3.5

Volusion Review

  • 37 comments
  • Updated on:
  • Review by: Amad Ebrahimi
Date Established
1999
Location
Austin, TX

Overview:

Based out of Austin, Texas and operating since 1999, Volusion is a fully cloud-based ecommerce shopping cart. It performs all the basic functions that you would need to run an online store including; building a website, web hosting, the ability to add products and manage inventory, checkout, payment processing, order management, customer management, newsletters, and much more. You can also choose from a few add-ons in the Volusion app store, which will increase the functionality of your cart (e.g. Accounting, Drop Shipping, Live Chat, etc…).

Volusion is one the largest eCommerce shopping cart platforms on the market today. Founded by Kevin Sproles in his bedroom, Kevin’s little side project has now grown to over 40k stores and 300 employees. With clients like intel, 3m, National Geographic, and the Chicago Tribune, Volusion is definitely a platform to take seriously. That’s precisely why I spent hours researching Volusion and tinkering with their free demo so I could put together the most comprehensive review possible.

What you have before you is a reflection of all of that research. I encourage you to read the entire review, however long it is, to get the most out of it. Although this is just one person’s opinion of Volusion, I think that I’ve uncovered some important details about the software that will help you make a better decision.

Pricing:

All Volusion plans come with a fully functional 14-day (no credit card required) trial. There are no setup or cancellation fees either.

  • Mini - $15/month, free setup, 100 products, 1 GB data transfer, no transaction fees, 24/7 online support, free templates, mobile store, facebook store, social media tools.
  • Bronze - $35/month, free setup, 1,000 products, 2 GB data transfer, no transaction fees, 24/7 online and phone support, free templates, mobile store, facebook store, social media tools, abandoned cart reports, ratings and reviews, newsletters.
  • Silver  - $65/month, free setup, 2,500 products, 5 GB data transfer, no transaction fees, 24/7 online and phone support, free templates, mobile store, facebook store, social media tools, abandoned cart reports, ratings and reviews, newsletters, phone orders, import/export, CRM.
  • Gold  - $125/month, free setup, 10,000 products, 25 GB data transfer, no transaction fees, 24/7 priority online and phone support, free templates, mobile store, facebook store, social media tools, abandoned cart reports, ratings and reviews, newsletters, phone orders, import/export, CRM, deal of the day, myrewards, eBay integration, onboarding coach.
  • Platinum - $195/month, free setup, unlimited products, 40 GB data transfer, no transaction fees, 24/7 priority online and phone support, free templates, mobile store, facebook store, social media tools, abandoned cart reports, ratings and reviews, newsletters, phone orders, import/export, CRM, deal of the day, myrewards, eBay integration, onboarding coach.

Volusion does not charge any transaction fees, which is always a plus. However, from what I’ve read, they do have a tendency to hit you with bandwidth overages and “up-sell” charges, which can become very pricey. If you anticipate that your store will be eating up a lot of bandwidth, then do yourself a favor and opt for a higher price point.

Note: You can check your bandwidth stats by going to: my.volusion.com > view stats > Stats for www.yourdomainname.com. Make sure you keep an eye on your bandwidth.

Last but definitely not least, they charge you $25/month to remove the “Powered by Volusion” link at the bottom of your site (in the footer). Are you kidding me?!!

Web-Hosted or Licensed:

Web-Hosted.

Note: Volusion used to outsource their hosting to Rackspace, but in 2009 they brought everything in-house. Since then it seems they’ve had some bumps in the road. They haven’t had the best track record for uptime, but things are finally starting to get better. Good news is, they have a 99.9% uptime guarantee where they will basically refund your money if they don’t meet their end of the bargain.

Ease of Use:

The Volusion admin interface is clean and easy to navigate. There’s a “Quickstart” tutorial that walks you through choosing a design and adding your first product, but that’s about it. The Volusion tutorial definitely loses in comparison to the one that BigCommerce has. I personally like it when a tutorial walks me through a step-by-step process in setting up my ENTIRE store. There’s something about a checklist that simplifies and streamlines an otherwise chaotic task. Volusion is missing that checklist.

I like the fact that most input fields in the admin area have a question mark icon next to them which can be clicked to get additional details about that field. It makes it easy to learn more about what I need to input into that field without having to navigate away from the page.

Products were easy to add, but I got a bit lost in the “Advanced Info” section. Similar to Magento, Volusion gives you a ton of extra settings and options for each product, which is good but can also cause a little analysis paralysis. My advice is that you fill out the basic product info, add some product images, then click save. After that, you can come back and tweak with each advanced option one-by-one.

Categories were also very easy to add, and navigation/category liks can be rearranged via drag n’ drop.

Searching through orders, customers, products, and vendors is a cinch with their built-in search feature.

Overall, Volusion does a great job of making their software user friendly.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

You only need a web-enabled internet connection and a browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari) to run it. There are no hardware or operating system requirements, but it’s obviously better to have updated technology.

