Web Commerce Script

I’m considering taking the plunge into online commerce.

You see, I have access to really low prices for magazine subscriptions. I mean, really low. So low you wouldn’t believe them; people rarely do. Of the 1,200 titles on my list this month, over 70 cost only $1.00 (US) per year, and almost 450 titles are available for 6 bucks or less.

I’m looking to take this online, and I need a webstore script to help me make it happen. I’ve looked at the CGI Resource Index and SourceForge, but I can’t find anything that meets my criteria. You see, the perfect script for me would:

[li]Be free. [/li][li]Be easy to install.[/li][li]Be customizable enough for (even) me to make it meet my needs.[/list=1] [/li]
The way the deal works is: Every month, I get a list of Mag prices via email from my supplier. The prices are good until the next list comes out. To place an order, I must snail-mail a piece of paper (!) for every client-subscription to my supplier, along with payment. They pass the order on, and the client gets his magazines.

So, I need a script that will track customers, let them search the database, let them compile a cart-full of orders then allow me to do some pretty complicated back-end stuff. I would need to complie a monthly batch of orders to send to my supplier, track which customer ordered what title when, when they need reminders to renew, etc, etc, etc…

I’m hoping that someone here can either help me find the “perfect” script or help me create it.


I would not reccomend using anything from CGI Resources. Most of the stuff there is poorly written and insecure.

An e-commerce system is non-trivial, and you are probably not going to find adequate software for free. I would reccomend instead on signing up with a webhost that provides their own ecommerce solution. Most of the time, these can be customized pretty well, and they’ll provide things like credit card processing and SSL transactions.

Paypal. Paypal. Paypal.

It doesn’t have quite the cachet of your own custom-written shopping cart, but it’s much less of a hassle. The usage fee is comparable to what you’d be be paying for a merchant account from your bank, anyway.

I’ve worked with the two major freeware solutions (Akopia and Entropy) and I’ve scripted a basic PHP cart that connects to somebody else’s secure server, and IMHO a Paypal cart is the way to go.