Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

More words on Froogle

I may have to change my mind about Froogle... it's a lot better than I initially gave it credit for.

The first search I did on Froogle was for a very particular product... I figured I would try seeing the results it gave for a camera, so I typed in "coolpix" to test it. Sure, they had a fair amount of results... but not what you'd expect from a price comparison engine, as they weren't sorted by either model number or price. Search engines that don't give user friendly results just don't matter.

However, I noticed slowsync linked to my post and apparently used Froogle to find a *TON* of He-Man action figures, which got me thinking...

I wanted to look for Edward Gorey stuff, but I didn't want search results for all those books out there, so I searched for "Gorey" in the Apparel & Accessories catagory...

Cool. A Gorey T-shirt and a Gorey skateboard. However, it was only showing "1-2 of 5 results", so I figured I would check out the complete list of results link on that page. Much better.

(For Gorey lovers out there, it turns out that Target/Marshall Fields' has a whole line of Edward Gorey merchandise available.)

How does Froogle stand up to other price comparison engines, though? Well, doing a comparable search in Apparel over at My Simon didn't return a thing. Even their full search was less than impressive. Obviously, My Simon's results are geared more towards accessing specific vendors, such as those that deal in computers and electronics.

So, it appears that while Froogle doesn't function as well as sites like My Simon yet for price comparison shopping (which is arguably the meat and potatoes of such search engines), it seems to actually function *better* for finding obscure items!

If Froogle addresses the usability issues, they will be a very serious contender indeed. Until then, I will be doing my Froogle searches so that they list all the results, because when it comes to finding just the right birdbath, you need to shop around. After all, birdbaths aren't meant to be ankle-high almuminum toys, or a glorified plate hanging from some hooks. They're supposed to be serious pieces of statuary, dammit! So yes, I really *do* need access to all 17,117 Froogle results for "birdbath", thankyouverymuch!

Then again, sometimes the first result you get on Google Froogle is actually quite nice...


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