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Products, sizes and limited editions

 2:23 am on Apr 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

My client is selling widgets that have different sizes. All widgets are limited editions. Thus some sizes may sell out faster than others. How do I go about listing them on the website. Did anyone have experience with this sort of stuff?

Should I list all sizes and if user orders something unavailable, then just refund the money and apologize? Or should I update quantities in the description field?

As a side question. Are there any shopping carts that support this sort of complex inventory. Sizes + colors + quantities? I can't even think of a way this could be implemented...



 4:08 am on Apr 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Think of it this way.

Items with multile variations. Once the variations are selected, the result is a unique entity which should have an inventory count.

So, start with Widgets which are available in Red, Blue and Green and then have L,XL,XXL sizes.

No matter what your process for selecting them, at the end of the day, your database should tell you how many Red Widgets in XL size are in your inventory and you can then let the customer buy or not buy.

Do not take money and apologize. This can turn into a mess, as you'll loose money on the credit card processing fees.

I think OScommerce has a module which allows you to do this (the one I've seen is paid for.. there might be free ones).


 10:28 am on Apr 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks, shri! I was kind of afraid that this is going to be the only solution, so I rejected it right away and pretended that it does not exist :)

Are there any other carts that can do this? Paid ones are ok too.


 11:27 am on Apr 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

let the client manage the inventory so they would need to decide to list availability on a particular size or not... to do that you need to let them manage product attributes (size & color) by item. This is not that difficult with clothing as it is with something multi-dimensional like footwear.

If it's clothing you need to have a master colors table and you'll also need a item attributes table to manage colors by item

skuxyz comes in red and green:
1 Red
2 Blue
3 Green

skuxyx 1
skuxyz 3

Same thing for sizes:
1 small
2 medium
3 large

skuabc 1
skuabc 2

Barney Stone

 12:18 pm on Apr 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

There are numerous shopping carts that can handle inventory management at the attribute or option level (color, size, style, etc.). Yahoo!Store, AbleCommerce, MonsterCommerce and Miva Merchant (with a 3rd-party module) are some that come to mind.

[edited by: minnapple at 2:41 pm (utc) on April 17, 2006]
[edit reason] TOS #13 [/edit]


 6:28 pm on Apr 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

"It is more complicated than you think." -- The Eighth Networking Truth, RFC 1925


 9:14 pm on Apr 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

It can't be any worse then dealing with 4th normal form data... what are your product attributes?


 9:28 pm on Apr 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

- Clothes sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL)
- Shoes sizes (North American)
- Colors

There could be more. I am not sure yet.


 4:31 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Clothes sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL)
- Shoes sizes (North American)
- Colors

It's really not that bad, I've done carts with all of these items including U.S. and European sizing.

The thing you need to be concerned about regarding sizes are widths. A width is related to a size (whole or half).


 5:11 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes it isn't that difficult, but more difficult than I imagined it at first :) I can picture the database design, I just think it's a lot of work, especially with entering all the correct data and keeping it up to date, but I guess it's part of the game :)


 9:22 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

The clothing and color aspects are much easier then the footwear...

Footwear is where you'll have loads of work setting up your creating and editing facilities. I had to build a grid of checkboxes by size and width.

Does this make sense?

5 5.5 6 6.5
widthB x x
widthD x x x

Then dump those values into the sizes table for that item.


 9:31 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Shoes have width?


 11:33 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

sure, some do and some don't so you have to account for that.

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