Students Create GetchaBooks.com - a web app to purchase cheaper books

As students come back to campus, their textbook shopping might be made cheaper and easier through the creation of GetchaBooks.com -- a free online comparison shopping website created by Computer Science students, Richard Mondello, A'12 and Michael White, A'12.

Launched in January 2010, GetchaBooks is a web-based application that collates course information and price comparison data from online book sellers such as Amazon.com. Initial results put overall savings at tens of thousands of dollars over purchases that could be made at university bookstores, said Richard Mondello, co-creator of GetchaBooks.

"A lot of people just don't know that buying online is an option for them," Mondello said.

Despite the familiarity students might have with online shopping, the sticking point may be in "having the confidence that they are buying the right book -- security which the university bookstore provides," said Mondello's co-creator, Michael White. Getchabooks.com provides its shoppers with the same security by verifying the unique book identifiers, or International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs), published online by university bookstores as required by the "textbooks provision" of the Higher Education Opportunity Act.

Mondello, White, and Michael Walker, currently a student at Bard College, joined forces to create GetchaBooks after learning how to build web applications through a programming class taught by CS lecturer, Ming Chow.

White explains that GetchaBooks uses a program to look through college course catalogs to obtain the required books sold at university bookstores. Then, GetchaBooks grabs data from online booksellers like Amazon.com to find out if they have those books and for how much.

Read more about GetchaBooks and its creators.