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Hello all! I have a question regarding shopping carts, and merchant accounts. I have my site mostly developed – I’m not an HTML expert, but I’ve used M/S FrontPage, and a few other applications to develop my site. I’m to the point where I’m ready for a shopping cart, and a merchant account, or some sort of combo.

GoDaddy seems to have a nice (and relatively inexpensive) solution with their Quick Shopping cart (I’m using Quickbooks for my accounting s/w), and merchant account. However, I just don’t know enough about this process to make an educated decision yet. Here are my requirements:

-I want my shopping cart to integrate into my site. In other words, I don’t want pop-ups, and I want my shopping cart to emulate the look of the site that I’ve already developed. In other words, I want my shopping cart to appear seamless to the buyer.

-I want simple installation, and maintenance

-I want to be able to accept PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, and AMEX at a minimum. Discover Card would be a bonus.

-I want great reporting.

-I want integrated shipping tools.

-Integration with Quickbooks would be a bonus.

It seems as if GoDaddy’s solution may not be flexible enough to afford seamless integration into the site I’ve already developed, but I could be wrong. Any suggestions, or comments are most welcome. ThanX!!! :)
 

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hi there,

an estimate of your projected transactions/sales may help you decide on a cart and Point of Sale Terminal system that will work best for you.

Also, a 10,000 item catalog is different from a 100 item catalog, the type of goods or services you will be selling plays a part too.

I like cookie type carts cause the information never leaves the users box. For the checkout/paymen/processing when confidential information comes into play...... i suggest using one of the major payment processors.
 

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-I want simple installation, and maintenance
"Simple" is a bit relative to what your skillset is :)

I think you could get just about all you described from a number of shopping carts.

If you don't have the ability to do the install and customization, you may have to outsource that. But once it is installed and customized to match your site, handling the orders should be no problem.

Some carts you should check out would be:

www.cubecart.com (free)
www.shopsite.com (not free)
www.miva.com (not free)
http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/merchant/c1.php? (not free)

Seamless intergration will require some customization. Some people can do it themselves, some might need help or may just prefer to outsource.

I've used cubecart.com before (and shopsite) and both can be customized to match a site exactly, but it takes a bit of work.

Both have good reporting capabilities (not sure about quickbooks integration)
 

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I've used these folks, EcommerceTemplates
http://www.ecommercetemplates.com/ (not an affiliate link).
They provide the cart software pre-integrated into either Frontpage or Dreamweaver. They offer both predesigned templates you can just plug your products into, or you can get just the cart and plug it into your own design.
The cart lets you choose payment processors and shippers based on your own preferences.
It's simple but seems to work well. You can have any number of options for your products like size, color, etc.
I've set up one site for my son, an artist, where the cart is added as a shop into his existing site rather than being the whole site.

In this case the prints are ordered through the site and the my son uses Zazzle for fulfillment afterward.
There are also several developers linked to the ECT site who have add-on products and who do customization for you if you need to go that route.
There's a fee for the software but it's one time unlike Yahoo Store and others. If you've already got a site and have hosting taken care of it can be a very cost effective solution.
Hope this helps.
Ron
 

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Hey BAC. We use the GoDaddy shopping cart. It does the job but you will need to conform to how it does things. If you use your merchant account you will need an SSL certificate.

They have a set of templates so you can pick your colors but the look and feel will be fixed.

Likes:
Site works fairly well and has some ok reporting
Good support from GoDaddy 24x7
Flexible shipping/payment/catalog options
Integrates with paypal and merchant accounts
Integrates with UPS and USPS
Pretty easy to get up and running in a hurry
No SSL needed if you use paypal or another payment option that has secure checkout

Don't likes:
Site management is sluggish
Requires passwords to have both an upper case character and number
Has had some obvious bugs so I am not sure how much testing is done (godaddy has fixed problems reported right away, within 24 hours)
Inability to fully test the payment part of the cart without actually processing a payment. It would be nice if they had a test payment facility. This is standard in any transmission protocol for software development and I don't see why they can't offer it. It would have saved us a lot of trouble in the beginning setting up our paypal option.


Overall we are satisfied with the shopping cart but our next e-commerce site will use 1and1.com and a 3rd party cart like googles checkout. We will have that running by September. If you are a non-programmer the site is ok and inexpensive enough.

Let me know if you have any other specific questions.
 
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