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Books@monmouth Website Plans to Give Students Bargains

Textbook Website Exclusive to Monmouth Students


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A new platform for purchasing books called books@monmouth.edu has arrived at the University. The website helps students buy their textbooks by integrating Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all of their book necessities.

Developer Sean Haufler, a junior studying computer science and economics at Yale University spent three months developing the website with one specific thing in mind. “I chose to build the website after I realized how much more expensive school bookstore prices were than online prices,” Haufler said. “I wanted to make the online shopping process as easy as possible so more people would take advantage of these lower prices.”

The site allows for easy navigation, and provides a procedure for searching and purchasing textbooks. 

Joshua Lewis, a University student who promotes and markets the site, attested to its simplicity. “This allows for quick purchasing and convenience,” Lewis said. “Also, other websites do not compare books that are used, new and from the Monmouth Bookstore.”

The site is free to use. As stated on the site, a tax of seven percent is included on purchases from the University bookstore, as are shipping charges on purchases from Amazon.

To get started using the website, enter the department in which the class is in. Upon doing so, all classes will appear below the department search bar. If the student is unsure of the department that his or her class is in, he or she can hit the “show all” button that displays all departments. 

Next, select the green plus button on the side column and add it to the selected section of the website. Click generate (or reset if necessary to start over), and the website displays the used, new, and University bookstore prices for the searched textbook.

Haufler said that he included bar graphs in the price comparison because it helps people make their shopping decisions without thinking too much about numbers. “The correct shopping decision just seems to pop out at you from the webpage,” he said.

After selecting all of the texts necessary to the student, select the “export to Amazon” button. This will allow the student to complete the transaction and purchase all selected textbooks. Kathy Booth, Assistant Manager of the University bookstore, doesn’t think this will have an effect on textbook sales at the University.

“I don’t think it’ll make a difference, students always search for other options online but wind up buying from the bookstore anyways. It will make it easier to search but I don’t think it’ll have an effect on our sales,” Booth said. 

Booth also discussed other options at the bookstore that will save students money.
“We have implemented the renting books option last fall and we also have the used books option. Both options will surely save students money,” Booth said.

As far as the projection for the website in the coming semesters, Lewis said that he has high hopes. Lewis said that its function seems to be delivering a worthwhile service as fellow students have approached and thanked him for the site as its popularity continues to grow.



Correction:

To the Editor:

In the article regarding “books@monmouth” in the January 25 issue, it is stated that on the website “a tax of seven percent is included on purchases from the University bookstore.” Sales of required textbooks in the state of New Jersey are exempt from sales taxes, therefore no tax is charged on them in the University Store. If the website is adding the seven percent, it will be overstating the actual retail at the store in price comparisons.

Bill Rainey University
Bookstore Manager

Editor’s Note: The Outlook regrets any misunderstanding this information may have caused.