Will CS cart work for me - either C2C or P2P?


I would like to start a eCommerce website (OK, OK - I guess everyone here does too!)

The PRODUCTS would be used/new.

Anonymous BUYERS would purchase PRODUCTS from Anonymous SELLERS on the WEBSITE (they can chat anonymously - ADMIN to monitor) and pay the WEBSITE. After successful delivery/receipt the WEBSITE will remunerate the SELLER less a WEBSITE fee of (say) 5%.

Will CS Cart work for me?
I have previously dabbled with different other E-Commerce platforms.

Sellers cannot be fully anonymous - after all, they have to register an account to place their products.
However, there are settings in CS-Cart to let unregistered customers place orders, and another one to hide product vendors in frontend. So I guess you can set up a quasi-anonymous environment in CS-Cart.

Your best bet would be requesting a demo store and checking it yourself.

Best regards,

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In the CS Cart world, you will be looking at the multi-vendor edition. Which licensing level will depend on your feature requirements.

The software + hosting + development isn’t cheap. Your business model is good but a 5% cut may be a bit on the low side unless you are doing high volume. You have to consider any transaction fees plus your cost of doing business (banking, accounting, sales+marketing, time, etc, etc. It’s only worth doing if you anticipate turning a decent profit.

You can see Amazon’s take rates here:
What it Costs to Sell on Amazon in 2023 (repricer.com)

I think eBay averages around 10%. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

My business model is similar in that I am allowing un-trusted sellers to list their wares, but I also have a category for trusted sellers where I have validated their identity. My site will distinguish verified and unverified sellers in the product listing. The point here is that it is easy to sell whatever you want, but sellers are encouraged to verify their identity. My site will provide buyer protection if the seller is verified but not if the seller is unverified.

Trust is a key intermediate in the transaction and ultimately in the success of the site. While I love/hate amazon, there is no question that they have established a trusted seller model. I’ve had infrequent problems with sellers on amazon and all it takes to get your money back is a 5 minute call to customer service. They have never questioned me and the resolution has always been speedy.

You need to consider and mitigate any fraud that might occur on your website. You also need to bake in some self-insurance in case someone does fall victim to fraud. That is also why 5% seems too low (unless high volume). If a customer calls you and says “I was scammed. This is not what I ordered… or, my order didn’t show up”. You do not really have the option to say, sorry. You will be reimbursing this client out of pocket. The alternative where your marketplace takes no accountability in the transaction process is a model doomed to fail. I wouldn’t buy from that site.

But yes… CS Cart is a viable platform for such a marketplace. Just be prepared for the costs as they start to stack up. For me, I decided it was the best option, but it is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive.

Stay inspired. Pursue your dream. Do it. Go for it. There is a path to success. Just don’t jump in with blinders on. It needs to be grounded in reality. Limitations and constraints are equally as important as capabilities and vision.

And it’s A LOT of work. Be prepared to put in some serious hours. It’s a full time job on top of whatever else you have going on for income. If you are wealthy you can pay people to build your site for you, but if that is your business model then there might be better alternatives than CS Cart. CS Cart shines because it is possible to do most of the work yourself but it takes a degree of technical sophistication and the software itself is large and complex.

Yes the 5% is the initial rate to get the WEBSITE going. A gradual increase to 10% will happen over time.


(BUYER protection) : The SELLER cannot advertise fake non-existing PRODUCTS.
(SELLER protection) : The BUYER cannot make fake deposits.
The BUYER would pay the WEBSITE.
After BUYER confirmed receipt the SELLER will receive their money less (5%).

SELLERS are known to the WEBSITE, but place adverts anonymously - i.e. the BUYER cannot identify them.
However, after funds have been received, the SELLER is revealed to the BUYER as either FREE COLLECTION or FREE DELIVERY needs to happen.