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General Business Discussions This is a general purpose forum open to business related topics concerning Reptiles and Amphibians that are neither appropriate for the Board of Inquiry, nor sales, purchase, or trade solicitations.

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Old 06-24-2012, 08:22 AM   #1
Shopping Cart on a website - Good? Bad?

Now that work has slowed down for me, I'm getting ready to chain myself to my desk until I get a website set up. I have a relatively good idea of what I want, but one of the things I'm not 100% sure of is if I want to set up a site that has a shopping cart vs. just having an available page and letting people email me to make a purchase.

So far, all my sales have been through the classifieds so I'm not sure if a shopping cart feature would be a good idea or not. From looking at other sites, I know some breeders have them and some do not. I would love opinions or experiences.

Old 06-24-2012, 08:28 AM   #2
I like the idea of shopping carts on the website, it allows people to purchase as many items as they want with minimal effort.

Yesterday, I went to a site to make a purchase, the site was new to Fauna...went though all the trouble of registering, only to find that I needed to CALL to make a purchase?? Needless to say, I didn't.

I don't like having to search a website, then type out everything I would want, but then....I'm lazy like that.
Old 06-24-2012, 10:22 AM   #3
I like shopping carts as well. Some large sites offer different kinds of things for sale, for instance.
You can gather all the things you want in your cart even if they are from different companies and pay once.
Of course if you sell critters, many are unique and the customer might want to email you with questions prior to purchase, so providing an easy way to email is a plus even if you do have a cart system.
But if they see the perfect critter, putting it in the cart and paying for it right then (especially if you offer a shipping cost at time of purchase, or the cost is added onto the critter so you can offer free shipping) is good for you and makes your customer feel as if they have completed the purchase with no loose ends.
Old 06-24-2012, 09:59 PM   #4
~Just Curious~
Just my two cents~

IMHO I find them convenient when I'm ordering items, however if it's a live animal then I'm going to care more and want to speak to the seller about it.

Also I feel that the ones where each individual animal is pictured with it's gender/weight listed, when it has it's own ID number with a "buy now" button near it, is better than when you simply have a random representative image of the species/morph, no specific weight/hatchdate or other info given, and just have people click which gender they want.
I guess some animals aren't all that different, so taking a picture of each might be redundant, or maybe you don't need it to be anything specific, so I can see how that slides sometimes. But personally I usually want to know how it's feeding and like to see how it's pattern/color sets it apart (typically the ad already has a picture of it) those sort of things. I've really only had this take one, maybe two, quick emails so it isn't that inconvenient. I guess if you get enough customers it certainly would get tiring though...

Up to you~
Old 06-24-2012, 10:15 PM   #5
I'm not a fan of shopping carts for live animals, but there are pros and cons.

Some things to consider.
- Are you using a flat rate shipping? I know that a page can be set up so that it calculates shipping based on zipcode...but I'm not sure how much trouble it is to make it smart enough to increase box size when needed. That is an issue if you sell various sized animals or the buyer makes a multi-animal purchase.
- Are you going to accept offers, or stick firmly to your advertised price. If you have people contacting you with offers, and are making sales that way; you will have to expend more effort to update your cart.
- Same basic idea concerning multi-animal discounts.
I had something else in mind, but seem to have lost it for the moment...and I'm heading out the door so I can't wrestle with it.
Old 06-25-2012, 02:03 PM   #6
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. If I do go with a shopping cart, I will definitely have individual pics of each animal. And so far, I've been either offering flat rate shipping or pricing my animals with shipping included, even in the classifieds. I tried using the actual shipping prices for a bit, but I found that I spent alot of time answering emails about shipping costs. I'm thinking flat rate shipping is the way to go on the site, so if someone is buying several animals they only get one shipping charge.

I have two concerns at this point:

1) I have offered multi animal discounts in the past, mostly because I offer flat rate shipping so I'm usually losing a bit on shipping. Plus, selling multiple animals at once cuts down on the trips I have to make to FedEx (about an hour round trip).
2) I want to have some sort of communication with the buyer to confirm shipping dates. I want to make sure someone is available to receive the animal and is expecting it. I'm sure I can accomplish this with the cart...just have to figure out exactly how it will all work.

I've only purchased animals through a site with a shopping cart on 2 occasions, so I was curious what others thought. Both times, I had spent a considerable amount of time looking for a particular morph with the look I wanted. I was grateful for the shopping cart then because I wanted that particular animal and price wasn't a concern. It allowed me to guarantee the animal wouldn't be sold to someone else while I tried to get in touch with the seller. In both cases, the seller was someone I felt very confident buying from, so I didn't feel the need to talk to them before purchasing. They also had multiple pictures and lots of info on the animal on the website, so I didn't have any questions to ask really...

I'm thinking I may play around with setting the site up with a cart, and if it turns out to be a pain I can change it later. I definitely appreciate all the input. I want to make my site as user friendly as possible.

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