We are just not setup right now to control inventory and provide shipping quotes since our database does not include item weights. Maybe, it will be easier to just become that way.
For shipping quotations, I only need the item's weight, correct? Not dimensions etc.?
I suppose we could take the money first and ask questions later.
I think that most of the steps you give me below may be outside of my skillset. I am very much using the wizard capability of e-cart.