lexipixel - 4:00 am on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)
I've been building Volusion sites for about 6 years. Prior to that I setup my ecommerce customers on my own (perl based) shopping cart script.
The problem with "roll your own", shareware, open source or other non-hosted shopping cart software is having to keep up to date with shipping and payment modules and other add-ons -- sooner or later one part of the software doesn't work with the other and you have a huge mess that needs to be migrated to another platform.
Another thing to think about if you are going to feed the product database to numerous customer AND provide the cart software, is that everyone's store will pretty much appear the same to search engines.
I think a better solution is to build your own "Dealers Only" wholesale storefront, and develop and distribute product data feeds for multiple software solutions.
I've done this for other wholesale level sellers.
The idea is the retailer can run anything they want for cart software, (you can suggest a few packages), but I don't think you want to support ecommerce software, payment gateways, shipping modules and customization to all the software if you're in the "wholesale tool business" -- yu would need to offer 24/7 support for everything from email failures to printer errors.
Also, many of your retailer customers may want to sell other products that your "all in one solutions" won't handle, (which is good -- e.g.- they could have vertical markets that carry 100x as many products as you offer -- but due to volume that retailer outsells one of your clients that only carries your products).
I'd spend the time looking into the top 5-6 carts product import capabilities, and script up some routines to output feeds for those and NOT go into the ecommerce hosting business.
At the same time, run some info on "How to setup an online store" for those who don't have a clue.