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How do I create different pricing for my Big Cartel product options?

If you purchased or upgraded your Big Cartel theme after 29th November 2011, please refer to Aarcade Support instead of the following article.

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The functionality defined below is deprecated. All Aarfie themes purchased from 27th April 2011 have this functionality stripped in favour of Big Cartel’s native variable pricing system. Premium themes include additional custom option for the display of price ranges.

Big Cartel Priced Options

Aarfie's variable pricing system in action in the Aarfie Shop

Please check your theme readme file to ensure your theme includes Aarfie’s variable pricing system before proceeding with these instructions.

Understanding Aarfie’s Variable Pricing System

Aarfie’s variable pricing system works by using one of your Big Cartel products to define a single option that can be used throughout your shop. We call such a product, an “option-product”. For example, if you have a T-Shirt shop you might create the option-products, “Small”, “Medium” and “Large”. These option-products are hidden from the customer’s view and are used to define the price and shipping for the option they represent.

From the above description you can see that option-products are extremely useful for shops that have a number of products with common options. Using the same T-Shirt shop example, we might set the option-product prices as Small = $18.00, Medium = $20.00 and Large = $22.00. We can then apply these option-products to multiple products, so that all T-Shirts in the shop display the option pricing as Small = $18.00, Medium = $20.00 and Large = $22.00.

Option-products can also make price changes much more manageable, in our example we can change the price of all “Small” t-shirts in the shop simply by changing the price of the one option-product “Small”.

So far, our T-Shirt shop has used up only 3 of its available shop products to create an option system. As the shop’s priced product options increase, the greater this number will become. Let’s say our T-Shirt shop starts selling Jackets, also in small, medium and large; each priced differently. We now need to create three more option-products for the Jacket size. We can not duplicate our product names but we need the names to still make sense when viewed in the cart, so we create the new option-products “Small Jacket” = $50.00, “Medium Jacket” = $60.00 and “Large Jacket” = $70.00.

Between out t-shirt and our jacket product options we have now taken up 6 of our shop products. This highlights the reason Aarfie’s Variable Pricing System may not be well-suited for shops that have many product options with different pricing; for such shops the system still works, but a significantly large number of products may be used up by option-products.

Create A Product

Creating a product that will have different priced options is achieved in exactly the same way as adding any other product to your shop via your Big Cartel Products admin section. This means your existing products do not require any editing in order to apply priced options to them.

It is important to note however, that if you assign a product only one option with the name “Default” then the pricing and options of this product will be completely ignored once you add your priced options.

Alternatively, if you wish to make use of a products pricing and options in the standard way, as well as additional priced options, then you need to have one or more product options with names other than “Default”.

For example, setting the following options for a product (in this example a print):

Big Cartel Size Options

Will result in the following product options:

Big Cartel Priced Options

Note that the options 4″ x 4″ Print, 5″ x 5″ Print and 6″ x 6″ Print were added directly via the product edit page and have the same price; all as expected with the standard Big Cartel option system.

The other two options, 20″ x 50″ Famed Print and 30″ x 80″ Framed Print, are added via option-products as detailed in the article sections below.

Alternatively, if our product had the default option setting, i.e. a single option named “Default”:

Default Print Option in Big Cartel

Then this option is ignored, and only the priced product options will be displayed:

Default Print Option in Big Cartel

Create An Option-Product

To create an option-product, you add a new product via your Big Cartel Products admin section in the same way you add a normal product but noting the following:

  1. The name of your option-product should be the option name you want to display publicly, e.g. “Small”. Also keep in mind that you can not repeat an option-product name, so if you need the same option with different pricing be more specific with your naming, e.g. “Small T-Shirt”, “Small Jacket”, “Small Bag”, etc.
  2. The price of the option-product will be the price used for all products assigned this option. Marking the option-product as “On-Sale” will have no effect, leave it unchecked
  3. The description of your option-product is not used, leave it blank.
  4. An option-product status must be set to Active if it is ready to be applied. If it is marked Sold Out, the option will be sold out across all products assigned to it.
  5. An option-product must be added to the category “x Options” and only this category. If this category is not available, you need to create it using the name exactly as “x Options”. Refer to support article How do I add a product category to my Big Cartel shop?
  6. An option-product’s options is where you assign it to your normal shop products. See the following article section for more information.
  7. The shipping prices of the option-product will be the shipping prices used for all products added to the cart with this option.
  8. An option-product’s images are not used.

IMPORTANT: Once you have created an option-product, drag it to the very bottom of your product list. This will ensure that it is hidden correctly and your normal products are displayed with the proper number per page.

The order in which you arrange your option-products at the bottom of the product list, is the order in which they will be displayed on your product pages.

Assigning a Priced Option to a Product

To tie a product and an option-product together, we use the Options section of the option-product’s edit controls. For example, we have created a new product named My New Print and we want to tie it to our option-product 30″ x 80″ Framed Print. First we select the option-product 30″ x 80″ Framed Print from our product list:

An Option Product in Big Cartel

Selecting an option-product to edit - note that the option-product is properly located at the bottom of the product list

Scrolling to the Options section of our product edit controls, we enter the product name My New Print (ensuring that we exactly match the product name) as a new option, also setting stock if applicable:

Adding a Priced Option in Big Cartel

Adding the product 'My New Print' to an option-product - note the option-product is properly assigned to the category 'x Options'

Click the Save button when you have finished adding product names. We then repeat the process for other option-products to be tied to our product My New Print.

Last Modified: 15th December, 2010

Other ‘Big Cartel’ Articles...

Big Cartel support articles generally relate to Aarfie-developed Big Cartel themes purchased from the shop or created for a custom project.