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A quote system for osCommerce


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Any business who deals with customers who "need approval" before making a purchase should be able to dramatically cut down on tedious work with a proper quote system. I work in a university environment so quotes are very common, and currently we do them by hand in a spreadsheet.


The ability to be able to create quotes and save them in the database for any customer to be able to retireve just by typing in the quote number, viewing it, and clicking "add to cart" to purchase it. This would allow customers to save unlimited amounts of quotes anonomyously or with their name listed, and go back later and retrieve them into their shopping cart, and check out.


Just out of speculation, this is what I would think would be the simplest way to do it: (Though I don't program PHP and don't know much about MySQL, so I don't have all the details listed here )


First, create a new table in the database "Quotes"


Next to the "checkout" button while viewing the cart, there can be a button called "Save Quote". Each time a customer saves a quote, the shopping cart is copied to a new record in this table and is assigned a quote#. It would have the same format as the shopping cart.


Then create html pages which will allow for searching these quotes by quote # (and/or name of person who created it, email address, etc..) and allow displaying these quotes, printing the quote in a nice printout (use same template as the "packing slip" printout page), or emailing the quote to a person, possibly in PDF, HTML, or plaintext, whichever is easier/better. While viewing the quote, there would be an option to add the quote to your cart. Then in the backend, just copy those items from the quote table into the user's shopping cart...


It would be nice for all customers to be able to view all other quotes, and for them to expire (be removed from the DB) in ~30 days. And any user should be able to add that quote to their shopping cart. Privacy is not a concern because people should be able to pass around quote#'s to their friends/co-workers when advising them what to purchase from my store. So quotes should not be bound to any particular user account, but be available globally to all users (even guests)


Another thing that would be nice is the ability to add things to the shopping cart (and then quotes) which do not exist in the catalog. I am not sure if this is currently possible or not but it would make it possible to handle "special orders" for the customer using the shopping cart/quote system much easier.


The problem for me is I know how to describe this but I don't know where to start with the database or the PHP. But I would be happy help in any way I can with HTML, testing, etc..


Anyone have any other suggestions?

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