In Magento, everything you wish to sell must be defined as a Simple Product having its own SKU and price. But there are times when a merchant wishes to sell items that do not have a unique identifying code, like a SKU. The reason that some products might not have an identifying SKU depend largely on the type of item being sold and the organization of the merchantâ€™s business.
These types of situations are especially common for manufacturers who take special orders for items that they may only make one time. An example that most anybody can relate to would be purchasing produce or meat at a supermarket. Apples are sold by the pound, purchasing one pound of apples costs more than purchasing a half pound of apples, or any fractional weight in between. But, each possible weight of apples does not have its own predetermined and unique SKU number. The type of apple probably has a unique PLU, or Price Look-Up code, but the final item of the transaction is an item and a specific quantity; weight in this example.
This fabricated receipt shows an example of how individual line-items of a receipt can be composed of a dimension or quantity plus a unique identifying number, such as a SKU or PLU.
Sample receipt print-out of buying apples.
0.5 @ $3.00 / lbs
…….. 1200 Red Apples ……….. $1.50
3.19 @ $2.00 / lbs
…….. 2200 Florida Oranges …… $6.38
Sub-Total …………………….. $7.88
Magento currently lacks the ability to accept user input as a determining factor for the end result of a transaction. The customer can only pick from a predetermined selection of items. For manufacturers, who might take special orders for products with varying dimensions of size, this could result in Magentoâ€™s database containing millions of â€œproductsâ€. The management of such a database would become cumbersome, in part because it is not how the manufacturer thinks about their own products.