3dcart Review

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Date Established
2001
Location
Tamarac, FL

Overview:

I’m not sure how 3dcart gets their name. Their core values are not alliterative, as I initially feared. Perhaps it’s merely the fact that “Bells and Whistles Cart” was just too much of a mouthful.

Regardless, 3dcart is a fully hosted eCommerce shopping cart, and provides all the features you’ll need to build and run an online store. Whether you sell 1) hard goods or digital products, 2) from one vendor or several, and 3) weekender or high-volume sales, 3dcart is likely to do what you need it to do. They have several competitive pricing tiers that will most likely cover your needs. Like most other carts, you can try it out for free (for 15 days) without entering your credit card.

3dcart was developed in 2001 by Gonzalo Gil and is based out of Tamarac, Florida. They currently have over 15,000 customers who are using their platform, and it looks like they’re growing everyday. To see if this is the right solution for your growing business, read our full review.

Pricing:

3dcart offers a free 15-day trial, and they won’t ask you for your credit card until you’re ready to sign. If you prepay for 1-year you will receive a 15% discount, which is a common perk among Shopping Cart providers.

Here are their pricing tiers:

  • Mini – $19.99/month, 200 products, 4000 visits per month, 5 email accounts, 9GB bandwidth*
  • Starter – $35.99/month, 1,000 products, 8000 visits per month, 10 email accounts
  • Professional – $65.99/month, 10,000 products, 20000 visits per month, unlimited email accounts
  • Professional Plus – $99.99/month, unlimited products, 50000 visits per month, unlimited email accounts
  • Power – $129.99/month, unlimited products, 90000 visits per month, unlimited email accounts, 45 GB bandwidth.

All plans generously offer unlimited online storage, domain registration, 24/7 phone support, Facebook and mobile stores, and API connectivity.

For the full side-by-side comparison of each price point, see the Feature Matrix on their website.

There are also separate plans for Enterprise-sized companies, which include specialized features and premium technical support. Those plans can be found here.

Web-Hosted or Licensed:

Web-Hosted. 3dcart outsources its web hosting to either RackSpace, Softlayer, ThePlanet, or LiquidWeb

Hardware and Software Requirements:

3dcart is a hosted shopping cart so all you need is a reliable internet connection, and an updated web browser (like Chrome, Firefox or Safari.)

Features:

This cart has seen some major enhancements since we first reviewed them. Lately, we’ve found a ton of features which are either new, or overhauled enough to be called new. There are also quite a few features that we don’t often see in other shopping carts, such as options at checkout for gift wrapping, and multiple ship-to addresses.

You can find a comprehensive feature list on the 3dcart website, but I’ve listed the highlights here.

  • Support for back orders and wait lists
  • Inventory control, including batch editing and low stock alerts
  • Support for digital products
  • Product options, including bundles
  • CRM features like Mailing List Manager
  • Lots of SEO tools
  • Support for gift certificates, coupons, discounts, gift registries, and wish lists.
  • Bulk Importing/Exporting
  • Customizable invoices and packing slips
  • Shipment tracking
  • Robust Tax and Shipping calculators
  • PCI Certified

Again, these are just the highlights. The above-mentioned comprehensive list of features could be a bit condensed by eliminating some redundancy, but it groups the features into a few categories so that you can more easily find out if they provide the particular bells and whistles you’re looking for.

Ease of Use:

After signing up for a free trial, I was immediately presented with a Welcome Email. This intro email had all the information I might hope for when just starting out as an uninitiated user- login URLs, admin name and password, and links to video tutorials and articles to allay all my beginner worries.

After logging in through the link provided in this email, I was happy to see a setup wizard pop up, ready to input the basics of my business entity. It’s annoying to have to hunt for all the right settings when you’re new to the software layout. This guide, while a welcome onboarding feature, was not exactly mobile friendly. Still, I was able to power through it with only a few grumbles. I can easily see how it would work quite well from a desktop computer, so this is not a critical failure.

Once the initial setup was complete, I was presented with the dashboard. I would not say that the layout is best-in-class, yet I was satisfied. There were large, central buttons for quick access to further setup and fine-tuning, and there were readily available links to their video tutorials and Knowledge Base articles in case I had specific questions.

Evaluating the dashboard from a ‘day to day use’ perspective, I am mostly satisfied. One hiccup, however, was that I had to use my browser’s zoom function to get the dashboard to go full screen. I zoomed in nearly 200% so that it would fit vertically, and there was still room on the sides which was wasted. The interface could have had a lot more breathing room. There’s no excuse these days not to have automatic display detection, especially with software that is meant to be used for 90% of your workday.

