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Jonathan GreenbergFlag for United States of America

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Trustworthy shopping cart review websites?

I'm wondering if there are any reliable shopping cart review websites out there, i.e., ones that don't receive payments for positive reviews.

The first one that pops up when Googling is  The comments seem to be genuine, although the "Average review score" in at least the case of PrestaShop -- 5 out of 5 -- is way off.  Another is, but that one looks pretty fake.

I'd be grateful for a comment or 2 on whether is a reliable review site, and also if there are any others that people here have found to be genuine.

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Thank you, that sounds great!

My preference is a php-based downloadable cart.  But the difficulty I'm dealing with is that I need a couple of features that don't seem to exist out of the box with any of them, so I expect I'll need to customize.

This is for a client, and I've never worked with shopping cart software before.  My skill is in php, but customizing carts seems a bit over my head, which means I'll probably have to hire someone to customize.  That being the case, I'm looking for the cart that is likely to be be least costly to modify as needed, as well as one that's well coded and has solid support.

First, the product is a food that will sell by weight -- namely, by the pound (lb).  The tricky part is that the smallest unit for sale will be 1/2 lb, and the product will sell at 1/2 lb increments (0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, etc.).  So, as I see it, all units will have to be displayed at 1/2 of actual value: if 1 unit is selected, it will display 1/2 lb; it 2 units are selected, it will display 1 lb; etc.

Second, and perhaps more challenging, is the product options.  There will be around 40 options, each with an additional cost, except that the first 3 selected options are free.  For example, let's say the base product is chocolate and sells for $100/lb, and more than 3 optional toppings sell for $10 each, per lb of chocolate.  If the buyer buys 1 lb of chocolate and selects up to 3 toppings, the total price is $100.  If the buyer selects 4 toppings, the total is $110; if the buyer selects 5 toppings, the price is $120; etc.

In the same example, if the buyer buys 1/2 lb of chocolate and selects up to 3 toppings, the total price is $50; with 4 toppings, $55; with 5 toppings, $60; etc.

I know I've just given you a ton of info -- more, I'm sure, than you bargained for.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
More info is better.

Here are two I would recommend:

1. OpenCart
2. osCommerce

(in that order).

Both will suit your needs. Open Cart is easier to customize (I think), but you can get an astronomical amount of support for both. I think OpenCart is more Wordpress-like.

Like you, I am a PHP coder, but because my time is better spent running the business, I usually hire out the PHP work I need done. If you are looking to do that, I use these people for outsourcing with GREAT results: It just depends on if you feel like learning the architecture or not.

I have an excel spreadsheet that calculates out exactly how to price outsourced projects like that if you want it. I can post it here.
Oops... sorry... forgot the links to the carts. (I know you could Google them, but why not give you the legit links, right?

One more note about the for-pay cart arena: like all for-pay products, they are a finished product, not a toolkit (like open source products).

"Open Source" means: "This works out of the box with basic and necessary functionality, and you can further customize it as you see fit."

"Commercial" means "This has advanced functionality someone else thought was necessary and as long as you fit in this category, you're set. If not, customization is not really an option."

My two cents.
Thanks for having so generous an attitude.  I sometimes find that here, and sometimes not, but I sure appreciate it when it happens.

I will certainly make use of your outsourcing link.  And if you would post your spreadsheet, that would also be great.

I've been hesitant about OpenCart.  The buzz seems to be that it's well coded and generally works very well, but that the support is often rude and unhelpful -- I've gleaned that from numerous sites.  Have you found that not to be the case?
As I mentioned before, I typically outsource the coding. So, if they are rude, I don't know because I don't interface with the community.

Unfortunately, the nature of coders, IT Gurus, and the like is they tend to have a god complex. I remember one time I was in #vmware on an IRC channel trying to get help with a virtualized server problem, and there was a guy in there that would slam me EVERY time I asked a question. I learned to ignore it, but finally I asked a question like "Is there a way to add server components to the image?" and the rude guy made some snide comment, which asked me what components I wanted to add. I replied "Anything that allows me to blacklist you, drop your connections to this chat room, or otherwise completely relegate you to the outskirts of the internet where no one can hear your flames."

I think it was more pithy than that, but the room erupted with LOL's and "ooooh! You got burned!" replies. Apparently, this rude guy was rude to everyone in the chat room and they too were tired of it.

The moral of the story is be nice, but stand up for yourself, and above all else, DON'T FEED THE TROLLS.

If you end up with a Troll in here who is giving you a hard time, open a CS request. We don't put up with that in here. Everyone is required to act like grown-ups. Everyone starts somewhere. It doesn't matter if your are a n00b or a guru, you deserve respect like everyone else. (FYI, I'm an EE Zone Advisor and Page Editor).

I'll post the link to my Quote Spreadsheet shortly. It is on my business site and has an opt-in form, so there's a hoop to jump through, but it comes with instructions on how to price.
Here you go... with no opt-in form. (Had to grab it from where it was so you didn't have to opt-in to anything).

Here's how to use it. It is specifically designed to work with the website I posted above. The formulas may work with other sites, but I use that site almost exclusively because it is so reliable. (Make sure you communicate well, and get clear on your requirements before accepting bids).

For the calculator: the highlighted fields need to be filled out.

1. Enter the bid amount from the worker you choose to do the work for you. If you choose hourly (recommended for a big project) then get them to estimate the number of hours, and figure out the total cost. Put that in B2. If you do it project based (recommended for <$500 projects) then put the project cost there.

2. Enter the time it took you to post the project and / or create the RFP (if you created one) in B5.

3. Put your hourly rate in B6.

4. Enter your margin on outsourced funds (50% is default and recommended) in B10.

B13 gives you the price you should extend to your client. It accounts for and adjusts for credit card fees, margins, and design fees. B14 shows the profit for the transaction.