Starting up Help

I have a company that I want to take to the next level.

We currently sell 500 items, and I am slowly taking photos and optimizing them in photoshop, along with descriptions.

Now I know I need a shopping cart, but how do I go about inputting those 500 items and organizing them into certain categories?

Is it worth learning how to use Mysql and creating a database? Or are there solutions that will make it simpler than that?

I already have a gateway and credit card processing account from virtual merchant.

Also, of all the shopping carts in the link below, which would be optimal?

https://www.myvirtualmerchant.com/VirtualMerchant/compatiblecart.do

Google Docs can save spreadsheets to CSV too.

> but how do I go about inputting those 500 items and organizing them into
> certain categories?

You can create spreadsheet table with products information (using MS Excel or OpenOffice Calc software) and save this information as CSV file.

After this, you can import products from CSV to the shopping cart system.

Some additional information that will be useful:

Description of CSV file format: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma-separated_values
How to import products to shopping cart: http://docs.avactis.com/190/index.html?product_import.htm
OpenOffice package: http://download.openoffice.org/index.html