Web Design:

3dcart offers more than 50 free templates to get you started, and there is support for HTML and CSS for fine-tuning. Premium templates can be yet another unplanned-for expense if this is your first time selling through an online store, but the time and headaches they save may be a fair trade-off.

The design editing sections are actually be pretty easy to use. You can edit CSS without editing the code, you can edit HTML via WYSIWYG editors, and there’s a drag-and-drop feature which simplifies some other design elements. The drag-and-drop editor should probably be called the “visual editor” or something like that because it handles more than just drag-and-drop. It also gives you the ability to add products, pages, categories, and blog posts directly in store view.

Integrations and Add-Ons:

3dcart has a respectable amount of add-ons in their app store. Searching categorically yields numerous options for every need, such as Fulfillment, Tax calculators, Marketing, and even enhanced interface controls. You’ll also see familiar essentials such as Quickbooks (Accounting), Shipwire (Fullfillment), Constant Contact (Email Marketing), Olark (Live Chat), and ShareASale (Affiliate Marketing).

Prices for these extras range from Free, to one-time purchases, to recurring service subscriptions.

Payment Processing:

3dcart is partnered with more than 100 payment gateways, including trusted service providers like PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, BitPay, and Dwolla. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a payment processor that fits with your particular business needs. 3dcart does not charge any transaction fees, but your chosen payment gateway will have various fees associated with their service. See our Merchant Account Reviews for more information.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

3dcart offers 24/7/365 email, live chat, and phone support to all merchants, at all subscription levels.

3dcart also offers the following resources:

There are also options for Webinars and an E-University for additional training.

They advertise 5 minute hold times by phone, and 30 minute or less response times online. Apparently I served to average out their super-speedy tickets, because my response was… somewhat longer anticipated than advertised. In fact, I have yet to receive anything more than an automated “we received your inquiry” message.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

There was plenty of “constructive criticism” to be found out there. Some of the issues were addressed in recent software updates, but these are the most common complaints across the version history of 3dcart:

  • Poor Customer Service – By far the most complaints about 3dcart were in regards to poor customer service.
  • Clunky Admin – There were quite a few people complaining about 3dcart’s clunky admin. I agree with this one; I think that the admin section is too cluttered.
  • Bland Templates – Another common complaint was in regards to the 3dcart templates. Most all of the free ones are bland and dated.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

You can find a bunch of testimonials on the 3dcart website. I did some more research throughout the web to find some other positive reviews as well. After reading through as many reviews as I could, I’ve compiled a list of the most common positive comments about 3dcart:

  • Lower Price – A lot of people are happy about 3dcart’s lower price points. They have an entry level pricing tier that starts at $9.99/month. That’s well below some of the other carts on the market.
  • Great Live Chat Support – For all the negative reviews about 3dcart’s customer service overall, there were a few people praising 3dcart’s live chat support.
  • Easy to Use – A few people praised 3dcart’s ease of use, which surprised the heck out of me. I personally don’t agree. I think that 3dcart is much more cluttered, clunky, and less intuitive than other carts, but I guess that’s just me.

Final Verdict:

Between the plethora of built-in features and agreeable price point, 3dcart scores very highly with Merchant Maverick. They lost a little credibility with me for the many reports of poor customer service, and for generally lackluster templates. Both of these detract from the time I’d be spending on actually running my business and being profitable. The quicker and easier these two are, the better. There’s a direct correlation between these and my profitability.

The vast majority of users will be well-served by the Mini plan. Very few features are excluded even at this starter level, making the scaling subscriptions levels nearly a non-issue. This is great news for people wanting to try them out, but perhaps not the best structure for 3dcart’s profitability. Still, this is no reason to detract any points in our rating system.

The “visitor quota” mentioned in the Pricing section is something I haven’t seen before. At first impression, it seems a bit arbitrary. After all, the monthly number of visitors to your store doesn’t always translate to conversions. However, after closer inspection, this visitor quota has more to do with average data bandwidth used per visitor. Therefor, e-tailers with higher traffic use more bandwidth, and are therefor more costly for 3dcart’s servers. Yet, considering that data overages are only charged a pittance of $5 per GB, there’s not a lot of incentive for companies to spend a hundred dollars more per month for copious bandwidth.

In short (too late,) 3dcart gets high marks for functionality and affordability. If you’re relatively tech-savvy (expecting to seldom need their tech support) or web design savvy (able to make the most out of generic templates) then 3dcart is a solid option. I can confidently recommend them, with a 4 out of 5 star rating. You can begin your own free trial here.

