Kimmie and I have had our heads up the collective ass of the new ecommerce business I just launched, www.conspicuouschick.com and along the way we are learning great amounts. (and btw, I think the girl will have free cosmetics for the rest of her life. I’ll simply never be able to pay her for all the time she’s invested!) One of the toys I’m accquainting myself with is Google Base.
Formerly Froogle, this is a portion of the Google search engine where you can search specifically for products on sale online right NOW. (That was the sole purpose of Froogle. Frugal = shopping. Get it?) But with Google Base, you can actually upload your own information either individually or in bulk files. It’s expanded beyond just shopping, and has become much more self-serve instead of just pulling from the great miasma of the Google Search engine itself.
Predictably, as it is a new service, they’re experiencing bugs. Folks are uploading files but not all the items are appearing, for example. And naturally, there is very little information on the support forums or seemingly from Google itself. “Yes, we’re aware of the issue; we’re attempting to resolve it” seems to be the common response, one that only calms the impatient horde for so long.
Even still, it’s a lovely little tool. From the commerce end, it’s as simple as a site-specific search (say amazon.com, yahoo auctions or the like) but far more encompassing. The best part, imo, is that it allows you side-step Ebay, thereby avoiding its lax security, non-existent customer service, rampant fraud, and soul-sucking fee structure.
I’m a big proponent of supporting small businesses and independent entrepeneurs. They contribute so much more to the economy and you’ll never hear about their executives bringing home a 400 million dollar retirement package. The internet has made successful niche companies possible. A Titanium Powerseller no longer qualifies.