Can anyone help us?

Our not for profit social enterprise sells reclaimed carpet tiles but we have to sell them in batches of 20 (1box) due to shipping costs, BUT we also want to be able to offer free samples so customers can check that the colour is right for them because it is impossible to get accurate colour rendering on monitors.

The reclaimed carpets come in different conditions and we sort them 'Grades (A-D)' so a particular tile (e.g. Sunset Yellow) might have up to 4 variations of quality A-D. Currently we just have simple products setup so Sunset Yellow(gradeB) Sunset(gradeA) etc. Each of these has a minimum qty of 20 and increments of 20 setup so that they have to buy at least 20 and then order in increments of 20.

BUT we are wondering how we might allow ordering of 'sample' pieces of each product.

Perhaps 'sample versions of each product? (e.g. Sunset Yellow(gradeA sample), Sunset Yellow(gradeB sample)available but not with it's own stock qtys in the inventory. I know we could duplicate every product and have a 'sample' version but this would be an admin nightmare, hoping there is a smarter way to do this.

This would make a really big difference to our store so any help or thoughts would be gratefully received.

1 Answer 1


In the past I have achieved this using an 'event observer' to listen to any new products being made/edited. Before the product save my code would check for the existence of a sample product and create one/delete one accordingly. The sample had 'max added to cart' as 1 and a different attribute set. The SKU was the same as the parent with '-sample' added to the end.

On the product page I had a module to display 'order a sample' if a sample product existed.

You could take a similar approach to add your four sample types.

With the same event/observer approach I was also able to do 'remnants' - in your instance less than twenty can be set to min/max the available quantity.

  • Thanks for this suggestion, it sounds like a good approach but this is a good deal more complex than other things we have done with magento. Do you have any code you could share or pointers to good resources that could help? Oct 14, 2014 at 20:22
  • I don't have anything readily available however it works in a way that is user friendly. The only downside is that your catalogue will bloat with the extra skus. Oct 15, 2014 at 9:01

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