ShopSite Tip – 4 Creative Uses for a Variable Priced Product

There is a very powerful but often overlooked feature in ShopSite called Variable Price. Available in both ShopSite Manager & Pro, it’s found near the top of the Edit Product Info screen:

Variable Price Feature

A variable priced product can be often used as a creative solution when a product has to be priced in a manner that’s too complicated for product options, or something as basic as the price can not be predicted ahead of time.

Paying A Previous Order
Do you accept Purchase Orders or allows orders to be submitted by requesting a “Quote”?  You can setup a Variable Priced product for customers to use later as a way to pay for these prior orders.  Use “Pay Previous Order” as the product name and let the customer enter the price they owe.

  • TIP: Turn on Variable SKU and use the SKU field to prompt for their previous order number.

Custom Order
If you want to sell something that doesn’t exist in your store, you can use a variable priced product to allow someone to place an order for it.  You can turn on Variable Name or the Customer Text Entry field to allow them to enter details.

  • Example: Tell the customer to enter “Large Red Wagon” as the product name with a price of “10.00”.

Prorated Product
Are you selling a membership or something that changes it’s priced based on how many days are left until a certain date?  You can use PHP to automatically calculate a a price based on the current date which is passed to the cart with a variable priced product.  We have a tutorial for this method here:

Advanced – Complicated Configurations
While ShopSite product options are very powerful, there may be a time when it doesn’t cover what you want to do.  For example you could be selling a computer – where the customer needs to select a variety of different parts which may have their own options or prerequisites, and you want to populate the option lists dynamically by querying a database.

This could all be done with PHP and a Variable Priced product.  PHP can build the form, process the results, and calculate a total cost for the product.  It can then submit the details to the cart by using a variable price for the cost and the Customer Text Entry field for the details.

If you have a something to sell that’s too complicated to work like a regular product, a product with a Variable Price (or SKU or Name) can add a whole variety of possibilities to your store.

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