We have been having trouble with customers duplicating their orders. Finding the cause is a subject for a different question. We are using a module we bought that overrides default cart behavior a bit.

I noticed that the duplicated orders have the same quote id. I was thinking that in the custom saveOrderAction() method, I could detect if an order with that quote id already exists. I would assume there is no reason someone would buy the same cart twice. I don't want to cause false positives though.

Is there a valid reason that two orders in the sales_flat_order table would have the same value for the column quote_id?

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From a clean Magento standpoint, no. Every order should only be related to one quote, and vice-versa.

I know there are some modules out there that will use a single quote for multiple orders to create a subscription functionality; however, they too should create a new quote from the original order's quote.

You could actually add a check after the customer logs in. Once a customer logs in (either during checkout or through the "My Account" link) the most recently created, non-completed quote is loaded into the session and merged with the "guest" quote. You could also add a check for a corresponding order in this place and generate a new quote and use that instead.

Generally speaking if the quote is being used twice (and people aren't just double-clicking the "Checkout" button), I would suspect it's in the loading of the next incomplete quote (one that has no corresponding order) during customer session initialization more than during checkout.

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