The trick to getting it right is to figure out the proper items to stock. The store has five SKU's each offering 2 color and 5 sizes. If my math is right, that is 2 x 5 x 5, or 50 unique products to stock. Stocking one of each size, color and SKU is not a good way. It seems like most of the people who ordered have ordered rather large sizes - XL and up. There was an even distribution of black and brown orders (though I think brown is a much better choice). Perhaps I only offer brown as a color choice since it looks much better.
Lets talk orders. First, osCommerce and zencart SUCK. I cannot emphasize that enough. Both really, truely are useless piles of shit. They dont integrate into quickbooks; in fact they dont integrate into a goddamn thing - not even PDF packing slips or invoices. They dont do batch jobs of anything at all, in fact you have to download a plug in just to get a CSV file of shipping addresses. If you want to mark several items as shipped, you have to go click on each order, click on edit, then mark as shipped, then click okay. Heaven forbid you have varients of each SKU (say, sizes and colors); THEN you get to feel true pain as you use their horrible UI and slow pages to enter each size. Each page load is slow1, so it is very painful to do any kind of work using the software. Not only that, but every damn open source cart forces the user to register. I hate hate hate that. WTF should a person register for? For fucks sake the default settings ask for your customers birthday!!! Wow! Like I really want that feature! Thanks guys! Why is it that every open source package basically sucks out of the box? Why do they all think we need useless features (which are controled with yet more useless preferences) that one fucking weirdo asked for and were the developers were too spineless to tell the weirdo to take a flying leap off a cliff? Come on, get some innovation here! Less is more! KISS!!!!
Whew... deep breath. But seriously, I'm looking at X-Cart, which is PHP and $200. Their demo wont tell me if it integrates with linkpoint using the API, not some goofy "lets redirect to linkpoint's secure credit card page and then redirect back". I have an SSL cert, thank you very much. X-Cart looks pretty clean and it looks like it integrates with quickbooks.
Shipping? I settled on Endicia which lets you custom design the label and will sit around listening to a folder for XML files.
In short, the whole thing was a fun lesson. Once I keep an inventory and get rid of fucking zencart, I think things will be much better.
1both use the mysql style of database design where you do a bagillion tiny SQL queries to generate a page. In fact, if you search the support forums you will routinely come across people bitching that a page load takes 3,000(!!!!!!) queries. What is most interesting is the replies of "oh dont worry about it, it is still fast".
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