Print Story Shipping
By coryking (Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:22:22 AM EST) Shipping, Inventory, SKU, statistics, pain management, open source software (all tags)
How to ship packages.  Inventory.  SKU's.  Statistics.  Nude pictures of your mom.


Yup.  16 packages, 33 t-shirts for the first round.  Not that many; but I am going to place a larger order next time and just keep an inventory.  I think making people wait several weeks to get their goods is not a good value proposition and one more barrier to purchasing.  With an inventory, I could ship the same day the order is placed.  Also, if I keep an inventory, I could just give a free shirt away for people who subscribe for a year.

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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Shipping | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)
Where's the MILF pics? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 09:14:52 AM EST
I demand a refund.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

They are here: by coryking (2.00 / 2) #6 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 06:26:45 PM EST

Dog food. Snack for some. Feast for others.

[ Parent ]
Well yes by komet (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:07:33 AM EST
Haven't you read Slashdot? Open source software doesn't exist to fulfill a business need; it exists on some spotty kid's whim. osCommerce exists so that some kids can say, "yeah, I wrote an OSS shopping cart application", not so that you can actually get your products out of the door. What does the average kid in his parent's basement know about logistics, anyway?

<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
I agree in theory by coryking (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 01:01:23 PM EST
But according to slashdot, it is only a matter of time before grandma and joe office worker are using linux and open office.  According to slashdot, open source is a real threat to "proprietary software".

Scarely, I think both of the leading brands of OSS shopping carts were written by people who actually needed a shopping cart.  They probably just didn't actually sell anything TO ship because the user experiance of their website sucked so bad.

Dog food. Snack for some. Feast for others.

[ Parent ]
pictures of MY MOM NAKED? by lm (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 06:07:52 PM EST
Having been raised by a born again Pagan lesbian who used to walk around the house naked at times, just let me say that all of HuSi is quite thankful that you didn't actually post naked pictures of my mom.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Dont worry man by coryking (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 06:26:11 PM EST
I've saved them for next time.

Dog food. Snack for some. Feast for others.

[ Parent ]
Shipping | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)