If you're buying multiple textbooks at once, and it's likely that you are, it's usually cheaper to search for them together and find package deals. Juggling all those books and numbers yourself can be quite difficult, not to mention time-consuming. This is where BIGWORDS comes in.
BigWords.com is a multiple price comparison website that takes a list of textbooks, runs through all the possible combinations across stores, and returns the most price-effective resultâ€”in about thirty seconds. Bigwords checks for specials like combined or free shipping, ongoing promotions, or coupons once your total reaches a certain level. There's space to specify your memberships on websites like Amazon Prime, so your discounts can be calculated with maximum accuracy. And since Bigwords isn't trying to sell anything itself, it isn't favoring any one merchant.
It makes intuitive sense not to buy all of your textbooks from one store, as it's very unlikely one place will have the best deal for each and every item. Nonetheless, BigWords.com results include the best single store price, in case customers find the convenience of buying their textbooks from a single retailer worth a few extra cents. You can also sort through raw pricing info yourself, compiled into one page. Prices are updated daily, not based on a quickly outdated database, and your calculated savings are displayed at the top of the page.
There are default quality controls in place for BigWords searches: textbooks must be in good condition, sellers must have positive feedback standings, the basic criteria for a satisfactory product. Each BigWords result has a scroll-over "about this copy" description, so you can qualitatively judge it as if you were on the seller's website. The Bigwords staff enforces its quality standards as well as proper editions, and will handle any trouble you have with a seller, so buying through Bigwords is safer than going to the source.
Plus, the level of customization is excellent. You can include or exclude used, international, and digital textbooks; pick your shipping speed; specify stores that guarantee buyback, or search for rentals only; filter out specific words in the search; even ignore certain stores or copies. You can exclude third party sellers and only buy through companies, and you can specifically prioritize cheapness. You can even set up a price alert and receive an email when your book becomes available under the maximum price you're willing to pay.
Probably the best feature: you can reverse the process and find the most optimal place to sell your textbooks back once you're done. BigWords.com tells you who pays for or reimburses shipping, who gives you store credit instead of cash, and places you can sell to directly versus listing your textbooks and waiting for someone to buy them (and how many copies are already listed).
Also, there's an app for the iPhone. If you're into that sort of thing.