Let me first start by saying Shopp Sucks!
Don’t waste your money on Shopp, but if you do decide to purchase Shopp, I’ve got a license I’m trying to get rid of.
If your using WordPress and your on the fence between buying Shopp or Cart66, read on about my experience with both ecommerce wordpress plugins. Or download the Lite version of Cart66 and try it for yourself. Shopp doesn’t have a lite version available, nor will it anytime soon. Because once you try Shopp for yourself, your not going to be buying it and they know it!
Why does Shopp suck? Because it is very misleading with the phrase, “Need to customize every aspect of the shopping experience without a bunch of code hacking headaches?” Shopp is nothing but a headache for a designer like myself, I guarantee the people who Love Shopp are coders. The response from the help desk is to go seek help in the forum or hire a coder. I wasted almost 2 years learning code, instead of selling and creating my artwork which is all I wanted to do in the first place!
At first Shopp had conflicts with my web site, then I hired a coder to help customize it and eventually I was ready to go, only to scrap it all because of Shopp’s crappy USPS shipping plugin which costs an extra $25. The shipping plugin can not calculate based on weight, even though you can enter this info per product.
One of my pieces of artwork, weighs 7 pounds and Shopp gave the customer an option to ship it across country in an envelope for $5.
This 3′ x 4′ artwork, would never fit in an envelope but it was a shipping option, ridiculous! Shopp suggested hiring a programmer to fix these issues, I couldn’t believe my ears, I paid an extra $25 dollars for what I thought was custom programming from the authors of the plugin. Shopp did refund my purchase for the shipping add on. By the way, to get any real use out of Shopp you have to spend more money by purchasing add ons such as $50 for both the USPS and UPS shipping addons, Cart66 has both of these built in at no extra cost.
I did in 2 hours with Cart66, what I couldn’t do with Shopp in 2 years. And the amazing part is the freedom you have with Cart66, I can put a purchase button anywhere, in a post, a page, etc. They have custom short codes that make this possible and easy to use. Shopp doesn’t have this freedom, your stuck in the cookie cutter grid shopp atmosphere, because you can forget about customizing it unless you want to hire a coder. The only draw back I can currently see with Cart66 is if you have a ton of products, but the good news they are aware of it and I’m confident the Cart66 team will figure this out.
If you need ecommerce for WordPress, get Cart66 Now! Just click the link to the right. With Cart66 I didn’t have to hire a programmer, hack or create custom code, post in their forum and sit, wait, hope and pray for a response. By the way, that is what most of my 2 years with Shopp was, waiting for forum replies to get around stumbling blocks I had with Shopp code.
Thanks for your review which is very helpful. I am lucky in that have only wasted about 4 days now with WPeC and Shopp – the latter I bought just two days ago after getting tired of trying to get WPeC working without messing up my theme. I thought I had found my solution when I bought Shopp but within 24 hours I found my products listing suddenly skewed down left-hand side of page, and my shipping amounts being ignored by the system. The shipping thing is known it turns out from visiting the support forum but I saw all the coding patch advice and other esoteric stuff there in response to pleas for help from users. Oh my God!
So, off to Cart66 then thanks in good part to your helpful rant. Sorry to hear you took so long to sell your goods reliably. That’s what these plugins are supposed to be for, right?! How anyone can put buggy plugins to work in a commercial environment gets me.
I’m glad the review was helpful to you and happy I could share Cart66 as an alternative.
Sorry you had to experience the regret of purchasing Shopp, hopefully this post will help others in the future avoid making the same mistake we did. I have been very happy with the switch to Cart66, it works like its advertised and they have a lite version for you to try before you buy.
That alone sets them apart from Shopp, if Shopp had offered a lite version to try, I would have immediately seen how it didn’t get along with my theme and all the work I was going to have to do.
Unfortunately many people have already made the mistake of purchasing Shopp and have suffered the consequences. Hopefully if their searching for an alternative they can find this post and see another option. I hope you have much success with Cart66. Cheers!
