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Niche startup questions

Where can I get these features?



9:51 pm on Sep 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

After many failed attempts Ive found that its impossible for me to make money on the web with anything other than my hobby topics. Of course this has to do with the amount of time and effort I put into the topic, as well as personal knowledge.

Now Im at a point where I want to diversify from my primary revenue streams, and spend more time selling merchandise related to one of my hobbies.

It a very niche topic, and as far as I can tell has very few direct competitors, although there are several large retailers who carry many of the same product lines.

Im starting to think things through at the moment. As part of that Im coming up with a list of features that I would appreciate when Im buying these products.

In this niche the height of the widget is as important (or even more important) than the price. So I would like to see a storefront display that can easily list the product, price, and height in separate sortable columns. Id also like to have other columns depending on the product line.

Id like the ability to accept and create user reviews, as well as some sort of rating system.

Id also like to publish guides and help articles.

Id want to be able to offer packages of widgets that can be customized by the customers. (Im thinking something along the lines of a build your own PC interface)

scope creep has already set in, here a few other bits of information

The ability to have multiple pictures per product

The ability to compare products (via checking boxes and pushing a compare button)

This is low-med volume with high price items.

I may want to integrate a few affiliate links to products in the beginning.

I think that I can talk my wife into letting me put away $10,000 to get me through the first 6 months or so. So while I can allocate money toward the software it would be coming out of my marketing budget.

Id prefer something php/mysql based but have not ruled out anything yet.

Can someone offer input based on the above? Especially the multiple sortable columns and build your own package features.

Thanks in advance



11:19 pm on Sep 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

While there are probably several alternatives, I would probably choose X-cart for a project like this.

It has some of the functionality you need out of the box, and the developers can add just about anything you can describe. There is also a strong user community that can be helpful. The developers are in Russia and my experience has been that they do good work for very reasonable prices.


12:54 am on Sep 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I skimmed over x-cart earlier today before posting. To be honest with you I was turned off be the appearance of their site.

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll take a longer look at it.


8:15 pm on Sep 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lorax is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Don't let appearance of a base cart install scare you away. Most of the OTS carts can be customized to look much nicer. The real criteria should be in the ease of use once it's set up and the functionality it offers.


9:05 pm on Sep 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yesterday at x-carts site I kept getting redirected to their newsletter page everytime I would go to their main page.

Also, I haven't noticed an option to "build your own package" in x-cart.

The columns to sort by don't seem to be configurable (or at least without editing code)

I could be missing these options because I'm new to carts and am only going off their features list. Anyone else know if x-cart, or of any other carts that offer this functionality?


11:45 am on Sep 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lorax is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

>> redirected to their newsletter

I've never had that or any other problem accessing their site.

>> option to "build your own package" in x-cart

If I understand you correctly (a way for customers to build and purchase a custom item from a selection of individual items at a package price) then yes, they do. It's an add on module for about $100 called X-Configurator

>> The columns to sort by don't seem to be configurable

Which columns?


3:54 pm on Sep 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The X-Configurator add on is absolutely perfect. Thanks!

I'll download a trial version today. I'm sure that the column question I had can be answered then or in their forums.


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