Features:

I’ve picked the Volusion features that are most important and listed them below. If you want a full list, go here, but to be honest they don’t do a great job of listing all of their features. I personally liked some features myself that were not listed in the Volusion feature list. I’ve put those features in bold.

  • Merchandising:
    • 120 free templates. The free designs aren’t the greatest (in my opinion). I like Shopify’s free designs better, but you don’t have to settle for free designs, you can always go custom, or you can purchase one.
    • Unlimited product options. Some other carts (Shopify) limit you on product options.
    • Soft add to cart. I like this feature. It allows your customers to add products to their cart without actually sending them to the checkout page.
    • Integrated one-page checkout.
    • SmartMatch technology. Another great feature which detects which product option combinations are currently in stock and only displays those combinations on the front end.
  • Marketing & SEO:
    • Built-in daily deals feature.
    • Built-in eBay integration.
    • Ability to create coupons and discounts.
    • Built-in customer reviews and feedback functionality.
    • Built-in wish list feature.
    • Abandoned/live cart feature. See which one of your customers abandoned their cart, or which customer currently has a cart that is live (with products in it).
    • Built-in affiliate management system. Gives you the ability to bring on affiliate marketers who can resell your products for a percentage.
    • Built-in SEO features. Customize all meta data, create search engine friendly URL’s, auto-generated 301 redirects, canonical links, edit Robots.txt, create manual 301 redirects and generate an XML sitemap within the admin section (Note: A key SEO feature that Volusion is missing is the auto-generated H1 tag for all category and product pages).
    • Built-in “MyRewards” loyalty rewards program. Give points to loyal customers that they can then use for discounts on future purchases or cold hard cash.
  • Reporting:
    • Built-in web analytics (SmarterStats).
    • Order reports, RMA reports, product view reports, category view reports, CRM ticket reports.
  • Social & Mobile:
    • Sell your products on Facebook with SocialStore.
    • Direct integration with Facebook and Twitter. Allows you to share announcements, daily deals and promotions without leaving your admin area.
    • Social sharing app built-in. Adds social sharing buttons (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest , etc…) to your product pages.
    • Mobile version of your eCommerce store.
  • Management:
    • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Like most other shopping carts, this area lets you communicate with your customers, manage their support tickets, see their order history, and schedule follow-ups.
    • Manage inventory.
    • Manually create orders with built-in POS. A lot of business owners want this feature. Sometimes they want to use their shopping cart as a phone order platform, and that’s where manual ordering comes in handy.
    • Built-in recurring billing. Volusion is one of the only carts to offer a recurring billing feature. For those of you that offer membership/subscription type services, you’ll love this. Just keep in mind that some payment providers like Paypal, Google Checkout and the Realex Gateway will not be compatible with this feature.
  • Security:
    • PCI certified.
    • Volusion Content Delivery Network (CDN). Learn more about it here.
    • Manage account permissions for different users.
    • 100% redundancy of all network hardware, systems, and data.
    • Automatic daily back-ups.
    • Continuous hourly data backups.
    • and more.

Web Design:

Volusion offers over 120 free templates to choose from. They aren’t the most beautiful designs in the world, but they also don’t cost anything either. If you don’t want to go with a free template, you can always purchase a premium one. Premium templates start at around $195.

As far as editing is concerned, there’s a built-in template editor called “File Editor” that lets you change your raw code within the admin interface (no need for FTP access). There you’ll be able to edit the HTML and CSS of some of your template files. However, because Volusion doesn’t give you FTP access, it is less flexible in code customization than other carts.

Your website content can be easily changed under the “Site Content” tab. Just pick the page you want to change and add, delete, or edit the content as you see fit.

Integrations and Add-Ons:

The Volusion app-store is still in beta and doesn’t have that many add-ons yet. It’s still growing, and is missing a number of crucial integrations. This is an important point to consider, especially if you need to integrate your shopping cart with a POS system like Shopkeep or Vend.

Integrations and add-ons is an area where Volusion is WAY behind the competition. Step it up guys!

Payment Processing:

Volusion offers an “in-house” credit card processing service called Volusion Merchant Services. The cost is 2.17% (“Qualified” transactions only) per transaction plus $10/month statement fee, $17.99/month payment gateway fee, $3.41/month PCI compliance fee, $1.87/month regulatory compliance fee.

Essentially, your fixed monthly costs will be $33.27/month, to which you’ll have to add any processing costs as well. Additionally, there’s a $99 cancellation fee, and a $25 monthly minimum, neither of which are ideal, in my opinion. Btw, none of the fixed fees or cancellation/monthly minimum fees are listed anywhere on the Volusion website. I managed to get a copy of the full fees list that you can see here.

What’s also not mentioned on their site is that this “in-house” processing is actually more of a partnership between Volusion and First Data Merchant Solutions. In a nutshell, Volusion resells First Data’s processing platform under their own brand name. So, if you sign up with Volusion Merchant Services, then you’re pretty much signing up with First Data.

If you don’t want to go with the Volusion/First Data combo, then you can always go with one of our high-rated processors. Volusion is compatible with a large number of payment gateways (see here), so chances are, one of our high-rated guys will be able to integrate with them as well.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

Volusion offers 24/7 live human support via phone, chat, or email, to all tiers above Mini (online support only).  Gold and Platinum tiers get priority support, which means shorter wait times.

