(Filed as a bug report, but reposted here in case others may wish to comment. If that’s not cool, delete me.)
We’re trying to use virtual products to sell ad spaces in print publications. We chose virtual products because we are not shipping a product to the customer. We’re just letting them reserve space, so we don’t want any shipping options. Some of the ad spaces we sell do not have predetermined quantity available, but a few special spots like the back cover do. Therefore, it is important that we manage inventory for these products.
When I import the inventory from a CSV file the quantity field is ignored. I then have to manually update quantities for each position available. At that point the quantities are managed appropriately when orders are placed through the store.
Just to make sure, I changed all the virtual products to simple products and imported them. The quantities import correctly this way, but it reintroduces the unwanted and unnecessary shipping options at checkout. For some reason Magento sets the quantity to any item imported as virtual product to zero, even though it is perfectly capable of managing inventory for virtual products.
Perhaps this is by design. Virtual product inventory was not intended to be managed, so virtual product quantities are not imported. However, Magento appears to be perfectly capable of managing inventory for virtual products and we’ve found a situation in which we think it’s appropriate to do so. It just seems as if the import routine does not support importing quantities for virtual products, and we hope this can be corrected.