I just recently started making t-shirts to sell in my store, and on my website, but I don't want to make a lot of any one design. What I would like to do is show the design as the product, have shirt color and size as variants, and have all of the designs pull from the same shirt inventory. This would allow me to produce the shirts as they are ordered rather, and not have to update inventory on every product as orders occur. Currently the only option that Shopify has is to list the shirts as the product with the designs and size as variants. Obviously, this would be less conducive to sales than my version would because blank shirts are not as exciting as ones that are designed, so people would be less likely to click on the blank shirt. I am concerned about allowing to sell shirts that are out of stock because I want to sell some of my inventory before having to buy new ones.
Please do not try to sell me a full redesign of my site! I will ask for help with that when I am ready.
So let's see if we got this straight:
- You have a generic white T-Shirt that has for example a stock count of 100
- All your other T-Shirts feed off the 100 count again
- You want a way so that all the variant t-shirts pull the inventory from the generic white T-Shirt above
Here's a couple of potential solutions:
1. You could view this as 'personalisations' to a single T Shirt product, and as such could use a 3rd party app such as 'Product Personalizer' (I am not affiliated, just searched for it). Not sure if this would handle the total inventory issue if that is vital.
2. You could deselect inventory tracking on the product itself. This would allow you to add design, colour and size as variants. This would allow people to see and purchase the product variants even though they have a inventory number of '0'. You could then just look at the Orders to see how many of each you will need to produce. A similar approach is to select 'allow purchases when out of stock' on the product itself also. It achieves essentially the same result.
3. Alternatively, you could comission a custom app to be developed to handle this use case where you want to track the inventory of the product as a whole rather than tracking the inventory of the variants. This may already exist, I'm sure if it does someone will comment. If not, I'd be happy to help develop this custom solution.
However, personally, I think option 2 is the most sensible as long as there is not a very fixed total number of t shirts that can't be changed, in which case 1 or 3 make more sense.
You would only need to use this app @ScottArcher to get the solution you want.
You create one bundle with the white T-Shirt as the master product and then all the other products are included underneath. Their inventory will thus always be in sync. Cheers!
Sorry jumping in here a bit late. Sounds like all you need is to bundle each of your product variants from the blank shirts. So you could have all White Size M shirt designs all linked to the same inventory SKU and thus once they sell whatever design it updates all your products.
We are testing a new bundling solution now if you are interested in seeing if it would work for your solution. There are other bundling apps available but most work around creating custom pages in a theme.