In addition to 24/7 support, Volusion has the following resources to help you:

  • Knowledge Base - Filled with dozens of videos and articles, this is one of the most extensive knowledge base’s that I’ve seen. Good job Volusion!
  • Webinars - Volusion hosts regular webinars that cover eCommerce, marketing, how to setup and run your store, and much more.
  • Video Tutorials - Volusion has an extensive collection of videos that can help you with the setup and marketing of your store. They also have a Youtube channel.
  • Community Forum - There’s a community forum that looks like it’s pretty active, so if you have a question, you can ask it there as well.
  • Social Media Profiles - You can find Volusion on both Facebook and Twitter. If you have any issues, you can engage them there.
  • Dev Wiki - For all you developers, there’s a Dev Wiki where you can find code samples, and other documentation relating to the Volusion platform.

Finally, I’ve read mixed reviews about Volusion’s customer support. It seems to be split between those that love Volusion’s support and those that hate it. See the “Negative Reviews/Complaints,” and “Positive Reviews/Testimonials” sections for more info.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

I spent hours searching the web for negative reviews. My goal was to come up with common patterns amongst those complaints, so I could relay that information to you.

After reading dozens of complaints about Volusion, here are the most common ones:

  • Server Downtime - By far the most complaints were in regards to the uptime of Volusion store’s. Back in 2009, Volusion switched from using Rackspace as their web host to doing everything in-house. Apparently that was a bad choice on their part, because they’ve been having downtime issues ever since. The good news is that those issues have slowly resolved over time, and Volusion offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, so if your site does go down, you may be subject to a pro-rata refund.
  • Bandwidth Overage Charges - There were quite a few people that complained about being charged a bandwidth overage fee. That fee is $7 for every GB you go over your limit.
  • Poor Customer Service/Support - Definitely some mixed reviews on this one. Some people hate Volusion’s service, other’s praise it. It’s a toss up.
  • Free Templates are Bland - I tend to agree with most people that the free Volusion templates are a bit bland, but then again they’re FREE. Beggars can’t be choosers. If you want your templates to be nice and free, then go with Shopify.
  • Poor Startup Tutorial: I definitely agree with this one. Volusion should revisit their “Get Started” tutorial…AND make it better.

To do your own research, you can search on Google for terms like: volusion reviews, volusion complaints, volusion comments, volusion scam, volusion testimonials, etc…

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

There are a number of success stories and testimonials on the Volusion website. I also took some time to research other reviews, comments, and experiences in other parts of the web. From all that research, I picked out the features and topics that were most frequently praised by Volusion customers:

  • No Transactions Fees - Everybody is happy about the fact that Volusion doesn’t charge any transaction fees.
  • Good Customer Service/Support – For every person that complained about Volusion’s support, there was someone that praised it. I personally think they have an awesome resources section (e.g. knowledge base, video tutorials). The 24/7 support is also a huge plus!
  • Easy to Use: Many customers praise Volusion’s easy interface. I tend to agree.

Here are some less frequent positives that I read about Volusion:

  • Built-In Daily Deals Module.
  • Built-In Shopping Cart Abandonment Feature.
  • Built-In POS and Phone Order Features.
  • Built-In Customer Relationship Management Feature (CRM).
  • Automated Back-Ups.
  • Mobile Friendly.
  • Ability to Sell Digital Downloadable Goods.
  • Compatible with Many Payment Gateways.
  • Unlimited Product Variations.

Final Verdict:

Besides the great resource/education materials, there wasn’t anything about Volusion that really blew me away. It’s a good cart that works as advertised. There are features that come standard with Volusion that you won’t find with other carts, so that’s definitely a positive. The fact that they don’t charge any transaction fees is also in your favor. However, the bandwidth overages, random upsell fees, and server downtime issues are something I would definitely be concerned with. Either way, my suggestion is to give Volusion a trial run to see how you like it.

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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37 Comments

    Gerard Brown

    Quickbooks simply does not work. They will charge you for overages associated with the setup, they do not disclose these charges and they do NOT offer phone support for the billing department for when they overcharge you. I had to go to my credit card company because of how difficult it is to speak with someone about billing problems.

    When a company says “email only” in a department they are basically saying they dont want to help, they want you to go away and forget about what you owe.

    I have spent almost 20 hours on hold to discuss an unjust charge and now they are offering me a small percentage of the fee off. I still owe $150+ for absolutely nothing! My website is shut off and my company is suffering greatly.

    There are several different companies available that offer this service. I suggest finding one that does not hide their billing department behind an “Email Only” curtiain. Save yourself some heartache.

    http://www.Hookupcellular.com

    Rating11111
    Mark

    I have the same issue with bandwidth, I m getting over charged every month and I can t see the point on upgrading my plan because I will loose some modules that I have from a previous pricing structure, and they are to over priced.
    The Free template suck and are not mobile friendly at all. If you do want to get a mobile and device friendly template it cost way too much. I regret building my site on there platform.

