duplicate SKUs

I’ve read that it’s now possible (but not necessarily recommended) to have duplicate product code or SKUs. I’m planning to use ISBN for product codes. Since i have multiple sellers, its possible a few sellers will sell the same books with the same ISBN.

I’ve tested and it works, but does anyone know any possible issue i may encounter with thsi approach?


currently the product_code field in the database is not a KEY or UNIQUE type. Hence having dups is perfectly fine. The Product_id will be unique, but note that it is never seen by the customer, vendor or admin (other than what might be in the URL).

great! thanks for the help!

I’m not sure about the current version but in all other versions you will run into trouble if you are using Excel to update things by importing as it looks for the product code or SKU and doesn’t differentiate, even if you have them in different categories. So if you sell product 123 in one category for $5.00 and product 123 in another category for $500, you will find, if you use Excel for updating your pricing, that both products could end up being sold for $5.00.

The best way to find out is to test it and see.

If you don’t use Excel to make any changes or updates, you should be fine having duplicate product codes.

Lyn, you are aboslutely correct. The import uses product_code as the key. But I would assume vendors do not have access to the import feature… But I don’t use MVE so I don’t know.

[quote name=‘tbirnseth’]But I would assume vendors do not have access to the import feature… But I don’t use MVE so I don’t know.[/QUOTE]

Sorry - I didn’t read the post properly - didn’t realise it was the MVE the enquiry was about.

tbirnseth, the vendor actually does have access to the import option. (Admin>import data). In the MVE, the vendors have just about every feature available that the main admin has. I had to turn a lot of things off so the vendor couldn’t have access to them. The MVE is basically Multiple admins. I have noticed that if you don’t shut off some things you could run into some serious problems down the road.

I am currently trying to figure out how vendors are going to be able to import excel sheets. I am running into the problems that Lyn mentioned. If anyone knows any work arounds I would love to hear them.

Would I be better off having the customer send me the excel sheets/csv files and then I upload them?

[quote name=‘bb3’]Would I be better off having the customer send me the excel sheets/csv files and then I upload them?[/QUOTE]

This would probably be the best way as I haven’t heard of any solution that enables you to have the same SKU for more than one product and this would enable you to have more control. What I do before adding new products is to export my product list, run an if test through the list in Excel to check for duplicates (let me know if you want the formula) and then add a letter or something to differentiate one of the SKUs from another (i.e. add the seller’s initials).

I have just had my store trashed by this bug. What a PAIN! Why on earth are CS allowing multiple Product ID’s? Crazy. Validate that field when inputting a product!

They don’t allow duplicate product_id’s but they do allow duplicate product_code’s.

How would you handle multiple sources for the same product from different suppliers. They could (or should) all utilize the same product_code (UPC or Mfgr Model Number) but they ARE different products and could have different pricing, descriptions, imagery, etc. They could also all have different shipping origins.

If you are carrying the inventory of these items then you should only have 1 product_code for each.

If you are importing multiple suppliers data without using Suppliers then you are going to encounter overwrite problems because as far as the cart knows, you only have one supplier. But without knowing your operational setup, hard to guess.