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The e-commerce.

A question for everybody


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osCommerce is, in my opinion, the best shopping cart software there is - and the easiest to use. However, like any piece of software people have to be prepared to learn how to use it. People here will give advice based on their own knowledge, but folks setting up online businesses have to realise that THEY need to get to know how to use osCommerce for themselves.


Unfortunately, if you take a look at some of the posts here, you will see that some folks do not want to learn how to use it themselves but just want other people to do it for them. You'll even find comments like "I don't want to have to learn", or "I haven't got the time to learn this". In which case their chances of running an online store are virtually zero - whichever piece of software they use.



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I knew absolutely nothing about php, or even making a website when i started and have built my website with no issues, adding several contributions. As long as you back up your files in case you make a mistake you shouldn't have any problems at all.


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You are not going to find anything more powerful than osCommerce without spending tens of thousands of dollars on a custom solution. Actinic, Miva, EROL, BAZAAR Builder etc. are around. But how far can you really expand them?


Also read this post from someone who's already been there


I'd just like to thank Harald and all the other people involved in osC for making a very interesting product.


I tried doing a large e-commerce project years ago and it cost a LOT of money and three years of time and it never came close to osC functionality even though the software costs alone were more then 30,000!


Recently I came up with a new project and began looking for an e-commerce solution. I found the osC site and liked the look of the store's layout so I downloaded it, installed it and much to my surprise found that I liked a lot more then just the layout of the store - it had many features that I wanted (but were lacking) in my previous e-commerce venture.


To my surprise, within 30 minutes of installing the program I found (and installed) a more/less plug-in module to connect it to my bank through Moneris for credit card processing. That took 30 minutes and it's never given me a problem since.


Would it surprise you that when I last worked with e-commerce it cost more then 2,000 USD for our credit card processing component and the bank took two years to be able to implement receiving those requests? It's true - in those days e-commerce was a tough row to hoe....


After installing the credit card module I then found out what a contribution was! Next thing you know my site was connecting to UPS, sending my box, weight, dimensions, source & destination postal code and then getting exact rates for a customer to choose from - complete with estimated arrival times.


Not knowing how to set up Canadian taxes, I immediately found a contribution that explains in 4 pages, step by step, how to do it - and it's right on the money!


I then felt it might be nice to add FedEx as a shipping option. Another contrib installed and this one did not require one single piece of code added - just upload the files and adjust the module in the osC admin.


Canada Post support? Yes, it's in there too! Customers can choose from roughly 20 differrent shipping selections - all of them exact on the pricing and that's vital.


Being that I am going to be wholesaling products to businesses it wouldn't be kosher for the general public to see wholesale pricing. This would mean the end of wholesale people doing business with me. What I needed was to be able to create pricing groups like Retail, Wholesale and Volume Purchase Agreement. Otherwise my site would have to be kept private - and that would be a real detriment to my business.


I found the Separate Pricing Contribution and installed it (several times in fact). Unfortunately, it was quite buggy and had to be removed. Through this forum I found someone kind enough to help fix it. We both thought it would be easy but at last count he had to do some serious changes to more then 30 files! It's taken more then a month & this fellow works at light speed!


Why is he doing it? To help me out and to help out all the people who want to use Separate Pricing but have been let down by the existing contribution. He's not even using it  :D


My point is that osC and it's community has enabled me to offer some really incredible features to my site to enable me to do real e-commerce. All for free. Not only that you should be aware that I have absolutely ZERO coding ability - I am completely dependant on other people's kindness and work. The only thing I can do is copy and paste code from a contrib's instructions - yet I have one of the most feature-full and sophisticated sites on the Internet.


When I compare what my site currently offers to existing sites on the Internet it's no contest. osC, the contributions, and the kind people involved in it have really accomplished something here and it's very powerful.


The fact that my site contacts the bank, FedEx, UPS and Canada Post continually blows my mind! It's a truly integrated system designed to make the most efficient business possible.


I'd like to thank Harald and the current & past osC development team. I'd also like to thank all the authors of contributions - for their efforts and for taking the time to share and document them so that people like myself can use them.


I'd also like to thank these same contribution people - I have no coding ability and yet these people have repeatedly helped me by diagnosing issues and giving me copy & paste answers that I can use.


I just realized that in all the support people have given me not one of them has ever belittled me for my complete lack of programming ability. I think that speaks volumes about the quality of people involved in osC and the forums!  :D


Thank you Harald - your work has made a difference!

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