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    Audra

    I’m confused… if there’s no transaction fee, why is there a “2.17% per transaction plus $10/month statement fee, $17.99/month payment gateway fee, $3.41/month PCI compliance fee, $1.87/month regulatory compliance fee”?

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    uttu

    Yes, even when they do not charge transaction fee (a precentage of your sales, like Shopify does) it does charge you a lot for brandwitdht, even with about 120 visits a day i am needing the gold plan of 165 usd/month because of brandwidth. Not to say the extra tax of PCI… Not cheap, and at the same time i am quite happy with volusion.

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    Failed PCI Compliance

    You should be aware that since Jan. 2013 any Volusion site owner who uses Wells Fargo as their Merchant Account Provider will be failing PCI compliance scans. WF customers are required to use Trustwave to scan for PCI compliance, and Trustwave (as well as other scanning companies) are coming up with high level security fails. Volusion insists it is a false positive (that is what the standard response is every time we submit a ticket), Trustwave denies the disputes with the following message “*While stating that “Credit card data is transmitted via port 443, not port
    21″ is a step in the right direction when seeking acceptance of this
    finding. The remediation of this finding recommends “to use more secure
    alternatives such as SSH instead of Telnet and SFTP in favor of FTP, or
    consider wrapping less secure services within more secure technologies by
    utilizing the benefits offered by VPN, SSL/TLS.” As such, we have denied
    this dispute based on the information provided regarding how this finding
    has been addressed.* ” Their “Customer Experience Manager” Brian Stubbs, more than 5 months ago, wrote this to us: “We plan to implement additional FTP security features in the future that will render this issue obsolete, but we cannot offer such a resolution in the short term.” Shortly after we received that message, we ironically received notice of a price increase for “Due to increasing Internet security risks and growing regulatory compliance demands, Volusion is making extensive investments to maintain industry-leading PCI security standards. In order to continue delivering this highest level of security for your business, we must pass on a small portion of this monthly cost to you of $3.74″. So we’re paying more for the privilege of failing PCI Compliance, Volusion keeps their head stuck in the sand, all WF customers are failing (costing $25/mo. fee for failing – then an ultimate permanent loss of the Merchant Account). Their head customer service guru, David Mitzenmacher, does not respond to emails, our account rep doesn’t have a clue. I’ve found posts from 2011 (yes, 2011) where others have had the same problem. And one of Volusion’s big selling points is their PCI Compliance. Bologna!

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    Margret E. Thomas

    Volusion is scheming, underhanded and highly manifpulative. Let’s us not be delicate here, They are truly among the most dishonest entities I have ever dealt with. Under no circumstances let them have your debit card. But, they demand it anyway. That’s telling you right there that they intend to debit your card without your permission, and for the wrong amount and they most definitely will do so. And no, you will not get your money back. Ever. You can’t have a reasonable discussion with the billing department because they hide from you and make it impossible to talk with the billing department. You can’t get your money back if they do not communicate with you. You can’t play the game with them because they don’t tell you what the rules are. And no, nothing about their rules is honest, fair, or reasonable. Believe me.

    They have they own ” secret” set of rules that they run their company by. Unfortunately, they do not put them in print anywhere on their website. You never have any idea of the kind of monster that you are dealing with until it is too late. If I am not being clear, I will say it in a different way. “They cannot be trusted…ever. ” It can be compared to a girl’s basket ball game. Girl’s team “A” is the visiting team. They are doing great and winning by a mile but when the game ends , team “A” is told that they LOST the game . Of course team “A” is outraged. Team “A” is then told that this basket ball game was to be played according to the BOY’S basket ball rules. Of course it is stupid, it makes no sense, but Volusion does not care. They have your debit card and when they debit lyour you are in their ball park, they own the score board and the rest of the town too. I have not gone into detail about all the things [edited: name removed] and the rest of this dishonest company have said and done. When I have a spare few hours, I may do so. Just keep this in mind, If they ever tell you that they are “compatible” with paypal (like they did with me), hang the phone up and run away. [edited: name removed] told me that Volusion was “compatible” with paypal. He forgot to tell me that they were not compatible “enough” that Paypal would actually “work” on your website. But that is OK. After all, Volusion would be happy to step in and help you out. Then you can just pay them for the credit card processing. ( and all the other charges that they come up with.) I finally just cut my losses and left Volusion while I still had some money left in my bank account.

    Margaret E. Thomas

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    Tawny

    I’m sorry this happened to you. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Volusion. I was considering them, but not any more. You saved me from a bad experience.

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    Chris Bridges

    Here here, I too have been saved from this headache! Thanks for the warning. In this day and age, word travels fast and the strong survive, hopefully the week will wither away.

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    Volusion User

    We have a store on Volusion and are in the process of moving it to a different platform. We cannot wait to pull the plug on Volusion. All the previous bad reviews are correct, and they only touch on the surface.

