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The e-commerce.

New with questions


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what's what with osCommerce. I need a couple of quick answers to know if it's something I want to use. Unfortunately, the Admin demo is down and I can't get in there and snoop.


1 - I charge shipping by order total amount. $ 7 flat plus 10% of order.

Can I set that up?

If so, can I do it one time, not each category?


2 - I have over 3,000 items in about 75 categories.

Is that too much?

Can I set up sub-categories?

Can I put the same item in several categories / sub-categories?


3 - I only found one place to enter sales tax. I need to be able to set up each state.

Is it possible to have 40 some tax rates?


4 - I only saw one price field in the demo.

Can I have more than one price? For instance Retail and Your Cost and Volume Cost?

Can I discount by customer by assigning a discount in customer's record?


5 - Can I have more than one store share the same database.

Can I have one store sell at one price, another store sell the same goods at a different price?

Can I do this with unlimited stores? Maybe 20 all offering the same goods at different "your cost" prices? (Different templates, of course.)


6 - I may have 300 to 500 price changes at the same time, maybe twice a year. Using MySQL can I export the current database to Excel, modify it by deactivating discontinued items and updating pricing, then import it - overwriting the current database? (My current system, using PostgreSQL will only append, so each item has to be called up and edited individually - main reason I want to make a change.)


I have several online stores now, but want to get away from my present host / shopping cart combo. For an idea of what I'm looking for here are two of my current stores.


10,001 Gifts & Specialties


Wholesale Fragrances


In short, can I duplicate them with CC and get the above features?





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Actually, I'm waiting to get into the demo Admin.


I'm a user, not a web-master, programmer, hacker, etc.


I bought my first business computer in the mid 70's, it was about the size of a refrigerator. Then went to a DEC mini with 2 8 inch floppies, then a Control Data Hawk, then a newer DEC mini in the late eighties. I've owned and worked with XENIX, UNIX, CP/M, DR-DOS, MS-DOS and all of the Windows variants. But only as a user, running business software.


I can do some basic html, but that's it. So, I'm hesitant to get away from an "out of the box" system, with one butt to kick (the developer's) and get into something where I will probably need to understand what is going on, rather than just filling in fields.


So, I guess what I'm really waiting for is a little backbone. ;)

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I found a host who has a reseller package that I think I can use to sell some sites.


They offer 4 different carts, all included in the regular deal. Just go into the admin area and pick the one you want. This is one of the options.


The others are RedHat Interchange, which looks more intimidating, CubeCart, which might be a little less than what I need and Agora. I'm just trying to come up with one that will work out best in the long run.


A week is not a realistic timeframe. But several months is too long, and I really don't want to learn how to do a lot, except load inventory and sell.


And then set up 20 or 30 more "cookie cutter" stores, with different templates or designs, but same database and features.


I've also heard that getting OSC into an ordinary template is about impossible. Any truth to that? Can I go to JimWorld and download a free template and use OSC with it? Easily? Remember, my html is bold, underline and fonts.

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You would have to install a template system inorder to incorporate a baught template.... But either way you would need to know some html and or php to get them to work...If Im not wrong here....


for the site up and running in a week and selling I had mine on line and made my first sale 4 days after I set it up and started to advertise....Its all in what you have to sell and how you advertise it.... OSC is one of the best shopping cart software out there. and what makes it even better its free....and the support for it is unmatched....



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I can get the stuff to work back and forth from different pages, etc. within a template. Links, etc. no problem.


But, scaling the size of the "graphics" of the template, and the different tables within tables of the template to fit OSC, or making OSC fit within the "window" of the template is where I'd have a problem. I've got a forum board set up for about 600 registered giftshop owners and one forum everything is great, on another the stuff runs off the edge and you have to scroll. Same program, same template.


I have no doubt that if I put on blinders and said to myself I was going to master it in xx days, I could. Unfortunately, I've got a real world store and employees and all that goes with them. Including recurring paydays for the "hired help." So, time is really a factor, not so much in getting on-line, but in uninterrupted segments in which to really work with the site.


However, what you've said is encouraging....

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You could install a template system in your OSC that uses HTML to do the store template its called STS template system... Ive never used it but I hear its really simple to use if you know html.... You may want to try that.... Or you could always have some one do the work for you.... But either way OSC is the way to go.... the support is great....




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  • 2 weeks later...



You obviously know how to run a business, so this may seem like you're hearing things you already know. But others may be in similar positions to you and I, AND also new to running a business so please forgive.


I'm in a similar position to you... some idea of what I'm doing, but not enough to do it that quick. OSC is the best solution to what I need but I also know it won't be a quick one due to my own learning curve. Other solutions would require far more effort.


But a little bit of advice I got when I started in business was this...

"Work ON your business, not IN it!"


What that means is concentrate on making it grow and not on handling the day to day stuff. Use trusted sub-ordinates to handle the day to day operations... it sounds like you're big enough to have such people. This leaves you free to concentrate on the next big steps you want the company to make... like setting up an e-commerce solution!


So, what am I doing? I need an online shop... I also need the rest of the website, but that's another matter. I need it as soon as possible. And I need it cheap. The daily running of the business is left to trusted others. I concentrate on the online shop without petty interruptions. The forums OSC has are superb in the amount of help available. The documentation is also good and getting better due to the Wiki project.


And the amount of add-ons available, plus new contributions all the time, mean that sooner or later, what you want to do will become possible if it isn't already.


I don't really have the time to play with OSC. But OSC is the only shopping system I've found that I could play with without learning a huge amount.


You can't afford the time and effort? I think the real question is, can you afford not to? Delegate and then get on with it. From what I've found so far, it's something you won't regret.


Good luck, and here's to the money rolling in! ;)



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