Just around 5300 Products in a CSV format from the supplier, they link to their site for product images which saves a lot of time. To link images, it would be 1.2gb alone of product shots to sort through and then link.
The CSV format has a flaw in the description which would like similar to:
<ul> <li>Say goodbye to scratches on your roof with this&nbsp;instant roof top carrier from Style Auto&trade;</li> <li>Carry anything from lumber, kayaks, surf boards,&nbsp;skis&nbsp;and even&nbsp;luggage</li> <li>Fits most 2-door and 4-door sedans with front and rear windows</li> <li>Simple to use</li> <li>Installs in only minutes</li> <li>Stores in trunk when not in use</li> <li>Includes set of 2 and nylon storage bag</li> </ul>
Here is what I have tried so far in order of being the best, but falling short:
Prestashop - Worked great up until something exploded in it and when the visitor clicks from page 1 to page 2 or 3 etc, it freezes. I have gone so far as to reinstall the cart, data and everything just to have it do it again. Not sure why this is, but it is very odd. I even purchased a VPS option and placed it in that environment with less restrictions to see if I could get it to work. Same issues. Did relieve a memory overhead though with the VPS. One BIG BIG PLUS with this cart is the above product description parsed fine once you went in and cut/paste it from the description box after import into their Smarty HTML editor and saved it. Removed all that code and formatted fine. It is there that we edited about 80% of the products before things went wrong.
TomatoCart - Worked great, however-- it's image handling was not up to par - with the 1.2gb of images, to sort through them if uploaded to the server, it would either not load all the images, or would take 2 minutes to access the list. The reason I had them locally on the server was because I am working on the product database with one other person and may add one more. In addition to the otherwise slow image feature, it was good, except also for the internal email client. And - when uploading MASS amounts of products, it would randomly insert them in the database but not all. I had to limit my imports to 100 at a time or so. The reply button was broken and would not reply to the customer unless you replied all, then removed the unintended recipient(s). That wasn't a showstopper. I emailed their support, posted on their support forums and even their bug tracker this issue and never got a response. Other issues I tried to get help with for their software went unanswered in their support forums. --That was a show stopper for me. I also didn't like trying to tie categories together with the product. Their database structure would go like - Category A would be 1 Category B would be 2 etc....With 40 some odd categories and several sub categories, this was an issue then of find/replace in the spreadsheet to match the category to the correct number to tie it in.
ZenCart - Couldn't even get the thing to install on the VPS. All environments in VPS were correctly configured too.
AxisCart - Didn't work from the start - installed fine, very nice interface, but slow as heck in the back end and couldn't do anything there, links were broken.
OsCommerce - since Tomato and Prestashop were both branches from this tree, I didn't try it - Recommend it?
Magento - I couldn't import the CSV very well.
Onyxshop - NOPE - must purchase their hosting to get the software. Or, download their source from Git, which looked too risky for the VPS environment I am in.
Virtumart - Joomla Based, which I am very well versed in (Joomla), but it failed with product database import.
What I need:
Must be able to import product data sheet easily. I will adapt accordingly from an exported CSV file that the shop provides. Prestashop was simple in that aspect.
Paypal integration with additional merchant services such as Authorize.net (to be done later)
Customer Review Plugins
Share with Friend and other Social Media networking gadgets
Email integration would be nice for replying and responding internally, but not at all required.
Primarily, our time has been spent on cleaning up the product descriptions with the HTML code and other items not being parsed properly by the cart software we have tried.
Open Source is STRONGLY preferred which I know limits the options quite a bit. I have spent the better part of today and this week drilling through the software to see if I can find a good program.
Otherwise, Minimal cost would be acceptable (Budget to be determined), as long as we can have a working playground/demo to test our product import with.