    Our store is down often. We regularly have customers call to place orders by phone since they couldn’t get the order to go through online. We see our sales volume drop to near nothing on some days every once in awhile. Volusion support has never admitted to us that they were “down”. The closest they came was saying they did experience a little “server latency”, but of course that was corrected.There are (or at least were) posts from in the Volusion forum from some of the “geek” store owners complaining about the much higher than normal abandoned carts they were experiencing with Volusion. Volusion tried to blame it on search engine robots, but the geeks posted logs and pointed out what was search robots and what was not.

    We did have a Volusion merchant services account (cc processing account), largely to have a turnkey store host/payment processing platform so there would be no finger pointing if a problem developed. We were down for 3 days during the Xmas season rush. Volusion blamed the payment processor they were using and claimed it therefore wasn’t Volusions fault. Sorry, but my monthly statement said “Volusion” across the top and we never had any direct dealing or received any statements from the payment processor they were essentially subbing my business out to. Volusion would only blame others and not provide any compensation.

    Speaking of their merchant services, they advertised very boldly that their fee is 2.17% plus a transaction fee. What they make near impossible to find out in advance is that the 2.17% rate practically never applies to your eCommerce business. And their monthly statement is many pages, with various charges scattered throughout so that it is hard to determine exactly what you are paying. When I finally set their statement aside and looked at the total credit card sales vs the deposits to our bank account, I found they were taking about 4.5% of our sales as payment processing fees. Note this does not even include the hosting fees.

    So we go to cancel the Volusion payment processing and switch to another payment processor of our choosing, and Volusion tells us signed a 3 year commitment, and there will be a $99 fee to cancel, apparently all this is in the fine print of the seemingly zillion page sign up forms that nobody reads entirely. Most other payment processors are month to month with no commitment and we were able to cut our fees in half, so we made the $99 cancellation fee and then some back within the first month. Yes it chaps me that they charged us nearly double what numerous other processors charge for two years (thousands of dollars more than their competitors), and then still hit us for a cancellation fee when most of their competitors are month to month with no commitment.

    When a customer opts to pay with Paypal, Volusion sends the customer an order confirmation before he has even finished making payment. How stupid is that? We get a lot of orders that customers don’t finish the Paypal process because they think they’re already done when they get the confirmation. Then we have to email them to try to save the sale, hoping that they don’t think we’re trying to scam them since most sites don’t operate this way. Store owners have widely been begging Volusion in the forums to change this for at least 5 years that I know of to no avail.

    Besides the Paypal integration lacking in many ways, Volusion is also behind on API in general compared to some of its competitors. We find that others carts integrate with many more payment processors, 3rd party apps/add-ons/softwares, etc than Volusion.

    Also as a store owner, you can log into “my account” on the volusion website, and quickly find plan upgrade and add-ons you can add with a simple click or two. But the drop down boxes for the available plans have no downgrade options. If you want to downsize, you have to file a support ticket. In other words, quick and easy to pay more, an act of Congress to pay less once they have you on the hook.

    Also note that if you sell say a shirt that is available in the customer’s choice of 3 colors and 4 sizes, Volusion considers that 13 products (1 parent product and 12 child products). Many of the other shopping carts consider that 1 product. So when comparing plans & costs and depending on the items you sell, you will likely need a Volusion plan with a higher product limit (and thus higher cost) than you will need with one of their competitors.

    The Volusion software is also a little buggy. If we run out of one child product and later enter new inventory when our next stock purchase arrives, the child product will un-hide itself, meaning you have to manually re-hide it or you customer will see your shirt listing plus another listing of the same shirt but in one particular color/size. This means your customer will get confused and/or frustrated by the clutter/duplication, and it will cost you in customer service effort to address their questions that needlessly raises, and probably some will simply go shop elsewhere that is better organized. We have also noticed that sometimes we input new inventory, click save, the page seems to refresh, but the initial inventory amount still shows. You then have to click refresh on your browser to see the updated inventory. We have screwed up our inventory counts numerous times due to double entering inventory because of this.

    The Volusion forum is closely moderated and hidden from public view. Many negative comments are quickly removed. Any potential new customers are not allowed to even view the forum for research. You have to commit to a hosting plan first. If you have a good product, wouldn’t you want to be transparent, want to show it off in every way you could, and encourage open discussion?

    I could go on and on, but in short, Volusion’s policy seems to us to be to generally deny, blame others, cover up, ignore, hide in the fine print, etc… anything but acknowledge and clearly address a problem or clearly disclose all fees and shortcomings.

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    Dave

    I was considering Volusion but this is truly an avalanche of damning reviews.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. I value that greatly.

