My Experience Shopping Cart Help + User Reviews << Post Here

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White Belt

I have a small business client building an online shop as an addon to their offline store and ebay. The volume is not big, so I am not looking for something like Magento (nor does the client has the budget for it).

So far I've been looking at several providers, both self and cloud hosted.

As far as the cloud, the option seems off, since I've read some really terrible reviews on Volusion and BigCommerce customer support (including lies in advertising). As far as Shopify I heard it is way too simple.

From the Open source, there are very mixed reviews on every cart out there.

  • Prestashop - Some say Prestashop is good (not sure if those are real reviews), some say that you have to pay for almost every common option out there, and the out of the box software is very stripped down. Paying is not a problem, so if several thousand dollars have to be invested that is fine. Just want to make sure that the cart, as well as the add-ons actually work.
  • OS Commerce – too old and there are upgraded version of it.
  • ZEN Cart – currently doing the research, but it is an updated / customized version of OS Commerce
  • Magento - off the list. From what I understand it's a very robust platform, but needs some very serious tweaking by coders for many $$$ hours. Also, this is more of an enterprise software, rather than a small shop cart.
  • OpenCart – did not look into details. Will post once I know more.
  • Freeway – also do not know the details.

Xcart seems to be 1 choice right now, however I have not seen any up to date templates for it anywhere. Everything on the market seems from way back 2001 style. Are there problems with designers or the cart is way out of date now? Also one of the problems shop owners report with it is inability to update the cart if its been customized (seems like a problem with every cart), so all the updates end up costing $$$ and time.

Was wondering if you can recommend some carts, from your own experience. It is very important you tried and actually worked with the carts, rather than read research / forums / blogs, as actual users know the real pitfalls of the software. If you used the software, and know the ups and downs, please post them.

Would appreciate your input, and I will be back with some info on more carts as I do more research.


Yellow Belt
While choosing a shopping cart, you must know if there is big community who develop and use that cart. Just for anticipation if you have problem in future, so you don't need expert to fix that and just get back and ask the question to the community


White Belt
Why choosing open software, that is "free" only in the very beginning, when You are choosing it? You need to spent so much money to make it work, buy/rent a server, employ an IT specialist/web designer. Service the app. Check the offer - all included. You client just chooses some factors and gets 100% ready-to-sell store, which is the most important thing for small businesses. Check the offer, maybe You will be interested in affiliate program.
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