Thank you so much for the post. I am considering wpecommerce, shopp and cart 66 at the moment..it’s just so hard to tell what works BEFORE rolling up your sleeves and dive into it and then realize how much of it doesn’t work. I am ranting here, a bit frustrated with my shopify site, the backend works fine (although most cool stuff requires buying third party ‘apps’… annoying) but the frontend side of things? Not easy at all. In fact, nearly impossible, and support can’t help, funny that. Their own roprietary coding language and support can’t help!
Your Shopify experience sounds exactly like my Shopp experience, so if you want more of the same then go ahead and buy Shopp!
Shopp’s answer to any problem you have is, go to the forum or hire a professional.
This is unacceptable, the sole reason your buying a plugin in the first place is so you don’t have to hire a professional or spend hours figuring it out yourself!
And you’ll be lucky if you get a quick response in their forum, but don’t worry if you can’t find help in the forum you can get an answer fast by paying for PREMIUM SUPPORT from the Shopp support team, what a SCAM!
I’ve heard Wpecommerce is good enough, but doesn’t have the freedom you get with Cart66. But don’t take my word for it, go download the lite version of Cart66 and Wpecommerce and see which one is best for your site. Unlike Shopp, you can try out both of these plugins with your website before you buy it! Oh buy the way, I’ve visited Cart66 support forum 1 time in the 6 months I’ve owned it and got a quick response with an easy solution.
I spent ALL of my time with Shopp in their forum waiting and hoping for answers, some of my questions in their forum still have no answer years later. Good Luck!
I love the design and ease of use of Cart66 but it’s lacking such basic features that it’s basically unusable except for digital products sold in the USA.
I’ve gone through Cart66 (v1.2.2 – at the recommendation I saw written here), WP e-Commerce (latest as of 2011/09) and Jigoshop, have now moved to Shopp 1.1.9 and it is the most versatile even with some stupid issues (not using custom post types, etc).
The shopp website says there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee. If you have something for 2 YEARS and want your money back then you’re better off paying for counseling than a shopping cart plugin.
Comparing Cart66 to Shopp – Cart66 doesn’t have ANY shipping tables or alternate shipping plugins available. If you love USPS+UPS then go for it, or if you only ship digital products or give out free shipping then everything’s great — otherwise you will want something better. It’s a huge nuisance when you want to ship to more than one country – eg, different rates for Canada, US, and the rest of the world.
Likewise with payment gateways – if it’s not built in to Cart66 then you’re SOL. Shopp has far more options for taking payment.
Did I mention how annoying it is trying to convert everything to the archaic Imperial system? measurements are in inches, weight in pounds and ounces (WTF is that), it’s a medieval nightmare. Shopp gives you metric OR Imperial. Cart66 only makes sense if you’re American or British.
I could go on and on, hope the Cart66 guys get their act together soon because I love the ease of use, it’s nice if you’re making product variations and such (even if you can’t charge extra, because variations have NO WEIGHT in Cart66).
Ultimately, Cart66 is EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED only if you meet these criteria:
-you’re based in the USA or UK
-if you’re in the UK, you can give out free shipping or flat rate (USPS and UPS won’t work for you)
-you can accept the few forms of payment that Cart66 supports
-if USPS/UPS aren’t options, and you want to sell outside your country, all your products should be digital
I’m sorry you missed the part about downloading Cart66 and trying it out first for FREE before buying it!
Cart66 isn’t for everyone, I’m located in the states so probably not dealing with the issues your experiencing.
You have to buy Shopp to try it out and may need to spend time in their forum just getting it set up. By the way Shopp didn’t have this 60-day money back guarantee when I purchased it and I’m sure this is a result of the pissed off people who were wasting time in their forum. They did have a 30 day money back guarantee at the time, but that was eaten up chasing Shopp’s problems in their forum. If I had know then that help would never come, I would have gotten my money back.
And for the record I wasn’t expecting a refund from Shopp after the 30 days, but they were well aware of my issues from day one and I half joke I should have been compensated for beta testing a plugin not ready for prime time. Someday they may improve Shopp, but I will never know. I wasted enough time with them!
