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Thread: I need to accomplish a unique shopping cart goal

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    Question I need to accomplish a unique shopping cart goal

    This has been a thorn in my side for a while. I'm not ruling out any platforms / CMS / shopping carts at this point since I cant seem to find a clear solution anywhere. I want at the very least to find one feasible solution.

    I'm trying to find a way to create a buyback shopping cart for a buyback site so I can purchase books from students as part of my business. This is the reverse of platforms now with items sold to consumers, but instead I'll be buying. The only related software I found on the market was a plugin for Magento oriented towards cellphone buyback sites: Buyback service (iPhones, iPads, iPods) | free & premium Magento extensions

    Its the same principle but the process is eccentrically focused on phones with static prices (I'll be integrating a buyback algorithm) so that $250 would be more wisely spent elsewhere to create a custom solution for my own buyback process with books.

    Here are sites implementing buyback carts:

    https://www.sellbackyourbook.com/

    https://www.webuybooks.co.uk/

    Sell Textbooks Online - Sell Textbooks Back For Cash

    https://www.secondbind.com/

    Cheap Used Textbooks Online! | Rent Textbooks | Sell Textbooks Canada BookMob

    In summary, are there any available shopping cart options where they are "buyback" carts instead? What would be my best bet for finding a buyback shopping cart? Where should I go to find a solution? What are your personal thoughts / suggestions?

    Update: I've been told that the time it takes to modify any market shopping cart would exceed the time needed to write an entire custom shopping cart from scratch. Not sure if this is solid advice. I've also been told that the carts in these sites all are 100% custom - although im not sure if this means its built from the ground up or uses another shopping cart as a base to build off of.

    What "caliber" of a project would a custom shopping cart like the one shown in these sites be? Is this a colossal task or it relatively easy for a competent programmer? What would a custom shopping cart like these generally cost? Any referrals on where I should source programmers to create me one? Would it be naive to seek a developer on Freelancer?

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    hello world Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Yes, you will probably need to have this built from the ground up. I agree that it's more time, trouble and continuing maintenance trying to hack an existing solution to do what you want. And you'll still never get everything you need.

    As for the "caliber" of the project? You need an experienced programmer. You'll have to shop around and ask some questions. Not all programmers do every possible thing and who you hire depends on the platform which you're building your website.

    I wouldn't expect to do this on the cheap. I would go with an experienced, credible coder or company with good references and projects that they can show as examples of their work.

    If you can't afford to hire the right person for the job, you can't afford to do this. Trying to do it as cheap as possible will likely result in you wasting whatever money you spend. JMO of course.

    I couldn't tell you what the cost will be. You'll have to shop around.

    Yes, freelance coding site are a good place to shop around. Be aware that many people will claim they can do what you want. Do your homework.
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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Brian Altenhofel's Avatar
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    On the site list, the first, fourth, and fifth are custom; second is Wordpress; and third is ASP (maybe custom, maybe not).

    Whoever told you that it costs more to do it with already existing software than to do it custom from the ground up doesn't know what they are talking about. The shopping cart experience isn't that much different than a normal experience. The primary difference is that the customer is placing an order to be paid rather than to pay you. So the custom part of the process is telling your payment processor to pay the customer rather than charge the customer, and/or add a bill to your accounting software to cut checks. Any decent shopping cart software should be able to let you hook into the checkout process to do that (that's how they support multiple payment processors), and I know for certain that Drupal can.
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    hello world Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Altenhofel View Post
    On the site list, the first, fourth, and fifth are custom; second is Wordpress; and third is ASP (maybe custom, maybe not).

    Whoever told you that it costs more to do it with already existing software than to do it custom from the ground up doesn't know what they are talking about. The shopping cart experience isn't that much different than a normal experience. The primary difference is that the customer is placing an order to be paid rather than to pay you. So the custom part of the process is telling your payment processor to pay the customer rather than charge the customer, and/or add a bill to your accounting software to cut checks. Any decent shopping cart software should be able to let you hook into the checkout process to do that (that's how they support multiple payment processors), and I know for certain that Drupal can.
    Your missing the part about setting values to purchase items as opposed to selling them. Add those hours too. Not to mention updates and maintenance. You certainly aren't going to get the host software company to update your configuration, so you'll be constantly patching your configuration.

    The question to me isn't IF someone can reconfigure an existing solution, it's what will the cost be overall as opposed to just building what you need from the ground up.

    If it takes 20 hours to reconfigure something, plus continuing patchwork, or 40 hours to build something that works continuously, it's more cost efficient to build what you need. Especially if you want it to function as well as the types of services that the OP is comparing it to.

    Usually people have an exact vision in their heads of how they want something to work. And 9 times out of 10 that vision comes from comparing solutions created by people with large budgets, and they want something to function JUST LIKE THOSE, but for a much lower price. Unrealistic.

    Yes, anyone can duct tape something together. But is it really cheaper in the long run? Not if it doesn't work as needed, when it's needed.
    I'm all for re-purposing existing software. I do it all the time. But it's not always the best solution for every job.

    My best example is people wanting to use WordPress as a directory. Yes, there are themes and plug ins that will let you do it, but if you're comparing it to custom built directories WordPress IS NOT the best tool for that job. But it's the one people try to use anyway when they have no budget.

    In your leg work to find the best solution or person to work with you should ask if they can configure an existing solution and what the cost and maintenance will be over time, and compare your options.

    JMO of course.
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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Brian Altenhofel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    Your missing the part about setting values to purchase items as opposed to selling them. Add those hours too. Not to mention updates and maintenance. You certainly aren't going to get the host software company to update your configuration, so you'll be constantly patching your configuration.

    The question to me isn't IF someone can reconfigure an existing solution, it's what will the cost be overall as opposed to just building what you need from the ground up.
    The part on pricing was vague, but it is not uncommon at all to use an external source for pricing. Any decent shopping cart software can do that with minimal effort - even allowing you to update prices per cart in real time depending on other variables that you want to include in your pricing.

    When it comes to e-commerce, you also have to maintain PCI-DSS compliance, and in this case there is a good possibility that Sarbanes-Oxley will triggered. Custom software carries a lower level of trust and will require more effort (and expense) on audits and maintaining compliance. Insurers don't like custom e-commerce software because you lose the defense that a widely-used framework was kept up-to-date.

    You're only considering the cost for the first 1-2 months while disregarding the costs that are incurred by a ground-up custom solution in 12, 24, or 36 months.
    Last edited by Brian Altenhofel; 12-16-2016 at 05:06 AM.
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    hello world Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    All good points. I'd say the OP has some good opinions and considerations on both sides of the argument to help him make a better decision .
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