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    Deb

    I thought this write up was very helpful. Found following page on Volusion site (http://support.volusion.com/article/understanding-your-monthly-volusion-credit-card-processing-statement) that notes various charges on Volusion’s monthly credit card processing statement. I really liked Volusion; clean site, great security (one of the first to openly address PCI as an important point for merchants and customers). But from my calculations it looks as if charges for monthly credit card processing would be $25 (minimally) + 1.39-1.79% of all non and mid-qualified purchases (whatever those are) + .34 cents for each credit card authorization on each item + a Visa acquiring fee that would vary depending upon sales + monthly internet gateway fee of $17.99 + monthly DCI-DSS compliance fee of $3.41 + monthly statement fee of $10 = a consistent monthly fee of minimally $56.40. I’m going back to figure the rates for Big Commerce and Shopify because $56.40 seems a little too steep for me at this point. I know one has to spend money to make money but also have to use what one has wisely. Thanks for writing this article. It was helpful. As a small business starting up I really wanted to use you Volusion. : (

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    Mara Marcus

    Wish I would have seen this before I signed up… Yes, I was scammed by Volusion Merchant Services and their many hidden fees. Try storenvy if you are a small business. They use PayPal for processing but at least you know exactly what you are being charged without all of the hidden fees.

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    Mara Marcus

    While the Volusion site worked ok, I’m writing to let you all know to Beware of Volusion Merchant Services. I signed up thinking it was a convenient way to accept credit cards. I should have stayed with BOA procesding because Voludion had so many hidden fees. I was getting charged $65.00/month for their merchant services alone without making a single transaction. Then they had a hidden 3 year contract with an early termination fee $99. I hate when companies hide all of those fees so I cancelled the merchant services as well as the Volusion site all together and moved to storenvy.com which does all that i needed it to and is totally free and no hidden fees. Hope this helps.

    Rating11111
    Non Profit Boy Scout Troop

    Same experience here. $65/month every month for merchant services – then when i cancel i get the “be prepared for the $99 cancelation fee”.

    I am in active negotiations for a refund for 4 months of merchant fees and the $99 cancellation fee. My next step will be a BBB posting.

    unscrupulous is a great description.

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    Beth Corets

    Run far away from Volusion. And make sure you hold your credit card tightly. They charged us for services we didn’t use. Never notified us of charges and made it impossible to cancel.

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    Donna Nortell

    This firm is unscrupulous. I requested a refund because I never opened a store
    They never had authorization to take money from my account, but they did. I am
    going to have to sue and a family member who works for the news media is going
    to do an expose on this company.You can’t reach the account services and their President Clay doesn’t respond to e-mails and you cannot reach him by phone. Apparently they commit fraud and will not respond because they are guilty.

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    Bojanna

    I agree! The same things happened to me. They Charged me without me opening an account. They were better 2 years ago. They are worse now. I will never recommend anybody to open an account in volusion.

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    David

    I have an online store with Volusion. The hold times for tech support is unbearable. Trying to get any support through tickets via email is worse than pulling teeth, there is 2 to 3 day wait times between questions. They make it where you just about have to buy there services. I already had a SSL certificate, they wanted $99.00 for me to use it and a ten day wait time or pay them $79.00 for their certificate with a 2 day wait time. I wanted to compare merchant accounts, they make it very difficult to to use anybody but them. You have to sign a 3 year contract and they lied to me about all of the fees. I had a fraudulent transaction from a s stolen credit card, I caught it the same day. Authorize.net (the gateway)did not charge me any transaction fees because it was a stolen credit card and I acted immediately. Volusion charged me over $440.00 in fees and diverted all transactions to their bank account for one month while they investigated. Yes, they held all transactions for one month! There is no way I could ever recommend Volusion to anyone, thank god I own my domain name. I am in the process of moving to another host.

    Rating11111
    Mike Z

    Thank you so much for your detailed review. I appreciate your hard work! I love the detail of your review.

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    John

    Volusion is a total RIPOFF
    They will drain your bank account dry!
    BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Atlanta Business

    Volusion’s SSL is not only a rip-off, but they failed to install it 3 x over the last 15 days, resulting in “run away” messages in most browsers stating our site was “unsecure” even though they took our $79 three times and failed to upload. We are in the middle of a black friday promo and have now lost thousands in sales. Do not go to Volusion for anything. Try Big Commerce instead….that’s where we are heading in Jan 2014.

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    Steve

    I am in the process of leaving Shopify, (which basically has the same kind of problems that Volusion seems to have). I was about to go with Volusion, but thank God I read these comments. No way am I going down the same lousy road that I just went down with Shopify. I have read tons of the same types of comments about Big Commerce as well. Is there an ecommerce platform out there that actually works as advertised?

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    Ken

    Have been a customer of Volusion for about 18 months. After my most recent experience with Volusion’s customer service policies I am actively looking to move off the Volusion website. Here are a few of my most recent experiences with Volusion –

    1. For 48 hours on this important holiday weekend, we repeatedly had customers call us stating that they couldn’t process their order on our website. It has been 48 hours since I notified Volusion of the problem and I have yet to receive a response.

    2. We signed up for a three month shopping feed service from Volusion. After receiving a notice from Google that 55% of my feed was being rejected, I contacted Volusion and they claimed that the rejections were a surprise to them and that it was not their job to have the products actually accepted by the shopping feed. Interesting, I thought that is what we paid them more than $1,100 to do.