There still isn’t a perfect WordPress e-commerce solution out there, I like parts of different ones that I hope someday make their way into Cart66. But Cart66 is still fairly new and in my opinion has something that works far better out of the gate than Shopp ever did. I also don’t feel like I’m beta testing Cart66’s plugin and it has worked for me with little effort as advertised immediately after purchase. That was not my experience using Shopp.
I was definitely interested in Cart66’s simply approach to e-commerce and would have downloaded it already but the official videos (on Vimeo) show currency hard-coded in dollars and the tax module was clearly only suited for the US. That would be a non-starter for me so I dropped it down the list quite a bit. Fraze, I see that you’re saying it does support the UK (which is where I am at the moment). US and UK support (concurrently) would fit my requirements in the short term and may be enough to push this back into my evaluation set. Could you confirm whether Cart 66 will support multiple concurrent currencies?
the problem with these posts sometimes that have no dates, is readers just don’t know how current they are. kinda able to get an idea from comment posts, but even that is misleading. why do so many not include the data posted metadata… when did you try these things?
i’ve been playing with eShop and finding i’m not liking the action cuz i’m not a coder. but i can play. lots of people telling me to go to shopp.. but I found you telling me to blow it off, that the shopp crew are a a bunch of misleading money grabbing bozos. i don’t doubt it.
then there’s cart 66. but even that looks a bit complicated compared to eshop or even estore?
good god. for a timid, not wanting to spend a lot of time designer/copywriter with limited coding experience you really think the cart66 experience will solve problems and cure those fear of coding ills?
I haven’t used eShop or eStore, so I can’t comment on those.
I switched from Shopp to Cart66 earlier this year and I couldn’t be happier. Shopp still doesn’t offer a lite version for you to try before you buy and they never will! I also heard that Shopp has decided to completely scrap an update they have been working on to go in another direction, not a real focused group over there.
However you can download Cart66 right now and try it out, its very simple to use. Good Luck!
Can I see your website if you use cart66 or you are one of their staffs.
I have been trying 1 month with all of these plugin except cart66 and shopp.
I am confused with all of them (WPEC, YAK ,Eshop, Estore).
I want to purchase cart66 or Shopp and I don’t know, which one is better?
I don’t want to use code and have bad design like WPeC and want to work with a plugin that is so simple and professional. Is cart66 something like this?
Cart66 is much easier than Shopp to use!
I’m not part of Cart66‘s staff, I’m just a huge fan of their plugin!
Briefly how Cart66 works – load the plugin, enter the name, price, shipping info for the product. Create a product id number, ( example =”yourproduct-00″ ) you then place shortcode like this, [add_to_cart item="yourproduct-00" ] “ANYWHERE” on your WordPress site and it creates a “Buy Button.” Doesn’t get much easier than that.
Cart66 is being used on this website in the “Store” section: http://customgraffiti.com/portfolio/blood-n-gus/ You can download Cart66 right now and try it out with your website for FREE!
Hi Custom Graffiti,
I have downloaded the free version but I am not able to setup free shipping if someone buys for eg.$100 amount of product and gets free shipping how does that work? any idea please
I use Cart66 on one of my websites and I **HATE** it. Hate hate hate it. Yes, it’s great on the surface, but for selling physical products, it is TERRIBLE, in a couple of HUGE ways:
-You can’t notify customers of status updates to an order
-You can’t provide customers with a way of getting their tracking number on their receipt page or in an email
There are a lot of nice things about Cart66, but I hate the continued lack of support for requested functions. They add 10 more payment gateways but fail to put in stuff like above. I was going to look at Shopp, but if you’re ranking it lower than Cart66, yikes…
I agree, it still needs to improve in some areas, but still the best I have used thus far. I have had really great support from them, and when I say them I mean someone who works on Cart66. Not some user moderating their forum, unlike Shopp.
I understand the frustration waiting for requested functions, we’ve all been there. Shopp promised many things, released them and they failed to work as well as advertised. So sometimes waiting pays off in the end. Shopp 1.2 whenever it arrives, might be interesting. But I have had such a crap experience with shopp, that I don’t know if I could ever bring myself to go down that road again.
