I want to know what if a customer ID I was trying to load was invalid. When I do this:

$customer = Mage::getModel('customer/customer')->load(12345);

If this customer exists, I get the data.

The problem is, if the customer ID doesn't exist, I still get something:

array (size=2)
  'created_at' => string '2016-05-24T15:59:18+00:00' (length=25)
  'group_id' => string '1' (length=1)

I needed a way where I can sort of say,

if(!$customer) {....


if(count($customer) < 1) { ....

But since there is always something in the returned array, how can I really know if a customer exists in the database?

1 Answer 1


Most of the time, the right test is to check whether the loaded object has an ID.

if ($customer->getId()) {
    // This is an existing customer
} else {
    // This is not an existing customer
  • depends on the case, it's sometimes better to check if $customer is set at all. if ($customer && $customer->getId()) If $customer is null you get an error, because getId() doesn't exists. To be 100% sure, use try / catch
    – Pawel
    Oct 7, 2016 at 11:14
  • 1
    @Pawel well in the case of the OP, he's using load() on Mage::getModel('customer/customer'). So he will always get a Mage_Customer_Model_Customer object even if there's no customer with that id. That's how the load method works. Adding if ($customer) is useless as it'll always be true Oct 7, 2016 at 11:17

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