Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 220.127.116.11
Forum Moderators: buckworks
I know what products I want to add and which manufacturers I'm getting the products from, it's just a matter of getting all of that information into my CMS. I work full time so I don't have the time to do all of this myself.
If they can send you it in electronic form (spreadsheet, table in Word) then I'm sure you can transform this data into the database powering your CMS.
Are there product images too? Where and how are they being provided?
What about pricing? Who decides?
Unfortunatley, they are not that advanced. They might have a spreadsheet or something but i would probably have to write most of the descriptions myself. I would want the descriptions to be original anyway for seo reasons.
"Are there product images too? Where and how are they being provided?"
Most of the time I have to get the product images off of the manufacturers website. Sometimes they have them on disc.
"What about pricing? Who decides?"
I would decide the pricing.
Let me be more clear, I'm not looking for someone to do ALL the work of adding the products to my store. I realize that I will have to do a lot of it. I guess I was just wondering if most people do this entirely themselves or do they hire a person (or people) to help them?
A couple of years ago, I had a prospect come to me that had a printed catalog, and wanted to publish to the web.
I did some research and found a plug-in that would parse quark documents. Then I contacted a graphic house  , and they agreed to parse the documents. Saved money since they had Qxpress and the plug-in was only $50.00.
Then I had a php programmer  import the data, and create a report of non conforming records.
The non-con data was about 20% of the total data.
The images for the site were supplied by the printer  and scaled to an uniform size using an automatted function configured by 
A template for the site was created by me and programmed by  and the conforming products were uploaded and categorized same as the printed catalog.
The non conforming records, mainly consisted of products that had options.
The client, hired a college student,  and I trained him how to add the options.
I modifed some of the category names so they were more search engine specific.
In a nutshell, it is all about project management.
Disclaimer . . . I am not intrested in doing this again!
Get the highest quality images you can. Off the web site would be a last resort. Get them on a disc with higher resolution if possible. I take descriptions and images from the distributor web site using a robot crawler (with their explicit permission). You can hire a content writer to get the descriptions online but it can be expensive. Maybe collge students majoring in journalism, english, or an "internship" for inexpensive but competent labor.