What’s that expression, fool me once, shame on…
Hay Custom Graffiti,
We have been a Cart66 user for just over half a year. We converted from OScommerse because of the complexity.
We ship real products, and some limitations are frustrating, even so it is so simple to use and setup we are sticking with it as they grow. The support is outstanding, I do wish they did more in the forum instead of one on one. I know some problems I have others have two and could be fixed with information.
For those interested in demo sites, look them up at cart66.com we have two submitted soon to be a third. That is how I found this site.
On an unrelated note, how do you do your artwork? We are launching a possibly related website, using Cart66 of course!
You can reach me through the email here if it is more appropriate.
Cart66 is still the best I have found. As far as my artwork, I work both traditionally, (paint, canvas, pen, ink) and digitally (Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketchbook Pro).
Researching to update a 12 yr e-comm site.
Would a solution of wordpress for the non-ecomm part of the site and
linked to maybe Zen-Cart, E-junkie,Veracart, or Magento be a better solution ? Instead of trying to stay in a total WP environment.
I’ve looked at most of these and your going to end up paying for these every month. The ones that are truly free are very lacking in functionality and look horrible. Sites like Zen-Cart don’t look very professional and as a consumer I don’t feel very confident buying a product from a site that looks like this, they don’t look legit.
For a small business the monthly cost of some of these could be hard to swallow, but if your selling a ton of volume or someone like Officemax then your probably going to like magento. Also most of these have no support so you may be spending more time than you care to trouble shooting.
This is a great comparison of both carts. I own a copy of Shopp and have never been able to get to fully function the way it is suppose to. Although Cart66 is more spendy, I think I am going to switch based on your review. Great artwork as well.
Thank you for the nice comment. I hope you enjoy Cart66 and it brings you much success.
For me shopp beats all wordpress integrated shopping carts hand down – it’s got broad flexibility in terms of customising the look and feel and has never failed me when processing orders – there are still a selection of areas that need to be improved but out of the box you’re able to create product variations, sophisticated coupons and discount codes, provide virtual or shipped products – the list of functionality goes on and on. Like most ecommerce plugins if you’re using a sophisticated theme then you’ll need to tweak the templates to fit but once done it’s a great plugin and i’m looking forward eagerly to future updates.
Shopp can’t match Cart66’s flexibility! With Cart66 you can put a product anywhere, wherever you can put text on your wordpress page you can put a product. You could put a product right next to the copyright at the bottom of your page if you wanted to, it would be ugly, but you could do it. Shopp can’t do that! Cart66 has product variations, coupons, discount codes, yada, yada, yada, all of that stuff too and more!
But the biggest problem with your statement above, is… wait for it… “Like most ecommerce plugins if you’re using a sophisticated theme then you’ll need to TWEAK the templates to fit but once done it’s a great plugin”
Yes here in lies the biggest problem with Shopp. Its biggest hurdle is this statement! Shopp is not easy to TWEAK, it doesn’t play nicely with every theme and their support is a joke!
Pay for support or wait in their forum and beg for help. That’s cool your happy with Shopp, but Shopp does not have the flexibility Cart66 does and I see no change in the way Shopp is doing things as far as support. And when you buy Shopp you need some real support to get things going.
And by the way I didn’t have to TWEAK ANYTHING to use Cart66, that’s why I Love it!
I am heavily researching Cart66 now for a client’s e-comm site, as I spent 2 months WASTING time with StoreBox Theme (with built in cart) by Templatic… what garbage!!! SO many of their claims are totally bogus… sound familiar? Your story resonated with me… and so I clicked on the link to your store, which was lovely. 🙂 But I have to tell you, when I clicked on the supposedly $20 Skeleton piece, the Details page suddenly informed me it was $1200… gulp! I do hope this was just simple input error on your part, and NOT cart66 pulling some bizarro trick! Care to comment?
LOL! It’s not really an error, but I understand the confusion. I plan on having prints of the skeleton piece available for $20 and up, but I haven’t produced these prints yet. So currently the only version of this piece is the original painting for $1200. 🙂
Hey thanks for the great review!
