Cheap photographers shopping cart
November 7, 2005 7:12 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an online shopping cart that is free (or very cheap) and could handle sessions of wedding and event photos.

I would be adding a couple hundred new "items" at once, which I think would make most shopping carts not work. Right now I've got a ASP file that builds a gallery from pictures in folders, and in a frame to the side I've got a basic email form. Like this:

It's primitive, and unsecured, but it's easy to create new catalogs of images. I get so few orders that I don't really need much automation is the order processing part, but I would like something that added up a total and submitted their credit card information securely.
posted by andrewzipp to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
I recently started a project using OsCommerce but later converted to using it's far superior, IMHO, offspring Zencart. Both systems rely on a MySQL database and PHP. Both have large support groups and many plugins. With Zencart you could set the shop up to either allow for the photos to be physically shipped or for them to be downloaded for a fee (or both). You can integrate both systems with systems such as Paypal pretty easily.
posted by rongorongo at 7:23 AM on November 7, 2005

rongorongo: I was going to recommend OsCommerce too. Can you tell me a bit about why you like Zencart so much more?

My brother uses OsCommerce for 2 pretty high traffic websites, so I'm curious what the advantages are of ZenCart over OsCommerce.

Surely that will be useful to andrewzipp as well!

One note about oscommerce: The plugin community is huge, so you can download all sorts of add-ins for it. Also, there are a decent number of people out there who make a living doing custom modifications/enhancements to OsCommerce. It's a pretty popular tool.
posted by twiggy at 8:07 AM on November 7, 2005

The problem I found with OsCommerce is that it is normally necessary to install several plugins and make other tweaks to get it to do what you might want for a particular shop. Each time you install a new plugin you have to modify the base code so that your installation will gradually become non-standard. If you are lucky a given plugin will tell you exactly which lines of code you must change from the standard installation in oder to get it to work. However you will appreciate that over time the resemblance between the standard code and your copy will become less clear.

By contrast Zencart starts with a very strong set of base functions that is much more likely to do all you want out of the box. In particular the admin section of the system is much more sophisticated and powerful. Also the code is written in a more modular way so that you can separate out all your customisations from the core code and upgrade the latter without damaging the former. This thread on the Zencart site makes for partisan but useful reading - the reviewer compares Zencart with a number of other alternatives.

Finally, although the Zencart community is smaller than that for OsCommerce they are very helpful.
posted by rongorongo at 8:39 AM on November 7, 2005

Could anyone using shopping carts for unique items and the like chime in? I've fiddled with osCommerce but my stuff is handmade and each one is unique rather than 1 of 127329 copies of "Die Hard" on DVD and it seems clunky for that purpose - I need a different picture(s) for everything as well as shipping costs, etc, rather than 'categories.'

I'd love to see some examples of others who are doing that kind of thing. I'm resistant to doing too much customization - I -can- but that's what I do for my living and this side business is so I can do things that aren't that.
posted by phearlez at 9:07 AM on November 7, 2005

Gallery2 has plugins that come with it to run a shopping cart with payments to paypal or any other processor i believe.
posted by joshgray at 9:09 AM on November 7, 2005

Look into LabPrints software, downloadable free (and hosting provided for pennies, some plans include credit card processing, etc.)

They have arrangements with a large percentage of the prolabs in the USA in terms of easy upload/ordering of customer prints.
posted by availablelight at 2:53 PM on November 7, 2005

(self plug) You may want to check out
posted by jba at 5:15 AM on November 9, 2005

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