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30Oct/123

3dcart Review

Merchant Maverick's Rating: (3 out of 5)
three-stars

Last Updated: October 30th, 2012.

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Overview:

3dcart is a fully hosted eCommerce shopping cart. It provides all the features you'll need to build and run an online store, whether you sell hard goods or digital products. Depending on how large you expect your store to be, they have several pricing tiers that will most likely cover your needs, including a very entry-level price point of $9.99 (Nano). Like most other carts, you can try it out for free (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 about 10k+ customers that are using their platform and it looks like they're growing everyday. Although 3dcart has a ton of built-in features and is priced well, there are a few things that made me lower their score. Read this whole review to find out what those things are.

Date Established:

2001.

Location:

Tamarac, Florida

Domain Name(s):

www.3dcart.com.

Pricing:

3dcart offers a free 15-day (no credit card required) trial. There are no setup, cancellation, or transaction fees, and they offer a 30-day money back guarantee. If you prepay for 1-year you will receive a 15% discount (5% for 3-month prepay and 10% for 6-month prepay).

  • Nano - $9.99/month, 25 products, 1GB data transfer (bandwidth), 1GB storage, free domain registration, 24/7/365 telephone support.
  • Mini - $19.99/month, 100 products, 2GB data transfer (bandwidth), 1GB storage, free domain registration, 24/7/365 telephone support, $25 Adcenter credit, $100 Amazon credit, autoresponder, group deals, 3dFeedback, daily deals, make an offer.
  • Starter - $35.99/month, 500 products, 4GB data transfer (bandwidth), 2GB storage, free domain registration, 24/7/365 telephone support, $25 Adcenter credit, $100 Amazon credit, autoresponder, group deals, 3dFeedback, daily deals, make an offer, email marketing, unlimited staff logins.
  • Professional  - $65.99/month, 1,000 products, 6GB data transfer (bandwidth), unlimited storage, free domain registration, 24/7/365 telephone support, $50 Adcenter credit, $100 Amazon credit, autoresponder, group deals, 3dFeedback, daily deals, make an offer, email marketing, unlimited staff logins, livechat plugin.
  • Professional Plus  - $99.99/month, unlimited products, 20GB data transfer (bandwidth), unlimited storage, free domain registration, 24/7/365 telephone support, $75 Adcenter credit, $100 Amazon credit, autoresponder, group deals, 3dFeedback, daily deals, make an offer, email marketing, unlimited staff logins, livechat plugin, enhanced statistics, quickbooks plugin, 3dROI tracking.
  • Power - $129.99/month, unlimited products, 45GB data transfer (bandwidth), unlimited storage, free domain registration, 24/7/365 telephone support, $75 Adcenter credit, $100 Amazon credit, autoresponder, group deals, 3dFeedback, daily deals, make an offer, email marketing, unlimited staff logins, livechat plugin, enhanced statistics, quickbooks plugin, 3dROI tracking.

3dcart also offers enterprise solutions for larger companies which are hosted on dedicated/virtual servers.

  • Premium - $199.99/month plus $199 one-time setup fee, unlimited products, 60GB data transfer (bandwidth), unlimited storage, free domain registration, 24/7/365 telephone support, $75 Adcenter credit, $100 Amazon credit, autoresponder, group deals, 3dFeedback, daily deals, make an offer, email marketing, unlimited staff logins, livechat plugin, enhanced statistics, quickbooks plugin, 3dROI tracking.
  • Dedicated - $379.99/month plus $299 one-time setup fee, unlimited products, 100GB data transfer (bandwidth), unlimited storage, free domain registration, 24/7/365 telephone support, $75 Adcenter credit, $100 Amazon credit, autoresponder, group deals, 3dFeedback, daily deals, make an offer, email marketing, unlimited staff logins, livechat plugin, enhanced statistics, quickbooks plugin, 3dROI tracking.
  • Dedicated Duo - $499.99/month plus $299 one-time setup fee, unlimited products, 250GB data transfer (bandwidth), unlimited storage, free domain registration, 24/7/365 telephone support, $75 Adcenter credit, $100 Amazon credit, autoresponder, group deals, 3dFeedback, daily deals, make an offer, email marketing, unlimited staff logins, livechat plugin, enhanced statistics, quickbooks plugin, 3dROI tracking.

