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Newbie to Magento, issues I have...
Ian Ainsworth

Not so New
November 7, 2013 - 8:29 pm
Member Since: October 22, 2013
Forum Posts: 9
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I can’t thank-you enough for what I hope is going to be just what I was looking for! Only running to about 250 sales/week currently, lookign to expand but my current system (Joomla/Virtuematt Website, eBay with TurboLister, Excel for stock, Amazon no control other than directly on the site) is not adequate. All current orders go through Packing Partner V3.

I’ve not really played much with Magento (I am about to be a Joomla/Virtuemart convert I think). I have installed Magento, installed M2EPro, and set up the links to my eBay & Amazon accounts, and it’s great so far, orders are importing on a Cron job and I even get an RSS feed of new orders, (which I love!), So these are the issues I am currently trying to get my head around:

1) We deal with fabric sales, this means we can sell in halves of one unit (one unit being a metre of fabric), we deal with this on eBay by having product variations of all the colours or styles and a variation of three sizes (1 metre, 1/2 metre and Sample) – it’s the half a metre bit I can’t seem to get my head around. I have discovered that Magento can do decimal quantities, but on loading to eBay will it be possible for this come out as a variation? As eBay can’t handle decimals. And when the order comes back from eBay, how will that translate into my stock keeping as a half unit in Magento, rather than a Whole unit. This is my main problem at the moment, I hope it makes sense.

2) We have a customised invoice printed from Packing Partner, which includes a PPI impression for Royal Mail – I’d like to keep this, it saves paper & ink and time, this is then just folded and slotted into a clear envelope and stuck to the package. So, I’ve looked into customising invoices in Magento – it all seems complicated, which I don’t mind getting my teeth into – as long as I’m not wasting time. There is also a paid for extension (who’s name I forget) which claims to make it easy to create invoices etc – but as I’m still experimenting, I’m loathe to part with cash for now. I also need to add that the PPI image automatically changes according the Postal Method chosen by the buyer, e.g. 2nd Class, 1st Class, 24, 48, Courier etc.

3) Bulk order processing – I know you have already covered some of this with the extensions already mentioned – this is a no brainer as far as I am concerned, most people need to print several/many invoices at a time, ship several/many orders at a time – I look forward to the updated extension which provides this, although I must admit, am a bit confused about which one it is, I was hoping to install it in it’s current format to play about with it. This and the custom colours/flags/icons sounds fantastic.

Anyway, that’s my tuppence worth, I shall carry on playing around and let you know of any other things.
Just listened to your podcast with Gurpeet – was good to hear and made me want to tinker some more with Magento again!

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Matthew Ogborne

Founder
November 7, 2013 - 10:02 pm
Member Since: July 18, 2013
Forum Posts: 4565
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Hi Ian,

I’m glad you enjoyed the podcast, we’ve had an amazing response back from it and today alone I’ve spoken with a dozen eBay businesses that are using M2EPro. It’s unlikely we’ll come across another Gurpreet, but we’ll see what we can do.

We spoke with Andy over at Packing Partner, you must be one of the lucky ones as they’re not taking on any new customers and are unsure about taking on more in the new year. A pity as we had it recommended twice on the same day :/

1) We deal with fabric sales, this means we can sell in halves of one unit (one unit being a metre of fabric)

Errr pass! I know what you’re after, I’m just not sure that this would work in Magento when listing to eBay. Shoot the chaps over at M2EPro an email and see what they say, their email address is support@m2epro.com.

2) We have a customised invoice printed from Packing Partner, which includes a PPI impression for Royal Mail

To edit a Magento invoice is way beyond my skills as a developer, it’s just crazy. So we found a super clean solution to this and it uses HTML for the invoices. It’s free for upto 600 prints a month and the paid version is $99 which has no restrictions on the number of prints.

As far as the invoice swapping logo’s, this can be done with some logic in the HTML invoice, although Magento does not have that layer on top of it for business rules, we’re still looking for an adequate (and inexpensive) solution.

3) Bulk order processing

Yea Magento isn’t great out of the box, which is why we went hunting to find an alternative, we just didn’t realise that @Jim @ Moogento would have done such an ace job!

Loved the feedback, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Matt

"Selling an item online is easy, but making living from a business that sells online, well that’s something different entirely!"

Ultimo Magento Theme

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Jim @ Moogento
Global

Partner
November 8, 2013 - 4:01 am
Member Since: November 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 688
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Hey Ian

I think the pickPack extension we make could help:

I also need to add that the PPI image automatically changes according the Postal Method chosen by the buyer, e.g. 2nd Class, 1st Class, 24, 48, Courier etc.

