TechnologyTell Like going to the mall without leaving the house

Sections: Gadgets / Other, Lifestyle, Web, Websites

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If you like to shop, you probably enjoy having company on the trip. Someone to chat with and get second opinions about how that shirt looks on you or how great that new HDTV would look in your living room. Unfortunately, with so much shopping done online these days – both for the convenience and lower prices – you may be missing the camaraderie and instant feedback. Well, has set out to bring that communal shopping experience online.

Up to now, you’ve likely been reduced to sending off e-mails or instant messages with handfuls of links in hopes of a second opinion. Your friend, sister, etc. has to then open all those links in a separate browser and e-mail or instant message you back. Lots of flip-flopping between multiple applications and websites. Even with URL shorteners, the process can be time consuming. With FriendShopper, you get an integrated shopping and chat interface in one browser window. storefront width=

Using FriendShopper is pretty easy. To begin, add FriendShopper’s drag-and-drop bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmark toolbar. With the bookmarklet, you can save and share any item in any online store, as well as save any online store as a favorite. Saved items will show up under your “My Items” tab in FriendShopper and saved stores will show up under “My Stores.” Shared items will instantly show up in your FriendShopper chat as a thumbnail and notification so that you can get that valuable second opinion. You can also search for and bookmark specific items and retailers right within FriendShopper. If you’re shopping for a variety of products, you can create folders, as well as rename items, to keep your favorites organized. Still unsure of how to use FriendShopper? There’s a quick, 3.5 minute demo video at the site.

friendshopper bookmarklet window

Right now, FriendShopper is in beta, but will be officially launching on July 7, 2009. You can sign up ahead of time, which is a pretty simple process: add the drag-and-drop bookmarklet, add friends (manually or import from your e-mail), and click the confirmation link you’ll get via e-mail. That’s it. All that’s left is getting your peeps online to start the shopping party.

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