The Shopping Cart Curse

I have been, for over a year now, trying to start a business (Alcove Alley) which will sell many items online. I think that it would be a great supplement for us when Carolyn can't work anymore due to her pregnancy.

However, every shopping cart I've tried either required a HECK of a lot of hacking and bashing to get it to do what I want or it just ... won't work right.

OSCommerce was my first attempt. It has a strong user base and is probably one of the oldest of the carts I know of. Very robust and is probably the most professional. However, it is a pain in the can to try and get to work correctly with anything. The theme structure is really not geared for humans.

WP E-Commerce was the second attempt. I love WordPress, and having the ability to sell items via the WP admin was such a great feeling I couldn't wait to try it and see if it would work for me. As soon as it was installed I got more and more excited. Nice features, ran well, very SEO friendly. Wait .. ok, how do I do that ... ok, no documentation ... post in forums. All I got was a link to another thread that wasn't really related. Ok ... let's try ... no, can't do that ... how about ... mm, no can't do that either.

Magento Commerce was the very last attempt and probably the BEST looking cart ever. Had every feature under the sun and then some with a very large user base with a lot of community support. Very cool. Let's download ... the 36mb file. Holy snot that's huge! Ok, let's do some things. Let's import a CVS of product, shouldn't be too taxing, right? Uh .. ok, will only import 20 items at a time (problem for a 3400 item list). And, I found, that it completely over shot my database limit but about 15mb (I have a 100mb limit on all databases ... kind of weird, but hey). So, that's a bust. Can't get it to work, too large of a database ...

I'm at my wits end here folks. I've not tried ZenCart - mostly because I'm not impressed with how it looks. I once used PHPShop, but it was so hacker friendly that I didn't want to deal with that problem again. And it looks like the last community post was a while ago.

Any ideas? I need basically something that can import a lot of data, SEO friendly, easy to maintain, can handle coupons and discounts, use a percent for calculating shipping on the subtotal ... basic stuff. And be secure. I'll use PayPal as my payment gateway - eventually using the API for direct processing rather than redirecting to the PayPal site.

So yeah - what am I missing? Is these features available on a simple system that I don't know about? Am I losing my mind?


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