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ecommerce sites

Discussion in 'Dropshipping & Wholesale Hookups' started by darkeggx, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. darkeggx

    darkeggx Regular Member

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    Hello Dropshippers!
    This question is geared toward people who already have a running drop shipping website/s and are doing fairly well at it, but if you dont, please feel free to answer anyway. My question is what are you doing, "web design" wise for your site? Do any of you use ecommerce/shopping cart solutions from volusion, etc.? Do you do Yahoo Stores?
    Or do you develop your own site and just integrate your shopping cart into it?
    And if you did develop the site yourself, what would be the best way to go about that? Thanks, much appreciated. :cool:
     
  2. Cubic Media

    Cubic Media Newbie

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    Best thing to do is get an open source cart, such as opencart or prestashop... They are out the box carts that are free an have huge capabilities
     
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  3. juztin

    juztin Newbie

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    I initially designed it in PSD and then got it coded into oscommerce but will eventually move over to Magento...

    P.S Take a look at this ecommerce site...mind blasting for sure.
     
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  4. Dr_bloomsfield

    Dr_bloomsfield Newbie

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    I would reccomend shopify if its just you. MagentoGo (not to be confused with magento) or volusion if you plan on having multiple people managing it.

    If you have a knack for web development, then I'd say go for straight Magento, stay away from oscommerce or zencart, i'm pretty sure neither are very well maintained at this point. Magento is a pain in the a** at first, but if you really dig in, its pretty powerful, although out of the box it is agonizingly slow, if you know someone good with Apatche servers, they can do some things to help, along with a few plugins that will help speed up Magento.

    Shopify is written in ruby, ruby is a pretty sweet language if you're not afraid to learn a little code, much easier to understand than php or zendframework(magento's base)

    Bottom line....If you don't want to spend hours fixing things that would take a seasoned web developer 10min to fix, and lose lots of hair in the process, I'd strongly urge using a PaaS(platform as a service) like Shopify, Volusion, or MagentoGo (probably in that order, but its really personal prefference) each one offers free trials, check them all out, see which one makes the most sense for your situation.

    I'm a web developer, and even I prefer the PaaS route over building something from scratch or building off of and hosting Magento or PrestaShop etc.
     
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  5. darkeggx

    darkeggx Regular Member

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    Thanks for taking the time for writing that very informative post.
     
  6. CenTex Hosting

    CenTex Hosting Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I use big commerce for drop shipping as well as for our regular e com customers.
     
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  7. Remington

    Remington Regular Member

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    I've got two merchant sites. One runs on ZenCart and one on OpenCart. Even though neither are pure dropship sites, it all works the same as far as the cart's concerned.

    Setting up ZenCart is frustrating at every turn. Don't let their claims of "ease" fool you. It's NOT. And that template override system? Expect major upgrades to cause all prior templates to fail due to introduced incompatibilities, overrides or not.

    Finally I vowed to "upgrade ZenCart right out the window" the next time it came time to update.

    That brought me to OpenCart. So far, OpenCart's been a dream in comparison to the ironically-named Zen. One thing I haven't gotten into was customization, though, and that's where Zen is frustrating. After checking some live OpenCart installations in G, I realized that almost no one kept the default template. I was lazy, so when I realized that my site would look unique just by leaving it alone, that's what I did (except for putting in my own logo)!

    This reminds me: ZenCart's default template is ugly as sin. OpenCart's is quite passable.

    Other than changing its looks, ZenCart has worked well enough. OpenCart, on the other hand, needed to have quite a few things changed on the backend since it assumes for UK users and I'm in the US. That said, OpenCart has a lot more options and functionality than Zen.

    I'd change the other site to Open, but right as I was changing the first one, the still-Zen one started to rank. Needless to say, plans to make major alterations to that one were put on hold as long as the sales were rolling in - which brings me to one last point: OpenCart has nice, SEO-friendly URLs. ZenCart doesn't.
     
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  8. Cascade

    Cascade Newbie

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    If you go with Shopify BEFORE you sign up, join the "partner" program, you get 20% of the shopify bill each month. They payout by paypal as soon as you make $25 or more. I'ts probably a good idea to make another paypal account with a different name when you sign up because I'm pretty sure they will catch on if they see you referred yourself.


    Magento is pretty badass too but It is really resource intensive so you would need at least a VPS to run it smoothly.

    With any e-commerce solution you are going to have to figure out what your process is going to be.

    How are you going to update your product inventory levels and add new products? How often are you going to do this? What about fulfillment? How does the order go from Magento to the dropshippers?

    For Product importation for Magento I would suggest a free open-source plugin called Magmi. This takes product feeds and uploads them to your server. There is also a cron script they include so you can run cron jobs behind the scenes to update your products.

    Also, if you goto themeforest[dot]net they have some really affordable templates you can use.

    Shopify is a more stable and easy to use system, but the problem is it is hosted so you don't have as much control as Magento. The biggest pain in the ass with Magento is dealing with Indexes that constantly need updating. They are both good it depends on how many products you are working with and how good you are with building the integrations with the drop shippers and the shopping carts.
     
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  9. abpages

    abpages Newbie

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    Hi, I run a web design business and have been in the industry for over 10 years. Just wanted to offer my 2 cents.

