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simple item vs. configurable item questions
 
iamdave
Sr. Member
 
Total Posts:  102
Joined:  2009-01-01
 

I’m confused about item types. Simple and configurable. Most of my items have attributes like color, size etc. I’m not sure that I need these to be configurable though as this creates another item essentially in magento (and possibly clutters up the site with all the repeated items). My concern is that I’d then need an image that reflects each item. For instance if I have red, blue and green for attributes, each configurable item would then need a image showing the item in that color or I’d have a picture of an item in the wrong color therefore creating confusion to the customer. Showing a blue item but calling it red for instance. I do not need to inventory items and their attributes and wondered if just making them all a simple item is the best method and your opinion or and con on this route. Is there something I’m missing about configurable items?

Dave

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from the user’s guide:

In Magento, there are three product types that you can create: Simple, Configurable, and Grouped. Let’s begin with Simple, because this is the foundation for both Configurable and Grouped Products. A Simple product is basically what its name indicates. It is the simplest type of product to sell on your website; one individual product, where the attributes are determined by the store owner. It will have system attributes (as all products require), and can have simple attributes as well. One example of a Simple Product would be a suit jacket. It is presented on your website as a standalone item, and as the store owner, you define that it is black, with three buttons on the front. When your customers arrive at the page for this product, they can see what the color and button count are in the product information section, their only option is whether or not to buy this item.

A Configurable product, however, offers much more customer interaction. Let’s stick with the example of the suit jacket, because, as a Simple Product, is the foundation for a Configurable Product. In addition to this one suit jacket, you start to carry slightly different versions of the same jacket: a navy blue version, as well as one with four buttons on the front (in black and navy). You create three new Simple Products (navy/three buttons, black/four buttons, and navy/four buttons), and if you only use the Simple Product feature, you would have four product pages, one for each combination of color and buttons. Using Configurable Products, however, you can combine all four pages into one, so that your customer is guaranteed find the exact suit jacket they desire, while simultaneously making navigating your site as easy as possible. Once you have created the four Simple suit jackets, you can create a Configurable suit jacket, and associate all four simple products to it. You will not set the color or button count of the Configurable Product when you create it, but rather, your customer will set this when they purchase it. It is a Configurable Product because your customers get to configure the attributes themselves. So, you can choose not to display any of the four Simple Products on you site, but rather only display the one Configurable Product. When your customers arrive at this page, instead of seeing the attributes listed in the product information section, they will see a drop-down for color (with options for black or navy) and a drop-down for button count (with options for three or four). The combination of attributes they choose determine which of the four Simple Products they are actually purchasing. The attributes point to the Simple Product, so that Magento knows which Simple Product to place in the order. The Configurable Product is therefore not a product at all, but rather a feature used to display multiple Simple Products on one product page.

 
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scott wolpow
Sr. Member
 
Total Posts:  81
Joined:  2008-08-26
 

There is not a way to do this. I am working on a solution, but that will be awhile.
I found having to create one product for each attribute combination a real pain. Instead I created simple products by the attribite. Then I creat a bundled product.

Go to marcoart.com prints> Giclee [pronounced G Clay]. and Paintings> Painting on Demand

 
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iamdave
Sr. Member
 
Total Posts:  102
Joined:  2009-01-01
 

I guess I’m really just asking if there’s some reason I need to go with configurable items. I’m thinking simple items make more sense. Unless I’m missing something.

Also, if I changed my mind later, can you change a simple item to a configurable item?

Dave

 
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joyously
Guru
 
Total Posts:  447
Joined:  2008-08-21
 

You use configurable items when you want the customer to configure it for his purchase. If you don’t want the customer to have to do anything but add to cart, use simple products. If you do that, you’ll have to show all of them in your catalog, so the customer can choose them.
Using configurable products, you define all those same simple products, but they aren’t visible to the customer.

You can also have multiple images for each product. So if it comes in 3 colors, you can show 3 images of the different colors on just one product. There’s some code here in the forum or an extension that will help you switch images when the color attribute is selected.

 
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