This is a relief, after several long nights of comparing WP ecommerce, Shopp & Cart66 I decided to go with Cart66. I had already tried the lite version of both Cart66 & WP ecommerce, but I kept coming across awful stories of users dead ending with WP ecommerce and getting no support. Before paying for the “gold” cart i figured I should do a more thorough research of them all.
Now that I have Cart66 I am curious about the compatibility with themes. I read that Cart66 works with virtually any theme, I am trying to set up an online accessory shop and to be honest I have no WP experience and I’d like a theme/template that will be an easy, “out of the box” option. So far I’ve come across a one or two offered by Mint themes that state they are specifically for Cart66, and then a subscription to Elegant Themes (which only 1 theme states that is is compatible with Cart66) but I am not sure which way to go.
Is it true Cart66 will integrate nicely with any theme? And do you have any suggestions for a newbie like me to have an easy to set up and manage site?
I haven’t heard of Cart66 having any problems with any themes. A custom theme designed for Cart66 could have some nice features or benefits, but its not really necessary. Cart66 is seriously probably the easiest I have seen at setting up a store.
I’m definitely going to check out cart66. I’ve had it with Shopp. I’m done with that piece of shit plugin. I will not refer that garbage to anyone!
On the flip side, if you are a programmer, you can extend the crap out of cart66. The customer support is awesome and their updates get better of time.
Couldn’t agree more! Their support is the best by far!
ok, might have just answered my question to you. Went to your site using Firfox (latest) and it rendered fine and looked great. Shopping cart worked and I can see you are using Paypal Express, and it allows for multiple products in the cart. The Cart66 documentation generically references Paypal Products it specifically works with – and even playing with the free version of Cart66 it is unclear to me. But, obviously it is working on your site.
I think I am running a fairly generic, default version of IE9, so you might want to test your site using IE9 just to make sure there isn’t an issue.
thanks again for the review and dialog!
My recent shopp support experience:
Flash January 18th 6:59 pm
Sure, I can un-check the shopping box that then indicates a product should ship free, and I can un-check the shipping box for all addons, but on the checkout end a shipping weight is demanded:
USPS — Please enter the package weight.
Seems common sense to me that I can use the USPS module AND offer some items to ship for free.
USPS — Please enter the package weight.
Steps to Repeat
Add New Product
Indicate the procuct is to be shipped (not a virtual or download)
4.) Un-check shipping checkbox to indicate “Free Shipping”
5.) Save product
6.) Try to purchase product
Web Browser: **IE9/FF/Safari
Server OS: Linux
Web Server: Apache
PHP version: 5.3.1??
WordPress Version: 3.3?
Shopp Version: 1.1.9
:: Shopp Response ::
Thanks for writing to Shopp support.
That error is being reported as there isn’t a weight set for that particular product.
Free shipping is an option, however, it isn’t possible through the USPS module (they don’t have free services). This option would need to be added to Shopp as a shipping option.
:: Flash Replies ::
Do you mean I should have the USPS module shippings options, then add another shipping method; “Free Shipping” where users could then select which shipping method they would like to have?
:: Shopp Replies :: (did anybody pickup on my sarcasm yet?)
That is correct.
This would therefore show the services that you offer under USPS & then your free shipping option.
:: Flash Replies :: (having to make the obvious more obvious)
Hmmm, I think most shoppers would be choosing the Free Shipping option and I would be on the hook for the shipping cost.
I found the whole exchange hilarious and had to tell my client I could custom program in free shipping for an additional $150.00.
I downloaded and tested Cart66 and loved how easy it was to add options.
Very interesting post and comments! I am right in the midst of evaluating these programs.
Here’s a question: My potential client would like to integrate both Google Checkout and Dwolla as payment options in their new web store. It appears that Cart66 doesn’t support either of these.
However, I do see that Cart66 has a nifty Offline Payments feature. Would it be possible to somehow redirect the offiline payment option to a page that would allow someone to pay through Dwolla? Or through Google Checkout? Dwolla would be a good payment processor to check out, if you don’t know about it! They’re doing something really new and good!