We’ve actually just completed an update which would do this – if you like we can install it and you can check it out, give us feedback, etc. We also have sections to nudge the addresses for window envelopes.

Drop me a line if you want to give it a go!

Jim

  • pickPack - smarter Magento packing sheets and warehouse picklists
  • shipEasy - process multiple orders with no sweat & get a visual sales overview easily

Ian Ainsworth

Not so New
November 8, 2013 - 4:17 pm
Member Since: October 22, 2013
Forum Posts: 9
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Thanks Matt & Jim, great replies. Sorry for the delayed reply, only just got time out to have a look.

Packing Partner – I basically pleaded and asked nicely :) back in Feb.

The halves setup, I definitely need, or else I’ll just end up keep using the spreadsheet (which I hate). I will shoot off an email to the chaps at M2EPro – thanks for the email address. I do hope there is some kind of solution which doesn’t involve me keeping 2 lots of stock, one for halves and one for full units, or using the 1/2 as a full unit (which will get very confusing both on the back end and for the customer, no doubt!), alternatively, maybe selling the halves as a separate item in eBay, aargh too many options! – I do need to figure this out before I get going properly as I am going to setup my products from scratch in Magento and I would like to get it right first time. (as if!).

Matt – do you have the name of the HTML invoice extension – I’ll hook it up and have a play.

Jim – thanks for the offer, I may just drop you a line shortly, I’m definitely interested. Although, the site isn’t operational at the moment – it does work functionally and is the basis for what will become the site in future, so it will get a thorough testing (breaking) as required. :) Does this work in conjunction with the HTML invoice extension Matt mentioned?

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Matthew Ogborne

Founder
November 8, 2013 - 4:28 pm
Member Since: July 18, 2013
Forum Posts: 4565
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Hi Ian,

See here http://www.easypdfinvoice.com/ this can work in conjunction with Jim’s moogento PickEasy extension, but I would suggest one or the other :)

Do let us know what the response is back from M2E Pro regarding the halves, not come across that before.

Matt

"Selling an item online is easy, but making living from a business that sells online, well that’s something different entirely!"

Ultimo Magento Theme

Ian Ainsworth

Not so New
November 8, 2013 - 4:36 pm
Member Since: October 22, 2013
Forum Posts: 9
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Thanks Matt, I see Jim’s extension allows for editing the invoice, so I’ll have a play with that I think.

I’ve just fired an email off to M2EPro, so I’ll keep you updated.

Ian

Ian Ainsworth

Not so New
November 8, 2013 - 4:51 pm
Member Since: October 22, 2013
Forum Posts: 9
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Hi Jim,

Let me know how I can drop you a line, there’s no contact details in your profile? Confused

thanks,
Ian.

Ian Ainsworth

Not so New
November 8, 2013 - 9:36 pm
Member Since: October 22, 2013
Forum Posts: 9
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OK, so I got a reply from support @ M2EPro, I asked the same question as in #1 above, the reply I quote:

Unfortunately, we can not advise you here, as we have never had working with set up like yours. :(

Which leaves me scratching my head. If anyone has any hints/tips on how to proceed, even just ideas/theories will help.

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Matthew Ogborne

Founder
November 8, 2013 - 9:46 pm
Member Since: July 18, 2013
Forum Posts: 4565
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Hi Ian,

I’m not sure what to suggest either.

eBay doesn’t support half stock values, neither does Amazon and by the sounds of neither does M2E Pro. That’s kinda telling us something.

So…. maybe a wild idea would be to work with single units, so list as 1 for 0.5 and 2 for 1 and that would bring the stock levels true if you then accounted that a unit of 1 = 0.5. Not really sure on the implications of that though.

Matt

"Selling an item online is easy, but making living from a business that sells online, well that’s something different entirely!"

Ultimo Magento Theme

Ian Ainsworth

Not so New
November 8, 2013 - 10:07 pm
Member Since: October 22, 2013
Forum Posts: 9
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Hi Matt,

Yes, that’s kind of the road I’ve been going down with my thoughts. I mentioned this in Post #4 above, but as you said, I am also not sure of the implications, I keep trying to think it through, but I get mired down in it before I get far enough, which I think says to me that it would be constantly confusing both for me and possibly the customer.

I was also thinking if there is some way to map an eBay item to a product in Magento which has a half unit value for stock keeping purposes.

I shall sleep on it tonight and try to approach with a fresh mind. Thanks for your time & input on this though.

Ian.