    3. We use Wells Fargo as our Merchant Account Provider. WF customers are required to use Trustwave to scan for PCI compliance, and Trustwave (as well as other scanning companies) are coming up with high level security fails when it comes to Volusion. This is despite the fact that we pay an extra fee for PCI compliance each month. So we pay an extra fee yet fail the PCI compliance tests.

    4. When we developed our site, we had some custom development work done. We wanted to make a simple change to the site relating to a link. Unfortunately Volusion place the link in a part of the code that was difficult for someone who isn’t a programmer to change. Volusion’s technical help desk told me that I’d have to contact Volusion’s development team and sign a new development contract to make the change. The change was so simple it took a third party 5 minutes to make the change – said it was so simple he wouldn’t even charge me for the work.

    There are certainly some things that Volusion does well. However in our experience, Volusion does not treat you like a partner. It seems they constantly have their hand out looking for money. Even when they actually fail to deliver the service they were contracted to provide.

    My recommendation is to look elsewhere.

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    Taylor Hawkins

    So, if volusion is as bad as everyone on here is saying it is… Which site is better? Or should I just build my own ecommerce site?

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    Sara Billups

    Hi Taylor:

    Check out open source carts Spree Commerce and PrestaShop and cloud-based carts AmeriCommerce and Shopify, we’ve reviewed them all on Merchant Maverick. Depending on the needs of your business one of those platforms may be what you’re looking for. Best of luck!

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    Mark M.

    I went with Volusion because they have really nice templates for creating an online store. If I did it over, though, I would go with an inexpensive hosting service like GoDaddy and pay someone to create the site. With Volusion, even if you don’t have any credit card fees, you’ll be charged $60+ / month. Then you pay $50+ / month for the service. They’ll impress you with their help setting up your account, but then, unless you pay $100 / month or more you’ll have a hard time getting help. Then, if you cancel–as I did–you’ll be charged $99. (I never saw anything about a cancellation fee). Do yourself a favor–go with GoDaddy or another similar company when you’re starting your company, so if it doesn’t work out, you won’t get a lot of unnecessary charges.

    Rating22222
    Barbara

    I use GoDaddy for a personal site (not ecommerce) and their Website Tonight software is clunky, crashes 8 times an hour and ultimately it takes me 3 hours to accomplish what should take 20 minutes.

    If you want support, they tell you that you need to pay for a designer to help you as that is”not part of their regular support.” Be glad you went with Volusion, then hate yourself for the payment processing fees there.

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    Veronica

    I did some researched on other hosting and sites and merchant services before deciding to go with Volusion. I was attracted by the flat 2.17% transaction fee and the low monthly hosting/store set up fee, free templates, supposedly fast and easy customer service, etc. etc. I enjoyed building my site with volusion, and Customer Service on that end was very helpful. My complaints started when I couldn’t get on to set up my email accounts. Noone could tell me why except to tell me to clear my cache and cookies, close all browers and try again. That never worked, but that is all they would tell me. So eventually they set up the email for me. Then I was able to get on my email once, and started getting errors. When I would call they would tell me the same thing about clearing cache and cookies, closing browsers etc., never worked. Then it was “well Volusion isn’t optimized for IE, you need to use Chrome.” So I downloaded Chrome. Didn’t work. So they said it was actually optimized for firefox. So I downloaded firefox. Still didn’t work. Now it seems to work about half the time, the other half giving an error that no one cares to try to help me figure out. This still isn’t my biggest problem with Volusion. When I spoke with sales, I was told a merchant services account would run about $35 per month. That was about on par with other services I had looked into. On the first month I noticed that they charged me $65. When I called and asked they sent me a page that told all the fees including things I was never told about such as the $25 monthly minimum. After having a merchant services account for 3 months, I had never received any kind of statement (despite the $10 a month statement fee). Therefore, I have no idea what percent they are actually charging on payments run by my customers. I have spoken with another merchant services company who looked at the fee schedule and told me that because of the website set up (and that there was no swiping, it was all key-in) one or another of the surcharges would apply to every transaction. This in essence would double the 2.17% fee the advertise. Again, I don’t know if they charged me surcharges or not, because they have never given me a statement and I can’t seem to find one anywhere to access. So I got a much better rate through another company and called to cancel. After waiting on hold for a ridiculous amount of time, they told me I had to send an email and that they couldn’t answer any questions. 5 days later I received a response that informed me it would take several business days to process (got the response on a Friday) and that they would be charging me a $99 early termination fee. I called to complain, but they had no interest in discussing it with me. I was never informed of any 3 year commitment or early termination fee, but when you sign up over the phone, they don’t give you a change to read anything, its here is where to sign, sign now, then sign here, etc. It was in the fine print on the very last page (4 pages after the last page you have to sign). In short, they falsely advertise their fees, don’t give a statement to see what they are charging, and rope you into a 3 year commitment with a ridiculous cancellation fee and will NOT work with you on anything.

