Compare Sharetribe vs. CS-Cart Multi-Vendor

Which marketplace builder is better, Sharetribe or CS-Cart? The answer depends on your requirements, technical skills, budget, and goals. This article helps you find the best approach for you.

CS-Cart Multi-Vendor isn’t a hosted marketplace solution like Sharetribe. It’s a multi-vendor shopping cart script that you can download for a one-off fee and install on your own server. 

The benefit of marketplace scripts like CS-Cart is that they can be extended through custom development. While the fee structure is more expensive upfront, in the long run, scripts might be more affordable alternatives to subscription-based solutions.

The biggest downside is that if you don’t have advanced technical skills, you probably need to hire a developer to set up and maintain your marketplace. This can increase the upfront costs and delay your launch. Most scripts also tend to pose challenges when it comes to building entirely new features, powering multiple marketplace transaction flows, or building third-party integrations. Maintenance and hosting will also require considerable investment at scale. If this sounds like something you’re not willing to negotiate, a hosted no-code solution like Sharetribe Go or an API-based tool Sharetribe Flex might be better suited for your needs.

The table below helps you compare CS-Cart with Sharetribe Go and Sharetribe Flex.

CS-Cart Multi-Vendor

Sharetribe Go

Sharetribe Flex

Dedicated marketplace solution

How to get started
  • Create an account for CS-Cart Multi-Vendor
  • Buy a domain
  • Register a hosting service
  • Upload and install the Multi-Vendor installation package
  • Start setting up your marketplace through code

OR:

  • Buy CS-Cart’s hosting service which includes installation (starting at $69 /mo)
  • Hire a developer to set up your marketplace features and UX
  • Sign up to Sharetribe Go
  • (Buy a custom domain)
  • (Set up a Custom Landing Page)
  • Sign up to Sharetribe Flex
  • Develop your marketplace front end on top of APIs & website template
  • Buy a domain
  • Buy hosting for your front end
Built-in marketplace features

(depending on the pricing plan you choose)

Pricing
  • Software fee $1,450–$7,500
  • (Hosting service starting at $69 /mo)
  • Plans starting from $79 /mo
  • (Custom Landing Page $99 /mo)
  • Subscription fee $299 /mo
  • (+ Transaction fee for transaction volume over $30,000)
Free trial

15 days

30 days

Free for the duration of development

Technical skills needed

Medium

  • Depending on the level of customization you need
  • The skills required to host your platform and maintain high performance and security increase as you scale your marketplace

Low

  • No coding skills needed
  • Easy to customize and setup using Admin panel
  • Hosting, performance, maintenance, backups, and updates included at any scale

Medium

  • Some development skills needed to take Flex into use
  • Mid- to high-level skills needed for custom-developing features and integrations
  • Backend hosting, performance, maintenance, backups, and updates included at any scale
Hosting

Can be purchased separately

Backend hosting included

Maintenance

Backend maintenance included

Performance monitoring

Can be purchased separately

Backups

Custom development

Unlimited

Not possible 

Unlimited

Main programming language

PHP

Custom coding not possible

Use the tech stack of your choice

Supports building a mobile app

Updates

  • Included for 1 year in Multi-Vendor and Multi-Vendor Plus (annual upgrade subscriptions after that)
  • Lifetime in Multi-Vendor Ultimate

Support

  • Free technical support for 45 days to 1 year depending on the plan level.
  • $169–$300 /mo after that

  • Sharetribe support

  • Sharetribe support +
  • Flex developer support
Key benefits

+ One-off fee can be more affordable in the long term (if you don’t count in the costs of development, hosting, and maintenance)

+ Advanced features for online malls like Amazon

+ Themes and theme editors allow for some customization without coding

+ Very fast to launch

+ Very easy to use

+ Seamless user experience that keeps improving

+ Effortless to maintain

+ Advanced features for rental marketplaces like Airbnb, service marketplaces like Fiverr, and product marketplaces like Etsy

+ Dedicated support for non-technical founders

+ Fully customizable, yet fast to launch

+ Effortless to maintain

+ Unlimited scalability

+ Enjoyable developer experience

+ Easy to build a mobile app

+ Advanced features for rental, service, and product marketplaces

+ Dedicated support for developers

Included Included with the SaaS license

Always included in both Go & Flex

When you create a marketplace with Sharetribe, here's what you can always count on.

All essential marketplace features

+

Listings and profiles. Multiple different transaction flows. Search engine. Availability management. Messaging, reviews, email notifications, and a lot more. Because you don’t have to sweat the basics, you can focus on what counts: your brand and your user community.

Secure online payments

+

Sharetribe’s built-in payment system allows you to process payments between your users, delay payouts, and collect your commission automatically. Without compromising user experience or security compliance.

Powerful admin tools

+

Have a 360° view of what goes on in your marketplace. User management, content moderation, transaction monitoring, and a lot more – all the tools you need to be in complete control of your platform.

Regular updates & new features

+

Sharetribe makes your business more powerful every day. In addition to keeping your platform up to speed with the latest security and regulatory advancements, our team adds lots of new functionality to your marketplace every month.

Carefree infrastructure

+

Wherever your growth takes you, your Sharetribe-powered platform can handle it. You never need to worry about traffic spikes or site performance. Our solutions support your marketplace at any stage of your business lifecycle.

Legal & regulatory compliance

+

Local payment regulation? Data security protection? Regulatory changes and updates? With Sharetribe, your payment and data processing is always compliant with the latest regulatory standards such as GDPR and PSD2.

Maintenance & backups

+

Scratch backups off your todo list. Sharetribe keeps your platform and data storage working reliably and securely according to the latest industry best practices. If you ever want to leave, your data is yours to keep.

Expert support 7 days a week

+

Sharetribe’s support team consists of marketplace business and platform technology experts – all extremely friendly folks to boot. We’ll help you get the most out of our products and share Sharetribe’s decade-long marketplace experience to support your business.


Launch today with no code or build freely on top of marketplace APIs

Starts from $79/mo

Sharetribe Go:
The fastest way to market

  • Set up & launch in one day
  • No coding skills needed
  • Easy to adapt to your marketplace idea
Tablet and smartphone screens showing two Sharetribe Go marketplace home pages.
Laptop and smartphone screens showing Sharetribe Flex web template and code and a marketplace listing page UI.
Starts from $299/mo

Sharetribe Flex:
Custom-building made smarter

  • Design & develop your ideal marketplace
  • Essential features out of the box
  • Unique, headless approach with APIs and templates

Not sure? Compare Go and Flex in more detail or let us help!

Let's build a marketplace!

  • Launch quickly
  • Expand on-demand
  • Support every day
Start building for free