Web-Hosted or Licensed:

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

Ease of Use:

After tinkering with 3dcart, I was a bit disappointed to be quite honest. In my opinion it is not very easy to use. I think the admin area is cluttered and looks more like a cpanel for a hosting account rather than a shopping cart dashboard. Everything is too close together as if it's purposefully been bunched up, when it could have been more spread out. Also, certain setting changes require extra steps that just seem unnecessary.

I went ahead and made a list of issues that I personally had with the interface:

  • Store modules need extra coding to work. For example, if I want to enable the 3dFeedback module, I first have to enable it in the Store Modules section. I then have to copy the widget script and paste it into the footer of my site. Why not just auto-add the script for us?
  • Unless you use the Tag Wizard, your Meta Tags will be inserted into your site without the necessary META code.
  • There's no WYSIWYG editor for the HTML version of transactional emails. If you want to create an HTML version of your email templates, then you have to know some code, or you have to use a separate WYSIWYG editor.
  • There are two sections where you can manage your site content. They are, Titles & Content and Site Content. A bit confusing.
  • When adding a product to a category, I can't tell if it has been added to that category, until I click "close this window." This one is hard to explain with words. Try it for yourself, and you'll know what I mean.
  • Prev and Next buttons on product adding/editing page actually toggles through products, not the product options tabs. This is another one that's difficult to explain. When you're adding/editing a product, click on the "< prev next >" links.

I could go on forever, but you catch my drift. From a usability standpoint, 3dcart needs to work on a few things.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

3dcart is a hosted shopping cart so all you need is a web-enabled browser like Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Features:

You can find a full feature list on the 3dcart website, however I've selected the most important features, and listed them below.

  • Store Design:
    • 50+ free themes. Not the best looking designs though.
    • FTP access.
    • WYSIWYG editor.
    • Edit CSS without editing code.
    • Drag n' drop editor.
    • Unlimited images for products.
    • Zoom images.
    • Complete control over product and category templates.
  • Payments:
    • Compatible with multiple payment gateways.
    • Third-party payment integration (e.g. Paypal, Google Checkout, and Amazon Payments).
    • Authorize, capture, and refund from store admin.
  • Order Management:
    • Manually create orders and invoices.
    • Process refunds.
    • Transactional emails.
    • Built-in CRM.
    • Built-in RMA.
    • OrderMotion and Stone Edge integration.
    • Checkout questions. Allows you to ask additional questions from your customers during checkout.
    • Wholesale support. Lets you offer retail and wholesale pricing.
    • Customer registration.
    • Search orders.
  • Reporting and Analytics:
    • Built-in website stats. These stats aren't the most detailed or accurate. My opinion is that you use the Google Analytics integration.
    • Google Analytics integration.
    • Sales reports.
    • Product reports.
    • Business reports (e.g. profit).
    • Customer reports (e.g. top customers).
    • In-site search.
    • Abandoned cart tracking.
  • Shipping:
    • Drop-shipping support.
    • Real-time shipping calculations with major providers.
    • Flat-rate shipping functionality.
    • TrueShip integration.
    • Endicia integration.
  • Hosting and Security:
    • PCI Compliant.
    • Hosting outsourced to: RackSpace, Softlayer, ThePlanet, or LiquidWeb.
    • Daily backup.
    • Intrusion detection.
    • IP blocking.
  • SEO:
    • Search engine friendly URLs.
    • Category, product, and page-level control of meta data.
    • Dynamic XML sitemap generator.
    • Manually create 301 URL redirects.
    • Breadcrumb navigation.
    • Dedicated IP address.
    • Auto-generated ALT tags and link titles.
    • Edit Robots.txt in admin.
    • Note: No auto-generated H1 tags for product or category pages.
  • Marketing and Promotions:
    • Built-in newsletter subscription management.
    • Affiliate program.
    • Coupons and discounts.
    • Gift certificates.
    • Gift registry.
    • Free shipping options.
    • Product reviews and ratings.
    • Facebook "Like" button for products.
    • Tweet button for products.
    • Built-in Social Commerce tool. Let's you Tweet and Facebook your products directly from the admin section. Also adds a social bookmarking widget (AddThis) to your site.
    • Email to a friend.
    • Add to wishlist.
    • Share wishlist.
    • Featured products.
    • Yahoo Shopping, Google Base, Shop.com, Shopping.com, Shopzilla/Bizrate, NextTag, and PriceGrabber feed generators.
  • Product Management:
    • Unlimited configurable product variations.
    • Bulk import/export.
    • Multiple pricing levels.
    • Bundled products.
    • Inventory management.
    • Ability to sell Virtual/Digital products.
    • Upload files in admin.
    • Force login/registration to view certain products.
    • Search products.