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    Veronica

    After special request, I received my statements from the three months I had been using the service via email. I compared them with my merchant agreement, and noticed several problems. I called to get the excess charged (that I didn’t agree to) removed. I was told one charge was a “pass-through” charge that is not disclosed on my agreement and they claim that because it is a pass-through charge, they do no have to disclose, although they know that it exists and will be charged on a monthly basis no matter what. They refused to refund anything from that. There was another fee that was over double what my merchant agreement said. Customer service claimed that it goes up sometimes and that the agreement allows them to raise it. I pointed out that I was never notified of any raise in fees and that the fee was over double starting with my very first bill right after I signed the agreement, so if the fee was going to be doubled on my first bill, why would they have me sign something saying it would be less? She finally agreed to credit me with the difference between the agreement and the charge for the last statement only. I explained that was not good enough, that they hadn’t sent me statements to confirm fees and they overcharged with no notice. She eventually agreed to credit the difference for all three months. Big deal. Doesn’t even begin to cover the $99 fee I am paying to have the services cancelled.

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    Barbara

    Absolutely the exact same experience I had. I also note that none of the best merchant services companies and credit card processing companies recommended on this site are integrated through Volusion. Why would they want to give you a better option than their incredibly over priced solution.

    I was very happy with Volusion until 6 months into using their payment processing service, $385.00 was deducted from my bank account. They had not bothered to send me my statements or bill me the fees, so it came as a real shock to see what add-ons were on my payment processing fees (in one lump sum of six months of fees). I was led to believe it would be $35.00 per month. But there is the additional statement fee, when you don’t receive statements, minimum amount fee etc…

    The folks that work at this end of customer support are hard bitten. They don’t give a rat’s anything that you are dissatisfied or were mislead. I expect that is because they get calls from stunned customers all day – everyday.

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    Russ Squire

    Volusion is the absolute worst choice you could ever make for your online store. Runaway as far and as fast as you can.

    They lie about their downtime, they have done several platform upgrades, beginning on November 14th, 2013 that resulted in unsolicited changes getting made to product pages and storefronts.

    You confront them about it and they deny everything.

    They will not give you access to your server error logs when requested. There company is just a plain mess and not on the customers side of the table.

    Volusion’s platform code is old, outdated and actually penalizes you from an SEO perspective with Google. It is very old architecture and not up to current standards.

    We are moving to Magento and our own dedicated server just as fast as we can.

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    Serge

    I’ ve been using Volusion since 2010. Overall great experience.
    If you wish to save money on merchant fees, please sign up for PayPal Pro. All other companies will charge you at least 1% more for payment processing. Additionally PayPal will lower the fee if you have an eBay account.

    Since 2013 Volusion has improved significantly – no outages, mobile site has been redesigned, checkout is really mobile (the customer can even use PayPal mobile which is great feature). Also they are planning to improve API which will allow them to offer more applications. New features are added every months.
    My only recommendation is to lower the bandwidth fee over the limit. $3-$5 per Gb would be great.

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    James

    Under no circumstances should you use Volusion – less an ecommerce “solution”, more an ecommerce “problem”.

    After “updating” their software to prevent the payment gateway from working, they then too almost a week to rectify their problem, and almost as long to respond to any support tickets raised on their system.

    They have now had the cheek to tell me that despite this (only the second time in three months that they have shut off the ability to take orders and payments through their system), I cannot have any money refunded as the site was up throughout this time, and that’s the measure by which they would consider giving back any money – it’s all in their terms and conditions that they can carry on taking money when they like, without any need to actually provide a service. If I tried such a ridiculous approach with any of my customers I would have every expectation that they would never shop with me again.

    Never, ever, use Volusion – unless, of course, you want to experience high blood pressure, incompetent and rude service, and the joy of paying through the nose for a service that isn’t a service. Amazing how they’re still in business.

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    G.Cemberci

    We started this site years ago..Still have many glitches they never solved or ignored..Website functions work fine..For instance we sell gift certificate to our customer for $25, and a customer wants to buy another one it uses the $25 already purchased..So they buy NOTHING….We mentioned this but it was ignored..
    We just applied for merchant services..It was a TERRIBLE experience..DO NOT get any..Try PAYPAl instead..As they get bigger, their customer service is getting worse..respond time is very long..But they are good at taking your money with no delay..

    Rating22222
    Stephanie Gordon

    I have been using Volusion for 4+ years for several e-commerce clients. I have to say their customer support has gone from a 10 to a 1 in quality the past year. It takes forever and I mean forever to get any support question answered via ticket and on the phone you are always told ‘we have to look into it’ and we’ll call you back or ‘you need to call back’, etc. It is the worse and very sad that a company with some much promise has tanked in the support and technical department.

    Rating11111
    Non Profit Boy Scout Troop

    Amad – since essentially 100% of the feedback here is negative, shouldn’t you perhaps consider adding some kind of weighting to your top level 3.5 stars that factors this in?

    Volusion has essentially stolen $250 from my non profit and it’s not over yet.

    Rating11111
    Amad Ebrahimi

    Thanks for the input Jason. We definitely consider user reviews in our ratings, but keep in mind that people are prone to complain when things go bad, but rarely praise a company when things go well. Our rating is based in part on our own research, and based on that research we deemed Volusion to have a 3.5 rating.

    RatingNot Rated

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