Nothing works completely. I should start by saying that CS Cart has impressed me greatly, and it is probably the best shopping cart software I've used. The administrator area is simple and powerful, and the templates (skins) are relatively easy to customize.

Getting shopping cart software to run propertly for a business in Canada is aways difficult. It's a combination of little effort on the developer's part to make it built to work, and what looks like no time spent on testing.

CS Cart gets full points for making it straightforward to create tax rates for different locations - PST for the province, GST for federal taxes, and HST for those three provinces that require it currently (the number of provinces will increase in 2010).

CS Cart does not get full marks for the Canada Post shipping module in CS Cart version 2.0.8. It almost does the minimum required, but it has a bug. I think the Canada Post module is relatively new, so hopefullly this will be improved in the future.

For more than an hour, I was troubleshooting why it would correctly estimate shipping from Canada to Canada, but it would never estimate from Canada to the USA. It always came back with the error message, "Unfortunately no shipping options are available for your location". After digging through the code, I realized that:

  1. No matter where the customer was located, the CS Cart always asked for domestic shipping products from Canada Post, and
  2. After an hour of troubleshooting and debugging the AJAX enabled shipping estimator, and trying to decipher the session data used by the software, I was no where close to finding the root cause in the CS Cart code.

Having given up looking for the optimal solution, I just hardcoded a fix. The code below was added to the /shippings/can.php file at line 87 (the first line is included here as a reference). It shortcircuits the bad logic to correctly state "if the customer is in the USA, get shipping quotes for the Xpresspost USA product".

	list($header, $result) = fn_http_request('POST', '', $request);

    // Short circuit the code used, because it continues
    //  to use a Canadian shipping code for USA customers
    if($location['country'] == 'US')
      $code = '2030';
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