amazon-prestashop.jpgOh, the joys of putting a product online. All you want to do is get it out there. But what is the best way to actually do that without searching and testing and paying way too much for something really frustrating to use? Well, you’re in luck.

I’ve been looking at online web stores and merchants that offer something different from Ebay, PayPal, Yahoo and other Open Source solutions. I’m not really pleased with the features, pricing and usability of those and want something a bit easier for me and others to handle.

After trying some out and going through a lot of reviews, I’ve come down to three options that have the best overall features and accessibility.

  1. Amazon WebStore
  2. PrestaShop
  3. WP e-Commerce

Amazon WebStore
For those of you interested in finally getting a business online or moving your product to the web, Amazon’s WebStore may be one of the quickest and most attractive options to get there. Here’s the best features:

  • Create multiple stores on multiple domains
  • Orders are processed via Amazon’s trusted payments system. No merchant account is required.
  • All credit card processing and transaction fees are included.
  • Your WebStore is automatically optimized for search engines.
  • Modify the layout, design
  • Publish your online store to your existing domain
  • Existing Amazon customers can use their Amazon.com customer account
  • $59.99 per month and a 7% referral fee

To get all of this through Yahoo Small Business you’ll be paying at least $99/month. Additionally, you’re running your store on the same engine that runs Amazon. Nice.

Prestashop
For those who like the more involved DIY approach, there’s PrestaShop. This is an Open Source full-featured e-Commerce software that runs on PHP and MySQL. If you like setting your site up and have used e-Commerce engines like osCommerce, you’re going to love this. It’s much easier. There’s too many features to mention but some of my favorites are:

  • Unlimited payment methods
  • Product tagging & tag cloud
  • RSS feed
  • Friendly URLs / Permalinks
  • Bulk lister/import .CSV files
  • FREE Download

You won’t get the support that Amazon has, and you’ll need a merchant account if you don’t use PayPal, but this is in full development and has a nice set of upcoming features as well. Definitely worth checking out.

WP e-Commerce
For those with WordPress sites there’s a very nice little plugin called WP e-Commerce from Instinct. This has some really cool features for a little smaller shop but still is capable of having a lot of products. It’s really easy to set up and has a lot of options and features you won’t find on the others.

  • Facebook Integration
  • Google Checkout Integration
  • AJAX powered Cart
  • Audio Player
  • Widgetized (Extends Fuctionality)
  • Super easy installation
  • FREE Download

If you have a blog via WordPress, the last one is a sure bet for getting something up quick. The only drawback (kinda) is you only get PayPal integration with the free version. An enterprise edition is available for a VERY reasonable $15. That allows more payment gateways and multi-image upload (nice) so there’s really no reason not to pay for that. Once again, you’ll need a Merchant account unless you just want to use PayPal.

Hope this helps some of those considering putting some product online. If you don’t want to use PayPal or Merchant accounts go with the Amazon Webstore. There’s lots of options and it can cause confusion that you just don’t need when all you want to do is put a dang product online and make some cash. Check-em out. And if you don’t like a payment system you’ve used tell me in the comments!

Author

Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.