Chapter 4. E-Commerce with Google Checkout

In This Chapter

  • Understanding e-commerce and Google Checkout

  • Determining whether you should use Google Checkout

  • Exploring Google Checkout's features

  • Signing up for Google Checkout

  • Adding a Buy Now button to your Web site

With Google Gadgets, as described in the previous chapter, you can achieve the dream of adding programs — even customized ones — to your Web site. Google Checkout helps you pursue an even bigger dream, one that's been even more out of reach: adding e-commerce.

E-commerce has a rich and checkered history. is the archetypal example of a successful e-commerce site — and has, in fact, helped a lot of other, smaller e-commerce businesses through its Amazon Marketplace partnerships.

But for every, there are several examples like was intended to be an online store for pet food. It never took off; somehow the expense of paying perhaps $20 for shipping a $20 bag of dog food didn't appeal to many people.

Dreams of e-commerce riches can make success seem so easy; yet it can be so hard.

The stopping point for many of those dreams was that people didn't have the time, money, or expertise to build an e-commerce system for their site — an expenditure that, in the early days of the Web, could reach or exceed $1 million. Now, with Google Checkout, you can get an even better, more trusted capability nearly free.

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