Credit Card Snafus! Tons of Dog Food! What's Going On Online?

Written by B.L.Ochman

Imagine this scenario. You are ordering vitamins at You register forrepparttar site, put in your shipping and payment information and press "Express Checkout." Up comes an order not for your vitamins, but forrepparttar 109091 products ordered by Ester Levitts in Kentucky. Her Discover card information is given, along with her name, address and ordered items.

Think it's unlikely? Think again. It happened to restaurant broker Ray Tekosky of New York City on Friday, Jan 28. He hadrepparttar 109092 presence of mind to downloadrepparttar 109093 errant order page and fax it to me. I, in turn, faxed it to a reporter at The Wall St. Journal. Was it news? You bet! On Monday, Jan 31repparttar 109094 Journal reported that had to close downrepparttar 109095 site for an afternoon while it tended to its database problems.

What happened here? Something that will happen again, maybe in a much bigger way, maybe on your site. "We're still inrepparttar 109096 early stages of ecommerce," says Tekosky. "There will be much bigger mistakes on a much larger scale. Who's to say it wouldn't happen with a banking situation? That could createrepparttar 109097 ecommerce equivalent ofrepparttar 109098 Mad Cow scare."

"Donaterepparttar 109099 excess to charity" Tekosky is not some ecommerce-basher. He buys online allrepparttar 109100 time. He bought his Palm Pilot, his printer, many books, vitamins and other goods onrepparttar 109101 Internet. And he's notrepparttar 109102 only one who's having trouble with online buying.

Considerrepparttar 109103 plight of web developer Ira Wexler and his wife, Barry, who is an attorney. They thought they found a great deal for dog food at All they had to do was pay in advance to lock in a great price for six 40 pound bags of dry dog food for their yellow Lab puppy. One 40 pound bag would be sent every 8 weeks. They would pay forrepparttar 109104 first three bags and getrepparttar 109105 next three free.

Great idea, untilrepparttar 109106 second 40 lb bag arrived one week afterrepparttar 109107 first andrepparttar 109108 third 40 lb bag arrived a few days later. The Wexlers now have 120 lbs of dry dog food crammed into a closet in their small New York apartment. Duncan, their puppy, sits hopefully in front ofrepparttar 109109 closet door for hours on end, dreaming ofrepparttar 109110 contents. thoughtfully told them that they could donate their excess to charity.

Shopping for a Shopping Cart? Make Sure you Weigh your Options

Written by Merle

If you sell more than a handful of products on your website, you'll need to add what's known as a shopping cart. This is a function that allows your customers to pick outrepparttar items they want and send them to a "cart," which holds onto them until they're ready to check out. The program then totalsrepparttar 109090 order and adds any applicable taxes and shipping charges.

So how do you add a shopping cart to your site? There are three different options you can choose from.

1) Link out to a third-party service (hosted)

2) Buy your own software and do it yourself

3) Download a script and configure it to your needs

Let's examine each option separately andrepparttar 109091 pros and cons involved with each:


Third party cart services are easy to set up; you can be running in a matter of hours. They require no software to buy or install, but usually charge a monthly fee. Most include a secured server and a merchant account option, if you don't have your own. This is a relatively inexpensive solution for small businesses.


Free to try for 30 days then you pay 90.00 for 3 months, 150.00 for 6 months or 1 year for 249.00. Supports 1 to 10,000 products- No CGI to configure and you can use your existing merchant account.

2) FreeMerchant:

Prices range from 19.99 to 40.00 per month with a 30 day free trial. Build your store using their web based interface.

3) Yahoo Store:

You can't go wrong with Yahoo's expert reputation. Easy to build your store on their servers using a point and click interface. You can even upload your own images. Cost for up to 100 items is only 100.00 a month. You can also use your existing merchant account or apply for one through them.

4) Marketers Choice:

Believe it or not, this one is free. Supplied by Marketers Choice, this cart calculates totals, taxes, shipping charges and notifies you of new orders automatically. Followrepparttar 109092 wizard for easy set up. You need your own merchant account but they supplyrepparttar 109093 secured server. So what'srepparttar 109094 catch? they try to get you to upgrade to their 150.00 a year package, which is an option. If you continue to userepparttar 109095 free onerepparttar 109096 only trade off is they will display business related ads on all of your cart pages.

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