What can I say about Dokan Starter? For starters ( pun intended ) it’s a great end product that I chose over many other Multi-Vendor plugins available for WooCommerce. Let me start by saying, if you think that you’ll be able to setup a eCommerce website overnight and get it running and turning a profit… That’s what many of these platforms expect and that’s how they make a lot of sales. The fact is, that 99% of their customers purchase their product and never set it up, or fail at getting a well established brand to start turning a profit.
Seller Dashboard Screenshots
Admin Backend Screenshots
Admin Backend Settings Screenshots
Why buy it then?
This product is meant for those that already have a vision and already have the customer base backing it up. If you have connections to vendors that want a platform to sell on that isn’t eBay, Amazon, or other competing markets, Dokan is your go to plugin.
Dokan Lite vs Dokan Starter
Out of the box it packs a ton of features just in the free version. It’s a great way to test to see if it’s going to work for you. Think of it as a trial run, as Dokan Lite has limited features that would barely be enough to get you by, after all Dokan’s goal is to make money, just as it’s your goal.
Feature Comparison Table
|Features||Dokan Lite||Dokan Starter|
|Frontend Product Management||✔||✔|
|Frontend order managing for vendors||✔||✔|
|Withdraw System for Vendors||✔||✔|
|Individual Vendor Stores||✔||✔|
|Order Email Notifications||✔||✔|
|Seller Management UI||X||✔|
|Seller Statement Reports||X||✔|
|Frontend Variable Products||X||✔|
|Customized Product Categories||X||✔|
|Back Ordering System||✔||✔|
|Store Contact Form||✔||✔|
|Single Product Multiple Seller||X||$|
|Featured Seller||X|| |
|Fixed Vendor Commission||✔||✔|
|Multiple Commission Types||X||✔|
|Limited Time Discount||✔||✔|
|Frontend Shipping Tracking||X||✔|
|General Shipping Options||✔||✔|
|Product Level Shipping||X||✔|
|Product Stock Management||✔||✔|
|Update Order Status||✔||✔|
|Create Downloadable Products||✔||✔|
|Store Header Image||✔||✔|
|Custom store URL||✔||✔|
|Manage Product Reviews||X||✔|
|Product Update||Free||1 Year|
What are some downsides?
Honestly out of the box I had to make some core modifications to the plugin for it to suite my needs. The way it’s currently configured is honestly not Dokan’s developers fault, there just isn’t a viable solution unless you go for a completely custom platform and payment solution.
Basically it breaks down like this, as a multi-vendor platform you take a commission ( also known as listing fees ) for using your services. The way Paypal or many other payment gateways handle chained payments make it very difficult to avoid one huge issue with this platform.
Currently the site admin is set as the main person who accepts the payment, then the payment is split up from you to your vendor. Why is this an issue? Because if the buyer decides to file a dispute, your payment gateway will take those funds from you instead of your vendor.
This is a huge fault and not one that is easily solved. The issue is as a multi-vendor market place you want to allow customers to shop all throughout your store, but if you allow this you will be responsible as you can only have one primary receiver of the funds to split between. So if someone orders from two stores, you can’t force one or the other store to be the primary because then that would make them responsible for chargebacks for their store and the other persons store.
You could disable purchasing per store like I did, but then customers must checkout with the current vendor in order to make another purchase with another. It’s the only way I have found as a viable solution to not being chargedback. Now you can set the vendor as the primary receiver of the funds and automatically send you the commissions making them responsible for chargebacks since they are the primary receiver.
I understand needing to lock down their software, but it was really frustrating that even on the same domain, I could only activate my license once. This meant that anytime I needed to restore the site I had to contact support to have them reset my license code to allow another activation. Once you set it and forget it, it’s not really an issue, but I had an issue with the theme I was using ReHub, which led me to starting from scratch on many different occasions.
Dokan won’t work for just any theme. You must have a compatible theme such as REHub, Marketo, Electro, Marketica, Lecraft, Gon, Media-center, or use their Dokan theme that only comes with Dokan Starter. So no matter the way you look at it, you have to spend money even with Dokan Lite. However you get a bunch of added features and a theme included with the Dokan Starter, but even still I went with REHub as it came with a huge collection of premium plugins and the styling was a lot more advanced. However initial setup for REHub was a huge pain.
Dokan’s support team was on point with everything I asked. Their website chat only allowed pre-sales questions, so I had to wait for responses for license issues via email, but they usually responded within a couple of hours, which was far better than other company’s response times.