Variants without adding inventory

7 0 17


I am new, coming from Etsy (rolling eyes, kind of regretting it already)  trying to setup a product (graduation stoles), which are available with variants (without patch, with one patch or with 2 patches). I want to set a total available quantity for the stoles, no matter what variant is chosen, because the limited quantity is for the stoles not the variants. But the system will ask me to set specific quantities for each variant because if I put zero, will show not available.

I tried tutorials, blogs, Shopify answers etc. but 1. Most responses are old, some from 2011, 2016  2. Some are saying you can only have this with additional apps.  Is it true? To make Shopify do what Etsy does I need apps besides the site? And as I read some of them cost extra also. Do I have to learn Shopify + app + app? This sound ridiculous I hope in 2020 we have a straightforward way to do this directly on the site.

Thank you!


Replies 80 (80)
New Member
2 0 0

Add me to the list please @Miles 

Each of my items are made to a limited quantity, the number dictated by the materials I have, but I can offer that quantity in a number of options. For example, I may have the materials to make a total of 3 of a design, but can offer it in 5 sizes. Currently inventory shows I have 5 available for purchase, 1 of each size, when in reality I have 3 that can be in any size. 

It is a basic requirement for many "made to order" Artisan sellers, and has certainly caused me a lot of frustration and stress. 

I hope Shopify adds this important feature a.s.a.p

3 0 0
Is there any updates on if this will be fixed soon?

I hired a Shopify expert as I was told that was an option to have variants for product packaging, but it did not work out as they could not change the price due to Shopify limitIons.
New Member
2 0 1

i am in same boat and shopify couldnt solve it in 5 years. i moved from opencart which had variants and option to stock count separately or not. i designed all my store and just realized this at time of adding stock.


i sell fabric, customers can order either unstitched (no additional price) or stitched (additional price). I have fabric for only 10 shirts so i cannot maintain stock seprately for each. this is crazy and if i knew it before would never have considered even finding a solution but ive spent so much time designing and theme cost on my store

New Member
1 0 1

Yet another request for the same function! 

New Member
1 0 2

Add me to the list of requests for this functionality too! I sell some products with an upgrade option that costs a little more but the product itself has one inventory I'd like to keep the same regardless of variants. I just started working on my new Shopify store and really need this! 

New Member
1 0 1

Add my call for this feature as well please. I'm an artist and new to Shopify selling original paintings. I sell two options - unframed or framed. Two different prices. Only one painting. When the painting sells with a frame, I need the unframed one to show "0" in the inventory (and vice versa). Thanks

7 0 1

Wow I am working on testing out a store and transferring to Shopify. This might be a deal breaker for me if I have to pay for an app to add simple functionality that is included in every other online platform I have used.

12 0 2

I think I have found a solution for this problem: at least is working for my website.

Just to be clear, I am not affiliated with this app: I have just installed it, it works, and the basic functions I need are free:

Live Product Options 

This is my live product: the part below the quantity is generated by the app (I am using the Dawn Theme and it works perfectly):

Hope it can help!

New Member
1 0 0

Agree with all the comments here that this should be a very basic function due to the many shops offering customization options. Need ability to choose if inventory for a particular product is tracked at product level or variant level. I use an app that works great for customization, but the one drawback is that when customer chooses an option (such as a design choice), it's not linked to the particular product photo.

New Member
2 0 0

It has been over a year, has there been any update on this issue? We offer different lengths for our jewelry, but need the ability for the item to sell out regardless of the length chosen. This completely messes up our reporting as we now have over 2k+ variants, but only want to see what has sold at the top product level.