Shopping Cart Comparisons, CRE Loaded

Author xlxmarketing 27.1.2010. | 19:41

27 01 10  spring festival warning banner

shopping cart review

So you have just got into the world of ecommerce, you’ve picked a winning drop ship supplier now all you need to do is to work out how to list your items online.

There are about as many ways to sell online as there are things to sell online. Besides having eBay, Amazon and many other eBay alternatives as locations to host and promote listings there are open source communities like OSCommerce and CRE Loaded offering to help you create your own website to sell things on.

As a result getting clear, correct easily-understood information more than a little hard, especially when those who know the most are often the least able to express their knowledge clearly in a language that will be understood by everybody.

So Chinavasion is running a series on the different ecommerce software / platform options available to you, go through how they work and talk about their benefits and problems.

CRE Loaded

CRE Loaded

There are three versions of CRE Loaded, the Community Edition, B2B edition and PRO edition.

Community Edition

This is the free version of CRE Loaded, and comes just PCI PA-DSS Validated with CRE Secure PCI Compliant Payment System integrated and with no form of guarantees or support from the company.

Pro Edition
This comes with much the same services as the community edition with a little extra support and guarantees (although one commentator had difficulty with this) At the time of writing the pro option cost a base USD$125 (although that was half of the usual US$250 price), plus additional costs to upgrade to the latest version of the software.

B2B Edition
This is the super deluxe version of CRE loaded and comes with everything (including a higher level of service) It cost US$297.50 at the time of writing (although this was again half price from the usual US$595) a cost which included install to one domain. Like the pro edition there would be additional costs for program upgrades.

In general, the CRE Loaded platform, like Zen Cart and Magento is an OSCommerce offshoot that in that it doesn’t host any content and won’t be able to used in conjunction with sites like eBay, Amazon or one of the many eBay alternatives.

And, like OSCommece, Zen cart and Magento, this puts it into the more complex basket because it means that users will be required to know code and how to deal with site hosting companies, domain name brokers and the like.

Like OSCommerce, Zen cart and Magento CRE Loaded is very customizable with a number of different shops being created from the same model. And like the two other platforms it has had a number of add-ons made for it to make it do a number of different jobs.

However, unlike Magento CRE Loaded and Zen Cart are often mentioned in the same breath as being the fastest, most user friendly of the OSCommerce offshoots.

Like many open source projects out there CRE Loaded’s strength is in its number of add ons and, besides the Download controller and Gift Voucher/Coupon features that Zen Cart and Magento has, it also has Newsdesk, FAQdesk, Wishlist, a Google Adsense Banner Module and an Affiliate manager.

It is these add ons which, according to Sean Michael Kerner, writer for the very essential gives CRE-Loaded the slight edge over Zen Cart (

Both use PHP 4.1+, MySQL, 3.2.3+

So what are the problems with CRE loaded?

Besides being too complex for people just getting into ecommerce to get up and run with Sean Michael Kerner says that, for the community edition there aren’t the necessary file permission warnings that are needed when transferring your store to a web server that may require you to go back to the server.

According to some users the CRE pro (read paid) version also has some largeish holes as well, including the inability apply percentage discounts to product attributes and the inability to add images to attributes. People have said official support for the paid version is also less than ideal.

And Allan, one of our customers, said that he had used CRE Loaded 6.4 B2B (read the deluxe version) in one of his online shops and had found that the system offered regular categories and multiple sub categories as well as creating buyer groups with the capability of setting different discounts for each of the groups.

Like any of the open source ecommerce platforms there is no shortage of support for people trying to find their way around CRE Loaded and anybody trying to fix problems would be advised to visit the following resources:

CRE Loaded Resources

  • CRE Loaded
  • CRE Loaded Wiki (Crepedia)
  • CRE Loaded Knowledge

So, as you can see, CRE Loaded is perhaps worth looking at if you’ve got some time on your hands and are willing to put the work in.

Let us know what you think of CRE Loaded in the comments below or take part in our polls to let us know which ecommerce platform you run your business with.

CRE Loaded Summary

CRE Loaded

  • Name: CRE Loaded
  • Popularity: Alexa Rank of 37,188
  • Set-Up Cost:
    • $0 Community version
    • US$125 Pro Version*
    • US$297.50 B2B Version*
  • Customizationability:Extremely customizable
  • Help:See list above
  • Software Requirements: PHP 4.1+, MySQL, 3.2.3+
  • Find At:

*At the time of writing

Author xlxmarketing 27.1.2010. | 19:41
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