Product variation variation


I’ve just begun to play with your system. Very nice work. I’d like to create a product variation that does not create child products that are inventoried and tracked. As an example, I sell various product that are painted before shipping. The client orders a certain color and I take a part off the shelf, paint it and ship it out to them. From an inventory standpoint, I’m only concerned with the unpainted product. From an order standpoint, I’m interested in knowing which raw product to use and what color to paint it. How do you recommend this be implemented?

Thanks for your time,


Hi @mzinbergs, Matt Foyle (customer success) is having an AMA right at this moment on variations, feel free to jump in and ask your question in person :slight_smile: here’s the link:


Thanks. I was doing other things and missed it.


So I’m going to try using a flow item on cart_items and see how that works. I had to think this through for a bit. I’m a bit slow and - errr… unfamiliar with your product.

Hmmm… OK. I can get the flow fields to show up on a product. Now how can I update them ?

I can see that specific flow entries relate to cart items. I’ve tried changing them and the server returns a 403 error. Can the entries be changed?

Aha! I see that is by design. The implicit token doesn’t have those privileges. Can I get at it with a client token and /cart interface?

Well, I can write a put request to change those flows. Now, are those flow items transfered to the order_items when the order is created?



Hi @mzinbergs, sounds like you’re on the right path. It makes sense to use Flows attached to a cart item if you don’t wish to track orders and inventory (that’s where using variations is most useful).

You could also use a custom cart item, if you wish to have different product names/description (here’s some documentation you may find helpful on the topic:

Good luck and let us know if you have any questions!


But, I am interested in tracking inventory. With that in mind, I don’t think that the custom cart item helps me.
I was thinking of adding a flow to a cart_item. Does that data live with the cart item during it’s entire life? So when the cart is turned into an order, does that data go with it? Also, how can that data on the cart_item be changed? I’ve not found any applicable functions in the Javascript SDK.

Thanks for your time,