I use the import/export functionality in order to import products each night. I additionally use AvS_FastSimpleImport, but this should not really matter. Many of my products have custom options. In the data I import, I set something like this in order to import the custom option:

'_custom_option_title'       => 'My super funky option title',
'_custom_option_type'        => Mage_Catalog_Model_Product_Option::OPTION_TYPE_CHECKBOX,
'_custom_option_is_required' => false,
'_custom_option_row_title'   => 'My super funky option row title',
'_custom_option_row_price'   => 50,
'_custom_option_row_sku'     => 'MY_SKU'

The problem is that the custom option is not updated, but always added again. Hence, I have the same custom option multiple times.

I tried to set a _custom_option_sku and hoped that this would work, but the SKU is ignored completely (source).

Another alternative would be to completely replace all products and not update them (Mage_ImportExport_Model_Import::BEHAVIOR_REPLACE instead of Mage_ImportExport_Model_Import::BEHAVIOR_APPEND), but I would rather like to avoid this.

So any idea how an existing custom option can be updated with the ImportExport module?

2 Answers 2


The simple answer: use Replace. Or do a separated, not import/export based, deletion process. The real problem is, that those custom options are more complex relations than simple Attributes. It is the same with upsell/crosssell/related products. Either do a Replace or do a manual handled deletion, because the import cannot decide which of these relations it should "update" becuase there is no unique identifier for them. Another example is category<>product relations there is no "before<>after" stuff in there to tell the importer which one to update.


Thanks @Nils for clarifying. The missing unique identifier is a good point. In theory, custom options have a SKU (stored in the DB table catalog_product_option) which could be used as an identifier. Anyway, this SKU field is not used at all - only the SKU field of the option values (stored in the DB table catalog_product_option_type_value) is used. I decided to use a custom deletion process, which is quite straightforward: I listen to the event fastsimpleimport_import_products_before and delete all custom options in there.

In your config.xml:


In your app/code/local/Namespace/Module/Model/Observer.php:


class Namespace_Module_Model_Observer

     * @param Varien_Event_Observer $observer
    public function fastsimpleimportImportProductsBefore(Varien_Event_Observer $observer)
        // remove all existing custom options


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