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I am looking for a service for easily creating and managing an online shop without all the perils of installing software and maintaining a server.

These are the features that are mandatory:

  • product management (the ability to easily add products -> the business is growing rapidly)
  • custom shipping cost calculation (these are mostly heavy products)
  • multiple languages
  • PayPal payment
  • overall ease of use (a non-geek will have to use and maintain it, once it's set up)

Features that are optional (but a nice plus):

  • stock management
  • payment options other than PayPal

I'm looking for answers with real-world experience rather than simply listing what's available.
Please provide pro's and con's. Also any tips and tricks are welcome.
Note that this is for a European based online shop. This might be important for the shipping and language options.

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This might be a good question for the proposed Pro Webmasters site. area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/894/… –  danivovich Jul 2 '10 at 11:57
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@dan: It would, if it wasn't for the line "... without all the perils of installing software and maintaining a server". –  fretje Jul 2 '10 at 12:07
    
@off topic voter: why? –  fretje Jul 2 '10 at 12:45
    
If web hosting is off-topic, this is too. –  delete Jul 2 '10 at 16:34
    
@Kin: This is as much related to hosting as any question about blogging or wiki or ... almost about any question here actually. –  fretje Jul 2 '10 at 16:40
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closed as not constructive by Barry Nov 19 '11 at 11:53

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4 Answers

Check out http://myestoreapp.com

It's another hosted solution; but they have a great free starter package. Doesn't require you any coding either; you just copy a javascript line to your site and it works within your site.

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I recently saw a tweet about http://vendr.com which probably might be another player in this group...

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I've never tried it, but Shopify is supposed to very good. You could also check out Business Catalyst from Adobe - that's more of a CMS but it has E-Commerce integration.

http://www.shopify.com/
http://businesscatalyst.com/

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Lifehacker did a "Hive Five" on this recently:

"Five Best Places to Set Up Shop Online"

The ones that don't require your own server are:

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