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#OccupyTheBookstore: Google Chrome plug-in makes textbooks cheaper for students

Students no longer need to hop between websites to find the best deals on textbooks. Google Chrome extension “Occupy the Bookstore” compares textbook prices for students directly on their college bookstore’s website.

“We realized that students that knew about third-party services still needed to go to the bookstore website,” said Peter Kim Frank, CEO of Text.com, in an interview with the Oracle. “This extension brings price comparison to the bookstore website.”

The plug-in covers 2,500 universities serviced by Follett, BNCollege and Neebo, according to Occupy the Bookstore website. ORU is serviced by Follett.

The plug-in automatically pops up below the browser when a student clicks a textbook on a university bookstore website. It lists prices of books available for rent or purchase on third-party websites like Chegg, Amazon and Valore.

“It isn’t fair for bookstores to control the required textbook information and push their inflated prices; competition is good for students and the industry overall,” said Frank.

Book prices have increased 812 percent since 1978, but there are advantages for some students to continue using campus bookstores.

“Students that have financial aid are able to utilize their excess funds in our store to purchase books,” ORU bookstore manager Debbie Haymaker said. “We give back a portion of our sales to help ORU in a variety of ways, including providing some scholarship money each year to ORU.”

In a recent press release, Occupy the Bookstore reported receiving legal threats from Follett, but says they are not in any violation. Occupy the Bookstore currently has about 30,000 users and holds a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Chrome.

The plug-in can be downloaded at occupythebookstore.com

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