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Wise Buys

Reviews of eCongo turnkey e-commerce service, Nexternal Solution's e-commerce shopping cart system, and SmartAge.com's suite of e-commerce services

E-service: ECongo.com Inc. is selling a turnkey e-commerce service called eCongo that contains a complete set of tools and services necessary to conduct business online-including catalog building, integrated advertising, payment processing, customer service, fulfillment management, sales reports on every sale and Web site hosting. In addition, the service includes membership in the eCongo Merchant Network, where merchants can trade advertising, share ideas and benefit from the experiences of other online merchants. ECongo charges $59.95 per month for reports and merchant accounts.

Cart logic:Nexternal Solutions offers a low-cost e-commerce system that will give your shoppers the luxury of having their shopping carts onscreen at all times, allowing them to easily make changes to the contents of their carts in real-time. This greatly reduces the number of windows a customer must click through while shopping-they won't have to hit the "refresh" button whenever they want to make a change. The e-commerce feature is free for the first month of operation; after that, Nexternal charges a small commission on a monthly basis.

Smart shopping: SmartAge.com, best known for its banner-exchange program, has joined forces with other online leaders to create a suite of e-commerce services that enable you to quickly maximize your presence on the Web. The new offerings consist of three service sets: MarketPlace, which provides a central location for members to access sales channels for distributing their goods and services and to purchase goods and services from trusted sources; the SmartAge.com Affiliate Network, which allows members to earn money by promoting products from select merchants on their sites; and Storebuilding, which lets members create professional e-commerce sites with online display rooms that can contain hundreds of products.


is a technology writer in Brooklyn, New York, who has covered technology for Mobile Computing & Communications and Sales & Marketing Management magazines.

Melissa Campanelli is a technology writer in Brooklyn, New York, who has covered technology for Mobile Computing & Communications and Sales & Marketing Management magazines. You can reach her at mcampanelli@earthlink.net.

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This article was originally published in the July 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Wise Buys.

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