How to buy something from my customers through my simple e-commerce site?
April 3, 2008 8:38 AM   Subscribe

I'm working on a website/business model that requires me to not only sell my products, but to also buy certain items from customers. I need to know if I can do this with my current CMS ( or any other CMSes out there

Shopify has a really simple interface, and I like the way the storefront looks. However, it is really designed for selling items (their business model relies on a percentage of your sales, after all), and I don't know how to go about adding a page for buying rather than selling.

I have a very limited understanding of scripting, and I know shopify uses ruby/rails, but I'd like to know if it is at all feasible to do something like this. Would I have to use a different CMS? Would I have to create something from scratch?
posted by rckites to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There isn't enough information here. Please explain a bit more about the Buy part. Will you always be buying the same thing with the same value, either singly or in multiples, for example?
posted by DarlingBri at 9:43 AM on April 3, 2008

Response by poster: Sorry, I'll try to be less cryptic: I will be buying similar items, but with different values. However - for right now at least - I will need to approve the individual items personally. Should I just have a form they fill out, the results of which are submitted to me? Then, after approval, I could send them something via paypal? I guess I just want it a little more automated/professional, but maybe that will have to wait.
posted by rckites at 9:50 AM on April 3, 2008

OK so this is like "I'm selling baseball cards, but if you have cards that are particularly good value, then I'll take them in trade towards the value of your order" yes?

Are you then going to be turning around and adding the trade-ins to your inventory? (MOSTLY yes or MOSTLY no would be good enough here.)
posted by DarlingBri at 10:01 AM on April 3, 2008

Response by poster: Yes, that's almost exactly what I want. I'd be paying them cash, though (through paypal?). And yes, the items would be going into my inventory.
posted by rckites at 10:04 AM on April 3, 2008

The problem is that you cannot assign a discount value to the buyer's order without seeing the card or a description of the item. There isn't a feasible shopping cart way to do this, because as you know, calculations are based on... well, values.

You may be better off hacking an auction system. The Buy It Now feature could be re-worked for straight sales - "Yeah, I'll buy that Joe Bloggs card for $20.00."

The "Place A Bid" feature could be re-worked as "Offer a Trade" for the buyer to add in a different price variable: "I'll buy that Joe Bloggs card for $15 and give you my John Smith Card with it." Obviously a Description field would have to be added there to be able to descibe the item you're offering in your bid.

If you accept the Joe Bloggs card in the trade by clicking the "Accept this bid" then the calculated invoice price would be an accurate $15.

This trading system of yours is going to get very complicated in other ways having nothing to do with values, but barring an existing system I'm not aware of that will do what you want out of the box, that's the closest solution I can think of.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:30 AM on April 3, 2008

"Gosh, it was going so well, and then he just stopped calling!"
posted by DarlingBri at 3:54 PM on April 14, 2008

« Older Cuban cigars   |   Is "Human Resources Manager" really a great job or... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.