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  1. #1
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    May 2nd, 2011
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    Multiple Vendor/Single Cart Checkout
    I feel like this would be a common question, but I haven't been able to dig up the answer so please me in advance if it's been answered elsewhere...

    I'm trying to set up an online storefront in order to promote products
    from a number of different vendor. I'm doing alright with the website
    design/implementation part, but I'm having trouble with the shopping cart/checkout phase because I don't even know the proper terminology to search and read about. Here's a breakdown of what I'm trying to do:

    * Sell items on a single site from multiple vendors
    * Have all of the items added to a single shopping cart
    * Have the checkout process completed from my site without sending the shopper to the original vendor(s) site
    * Still give me the affiliate commission

    So, for example, I could show some items from various vendors with Commission Junction affiliate programs and some that are Amazon products, but they're all added to a single cart on my site and the checkout process is completed on my site without sending them to Amazon and other various sites. This would severely complicate the checkout process if the buyer needs to complete three separate checkout processes to purchase three item.

    I feel like this would be a common setup if possible, but I haven't been able to find information to read about how to do this, or about if/why this is not possible. Any help would be appreciated regarding what to read to dig into this, or why this is not possible. Thanks.

    Joe

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    It is not a common setup for the simple reason that you cannot sell things you don't own. People who think that they bought from you would be getting in touch with you for shipping problems, shipping damage, insurance claims, returns, chargebacks and you have no way to handle these problems because you are not the merchant. You could never get a merchant account to process cards based on selling things you don't own. The merchants you try to do this to would be taking you to court, it violates every TOS out there. Basically it is not a good business model.

    If you really want to set up your own ecommerce site, look at drop shipping, not affiliate marketing. You may still have trouble getting a merchant account, but at least it would be legal and you would have a contract to help you deal with the same problems mentioned above. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    November 20th, 2005
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    As 2busy says, you are basically describing a drop-shipping merchant set-up - which is a good bit different from the affiliate marketing that most of us do. There are a few merchants with XML solutions (I know of a couple hotel merchants) where you can complete the transaction on your own site - but the money transactions are handled by the actual merchant. That, however, is a very code-intensive programming task; and I don't know of anyone who can mix-n-match merchant sources as you describe.

    I see where you are coming from but, in reality, you don't need that level of sophistication to sell products online. Most of us "mix" merchants, and even networks, on the same site - and it works quite well.

    As a merchant, I frequently recommend to affiliates that they show our products right along with the products of some of our competitors. Why? Because the better the selection you can present to your visitors the more likely they are to find something they like and want to buy.

    BTW - Welcome to ABestWeb.
    You should stop over at the "Introduce Yourself" section and, er...introduce yourself. Where are you from, what do you like to do, things like that.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  4. #4
    Newbie
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    May 2nd, 2011
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    Thanks for the help
    Thanks for the replies 2Busy and Bill. I was hoping it could be done with affilate relationships as that would simplify the process, but your explanations make sense regarding the fact that I don't actually own the product and that I would be violating various TOS. I'll look into drop-shipping and see if I could do what I'm trying to do with a little more effort.

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