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Variation & Multi-variation eBay Listings - Best Practice Magento Attributes and Attribute Sets
January 4, 2014 - 3:35 pm
Member Since: November 26, 2013
Forum Posts: 110
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Variation & Multi-variation Listings on eBay is a good way to group your products by variation (color, size, etc.) or/and by some other common characteristic (e.g. style) cross sell, up sell and generally increase exposure to your products on eBay. Let’s use shoes as example here. They come in different sizes, colours and styles (say high heels and flats)

Right setup of Magento attributes, attribute sets and product types is important to achieve grouping by different attributes and also keeping track of inventory in Magento effectively. THE CHALLENGE is to set up the same ‘simple product’ in Magento as a ‘colour’ variation for one configurable product AND using same ‘simple product’ (for inventory tracking purposes) as a ‘style’ variation on a different configurable Magento product.

Let’s say, these are our products:

Some Shoes A – Size 5 – High Heels (SKU1)
Some Shoes A – Size 6 – High Heels (SKU2)
Some Shoes A – Size 7 – High Heels (SKU3)
Some Shoes A – Size 8 – High Heels (SKU4)

Some Shoes B – Size 5 – Flats (SKU5)
Some Shoes B – Size 6 – Flats (SKU6)
Some Shoes B – Size 7 – Flats (SKU7)
Some Shoes B – Size 8 – Flats (SKU8)

Some Shoes C – Size 5 – High Heels (SKU9)
Some Shoes C – Size 6 – High Heels (SKU10)
Some Shoes C – Size 7 – High Heels (SKU11)
Some Shoes C – Size 8 – High Heels (SKU12)

Some Shoes D – Size 5 – Flats (SKU13)
Some Shoes D – Size 6 – Flats (SKU14)
Some Shoes D – Size 7 – Flats (SKU15)
Some Shoes D – Size 8 – Flats (SKU16)


1) Some Shoes A

  • sizes 5 (SKU1)
  • sizes 6 (SKU2)
  • sizes 7 (SKU3)
  • sizes 8 (SKU4)

2) Some Shoes B

  • sizes 5 (SKU5)
  • sizes 6 (SKU6)
  • sizes 7 (SKU7)
  • sizes 8 (SKU8)

3) Some Shoes C

  • sizes 5 (SKU9)
  • sizes 6 (SKU10)
  • sizes 7 (SKU11)
  • sizes 8 (SKU12)

4) Some Shoes D

  • sizes 5 (SKU13)
  • sizes 6 (SKU14)
  • sizes 7 (SKU15)
  • sizes 8 (SKU16)

5) High Heels Shoes

  • Some Shoes A – Size 5 (SKU1)
  • Some Shoes A – Size 6 (SKU2)
  • Some Shoes A – Size 7 (SKU3)
  • Some Shoes A – Size 8 (SKU4)
  • Some Shoes C – Size 5 (SKU9)
  • Some Shoes C – Size 6 (SKU10)
  • Some Shoes C – Size 7 (SKU11)
  • Some Shoes C – Size 8 (SKU12)

6) Flat Heels Shoes

  • Some Shoes B – Size 5 (SKU5)
  • Some Shoes B – Size 6 (SKU6)
  • Some Shoes B – Size 7 (SKU7)
  • Some Shoes B – Size 8 (SKU8)
  • Some Shoes D – Size 5 (SKU13)
  • Some Shoes D – Size 6 (SKU14)
  • Some Shoes D – Size 7 (SKU15)
  • Some Shoes D – Size 8 (SKU16)

I know as much as we would need at least two configurable attributes here, size and style. Can anyone suggest the ‘best practice’ setup of attribute sets for these type of configurable products as simple products can only ever belong to one attribute set. Including all configurable attributes in the same attribute set to achieve this could be an option but is there a better way to do this? I would like to pick everyones brains on that.

Chad Kidner
Centerville, UT

January 5, 2014 - 5:17 pm
Member Since: January 2, 2014
Forum Posts: 39
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Hello there, I have had a similar challenge where I sell a few costumes that vary in color attribute and size. While I understand what you’re trying to accomplish, from what I’ve seen of Magento‘s design of the configurable product – you will need to make a choice of whether you want all attributes to be simple products of one configurable product representing your product type or separated to represent each style.

Are each of your products that you are considering to have multiple attribute sets, are these just size and color? Or does a particular product type in your example, such as High Heels, refer to a different style/design of high heel altogether? In my case as my products in question were essentially the same style/design with variations of color and size, I opted to make these two attribute options of the same configurable product. Example –…..RK:MESE:IT

Hope this helps!

Matthew Ogborne

January 5, 2014 - 5:19 pm
Member Since: July 18, 2013
Forum Posts: 4565
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Hi Dimitri,

Thanks for popping this over on the forums here as this is was going to get deep really quickly.

Being open with you, this is something that I have been ignoring until we have phase one of the guides live and has come up a few times, for example here, here and here

Note: In bundles you can set the product to inherit the stock level from another product.

Crudely you can do this by creating separate products, but by doing this you lose the stock control ability as it would be separate products. So the answer lies in being able to create a variation product that is made of simple products, but those simple products are actually bundles.

The answer in Magento is to use grouped products, but this fails because M2E Pro treat grouped products as normal configurable / simples.

Apparently the way that you and I are used to is not out-of-the-box functionality in Magento with M2E Pro. So we’re faced with two challenges, #1 how to make this work, #2 how do we do this so that you’re able to import products using this structure.

And right now I don’t have answers to either of these challenges. It’s on my whiteboard as one of two areas to look into properly again as soon as phase one of the guides is live.

Does that help you?


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

Ultimo Magento Theme

January 8, 2014 - 8:58 pm
Member Since: November 26, 2013
Forum Posts: 110
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Thanks guys,

At least I see that i am not alone!

I need Stock Control so creating multiple Magento products for same SKU is not an option I can seriously consider. Perhaps a slight change in how I list variations or bundles on eBay will be required after all. I can imagine Chad’s example working quite well, actually. So, instead of single variation listings (like i used to), I’ll be creating multi-variation listings on eBay. Style and colour will do the trick for me in most cases. However, I didn’t realise bundles don’t behave same way with m2e, thought i have it covered. Back to the drawing board with this one.

Dave Furness

January 9, 2014 - 3:32 pm
Member Since: July 19, 2013
Forum Posts: 4606
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Definitely not alone on this one Dimitri, as you can see in Matt’s post, this has come up quite a few times now.

Once we have phase 1 of the guides out of the way we will have a little more time to investigate how this might work. But for now if you find a work around which works for you, then please let us know.


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