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  • Google Checkout

    After over a year of questions and rumors, Google finally unrolled its entry into the online payment processing space: Google Checkout. A lot of folks were expecting something directly comparable to PayPal, but Google Checkout is a slightly different animal. It's not much to look at directly, for example, because most of the work comes into play when visiting merchant sites that use the system.

    As an online shopper, it offers yet another centralized payment handling system, like Paypal in that respect. But a lot of the interest will come from sellers looking for a simpler and more affordable alternative to PayPal to collect money from shoppers. If you, as a seller, use Google's AdWords contextual advertising system, your payments could be processed for free (depending on how much you spend on Google ads, and how much you sell). And even if you don't do the AdWords thing, Google's base take is a very reasonable 2 percent plus $0.20 per transaction.

    There's a whole heap of online retailers already accepting Google Checkout payments, and this is before the official rollout (and for once, it's not labeled 'beta'). Since Google Checkout will defnitely appeal to smaller sellers, I expect seeing a "Google Checkout" icon and option in a website's payment screen will someday be almost as common as a Visa logo.

    Here's an early hands-on review.

    By the way, as the review notes, as part of the rollout, some participating merchants are offering coupons for Google Checkout users. For example, you can go to CD Universe, and get $10 off an order of $20 or more with the Google Checkout code.
    Last edited by pzarquon; June 29, 2006, 03:28 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Google Checkout

    That's good to hear, and I'm really interested in checking that all out. CD Universe, by the way, was my first online purchase, all those years ago when it was still reachable by telnet only. Good memories...
    But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
    GrouchyTeacher.com

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    • #3
      Re: Google Checkout

      Talk about a sparse user interface. Shopping by telnet... ah, the days when no one thought you needed to worry about fraud and data security. Er... but I thought the two battling stores were CD Now (USENET launch announcement here) and CD Connection? Either way, some misty-eyed geek memories there. Here's a fun 'gee whiz the web' article from Wired in 1995.

      A lot of folks, however, associate CD Universe with one of the earlier, infamous stolen credit card data cases, back when all this "shopping online" was just gaining a toehold.

      So, in a way, they're a good partner for Google Checkout, which is designed to limit the number of places that have direct access to your credit card information. Of course, whether or not you trust Google is another question entirely. Myself, I've sold my soul to Google years ago.
      Last edited by pzarquon; June 29, 2006, 03:51 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Google Checkout

        That's great, but does it mean more Phishing, this time with phony Google Checkout e-mails?

        OOH! The big deal here? From the review Pzarq linked:
        Google Checkout stores your credit card number, mailing address, and other ordering information. You can view all of the orders you place through the service on a single page, and Google limits how much of your information it shares with its vendor partners.
        Now that's cool.

        Something else I just learned about (maybe I'm slow) is Google's Book Search, which allows you to find books or text within books.

        http://books.google.com/
        Last edited by Linkmeister; June 29, 2006, 05:01 PM. Reason: Add the storage and order summary info
        http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/

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        • #5
          Re: Google Checkout

          Originally posted by Linkmeister
          That's great, but does it mean more Phishing, this time with phony Google Checkout e-mails?
          Oh, you can count on that!
          Something else I just learned about (maybe I'm slow) is Google's Book Search, which allows you to find books or text within books.
          This is definitely worth (yet another) separate Google goodies thread. The Google Book Search program (previously "Google Print") puts a huge volume of information out there, but obviously the authors and publishers of that information are not on board 100 percent, and there have been at least a few lawsuits over it.

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          • #6
            Re: Google Checkout

            You're right. It was CD Connection that was my first online purchase. That was really fun, and launched me toward a life of joyous online shopping. I remember CD Now as a telnet, too, and purchased a few things so I could compare; my judgment was that CD Now was better for imports, if you were looking for them, but CD Connection was a lot more fun to shop for reasons I don't remember.
            But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
            GrouchyTeacher.com

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