Web Design:

3dcart offers 50+ free templates that you can choose from, but they aren't the nicest designs in the world. If you want anything remotely nice, then you'll have to go with a premium template, or get a custom design.

If it wasn't for the admin interface being cluttered, the design editing sections would 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 n' drop feature which simplifies some other design elements. The drag n' drop editor should probably be called the "visual editor" or something like that because it handles more than just drag n' drop. It also gives you the ability to add products, pages, categories, and blog posts directly in store view.

Finally, the whole cart is written in ASP.NET. I don't know many coders that enjoy working with ASP.NET, so that's something to keep in mind.

Integrations and Add-Ons:

3dcart has a decent amount of add-ons in their app-store. They definitely don't have as many add-ons as say Shopify, but they have the most important integrations covered like, Quickbooks (Accounting), Shipwire (Fullfillment), Constant Contact (Email Marketing), Olark (Live Chat), and ShareASale (Affiliate Marketing).

Payment Processing:

3dcart is compatible with dozens of payment gateways including Authorize.Net. Most of our high rated processors offer Authorize.Net as well, so you shouldn't have a problem finding a compatible processor.

3dcart also offers an "in-house" merchant account, but technically it's a partnership between 3dcart and Bankcard Services Worldwide (review coming soon). You can choose from two packages either, "Starter" or "Pro." Both packages are under a tiered-pricing structure.

  • Starter - $19.99/month + 2.39% (Qualified) + $0.40 authorization fee.
  • Pro - is $29.99/month 1.98% (Qualified) + $0.29 authorization fee.

As you probably know, under tiered-pricing, there's usually a Non-Qualified rate as well. In this case, your Non-Qualified rate will be 4.21% for the Starter package and 3.8% for the Pro package. There's also an early termination fee of $99. For a full list of all the fees go here.

In my opinion, you're better off not using 3dcart's in-house program. I'm not a fan of tiered-pricing or early termination fees.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

3dcart offers 24/7/365 email, live chat, and phone support to all merchants regardless of which tier you're on. They say their average phone wait time is approximately 5 minutes, so I gave their support team a call to see if that was true. My wait time was 8 minutes and 8 seconds.

3dcart also offers the following resources:

  • Knowledge Base - They have a comprehensive knowledge base covering pretty much everything that has to do with setting up and running your store.
  • Video Tutorials - They have dozens of training videos that you can access directly on their site, or through their Youtube channel.
  • Webinars - Covering topics like, marketing, social media, seo, and how to grow and run your business.
  • Guides - The 3dcart guides dive deeper into specific store functions. They are more in-depth than the knowledge base articles.
  • Support Forum - The 3dcart forums look pretty active, with most questions getting answered in a timely manner with multiple replies.
  • eCommerce University - There's also a wealth on knowledge in the 3dcart eCommerce University. I really like it when companies spend time and resources on offering education material to their customers, so kudos to 3dcart on this one.
  • Social Media Profiles - You can find 3dcart on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Blog - You can find some more eCommerce related info on their blog.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

I spent hours sifting through the web to find the most common negative reviews and complaints. I went ahead and compiled them in a list below.

  • 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.

To do your own research, you can search on Google for terms like:  3dcart comments, 3dcart reviews, 3dcart complaints, 3dcart scam, 3dcart testimonials, etc...

Final Verdict:

Between the clunky admin and bland templates, I wasn't very impressed by 3dcart. I think they have ton of built-in features, but the interface just isn't very clean or user friendly, in my opinion. The complaints about customer support worried me as well, since support is one of the most important features when it comes to shopping carts. Especially when your cart isn't very easy to use. 3dcart gets a 3 out of 5 from Merchant Maverick, but you're always free to try it out yourself. Give it a trial run and see what you think.

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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.

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Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
Comment Rules: Don't forget to read the "User Review and Comment Policy" before posting.
  1. 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.

    • 11111
  2. Cannot generate shopping feeds for Google with 3Dcart and their support never answers plea for help.

    • Not Rated
  3. 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.

    • Not Rated

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