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Can spreadsheets save Google Checkout?

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Google just released a Checkout store gadget that works with Google Docs and allows users to set up an online store using spreadsheets.

Google Checkout users can list items they want to sell online in a Google spreadsheet, and insert the Checkout gadget to create a digital storefront within minutes, says Google Checkout strategist Mike Giardina.

"Using new Spreadsheet Data APIs, we've integrated Google Docs and Google Checkout to make online selling a breeze. In three simple steps, you'll be able to create an online store that's powered by Google Checkout and has inventory managed and stored in a Google spreadsheet," writes Giardina in a [blog](http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2009/07/use-google-docs-google-checkout-to-sell.html) post. "No complicated coding or technical tasks are required. You can get your first online store up-and-running in under five minutes."

When the search company first issued the online payment processing service Checkout several years ago, the e-commerce industry braced itself for what many thought would be a rival to eBay's PayPal. To date, however, Checkout has failed to gain popularity in e-commerce -- and certainly isn't a "PayPal killer" -- despite the resources of its parent company.

The new Checkout gadget may be an effort to change that, as it can be embedded in a personal Web site, though naturally Google offers detailed steps for doing so in Google Sites, iGoogle and Blogger.

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