website shopping cart recommendations?

Secret_ChimpSecret_Chimp 915 Posts
edited April 2008 in Strut Central
I'm just about ready to finally start selling stuff on the mingering website, but I'm having a tough time figuring out the best way to do it.PayPal's "Website Payments Standard" option seems like the easiest and simplest way to go, but there doesn't seem to be a way for it to automatically calculate shipping costs based on weight (ie. a shirt or a book). There's a shipping calculator, but I think it's controlled by the buyer? Or am I missing something?Would it make more sense to just have people e-mail me with their orders and then just send out invoices? Sure would be nice to have a shopping cart system where people can just pay and I can just send the stuff out. Trying to make this as easy on me as possible.Suggestions? Plaese?Thanks!


  • troublemantroubleman 1,928 Posts
    I don't have any suggestions, but let me just say I already bought the Mingering Mike 45 and the book. So I look foward to what you have in store for

  • cpeetzcpeetz 2,112 Posts
    I think from what I've heard Etsy is the best cart for the small web site.
    Check that out D!

  • Controller_7Controller_7 4,052 Posts
    You're right about the shipping with paypal. It's too hard to set it up and accurately represent the shipping.

    Here's what I do and it's worked ok for me.

    I have a main store page that is kind of like a splash page that forces the user to choose their location: North America or Elsewhere. Then there are two store pages, both identical except for the prices. I include shipping in each item. This is problematic if they order two items since they are technically charged full shipping for both. The way I get around this is by sending shipping refunds. I have a note on the page that I will send shipping discounts if multiple items are ordered. To be honest, people order all kinds of shit and then are surprised by the refund. I also offer the option of emailing ahead and asking for a total that reflects the proper shipping amount. It always works out. I used to only have the "email us for the total" option, but decided automated checkout worked so much better. Since paypal allows free refunds (no charge to me or the customer, and you can do partials, like $2) it works out fine.

    My pricing is fair to begin with. I generally price items at retail price, but with shipping included. So if they bought it anywhere else online it would be the same, but that is pre-other store's shipping fee. If you sell a cd to a distributor you may get like $5 each. Or whatever. Selling it directly, even if you only sell it for $10 total, you're still getting about $8 after shipping and paypal.

    I know other people have shipping ranges, like if you spend $3-7 add $2 for shipping. $8-15 add $4, etc. That doesn't seem like it would always work for me, so I just price everything at "cost I want for the item + actual shipping."

    Unless you are doing heavy traffic and sales this should work fine for you. I always respond to orders promptly and tell them about the refund and let them know the items are shipping. I've had lots of happy customers. If your prices are fair to begin with, the overpaying on shipping isn't noticeable and then it's even better when it gets refunded. If you're going to cheap and easy route I don't think there is a real solution to accurately doing shipping.

  • Thanks dude! I think this is the way to go. I don't expect to have very heavy traffic, so sending out shipping refunds sounds doable.

    Since you seem to really know your stuff, can I ask you one more question (only if it's not a pain in the ass for you)?

    Is there a basic html script I can use for PayPal's "add to cart" button that has a dropdown menu, like for different sized t-shirts? That would be awesome, because otherwise each size would need its own button, which would look awful and be a confusing mess.

  • I don't have any suggestions, but let me just say I already bought the Mingering Mike 45 and the book. So I look foward to what you have in store for

    Cool, man! Here are the t-shirt designs. I think they turned out pretty nice.

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