Introduction: Find Bargains With Froogle


Froogle--a pun on frugal and Google is Google's spin on camparative shopping services such as Mysimon and bizrate. Like most other Google services, it provides the ability to browse and search specialized online content, in this case, products for sale. If you are in the market for buying something online, a service like Froogle is often the most efficient way of going about it. Foogle saves you the trouble of performing a web search for the tiem, visiting a bunch of results pages, and figuring out which ones offer the best deal. Instead, you can search Froogle and immediately see where the item can be purchased and at what price. Froogle is one of the most useful-underutilized-serices that Google has to offer.

Froogle is a beta interface, which menas that it is still developing it by tweaking its user interface and improving it's features. In nerd words, beta is a test version of the service. It doesnt mean that it does not work, it just means that it is soon going to be improved to the users happiness.

Step 1: Lists of Products

Once you have navigated to a sufficiently specific category, Froogle presents you with a list of products. By default, products are listed in a very rough order of relevancy to the category, but this ordering isnt very useful. I'll discuss laer how to order the products by price.

The top green status bar tells you how many propducts Google has found under your search. Below the green status bar is a Grid View link which shows the page with the products arranged in rows rather than a single column. More often, you want to see products ordered by price, or those that fall in your price range and theNavigation Bar, does just that.

The name of the Group By is a bit misleading. By default, Froogle only shows you one product in the current category from each store. This is to prevent stores that have hundreds os similar items for sale from swamping the list of products. If you'd like to see all products in the category that each store has to offer, just click the Show All Products link.

Step 2: Select Search Terms

Froogle searches product titles, descriptions, and store names, so select terms are likely to appear in one of these places. To find a specific product, just search for its name. You can also search for a general kind of product by searching for terms that would appear in its description, for example, cd player

Please be aware that including the manufacturer's name in your search when searching for a specific product can restrict your results unnecessarily. For example, searching Froogle for playstation 2 results would be 600,000 hits and searching Sony Playstation 2 would only get about 200,000 hits, because it would only return those stores selling Playstation 2s that include the word Sony in the title or description.

Step 3: Refine Your Query

Searches for a general type of product might be complicated by the fact that there could be different kinds of the product you seek. For example cd player returns results for portable cd players, car stereos, home stereo components, and CD players for DJ's. Adding more search terms can refine the query by making it more specific, but it's easy o unintentionally make the query too specific.

Searching for home cd player only finds the cd players whose titles or descriptions include the word "home". There are probably many home cd players of potential interest that don't include this word. Instead of adding terms that might be found for a product, consider using the exclusion operator to omit results you know you do not want. If you are in the market for a home cd player, you could search for cd player-dj or even better, cd player-dj-car-portable.

If you are looking for a general kind of product, browsing to an appropriate category is often more effective than searching. You might visit Electronics>Audio>Portable Audio>Cd Players to see portable devices. This is all up to you.

When viewing a category, the search box at the top of the page can help you with all of your searches. it is most effective when you can choose to search within a category.

Step 4: Unusual Items

Froogle is great for finding offbeat or unusual items. if you are in the market for an offbeat item, chances are Froogle will find it for you. We also find that Froogle is an excellant source for finding the best price on a specific item we're interested in purchasing. If you have a particular item in mind, it's almost always wothwhile to check Froogle for the best price and avaliability.

Froogle is not always helpful when you have a general item in mind. Nonspecific items like desk, camera or computer give too many items to be very useful. If you are searching for a computer it is best to search for a specific model not just the borad term on computer.

Overall, consider using Froogle to find sepcific items, but not too specific and not too broad.