[nycphp-talk] Two part question: Shopping carts & E-commerce

Gary Mort bz-gmort at
Tue Aug 28 06:39:45 EDT 2007

Ben Sgro (ProjectSkyLine) wrote:
> Hello All,
> So, I've been asked by a client to implement a shopping cart into a 
> php/mysql site that we built.
> They want to start with about 12 items and have the shop interface 
> w/miva, cart32 or shopsite.

The O'Reilly book PHP Hacks has a couple articles on Shopping Carts and 
payment gateways in it.

It is primarily the checkout process where Carts get tricky, especially 
if you use the Paypal process and especially if you are selling digital 
content(when do flag an item as sold? Paypal can take up to a day to 
actually process the charge. How do you deal with chargebacks and 
cancellations?  How do you reconcile the amount charged vs the amount 
that should have been charged?  Paypal is an ugly hack because your 
actually having the client system send the charge to paypal, so a smart 
individual can intercept the redirect and change the amount charged from 
$100 to 1 penny.  Though to be honest, the bulk of non paypal charge 
systems also do the same - have the client send the total to the server 
which then processes what the client sent.

It really depends on how much time and effort you want to put into 
having the program do a lot of checking compared to having a human check 
the order and verify the prices and quantities. 

Joomla has Virtuemart which works well if you have a content heavy site 
where you want to do a few sales.  OSCommerce works well for a heavy 
sales site with low content.  Of course, never underestimate just using 
something off the shelf.  A lot of web providers have a cart script they 
provide for free and deals with merchant accounts for charging.  Also if 
I recall correctly, Amazon let's you sell products through them, so you 
can build your cart and everything on your site, but send the cart for 
checkout  to Amazon and let them deal with payment gateways and 
chargebacks and such.

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