. Along with this comes the time-consuming, frustrating task of determining which books are needed for certain classes but also finding these books at a decent price.

Benjamin Carson and Jonathan Simkin co-founded SwoopThat.com in order to help minimize the stress and insanity involve d in the purchasing of textbooks.

“SwoopThat is a leading provider of course search technology and textbook price comparison,” according to the website.

SwoopThat’s name is rapidly spreading throughout the country. In two months it grew from five schools to the 135 schools currently listed, according to Simkin, CEO of SwoopThat.

Carson, the Vice President of Business Development, Simkin and the other people involved in running SwoopThat have all graduated within the past year. They know firsthand the difficulties of finding reasonably priced textbooks in a short amount of time.

“Professors don’t care as much about the price of the book, they just want the educational material,” Simkin said. “They might pick a book they think will be good for the class not realizing it is $150. Then the student doesn’t have a choice.”

The typical college student pays around $900 a year on textbooks alone, according to a recent SwoopThat news release.

“I know this is an area of concern for college students across the country, in this economy,” Carson said.

The steps involved in using SwoopThat are simple and easy to remember. Students start by going onto the website and selecting their school and the semester that they are going into. They are then given a list of the school’s departments, courses offered by the school and section numbers. Once the class list is entered, students can view the complete list of books required simply by pressing the “Find Books” button.

SwoopThat then searches through sites such as Half.com and Amazon for the best deals on the textbooks listed. The website provides information on the textbooks such as the author, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and the edition. SwoopThat gives a recommendation based on price and the condition of the books available. The user is also provided with a list of other various editions, prices and book conditions.
The average amount of time it takes to use SwoopThat is between five and 10 minutes, according to Simkin.

“What makes us unique is the time factor and that it’s by course rather than having to do it book by book,” Simkin said.

SwoopThat is equipped to search for eBooks as well as books that can be rented for the semester. There is also a feature which allows students who are interested in selling their used books to find the best price that they can get.

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