Ian Ainsworth

Not so New
November 8, 2013 - 10:30 pm
Member Since: October 22, 2013
Forum Posts: 9
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Ok, two more thoughts before I go to bed:

1) Maybe use centimetres as the stock keeping unit.
2) Could I create a Configurable Product called “A metre” which consists of two half metres of the product? (or a grouped product or bundled product? Not sure of the difference yet, being a Magento Newb!)

G’night.

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Jim @ Moogento
Global

Partner
November 9, 2013 - 1:08 am
Member Since: November 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 688
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Hi Ian,

this means we can sell in halves of one unit (one unit being a metre of fabric)

I would agree with Matt here – this sounds like your actual stock unit is a half-metre. Why not call each item eg ‘1 x 0.5m fabric’. You could always work in some custom code in your Packing Sheet/Invoice production code to make it easier for the customer to understand (eg you could show ‘2 x 0.5m’ as ‘1m’). This might confuse you / customer though.

Magento does allow decimal stock, I think, but as Matt mentioned, this would confuse Amazon etc listings that are updated by m2Epro. I think calling one unit ‘0.5m Fabric’ is the way.

Let me know how I can drop you a line, there’s no contact details in your profile? Confused

Drop me a line at moo[anti robot spam! @]moogento.com

  • pickPack - smarter Magento packing sheets and warehouse picklists
  • shipEasy - process multiple orders with no sweat & get a visual sales overview easily

Ian Ainsworth

Not so New
November 9, 2013 - 11:23 am
Member Since: October 22, 2013
Forum Posts: 9
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Ok, I’ll experiment with these ideas, hopefully this afternoon.

Jim – I’ve sent you an email.

cheers,
Ian.

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Matthew Ogborne

Founder
November 9, 2013 - 12:14 pm
Member Since: July 18, 2013
Forum Posts: 4565
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Ian Ainsworth said
1) Maybe use centimetres as the stock keeping unit.
2) Could I create a Configurable Product called “A metre” which consists of two half metres of the product? (or a grouped product or bundled product? Not sure of the difference yet, being a Magento Newb!)

Howdy Ian,

I think the centimeters would work, customers would understand them, the same for staff.

One of the challenge with Magento is that you can’t do complex kits, what I mean by that is (which I may be wrong, but I did try) that you can’t have a configurable product, that is made up of kit products to sell it as a variation onto the marketplaces. You can do it with a grouped product, but not tried that for listing to eBay.

So I’m thinking KISS (keep it simple), centimetres works well :)

Matt

"Selling an item online is easy, but making living from a business that sells online, well that’s something different entirely!"

Ultimo Magento Theme

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Matthew Ogborne

Founder
November 9, 2013 - 12:16 pm
Member Since: July 18, 2013
Forum Posts: 4565
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Ian Ainsworth said
I was also thinking if there is some way to map an eBay item to a product in Magento which has a half unit value for stock keeping purposes.

Hi Ian,

You can do this by mapping products, but I’d not suggest it as it’s better that the listing came from M2E Pro, plus the centimetre sound like the better idea :)

Matt

"Selling an item online is easy, but making living from a business that sells online, well that’s something different entirely!"

Ultimo Magento Theme

Ian Ainsworth

Not so New
November 9, 2013 - 3:26 pm
Member Since: October 22, 2013
Forum Posts: 9
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Well I’ve had a few hours experimenting this afternoon. I’ve tried to create a bundled product of 2 x Half metres – this works on the Magento end, but as soon as I create a colour attribute for the half product, it can’t be done. Seemingly, you cannot create a bundled product using simple products that have product options. So that’s out the window.

I still like the centimetre idea, but how would this translate into eBay? Would it still list as “per 1 metre” or “per half metre”. Is there a way to “translate” the listing?
Setting Qty Increments to 50 is fairly obvious in the Magento side of things, but again I still have big concerns over customer confusion.

I am also at the stage now where I’m, thinking, “Well, I would be able to handle the stock for two different products, even though they come from the same roll of fabric” – just a case of mentally adding the two up all the time – so then I could create a “1 Metre” product amd a “Half Metre” product for each fabric, but it doesn’t seem ‘right’ to me.

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Matthew Ogborne

Founder
November 10, 2013 - 10:31 am
Member Since: July 18, 2013
Forum Posts: 4565
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Hi Ian,

Ran into the same question with @Dave1 as well.

Don’t know , so have asked M2E Pro if they have come across a solution, twice now with pretty much the same challenge around quantities on variations.

Matt

"Selling an item online is easy, but making living from a business that sells online, well that’s something different entirely!"

Ultimo Magento Theme

 

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