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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    starting an online store...

    I am planning on starting an online store selling various typically indian items (bindis, bangles, ayurvedic cosmetics & medicines) in europe (in the beginning focussing on the netherlands). Even though i am in India right now working as a webdesigner, i am a dutch permanent resident and have a dutch bankaccount.
    my problem is that i do not have any experience with ecommerce whatsoever. I have only made static and slightly dynamic sites (HTML & basic ASP & Access) without shoppingcarts etc.

    I was wondering whether anyone can give me some directions.. i really want to make a shopping cart myself to expand my knowledge of ASP, and so that people who see it might get interested in the webdesign and web development services i offer as well.
    I was considering using paypal for payments, because i can't afford to pay a setup fee for that kind of service (i dont know yet whether my shop will fail or not, plus i don't really have much of money)
    Also i want to offer the possibility for buyers to pay me by direct bank transfer (transfers within the EU made in euroes are free of charge).
    Now i really have no idea how to incorporate those two choices in a shopping cart. The paypal site gave some code to put on the checkout page of the shopping cart or something but that assumes that paypal is the only payment option?

    In addition to that i don't have any idea how to make my shopping cart "check" whether the payment was made by paypal, in which case i would get an email saying "client nr blabla has ordered the following products and paid using paypal" so i can mail the products to them.

    I have spent many hours at the paypal Faq trying to figure these things out, also i went to that paypaldev forum but there i got even more confused.

    Maybe i am just trying to do too much compared to my capacities as a beginning ASP developer...
    Can you please give me some advice? (be honest, if i'm a hopeless case at the moment, maybe let me know about books which will teach me more about ecommerce in general and theory behind shopping carts etc.. )

    Thanks

    ps. do i need to secure my shopping cart using ssl or whatever? i won't be asking too sensitive info, since creditcard information would go through paypal and in the case of payment by bank transfer the customer just gets a number which he will put in the payment details in the banktransfer. Addresses etc will not be sent through email, i will store them in the database directly. Only the clientno or something would be sent to me by email as a notification that an order was made.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru
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    One of the basic rule in software development is that if you can buy cheaper( better quality offcourse) then you can build then buy it.

    There are few very good quality shopping cards and some are free, so do not reinvent the wheel especially if you dont need very customized shopping card. Just get oscommerce and start your ecommerce and in time you will make changes for your needs.

    And why ASP? it is at the end of its lifecyle, everybody is moving to .NET, keep up with technology. Though I would work on PHP/MySQL for now not to spend too much on hosting and database.

    IMHO

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot alicia101's Avatar
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    I would also suggestion PHP/MySQL for this. Regarding SSL, no you dont need to use it as long as you are not collecting information that would be deemed as sensitive.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member
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    well yes i know PHP and MySQL is supposed to be better but I totally don't know PHP yet. That is my biggest problem in that respect. I figured that if i actually do something bigger using ASP first, it would make more sense learning PHP later because i have some basic knowledge of ASP already.
    .NET I don't know either. Basically asp is my first server side scripting language so i prefer doing that nicely before starting off new things. (my experience is that i'll end up leaving everything all together because it would get too confusing in one go). Also, .NET may be the future but at the time my hosting offers still offers ASP support so as long as the hosting doesnt change, there is no big pressure on changing technology, so i can just learn at my own pace instead of rushing into new stuff too soon.

    and about reinventing the wheel.. well my wish for making a shopping cart myself is mostly educational. if i know how to make that 1. my knowledge of ecommerce &asp would obviously expand 2. if i get projects later on while freelancing i can show my online store in my portfolio as something i completely made myself, which will surely impress a possible client more than me saying "i have used a freeware shopping cart off the internet". Nothing against that though but i'm trying to also build sort of a reputation for myself as a developer.
    (also the whole planning and designing part of the work is actually fun to do. Maybe i'm just weird but except for a few frustrating moments, i am enjoying myself making stuff. Doesnt it just feel good to create something on your own and see that it works? )

    but, thanks for your replies advice is always welcome.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Try codecharge.

    They have a ASP shopping cart developed as part
    of their demo tutorial.

    Most freelance work is modification/addition to an
    existing piece of code. More often the functionality added does not require you to know much about how the whole cart was developed. You would do good if
    you extend the shopping cart ASP or PHP . Lot of information at the respective groups.


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