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Free Shopping Carts

How can you get a free shopping cart program? This article explains open source, or free, shopping cart software, free commercial shopping software, and how to get a free cart with your ecommerce web hosting packages.  Keep reading for more on free shopping carts.

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For businesses that don't want to buy shopping cart software, there are free shopping cart programs available. 

How can I get a free shopping cart program?

There are three ways to get a free shopping cart for your web site: open source shopping cart software, free versions of commercial shopping cart software, and shopping carts that come with eCommerce web hosting packages.

Open source shopping cart software

The first way to get a free shopping cart is to use an open source shopping cart. Open source software programs are those whose codes are publicly available so users can modify them and use them for free. A disadvantage of open source software is that there is usually not traditional customer service available to support it. What there may be instead is a community or forum of users who offer support to each other. These users may also create their own ad-ons or patches that they make available to the rest of the community, so even if the cart itself is pretty basic, you can modify it, if you are comfortable learning how. Open source shopping cart software may still have some bugs to work out, so you may want to look at examples of it in action before deciding to use it. Some examples of open source carts include Magento, OpenCart, and Zen Cart.

Free commercial shopping cart software

Free versions of commercial carts are also available. In this case, companies that create commercial shopping cart programs offer simplified versions of their product for free. The companies hope that if you like the free basic shopping cart you will choose to upgrade to the priced version, which would offer more features. The free versions may require you to post copyright notices, which some people don't like, and you generally can't modify anything about the program but have to take the package as its stands. This type of free cart software may have the same customer support that the priced versions offer. CubeCart is an example of this type of shopping cart. 

eCommerce web hosting shopping carts

You can also get a free shopping cart included in some eCommerce web hosting packages, though these are sometimes the same free carts you can get on your own. Yahoo! offers a cart as part of its starter package, which charges a $50 set-up fee, a 1.5% transaction fee, and $39.99 per month. For that price, however, in addition to the shopping cart, a business owner gets help setting up his or her site, an Internet merchant account and payment acceptance system, tools to help run his or her store, and 24/7 customer support. HostMonster.com and JustHost.com also offer hosting packages that include free shopping carts, starting at around $3.25 per month.

When you are looking at free shopping cart software, consider what your needs are and what kind of software you are interested in. Then shop around for a shopping cart that meets your needs, is easy for you and your customers to use, and has a good reputation.

Yahoo! shopping cart is one of the most comprehensive shopping carts available, allowing up to 50,000 products, and at a very reasonable price.

 CLICK HERE for more information, or to sign up for, Yahoo!'s shopping cart features.


Sources:

Open Source Initiative [online]
WebTecker, 8 Best Open Source Shopping Carts [online]
Yahoo! Merchant Solutions: Secure and Reliable Shopping Cart [online]
HostMonster.com [online]
JustHost.com [online]


Related Article: eCommerce Web Hosting >>

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