The Joomla! Extensions Directory ™


bymuffinlady, October 25, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I have been trying to get the VirtueMart shopping cart to work right for almost two weeks now. What was touted as a quick and easy already-integrated solution has turned in to a headache.

After umpteen attempts, reading the documentation (which is WOEFULLY outdated) at the store site AND on VM's own site, I have to say that it hasn't been worth the time.

There are few explanations as to what information or format a field is looking for. For example, the UOM (Unit of Measure) - it would seem pretty simple, but it does not necessarily use the standard two letter UOM that most of us are accustomed to. I had "EA" for each in a listing,and it was not recognized! Even the admin asked me what it stood for. Um, "each". It wanted the word "pound" spelled out. I would have never done that, esp since the items I sell are not weight-related.

I had to invent nine diff shipping rates to accommodate multiple item discounts for just this one item. I'll have to create fake weights for other listings to use anything different. Amazing - very poorly thought out on the shipping mods. If you ship via UPS, FedEx or DHL, you'll probably be okay. If you use UPSP shipping and have smaller items that take first class, good luck!

There are many diff options to choose from on the shipping, with NOTHING explained as to what they trigger. You have to peck and hunt, experiment, change types, try again, ad infinitum.

My store host admin was able to get my additional shipping to finally ad up correctly, but then the tax was off! It asks for 3 decimal points, but only calculates based on two decimal places, and does NOT round up. So, our .xyz tax rate only calcs as .xy, and the z doesn't enter in to the picture at all, causing tax calcs to be off. Even if I round "y" up to the next number, then I am overcharging my customers.... it just doesn't make sense!

The VM boards are full of unanswered questions and surly responses from the few moderators that are still there. They seem to take offense that someone would need help! As often happens, the people who use it every day forget that the rest of us do NOT use it daily (until we downloaded it), and many things are not clear at all! They even state that they don't have the time to monitor the boards and answer all the questions, so try to find something already posted. Um, ok.

There needs to be walk-through documention on the CURRENT version on how to configure for USPS, etc etc. If they are going to put in so many options, they need to be explained, as well as how to adjust them for your usage.
While their intentions are great, and they've created a great piece of software, users still need to know how to customize it to their needs, and that is a shot in the dark at best! A few things in the latest version have a blue circle with an "I" in it - presumably standing for information. If you mouse over it, it tells a little bit about it, but not very helpful still, and doesn't EXPLAIN what the options do! Ugh - but they are at least on the right track. Every item should have an explanation as to how to customize it.

Take that UOM deal - I've dealt with software modules for years, and have not seen one that wanted the full word spelled out! Why don't they just give a drop-down list to choose from, instead of making you guess what they need? Since my "EA" was not recognized, I need to know what they have to have....

So far, it has taken WAYYYYYYYY too much time for little in return. My site is still not able to open for business, since the charges don't calc right still, and tax is off. I've stopped uploading product, since I might have to just change sites and start over. I'm looking for something permanent and had hoped I would not have to learn to program a cart to use this one. Well, I guess I do! And if I have to learn how to configure a cart, I'd rather spend my time with one like OSComm or Zencart. VM is too scattered!

Overall, I have over ten yrs experience in HTML coding, and I find this cart to be glutted with overkill, and lacking in the basics. Perhaps it is because the developer isn't familiar with USPS mail systems? I don't really know. But had I known how backwards the shopping cart really was, I think I would have chosen another store host! I went with this one, because supposedly everything was integrated and ready for the small seller to set up shop.

Yeah right. Plan ahead - I might have it figured out after Christmas, and be ready for holiday sales 2008.