Thanks for any advice!
Sorry I don’t have much personal experience using Google Checkout or Dwolla and they are not currently built into Cart66. But Cart66 does have the option to add custom payment gateways, I haven’t used it, but this guy has. He created a step by step post, not sure how good he is or if his instructions work but might help you.
If this works for you please report back here so others don’t have to pioneer the same trail. Best of Luck!
I have been using Cart66 on my high volume site for a little over a year now. The reason I love the cart over others is the very simple checkout and customer interface, I have always hated online shops that required more than one page to checkout.
Being able to give so many product options was also a plus.
The downside was the lack of emails being sent on order updates and shipping.
In the end I created a fully automated notification system that is 100% separate from Cart66 core and only accesses data from the database.
This allows me to make barcoded packing lists, and use both UPS and USPS software for quick order fulfillment.
My items range from 1LBS to over 70LBS and I find the shipping calculator spot on.
I do hope Cart66 will implement the ability to show the tax and to have built in customer notifications.
I will say they are extremely slow with releasing new features…
Other than that I am a happy camper with my 3rd party shipping/notification manager.
Shopp is the biggest pain in the ass waste of time piece of garbage…literally every time I try to do anything new, it costs me hours in troubleshooting. I completely agree with everything you say here in your post.
Thanks for pointing me toward Cart66. Checking it out now with high hopes!
I am currently signed up with Big Commerce for my ecommerce solutions. However their templates are ugly and there are some beautiful brandable WP templates I’d rather use. Also in order to make Big Commerce look modern and branded I’d have to pay a designer $1,000 or so. So I’m back to finding a WP ecommerce solution.
However I want to accept payment offline. This is my biggest concern. Don’t want to enter another monthly contract for another payment processing system. Already have two offline.
Can anyone tell me what experience they have with Cart66 being able to collect CC data and send to me, rather than using payment gateway systems.
I really like Cart66 but the biggest issue that I have with it is there are no options to import products via a CSV file. In this day and age, this should be a default feature of every shopping cart/e-commerce software. If your store has hundreds or thousands of products, would you want to import them manually one by one?
Does anyone know of cart66 allows for tracking number from usps (automatic)?
Another problem I am facing with the shopp plugin is it do not arrange products in a custom order from the admin menu. I don’t know if anyone else is facing the same problem. But This is very annoying.
We have used Cart66 on a few sites, tried most of the others mentioned in the thread. It won’t be ideal for all but it has worked well for our needs.
One thing is for certain, you get a lot of control on how you want to roll out your ecommerce experience. The downside is you also have to add a lot of elbow grease in to the experience that other carts simply give you right out of the box.
A site we suggest looking at is http://diveidc.com/gear/
We built out an entire strategy on just how the shop should behave and we were able to do a lot more from an SEO perspective because of how Cart66 works. We weren’t tied to a typical shopping cart philosophy.
– site has probably 500 or more products
– we created a function that product can be added just like adding posts
– client could import products via CSV, still had to mapp to posts though
– mapped some products to Gravity forms, this was nice
– created custom function to deal with BC’s double tax
– tied WP members to Cart66 so when logged in we can offer discounts etc
– and more
Going with Cart66 we were in an open box which allowed us to move in directions as needed.
– lacks a fair amount of basic styling
– checkout experience needs a modern work over, just feels dated
– tax rate customization, like double/split taxes for places like British Columbia GST/PST
– Not MOBILE ready
– not a large community or a reservoir of plugins to extend the product
– Cart66 now seems split between the standalone and the Cloud. Seems they are really pushing the Cloud direction as well, but this could just be the marketing choice behind the site design.
As soon as you get serious about your shopping cart experience it doesn’t matter what system you are in because you will be dealing with the code at that point, and code is code. Cart66 limits a lot of the code to just the checkout, the rest of the cart is really just your WP theme. You can mess around with your experience and never really mess up your cart checkout. Updates to the cart don’t mess your theme either!