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Ok.... so I was able to successfully upload my products and images using the bulk upload… but I am running into an issue. Unless I manually save each product - it won’t show on my front end.
I read a post saying to do a bulk “change of status” to enabled. I tried that but receive an Error 500 - Internal server error. In my XML file all my settings are correct.... it just looks like they need to be resaved for some reason.
My import went well. My products appeared in the admin panel, but not in the store front. As you suggested I reimported with the store code. Which by the way, it is not intuitive what the store code is. However, once I opened the product catalog from the URL, I remembered what it was. The store code should be displayed in the admin panel as well.
Having an entry for manufacture was not an issue for me. But I was using simple products as my product type. Hope this information helps.