Custom Options Or Buy Together


I am rather new to CS cart and am still working out my 30 day trial period to see if I can get the cart to function as I need. I can see the beauty of this for a typical large catalog for primary "buy off the shelf" type products, but my needs are somewhat different.

Since I am growing close to the end of my trial period, I need to reach out for some guidance since my decision to purchase or not is based on if CS cart will truly meet my needs.


I have no use for inventory management, which seems to be the highlight to CS cart and all others I have test drove.

I do custom printing, coffee mugs, tiles, mouse-pads etc. For this post, I will talk about a mug print which will demonstrate what is needed and in a user-friendly manor for my customers. I do see all of the needed options/functions for this, just the pieces are not fitting together in a user friendly manor.

With a mug, we have 3 elements, 1 required (the mug w/default single side print) and other 2 pieces, optional being either second side print or full wrap (all the way around) print, which can be either/or but not both. Each of these additional print options would require gathering info from customer.

I could show all of this on the single mug page which would be long an ugly for my customers and most likely intimidating. In my current set-up, I have built a 3 page form set (stand alone) with dynamic forms based on options selected. The flow of this begins on the SQL driven "store/product" page that is also the initial page of my multi page form. Initial variables get set and then next page leaves the SQL store to collect all other details with the "add to cart" button on the success page of my forms, going back to the SQL driven shopping cart/checkout. This works out great even though it is very old school, but unfortunately, the cart I have hook up to my form set has some security holes and the publisher/author are no where to be found, hence my need to find another cart solution.

My current setup follows the same concept as the "buy together" function in CS Cart where the mug, second print side & full wrap print are 3 different products, all having their own multi tier pricing.

In CS Cart, instead of a separate PN for second side print and full wrap print, I set just an "extra print" PN with full wrap being an option since the price difference between the 2 are pennies. I think this will work but with obstacles, which is why I am reach out for guidance before my trial ends so I can decide to purchase CS cart or not.

The main guidance I am looking for is how to make this more user friendly/streamlined

I am a DIY type and although by no means en expert or even fluent, I do have basic understanding or various scripting such as JavaScript & PHP and the general concepts. So I am more looking for feedback, ideas or pointers to help me see my objectives, not necessarily someone to do it for me, although hiring out is not out of the questions if I find myself getting too over my head and $$ seems reasonable.

I am sure I can figure it out in time, but need to find an avenue before my 30 days runs out ( I am ready to purchase as soon as I am 100% sure, I can make this happen in a non confusing way for my customer. and without spending a ton of $ on top of the license purchase. I am a small PT home base Internet hobby business.

Thanks for any insight