There are free shopping carts available (do a google) and good paid shopping cart is StoreFront (www.storefront.net) I have used it for several clients very robust.
I think your best and safest bet would be to go through a merchant account with a bank. They are relatively cheap these days and you will be covered under their fraud protection and SSL. It also eases the mind of the user to see familiar names and stuff when purchasing online. BUt you can still use a shopping cart upfront for shopping just went you press buy it conducts business on the bank side.
I use the free one supplied by Paypal. Its not too bad and it doesn’t take a genius to program. Here’s the only example I have, http://www.toyboxer.com/ just look at the source to see the simple html form code. Paypal has a code generator as well for the novice. You might have to get a business account with them though to use it. But if he sells a lot of stuff something like over 2,999 a month the rates are cheaper than the normal paypal user.
Been using it for almost 2 years, had one problem at about the 6 month period. But it was on the Paypal side and it was fixed within a couple hours. No changes to the site to fix it. It really is pretty easy to use but if you want to tie it into a database you might need some programming help. That part I couldn’t do myself but its not totally neccessary. Its a cheap and quick fix that might work for you.
D, I’m looking into getting the storefront software. Would you recommend hosting with them also? Do you have your clients on dedicated servers? Sorry for grilling ya! I’ve got a guy that needs a site with about 10 pages of merchandise. It seems like storefront is my ticket. Any advice on the steps I should take?
I have a few clients using it right now. I would recommend a dedicated but it is not really necessary. I would say storefront is by far the most robust I have used to date. My advice is ask a bunch of questions, with this robustness come responsibility. I highly recommend it tho.
Orion I believe you can use it with paypal…But I have not used in that fashion. I use a merchant account.