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    10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 6, 2011 9:42 AM by Moderator Jim

    Free shopping cart vs paid shopping cart, who wins?

    Imayday28 Wayfarer
      Hi, everyone! I am really interested in shopping cart, and I wonder which one is favored by most people when they are choosing between free shopping cart and paid shopping cart?

      What's your idea? Is paid shopping cart superior to free one due to the dedicated support of the team and the full feature list?

      I am happy to hear all kinds of voice.
        • Re: Free shopping cart vs paid shopping cart, who wins?
          amspcs Ranger
          First off, let's define what you're talking about. Are you talking about 'shopping cart' only, or a complete ecommerce selling platform which includes multiple different independent systems of which the shopping cart is just one element (the others being
          a gateway and a merchant account).

          That said, I am a firm believer in the adage that you get what you pay for, so to expect anything free to be as robust as a paid product is probably unrealistic. However, free DOES sometimes fill the bill depending on your unique needs and
          requirements. In other words, there is no such thing as 'one size fits all" for shopping carts or anything else in the world of ecommerce for that matter.


            • Re: Free shopping cart vs paid shopping cart, who wins?
              Imayday28 Wayfarer

              Thank you for your opinion.
              I agree your idea that you get what you pay for. But if the free shopping cart, I mean which includes merchant account, various payment gateway, affiliate program, shipping module, is equipped with all the basic features a small online shop needs and most of the stronger functionality the paid one has, which one would you choose?
              I know, to some extent, many free shopping carts are not really free at all. Feature-adding, template-updating, such like those , are sometimes need money to accomplish(actually, there are many free template sources online you can find). You can decorate and improve your online shop according to your needs. And you can choose the way you spend your money and decide how much you will pay. But the expense is still less than that you spend on the paid one.
              Sencondly, many people hesitate to choose free one because of the poor professional support and inactive forum. In other words, they think their problems can't be solved immediately. As a matter of fact, there are exceptions. Let's say osCommerce, Magento, and Prestashop. I think their downloads can say everything. Free shopping cart team can do well, too.
              Thirdly, to those who are not willing to spend a lot on shopping cart system and only want to set up a small business online, maybe free one is a better choice.
              Last but not least, free open source shopping cart,(osCommerce, Prestashop, TomatoCart, Zen Cart), can satisfy the needs of those who are good at coding with sufficient knowledge in php,css,html. As a result, there is not difficulty for them to develop a distinctive and decent online shop flexibly.
              What do you think about my idea?
              • Re: Free shopping cart vs paid shopping cart, who wins?
                KathleenF Scout
                I absolutely disagree with amspcs.

                There are a ton of free shopping carts out there that have great development teams. Just because it's free doesn't mean it should be discounted. The trick is to find those that fit the features you need. Install them. Understand them. If you don't understand them contact the development team and see how response time is. I've in the past programmed for oscommerce/zencart and a few others.

                Don't spend hundreds of dollars on a shopping cart / ecommerce software when you don't have too. The whole idea of "one size fits all" isn't so much reality anymore. Shopping cart developers now make modules that suit just about every users need. The issue comes in where you design and maintain the cart. Do you have the skills to do this? If not, then you'll need a designer, one of whom also has the experience with that cart.

                Just my .02 cents!
                  • Re: Free shopping cart vs paid shopping cart, who wins?
                    Imayday28 Wayfarer
                    Thank you, Kathleen! I can't agree with you more! We have take the advantage of all free resources online to enrich our life.

                    TomatoCart——a free open source shopping cart.
                      • Re: Free shopping cart vs paid shopping cart, who wins?
                        amspcs Ranger
                        I respect the opinion of everybody out there. However,a few thoughts of mine I'd like to pass along:

                        First, some very good advise to those who are enchanted with everything "free", spoken nearly 200 years ago but still true today:

                        "There is scarrcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The
                        person who buys on price alone is this man's llawful prey." 1819

                        John Ruskin, respected19th century British critic, author, poet, social thinker, and essayist.

                        I would also like to voice my opinion that, given the world we live in, attempting to buy or sell anything online via any gateway other than the most secured and safe, is the most foolhardy thing I can imagaine.
                        Any seller who would consider cutting corners in this regard certainly will never see MY business. I'm talking about those of you who try to save a few pennies by using Brand X freebie gateway instead of
                        proven secure providers such as Verisgn, and others which, regretably, are not free, which is the case with anything of real value.

                        Finally, I need to clarify yet again to those who still don't understand, that a shopping cart alone is NOT a complete ecommerce is just a part of one, along with a merchant account and a gateway.
                        Yes, you can get a very simple 'shopping cart' for little or no money. But you can't do anything with it until you ALSO get a merchant account and a gateway. Merchant accounts, even Paypal, are not free. And the same
                        goes for gateways. Using the term 'shopping cart' to incorrectly refer to a complete ecommerce system is very misleading and is a serious disservice to those newbies out there who are in the beginning stages of understanding how
                        ecommerce works.



                          • Re: Free shopping cart vs paid shopping cart, who wins?
                            KathleenF Scout
                            Amspcs, you can hire a developer to write the appropriate code to make the "shopping cart" a full ecommerce system.

                            I get terribly annoyed with merchant vendors that insist that one who wants to use credit cards on their website has to purchase the ecommerce system thru them. I've gone that route in the past and failed miserably because the credit card merchants ecommerce solution was faulty.

                            If you want to purchase a shopping cart and manually process those credit card transactions you can. No need for a full merchant account / gateway.

                            You want to use a freebie cart then take the added steps and hire an outside not associated with the cart programmer to run a full IT security check.

                            Want to process credit cards on the net then you best take the added steps to protect yourself and your consumers.

                    • Re: Free shopping cart vs paid shopping cart, who wins?
                      jrose33 Newbie

                      Starting a small business, there are certain pitfalls I would like to avoid, such as legal hassles. If I decide to to start an ecommerce business, it will be my first foray into the online realm. From previous online experiences I feel like there are a lot more "rogue" products out there compared to in the "real world". On the subject of shopping cart vs. free shopping cart, can someone tell me if there are any business litigation concerns with using the free versions? Do these somehow infringe on the "paid" shopping cart? The last thing I need is to have data tied up with a fraudulant company embroiled in a lawsuit. Is this a legitimate concern or am I succumbing to false fears? *Juanita*

                      • Re: Free shopping cart vs paid shopping cart, who wins?
                        Albin Wayfarer

                        I don't think people choose between free/paid.


                        There are many paid software that sucks. While there are many free tools used by fortune500 companies. The things to be considered are features, updates, a good supporting community/customer support.

                        • Re: Free shopping cart vs paid shopping cart, who wins?
                          Dan Wayfarer

                          I am a fan of osCommerce. It's free and has plenty of features as well as a ton of add-ons available. I can't say anything about their customer support because I've never contacted them. I do however know, that if you run into any problems, you can always ask a question on their community forum.