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The Simple Products type should be used for that generally have a single configuration (one-size-fits-all). This might include items such as:
- A Box of Crayons, Small (24 Colors)
- A Box of Crayons, Large (64 Colors)
- SuperHighTech 26” HD Computer Monitor
- Barrack Obama Action Figure (6”)
- The Moon
Grouped products allow you to create a new product using one or more existing products in your store. For instance, let’s assume you a “Barrack Obama Action Figure” and a “George W Bush Action Figure” already in your store and you wanted to sell them as a bundle. You would simply create a new Grouped Product (let’s call it “Obama + Bush (Get Both and Spend Twice as Much!)”, then add both action figures to the group via the “Associated Products” tab.
Note: Unfortunately, you are not able to set a special “group” price directly from the product page. To offer a discount for buying items together, you will need to create a new Shopping Cart Price Rule.
Virtual Products are those that do not have a physical or digital counterpart. They do not ship, nor do they have a download link. This product type might be used for services like:
- House Cleaning
- 1-Year Newsletter Subscription
- Call Girls
Note: If using Virtual Products for “subscriptions”, it is important to note that there is no built-in way to manage auto-renewing subscriptions. All purchases made in Magento, regardless of Product Type, are one-time purchases.
This product type is also known as a “kit” in other eCommerce software. This product type is ideal for circumstances where the user may need to select a number of configurable options. This might includes products like:
- Customizable Computer Systems
- Customizable Tuxedos/Suits
- Designer Babies/Clones
Downloadable products are similar to virtual products, except that they include the ability to add one or more digital files for download. Files can either be uploaded via the Admin interface, or by uploading directly to the server via FTP and then added by URL. When a customer buys a Downloadable product, Magento will generate a secure, encrypted link (so that the customers can’t see the file’s real location) for that customer to download their file.
This category might include products such as:
- Computer Software
Note: If you have SSL enabled for your site, downloads may fail under all versions of IE as IE contains a bug that prevents downloading over secure connections if the no-cache header is set. This can be easily fixed in an htaccess file by removing the no-cache and no-store headers, or by forcing download links to to be non-secure.