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Best format to create multi variation SKU's?
Steve S
January 25, 2014 - 4:03 pm
Member Since: October 29, 2013
Forum Posts: 271
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Hi –
First I apologize if there is a video made on SKU’s, as I haven’t got through all the Guides yet. If there is one that answers my questions, please point me in the direction :-)

We are about to create a new SKU format for new stock going into the Magento, then onto eBay via M2EPro.
The items are clothing, and they have multi variations: i.e. style number, size and colour
I’d like advice from anyone with experience on the best format for this. Don’t want it to become overly long, to help with label printing, picking/packing.

My other question is for anyone who has experience of an eBay multi variation listing via M2EPro.
I know when I manually add an SKU when creating an eBay listing, eBay adds an ‘extension’ to my SKU relating to the colour and size. For Example _Red_12

Sooo, when using M2EPro will this ‘tail extension’ be added to whatever I use as the Magento SKU?

If I were to create a multi variation SKU for Magento: let’s say 1078BLK12/14

Will eBay add to it so it becomes 1078BLK12/14_Black_12/14

I am concerned as to how this could have knock on effects with inventory if the SKU’s are not matched correctly.

Guidance much appreciated.


Matthew Ogborne

January 26, 2014 - 11:09 am
Member Since: July 18, 2013
Forum Posts: 4565
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Morning Steve,

Let’s consider the two processes that are going to impact the stock number.

#1 Manually Creating Products in Magento

Let’s say you make a configurable product in Magento with the stock number 1078. If you use the quick-add tool for the variations in Magento, it will add each variation option to the end with a hyphen.

For example:


If you’re using long variation labels, say “12/14” and “Almost Black but not quite” it could lead to some unwieldy stock numbers like “1078-Almost Black but not quite-12/14”

#2 Using Excel and Magmi

Basically with this route you can do what you like as long as you don’t inadvertently duplicate a Stock Number.

So you could create stock numbers like


Or what ever makes sense to you.

I’d personally suggest the 2nd route for most, although #1 works ok too :)

Oh and when it comes to eBay, if you add a product in manually and don’t set the stock numbers it does that. In this case you are controlling eBay remotely via M2EPro & Magento, so it gets what you told it to be.

Does that make sense / Help you?


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Calum Roberts
January 26, 2014 - 11:33 am
Member Since: January 4, 2014
Forum Posts: 275
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Hi Steve/Matt

When using the configurable item and the quick add tool, you can over ride the automatic SKU and put in your own. Ive been doing this for some of the items Ive been adding.

Create a configurable listing, then when adding products using the quick add tool, uncheck the SKU box. I have an excel sheet with SKU numbers, and i just copy and paste from there when adding the next product in. Its quite fast when you get used to it.

Magmi of course would be a better solution and possibly even quicker if you have a properly setup excel sheet with all the required fields on it. Which i havent gotten round to yet, though i have tested it out a few times, but always had to go into the listing to add in the missing info such as meta data etc

Steve S
January 27, 2014 - 4:20 pm
Member Since: October 29, 2013
Forum Posts: 271
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Thanks Matt & Calum for your advice, very helpful indeed.

As I’d prefer to start as I mean to go on, I’ll learn the Excel & Magmi method I think.

No doubt you will find me on the Magmi forum with questions in a few days!

Cheers to you both.


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