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Question about Ecommerce Back End

lmckaylmckay subscriber Posts: 1
I recently finally landed my name (3peas.com) Now I need a host.....
What I need is a back end that will have some custom stuff. I need to be able to upload my items but I also need to keep track of things for me - like my cost per item, where I`ve stored the item (so I can find it when it sells) and a few other little odds and ends.
I sell collectibles and tableware... most of the stuff is one offs and I have thousands of items so I need some really specific stuff to help me on my side and my items are all over the board.... Anyone know of a good ecommerce package that can do this kind of thing???
Or am I looking at a custom design here??
Thanks for the help!
lmckay5/16/2008 12:28 PM


  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    Most ecommerce programs accommodate what you need.
    There are two routes to take for ecommerce - an all-in-one solution and lining up a hosting and ecommerce solution. 
    An all-in-one solution is like a you build it option, but usually you are tied to the hosting and fees for that option and can not move your site to another host if you want.
    The second route is to find an ecommerce application you like and hosting that uses it. Most web hosts (like me) offer open source ecommerce applications FREE.
    There has been a lot of "discussion" on SUN about various ecommerce applications like Zen Cart, osCommerce, Xcart, etc.

    Design - Which route you take also affects the potential design. All-in-one applications may have some design/layout limitations. With open source ecommerce applications you can modify the default layout of start with a pre-made template.
    I would expect some "customization" would be needed to make the site unique for your products. However, uploading your product images, pricing, customer management, are standard features in most ecommerce applications.
  • lmckaylmckay subscriber Posts: 1
    How difficult is it to add the things I want to (bear with my terminology) the data input forms? Is that something that is easy to do or would your guys do that? or would I need to hire someone?
    The front end I`m pretty comfortable with... ie designing the graphics and html (need to brush up on css)
    Or would the person who designs the data input need to do everything?
  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    Actually, the ecommerce back end makes it very easy to add product - images, pricing, descriptions.
    To enable some one to add products, etc... they would just have to have a log-in and password to the site`s "administration" page. So, it could be anyone you provide such access.
  • lmckaylmckay subscriber Posts: 1
    what about customizing the back end to add a couple extra fields that would be hidden from view of the customers?
    I need a field per item for my cost and storage location. They are a must for my pull tickets or I`ll go insane.. I don`t want to track all this stuff on paper
  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40

    what about customizing the back end to add a couple extra fields that would be hidden from view of the customers? I need a field per item for my cost and storage location. They are a must for my pull tickets or I`ll go insane.. I don`t want to track all this stuff on paper
     Extra fields can be created...there would be some custom programing to add that to the database. However, there is a field already set up that you can use for your storage location/model number. ~Rolandvwebworld5/17/2008 3:48 PM
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    I want to echo Roland,
    There are various e-commerce platforms that are "OPEN SOURCE" out there, Open Source simply means that they are under the General Public License (GPL) that are free for you to use.
    For example there`s OSCOMMERCE 3.0, which is a very reliable shopping cart system that has been around for years now, then you have ZenCart, which is clone of OSCommerce with a few extra added modules that can be customized depending to your needs and that it is very stable and reliable, not to mention easy to customize "Of Course you need some experience"
    Then you have a new shopping cart system that is taking advantage of PHP5 and MYSQL5, it is called Magento Commerce, which is very stable!
    All you need is a hosting company that can handle all the new scripts..
    As for your Inventory control system? Well I would suggest keeping an external database management system for that. You can still Categorize your items on the shopping cart for example you would assign a SKU number to your product, and when they place an order you punch the SKU into your Database Management System, and it tells you which shelf it`s in..
    Remember, a shopping cart is a shopping cart is not a DMS.. but you can still keep track of your inventory.
    Another thing, I wouldn`t advise for you to jump on the bandwagon of trying to design your web site, you should just pay for that service and have someone develop it for you "Professionally".. a little investment can save you thousands down the road.
  • lmckaylmckay subscriber Posts: 1

    I know what I`m using now with Tias. I like my item entry form that I`m using. I would like to get something built that is caparable to that. But I need more flexiblity than what I have now. I would stay where I am but after leaving ebay I`m tired of paying all the fees and not being able to customize it for what I do.
    I only have a little over 1000 items up and my store is already difficult to search and I have no ability to promote similar items so I spend way too much time telling my buyers yes I do have coffee cups in your pattern... I need to make it much easier for my buyers to buy what they want. The cookie cutter template type thing is just too light for my items. 
    Plus I need to be able to add my own pages that are informational and I need a wish list - where buyers can click a button that says I need this so they are emailed when I add the item to my store. I`ve been doing this long enought that I know exactly what I need to operate at this point it`s just finding the best way to do it.
    Running an additional external Database will be too cumbersome for 2 hidden fields I don`t want to do double entry it`s just too much work. I need to consolidate my tasks and let the computer do more of it for me - plus I have to travel alot and I don`t want to have to move a database back and forth off my laptop. I just want to have my info in one place. I`m willing to say I have roughly 1/3 of the inventory of Replacements.com.

    Do you think I have a prayer of getting a good chunk of this done before the end of the summer? I don`t think I can possibly get everything I want done by then. But half of it would make me happy. I know this is going to be a project that needs to be done in phases.  I have a lot of inventory I need to get up before Halloween. Or is this going to take me a good bit of time to setup?

    I also accept several forms of payment.... Google Checkout, Credit Cards (I have a merchant), Snail Mail payments - Paypal (I prefer not to accept them but will for the ebay disenfranchised) - How difficult is it to do that in the same cart?
    I want google checkout just for the additional visibility in the google searches and google base.
  • lmckaylmckay subscriber Posts: 1
    Oh also... I want to add a field for gift wrapping and coupon codes to my checkout. Is that do-able?
  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    I would say that (1) that is all doable with Zen Cart ( or other ecommerce programs), and (2) it certainly could be accomplished within your timeframe.
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    As a matter a fact, if you go with Zencart, all the things you mentioned above are do-able,  and the customization is  very easy. For  less than 1,000 items,  ZenCart is the way to go... Not to mention: You can use Google Checkout, Paypal and any Credit Card Processor of your choice.
  • lmckaylmckay subscriber Posts: 1
    Zencart will only handle 1000 items? Dang - I have that many up in my Tias store now and that`s the stuff on 1 table. That does not even scratch the surface of my inventory either.
    I thought about what you said. I used to be a programmer for MS and built some corporate web sites - but that was before kids. Stuff has changed way too much in the last couple years. I don`t want to mess with programming this myself.
    There is too many hackers out there and I don`t want to play around with this. I`m bonded and I have a merchant account, I can`t afford to miss something and have a problem.
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    No no no... I did not mean that Zencart only can handle 1000 items.. ZenCart is made for unlimited amount of inventory.
  • lmckaylmckay subscriber Posts: 1
    Well do you know replacements.com? I`m willing to say I have about 1/3 of their inventory mostly one offs. Mostly tableware but I have alot of ebay inventory to sell also and that stuff is all over the board.
    I have a few ebooks that I need to accomodate as well.
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    then Zencart is the solution for you. it allows you to sell digital downloads, in this case its your e-books.
  • lmckaylmckay subscriber Posts: 1
    Sorry... I`m really crazy tonight. I`m trying to get ready to fly out of here on Monday. I`ll pick this up when I get my laptop plugged in
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