We're looking for a good online store system that is easy to setup and cheap to run.
January 10, 2005 8:23 PM   Subscribe

So after 25 years in the computer biz, my dad goes out and buys an organic cattle farm in central Virginia. Now, he's buying a slaughterhouse and is starting his own brand of organic, grass fed, really tasty beef. So, he needs an online store. We're looking for a good online store system that is easy to setup and cheap to run. I've set up Yahoo Stores before, is there anything better out there? What are your experiences in out of the box online commerce solutions?
posted by trbrts to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Check out OSCommerce. It's not a hosted service, but a stand alone PHP "online shop e-commerce solution." I had it installed and running in about 10 minutes. Paypal integration was simple-stupid, so I'd have to imagine integrating with an honest-to-goodness credit card merchant account wouldn't be that difficult.

I host my site at 8-95.com, so my total web-overhead is about $27 a year including domain name registration.

Huh huh, I said "overhead."
posted by Loser at 8:55 PM on January 10, 2005

You can use PayPal as well, which Matt has wrote a great article about. This is an awesome product, so keep us updated on your progress and where it can be purchased!
posted by banished at 8:55 PM on January 10, 2005

Anything is better than yahoo stores. In addition to OS Commerce, Shopsite, Supersite, and X-Cart are all pretty good.
posted by weston at 8:57 PM on January 10, 2005

I recommend CCNow.
posted by cribcage at 10:21 PM on January 10, 2005

Which organic cattle farm here did he buy?

I like to business with people with whom I have some connection, tenuously AskMetafilter though it may be.
posted by waldo at 10:48 PM on January 10, 2005

Being from Virginia, may I ask where (generally speaking) the farm is located... just curious. Thanks.
posted by Witty at 1:07 AM on January 11, 2005

I recommend ZenCart. It's based on OSCommerce, but I think it's more polished.

I may as well plug who I work for, Crystaltech Web Hosting. We have an automatic widget to install ZenCart, and we're so competent it's almost scary.
posted by TungstenChef at 2:41 AM on January 11, 2005

We've been pretty happy with Monster Commerce. It's geared towards n00bs.
posted by Alt F4 at 6:00 AM on January 11, 2005

Unless you really want to set up and manage your own storefront, let me suggest selling exclusively through localharvest.org.

Being an organic farmer myself, I've met many meat sellers who only sell through local harvest and are very happy with it.

Myself, I started with osCommerce and heavily modified it for selling produce (here's my site). I'd guess it would be overkill for your dad's operation.
posted by ewagoner at 6:57 AM on January 11, 2005

Response by poster: Wow, this is awesome. Thanks everyone for your input. For those who were asking, right now the farm is called Epsewason and it is located in Standardsville, Virgiania outstide of Charlottesville. It's a pretty small operation, but, he's purchasing a slaughter house down the street and is interested in creating his own brand of organic beef. He is recruiting cattlemen in the area who are also raising beef up to his standards.

I think it's a great idea. I only eat red meat about once a month mostly because I'm a little freaked out by it. When you consider that burger you are chowing on is probably a composite of a hundred cows it just doesn't seem right to me. I like knowing that my dad can give you a steak or a burger and tell you which cow it came from.

Thanks for the input guys and keep it coming. I think I'm leaning a little more toward an open source stand alone site like OScommerce or ZenCart. But, I can definitely see sites like localharvest being part of the sale and marketing. Any other good organic food co-op sites out there?
posted by trbrts at 8:11 AM on January 11, 2005

Your dad's probably got all of Joel Salatin's books already, but if he doesn't, he really should get them. Incredibly sound advice on farming.

In unrelated news, has anyone used cpCommerce? It's supposed to be an osCommerce derivative that makes layout easier, since it's template-based. Haven't used it myself, but curious if anyone's used it, especially in comparison to osCommerce.
posted by Alt F4 at 9:04 AM on January 11, 2005

Since your dad is in Virginia he may be able to sell at the Washington, DC - area FreshFarm markets. It sounds right up their alley. Joel Salatin's farm sells at these markets. Even if he isn't up for that, some of the farmers there also sell through the web and may have advice on that angle.
posted by casu marzu at 12:28 PM on January 11, 2005

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