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another e-commerce question

 7:43 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)


I'm building my 1st e-commerce site for a client and I have to turn in a bid. They want about 10-15 products to start off with. No problem there, I was just wondering what kind of time i might have in this kind of project or are there anythings I need to watch out for in building a e-commerce site. any ball park figures to go with for a project like this?

thanks for the help.



 1:34 am on Jun 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Whuff... well, if you've never built or installed an ecommerce store front then you'd better do some serious research before you get into this. It's not rocket science but there are a lot of pieces that you need to be aware of.

This might help: [webmasterworld.com...]

As far as price goes - completely subjective. You need to take into account all of the pieces that you'll handle for the client. My list includes (at a bare minimum):
-- short list of target keywords
-- base cart install and config
-- visual design
-- implementation of design(s)
-- custom programming
-- content and product outline
-- SSL, email, stats, accelerators, etc
-- plan for maint and ongoing SEO/SEM after publication


 10:34 am on Jun 1, 2007 (gmt 0)


Thank you for the reply, I've been doing a lot of research but I have a feeling I'll learn the most once I start working of the project. I watched a 4 hour tutorial on the subject at Lynda.com that was helpful for sure but I still don't know what even a base price for this kind of project is. I want to be fair to myself but I don't want to over charge my client either.


 8:40 pm on Jun 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> I'll learn the most once I start working of the project

That's true but it can take years to learn what you really need to know - the options and how to execute them. For example. Not all SSL Certs are equal. What are the differences and why do they matter - or should they?

But... ya gotta start somewhere and starting with a real project is the best place to begin.


 9:37 pm on Jun 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

I still don't know what to charge for this kind of work.. when I bid html or flash projects I just figure out how many hours I'll have in the project and multiply that by a hourly rate but this.. I really don't know what kind of time I would have since I haven't done it before, can anyone give me some idea of what kind of time would go into a e-commerce site ( matching the html site design ) with 10 to 15 products to start.


 12:56 am on Jun 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

You basically would have to charge market price. If you're an established provider with ecommerce experience you would charge accordingly. If you're a newb as described, you charge newbie prices until you become a professional.


 1:49 am on Jun 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

ok but what are newbie prices?


 6:19 am on Jun 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't know if this will help . . .

No one can answer because we don't know how long it will take you to figure things out. You yourself don't know, add to that we don't know how fast you'll pick up an install of a particular ecommerce cart (for example.)

This requires some non-chargeable time on your own. Pick a shopping cart, install it on your server/domain, overcome the things that hang you up. Example, it may take you an hour to figure out how to configure shipping, but once you do it you can see it's going to take you 15 minutes on the live project.

Once you have a good feel for how long it's going to take you you can set your hours and price. It's really the only way.

Your major tasks will be installing a cart and interfacing it with a payment gateway. You need to get this under your belt in a test environment before you can offer it to a paying client.


 10:09 am on Jun 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

i guess what im after then is what is the average time then to get my project up and running?.. a 10 to 15 product shopping cart with all the back end.

I figured the 1st cart I do will probably take me three times as long then what it probably should, i'm fine with that, it's part of learning but my client shouldn't have to pay extra just because I didnt know what i was doing and it took my longer.. I want to be fair to my client but I just don't know what a fair price is.


 6:25 pm on Jun 2, 2007 (gmt 0)


3 times? how do you know. Maybe if you explain the expierence you have already, then there would be an idea of what your capabilities are. I had to learn perl to progrm my "base cart" whcih took some time. But now i can do tasks that took me 3 weeks to learn in 3 minuets given the right framework

i know what you are asking, but the problem is, is that you dont know what you are asking. dont take the job. Instead, create a full ecommerce application for yourself, then wiat, then do it for a friend/relative/ perhaps another business. Then you will have the right questions to ask.


 6:51 pm on Jun 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

3 times was just a figure of speech... I'm just going to build a e-commerce site, then I'll have an idea of what my price should be.


 2:39 am on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

There are other things to consider as well. For example, does the client require a lot of custom shipping scripts ... and do the products have a lot of different options that affect pricing? Not all e-commerce scripts are the same. You could have a lot of time in it before you even realize that the script you're using will not suit your needs.

Not all 15 product sites are the same. Some can be very simple, and some can be more complex.

Just some things to consider.



 6:26 pm on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

there are several decent gateways that already have shopping carts built in for 40 or 50 items. It's a fast & easy way to get going.


 3:21 am on Jun 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would undercharge by a lot. Probably give them a flat fee. You're in no position to charge an hourly rate unless you do as suggested and learn before you start


 5:33 am on Jun 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

What you charge matters less compared to the experience you are gaining by working on an ecommerce shop which eventually is going to be live. I would charge them what costs to make a static html website, and gain the knowledge and experience I should be gaining. Anyway, they might have a hard time waiting for the project finished, as you might get delayed in between as well. And the end product might not be as perfect.

So, on your case, I think the money matters the least.



 3:50 pm on Jun 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree with you Habtom and thats what I decided to do. This 1st go around will be a learning experience and will help me in the future for sure.


 5:34 pm on Jun 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Submit the same concept they are asking you to some other places and see what they charge.

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