Amad Ebrahimi
Amad has worked in the eCommerce and online marketing world since 2002. He started as an eBay seller, then slowly graduated to building & marketing his own websites and consulting others to do the same. He founded Merchant Maverick out of frustration with all the misinformation and shady tactics that he encountered when trying to find a merchant account for his and his client's businesses. He's the man behind most of the merchant account reviews, and articles posted on MerchantMaverick.com. Have any questions related to credit card processing? Talk to him.
Amad Ebrahimi
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7 Comments

    Jack Smith

    Miserable. Stay away from this place. The service is horrible. They don’t return calls and their people in sales cant answer basic questions about their capabilities. On hold is a disaster and they transfer you to everyone else but wont take action to resolve your issue. The biggest challenge is finding good customer service people in South Florida.
    Clearly this company cant do that and as a result, a bad taste in your mouth if you speak to them.

    Rating11111
    Lynn

    I would run not walk from this company we have been with them for 4 years and I have sent many clients to them . my fault for not moving on quickly enough. After a year of the site not connecting with paypal and amazon payments they swore up and down heading into the holidays the problems were fixed . well no way on dec 2 it started again . I clocked 38 hours loss of over ten thousand in sales and the problem was supposedly fixed. Amazon and paypal had plenty to say about the tech problems with 3d cart . I just finished being put on a supervisors desk and he went on extended leave while no one else told me . So we have been down another three weeks the wait times are horrible and tech support is embarrassing . I wish you had a place for me to pin the e-mail communications .

    Rating11111
    Amelia

    I only signed up for the 3DCart trial, only thinking it would be similar to the others … install it on the website, test it out, and then delete it if it wasn’t something I was looking for.

    Well, after signing up for an account and finding that it wasn’t something I was looking for, I figure I’ll just let the trial expire. But now, I have now gotten a couple of phone calls by a representative asking if I had any questions and making sure everything was going smoothly. Honestly, if I had any questions, I will call or e-mail the company at my convenience …

    Rating33333

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    John

    3dCart is a disaster. They are more interested in adding ‘features’ than making carts operate properly. They constantly make non-sense changes (like requiring 12 character passwords for email accounts or taking away the ability of administrator accounts to change store passwords) with no notice. Even worse,their implementation of the FedEx API is terrible. In particular, you cannot add insurance to ANY shipment. Discussions with FedEx show that the problem is entirely on 3dCart. Their interface into Quickbooks is infantile and their system allows a user to make mistakes with no error message. And .. if you make changes to a page and then leave, 3dCart does not warn you that you did not save the changes. On top of everything else, when you contact their support, the first response is ‘It’s not our problem’. I could go on .. but that is enough for now.

    Rating11111

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Anthony

    Cannot generate shopping feeds for Google with 3Dcart and their support never answers plea for help.

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Jean Watanabe

    We have an internet cigar store that sells to Japanese cigar smokers. When we decided to try 3D cart, one of the review sites claimed it supported multi languages as our store needs to be in Japanese. We even called and talked to one of their customer service reps and the rep confirmed that yes it supported Japanese language. This is simply not true. They only support languages that use the same characters as the English language. PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THIS. We had been working on a new website and it took more than 30 days to finish the new site, so it wasn’t until after that 30 days that we realized this software would not support Japanese language. We brought this to the billing manager’s attention , but could not get a refund (pro rated of course for the time we had it) We paid 500.00 up front for 12 months. The billing manager knew the rep we had talked to and she even confirmed that this person had given us the wrong information (we have that in an email) but yet, they kept our money saying the 30 days had passed. They did not care that reps are telling people the wrong thing. My advice is get everything from them in writing, do not believe anything you are told from their customer service reps, they will give bad information and do anything to make a sale and are unreliable.

    In addition to this, whenever we needed help or had a question while we were trying to use this software, averagely it took 2 to 4 weeks to get an answer from them and we had to follow up constantly. It’s hard to run a business when their tech support is THAT slow. We are now back with Avactis and very happy with them, as they DO support multi languages including Japanese. Avactis has recently signed with Paypal too, which is why we tried 3DCart to begin with, we had switched to Paypal and needed a software that could work with them, but at that time Avactis did not and 3DCart did. What an expensive lesson to lose that kind of money, and we are a small struggling family owned company. Stay away from them… keep your money.

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Vinny

    Hi Jean,

    I know it’s been quite some time since you posted this, but It definitely helps to go to the Better Business Bureau, http://www.bbb.org to try and get your money back. File a complaint with them, and I think you’ll get results. I did, twice. It’s quick and easy.

    Good luck

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

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