    At first, we tried the open source solutions like osCommerce and Magento - be prepared to have a developer ready to perform upgrades for you and we found installing certain contributions with osCommerce conflicted with others and had to spend hours working out the kinks. Magento was better, but terrible for product options such as size, colour, etc. Good luck explaining how to set that up with a client.

    My advice is to save yourself the headache and money - go with a commercial hosted service.

    Try BigCommerce

    We've been moving old and any new clients to that platform

    Remember, with their monthly fee, you not only get the shopping cart, but also the hosting and support is included in that - many people forget about this important factor.

    So if you're using an open source product like oscommerce / magento and something goes wrong or you need to upgrade to the latest version, you have to contact your developer and have him fix it......they'll probably do it when they get around to it, and then charge you for their time....

    With BigCommerce this is looked after for you by their support team, they schedule upgrades, fix bigs, apply patches. All included in their fee.

    Cheers and good luck.
     
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  10. Narrator

    Narrator Power Member

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    I use Zen Cart and Magento for my sites. IMHO magento is much nicer, but more server intensive.

    The biggest problem I had with magento is you cannot print a packing slip till after the order is marked as shipped, which seemed backwards to me. I had to buy a third party plugin to fix it.

    For templates I either get them from templatemonster or design them myself depending on time constraints.

    Cheers!
     
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  11. Go_Timbers

    Go_Timbers Newbie

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    Magento is great, but is server heavy....and with the recent eBay purchase...it is not clear which way the cart might go.

    I would stick with the open source carts just for more upgrades and options and lower cost.

    Open Cart, Zen Cart, Presta Shop, Virtuemart and 4 good places to start. The Pro-s are basically the same, so just try a demo of each. I think it really comes down to the feel. Much of it will be based on what other carts you might have tried or learned so its hard to say one cart is "best" but out of these just see which one fees easier or more familiar which might be unique to your tastes.

    3d Cart and ProStores are good carts that lots of people like but have less options and more monthly costs.

    X-Cart, Volutions, and Yahoo Store I think have their own cost issues and customization options....so start with a review of the 4 options above if you are just getting started and need a cart.
     
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  12. darkeggx

    darkeggx Regular Member

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    a lot of great responses guys. thanks
     
  13. nonin

    nonin Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    oscommerce - seems like a dropped product (had some security issues)
    Magento - superb for all demands, but complex for clients who don't understand computers and the most important -> VERY heavy (loading speed is very important factor today)
    Prestashop - very easy, work like a charm, but most modules are VERY expensive -> range from £25 up to £700+

    choosing from them - my choice:
    for myself -> Magento
    for my clients -> Prestashop
     
  14. Marburg

    Marburg Newbie

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    I'm using open cart & I love it. Magento is a fantastic bit of gear but just was way more than my site needed.

    As somebody with little e-commerce experience I can honestly say open cart has been a dream.
     
  15. marketstud

    marketstud Junior Member

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    I recently deployed Magento for a friend of mine. Something you might want to consider when choosing a template is it's version dependent. Many developers themes are running on older versions of magento and the don't update their own themes. So then your stuck with using an older version, hiring a developer to update, or going with another theme. I can't speak on security breaches with going with an older version of magento. I guess if you're using PayPal as your payment gateway it's probably no big deal. But I could be very wrong. As far as hosting goes. I've used Simple Helix in the past and they have been really fast. They host their sites on solid state drives. To me it seems infinitely faster than hostgator. But I have been told that the HD is not the bottleneck slowing the server down. Heck I'm not sure what to believe. Who else do you guys recommend for fast magento hosting? Besides paying out the a$$ for dedicated hosting?
     
  16. newman123

    newman123 Junior Member

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    I started in IM originally in ecommerce and somehow ran across 3dcart first while a noob. I've never really took the time to explore other shopping cart sites in the last 2 years but 3dcart has done fine for me, I do wish there was more customization to it so I may look at switching soon but I just don't want to go through the hassle of all the things I've done and modified with the cart as well all the products etc. I've added in the last 2 years, though I fear I might have to soon if I can't get some of the capabilities I want in 3dcart. None the less pretty good site and not too expensive if you're running a very specialty orientated shop with expensive items and heavily targeted traffic.

    My best advice I can give is to try a bunch of the carts out in the free trials without putting too much work into and choose to see which one you like best. Sure you might see it as a waste of time to not pick one and go with it instead of check them all through but it will save you a god load of time in the future.
     
  17. isag1992

    isag1992 Newbie

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    When I first started my Drop Ship site I created the entire site off of html and css but I believe it all depends on the person who is starting the site. If you are good with code then start your site from scratch and use an open source shopping cart but if you know nothing about code you might want to go with something more like miiduu or shopify
     
  18. taters

    taters Newbie

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    Wow not one person mentioned ISC. i see big commerce and the ISC cart is a product from their parent company. I love it as it only has minimal bugs. Maybe big commerce better if your just starting out but look at fcukwear[dot]com which is a site i just started developing. the design capabilities are endless with this product
     
  19. merryscanlan

    merryscanlan Newbie

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    I use Magento for my drop shipping site because Magento?s client list to realise what an excellent piece of open-source software it is. Samsung, The North Face, Stussy and Nespresso all use it to power their online stores. It?s used by 30,000 merchants and is the world?s fastest growing ecommerce platform. You have to pay for the Enterprise Edition, which is packed full of extremely useful features, but the Community Edition, meant for developers only, is free to download and use.