View Full Version : Desperately Seeking Designer to do Shopping Cart Templates

01-03-2010, 11:37 AM
I have a successful hosting business specializing in, but not limited to, hosting shopping carts for online retailers. I do not force any specific cart on my clients, trying my best to match their needs with the best cart for their purposes.

As a result I have a number of clients with the free scripts - CubeCart, OpenCart, OSCommerce, PrestaShop and ZenCart, as well as others with several paid for scripts.

I have no problems selling my services or the carts, but I am totally without graphics skills or taste. Consequently, I cannot offer a "package", which often forces my clients to search for their own free template or hire their own designer. Many would prefer a one-stop solution (read one butt to kick), with me supplying everything.

I would like to find someone to either "partner with" with a share of the total sale, or to "contract with" on a per job basis. Work needed could be as simple as a logo or header, or as complex as a flash loaded site.

I am in the US, but have clients worldwide, with many in the UK. Quite a few of the sites are clothing, games or electronics shops, although there are certainly other types.

Most of my clients are newbies on a budget. Prices for a basic template that could even be a modified existing template are generally in the $50 to $100 range. Naturally, flash and special effects are higher, what I am referring to at this range is something that is a step above the default template that comes with the cart and has a distinctive look, tailored to the business.

However, I do also at times have clients who are looking for and are willing to pay for more expensive scripts and designs. It's not all "how cheap can you do it", by any means and I have sales rights on some scripts in the $300 range, not including the design work.

Having some php knowledge would not hurt. Small mods may be asked fro from time to time, but for the most part, what I am looking for is someone who can do template designs on php based shopping cart scripts.

I should be able to provide you with at least a job per week, very possibly more.

Interested? PM me with contact info and a link to your portfolio or some of your work.

01-03-2010, 12:52 PM
Pete if you're looking for someone to do a custom job each week I think your price might be too low. I can't speak for everyone, but I'd probably go out of business pretty fast working at that price.

I have a suggestion. Instead of making these custom jobs why not offer to buy templates or themes from people that are resold. In time your clients would have a selection of templates to choose from. Each template could continue to bring in more sales and you could offer to split the money from future sales with designers. That way there's more potential money to be made and it would be more likely you could get a quality design at a decent price.

I'm not suggesting no one will take you up on your offer, but do keep in mind that most experienced designers/developers can make a lot more per job.

01-03-2010, 07:41 PM
There are literally hundreds of templates available in the $50 range, many more about $100. Truly custom from scratch for under $300.

I've got about 150 shopping carts hosting with me now and am fully aware of the market. I understand that professional website designers such as you are not interested in this market.

Places like Template Monster have them for under $100 for carts like OSCommerce and there are many available elsewhere. Most cart user forums have designers selling or giving away templates, there are many free ones available.

This is a niche, not general website design and I would guess that many start with templates and then get a real job. :)

I would guess that what I will end up with is someone under 25 with time on their hands looking for some extra cash. I have any number of guys available now, but they do not have the time to do a couple of more complex / heavily modded carts. The everyday CubeCart / OSC / Zen designers are everywhere and there is no reason to pay over $100 or so for a template for them.

And, I daresay, many will make a "custom" template and do a couple of tweaks and sell it over and over. :)

However, I do appreciate the response.

Trust me, you were not on my prospect list. :)

01-03-2010, 11:28 PM
I'm not sure I did a good job explaining myself earlier. When I say a custom template or theme I mean it's going to be created specifically for the requests of a single client and that the template will never be sold again.

Places like Template Monster have them for under $100

Absolutely. But that assumes they can be sold again and again and keep in mind the person who designed the template gets paid something each time the template is sold. They don't simply get a one time fee.

So if I can create a template what should I do with it. Sell it to you for a small fee or have it be sold through something like Template Monster where it will take a few sales to equal what you would have paid me, but could potentially make much more.

All I'm really suggesting is you sell these templates more than once and allow the person who created it to profit from each of those sales. You could create a marketplace for people to buy and sell templates too.

01-04-2010, 12:18 AM
Nice thought, but I have more than I can handle now. I do not want to expand into something else that would entail advertising or SEO.

Harold Mansfield
01-04-2010, 03:18 PM
This seems to me to come down to 2 options.

1. You can take already designed templates and modify and edit them to suit your clients needs. Based on the experience you have , this seems to be something that you can do yourself and add an extra service charge for the work.

In my experience, shopping carts pretty much function the same, and you can do some original customizations really easily by substituting images, buttons, logos, colors , messages, text, and such that make a template original to the owner.

2. Have an outside person or company design templates from scratch on a client by client basis.

The problem with #2 is, designers that can offer the level of service and support that you would need to ensure that your clients will be taken care of, get paid more than you are offering. So what do you do ?

Everyone is looking for a cheap designer, cheap copywriter, cheap SEO guy, cheap programmer and so on..but good and cheap rarely exist, but competitive pricing is definitely available.

It would be nice to be able to find that "College student with knowledge and time on his hands looking to make a few bucks" that will work for cheap, but the reality is, that very same college student is probably savvy enough to know what his services are worth.

So you could look to outsource this work somewhere where they work cheap, like India..but then you run the risk of getting bad service, ripped off, and sketchy contact and communication options.

So what's the solution ? Offering custom design services means you will have to be able to raise your overall service price to meet the going rate of what custom work is worth.

For instance, if you charge $500 for your services, but the client wants a custom design and the designer charges $700..then the price for custom work is $1200. Plain and Simple.

It cost more to have a custom, completely original design because there is a big market for resale to multiple customers and clients, so the cost would have to be close to or equal to what that same design can make on the open market.

What if GM was contracted to build an original car design for one particular client and could not be sold to anyone else ? How much would that car cost ? Probably about $300k.

Every need is not the same and while 100's of functions and options may be all inclusive to your services, some things have to priced out "A la carte" until you can get a template designer on staff and pay them the going rate for full time work.

It's a catch 22 for everyone. By using a smaller company or service provider the client can get personalized service at competitive rates not offered by a larger company, but the reason the smaller service provider can be competitive is because there aren't 100 people on staff to pay, and overhead is low.

I have found that people who truly want custom work original to their site alone are more concerned about if you can get it done. I'd be more concerned about finding a reliable designer to work with that will work with you on pricing (within reason) to be able to just offer custom services in the first place.
The only way to offer it both good and cheap (cheaper than a designer costs) is to have the skills yourself and do all of the work.

There are tons of places that offer $19.95 oil changes for your car, but if you want high performance oil, you have to pay what it costs..and generally it cost about the same all over town.

I say offer the service but charge what it's worth.

Of course this is just my opinion, I am sure that you may come across some other viable solutions with further investigation.

01-04-2010, 10:05 PM
I certainly appreciate your confidence in my ability, but my taste is strictly in my mouth. I have no eye for color or design. I have to pay for any design work from a banner / logo on up.

I'm all for charging what it's worth. I'd prefer to install the cart and tell the new owner to make their own arrangements. But, many want the "one butt to kick" approach, and that would be mine.

Yes, it will all work out, I'm sure. An aspiring young guy wanting to build some creds might tap me on the shoulder and tell me he's my man. :)

Thanks for the input, both of you.