Product / Inventory importing and exporting

New Member
1 0 0

Hi there Shopify Community,


I have a question regarding the importing and exporting of products/inventory via the excel function. The question(s) are:


1.  If I update the sheet with information, i.e. new stock, and delete old stock entries etc, does the program also "delete" those stock items I have deleted in excel on shopify once imported.  

2.  Does in create duplicate items?

3.  Is there a way to delete the whole inventory and re-build a new one from scratch if required?


Kind Regards



Replies 4 (4)
Shopify Staff
1160 104 261

Hi @Jasper-WCVW,


Thank you for getting in touch and for outlining your questions. I will answer each one below.


  1. When you import a product CSV into Shopify, you will see an option to overwrite existing SKUs. If, for example, you've edited the inventory for product A in the CSV file and decide to overwrite existing SKUs when importing, the inventory for product A within Shopify will become the same number as the inventory number set within the CSV file. However, if you decide to delete product B from the CSV file, when you import and overwrite into Shopify, product B will not be affected as there is nothing to overwrite. You would need to delete the product directly via the admin if that was what you wanted to do.
  2. You should not experience any exact duplicates, no. Products are identified by the product's URL handle, the first column in the CSV file, and all handles for products must be unique. If you make an edit to a product and do not overwrite when you import, then no changes will be made. If you edit a product and choose to overwrite, then the edits will come into effect within Shopify.
  3. When you refer to the "whole inventory", do you mean deleting all products in the store, or just the inventory numbers for those products? You can mass delete products by selecting multiple products in the Products section, and then pressing Actions > Delete selected products. To edit the inventory en masse, you could either use the bulk editor to do this, or you could export to CSV and change all the inventory figures there. You would then import the CSV file back in and overwrite the products in question.

I hope I have answered your questions but please do let me know if you have any further queries!


Kind regards,


Victor | Shopify Social Care

Victor | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Shopify Partner
326 11 40

Hi there,

I believe Victor from Shopify provided a very specific answer to solve your problem. So I just want to show you an article that I found about inventory exporting on Shopify. Hope it could help you!

I'm Jason Dao, Manager of Research & Development Department at Avada Ecommerce.
40 0 78

Hi @Jasper-WCVW!

Just wanted to chime in and add to what @Victor was suggesting for updating inventory. Parabola can help you bulk update existing inventory items, adjust existing inventory levels, and reset inventory levels.

Here's more info about our Shopify integration capabilities.

Hope this helps!

New Member
1 0 0

In regards to the 1st question, what would you suggest as a solution?

I receive a new product list from my supplier every day, and if an item is out of stock/discontinued they do not include it in the new CSV. Now I don't import a new product list to Shopify daily, but when I do finally import a new product list, items that were previously published on Shopify but that are NOW out of stock/discontinued are not overwritten and then they just end up floating aimlessly around my site. 

My product list has 10000 items so it's virtually impossible to know which items are out of stock/discontinued at any given time - it could be 5 items, 50, or it could be 500, or etc. What work-around would you suggest? Do I need to completely delete all of my old products every time I need to import a new list of products?

Is there a way for Shopify to add 1 more option when importing that says replace all products and make this new product list the only active collection of products or something to that effect?