How can I easily create a configurable product
This is an old revision of the document!
Configurable products, such as t-shirts, shoes, etc. could be pretty difficult to create except for that glorious Duplicate button.
Anytime you create a configurable product you first need to create all the simple products which make it up seperately. This means that for a t-shirt available in 3 sizes you need to create 3 separate simple products, and only then assign them to the Configurable product.
Heres the trick to doing this easily. Create your first simple product, in this case T-Shirt Small. Once you have it set up press save, then reopen that product. Click duplicate and this same product will be created again. It doesn’t bring over a few of the fields, like SKU and Size, but these are things you would be changing anyway.
So go into the duplicated product, change the SKU, the size, and any other fields you want and then do the same for your third product.
Now you just need to create a new Configurable product and associate these 3 to it.
This method still requires a lot of clicking, it is simply a small step above the previous method where there was no duplicate button. Several users have developed a solution to import configurable products via an excel spreadsheet such that they are properly associated with simple projects, contain images, etc. Several users have been successful using this. It is obtainable in this thread: http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewthread/35865/P165/#t150520
As of 6-24-09 the newest magento seems to have broken this functionality. Wouldn’t it be excellent if varien supported it officially?! This is a pretty big weakness if you need to add 1,300 products in 6 sizes each!