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Creating wholesale solution with magento commerce

The client want to have a shop where regular customers to be able to see products with their retail price, while Wholesale partners to see the prices with ? discount. The extra condition: retail and wholesale prices hasn’t mathematical dependency. So, a product could be $100 for retail and $50 for whole sale and another one could be $60 retail and $50 wholesale. And of course retail users should not be able to see wholesale prices at all.

Basically, I will explain what I did step-by-step, but in order to understand what I mean, you should be familiar with the basics of Magento.

1. Creating two magento websites, stores and views
(Magento meaning of website of course) It’s done from from System->Manage Stores. The result is:
Website | Store | View
————————————————
Retail->Retail->Default
Wholesale->Wholesale->Default

Both sites using the same category/product tree

2. Setting the price scope
in System->Configuration->Catalog->Catalog->Price set drop-down to Website. Now you could enter prices per store/website and they could be totally different.

3. Get some plugins
Get following plugins from Magento Connect and install them from admin: System->Magento Connect->Magento Connect Manager:
Netzarbeiter_LoginCatalog – User need to login in order to see the store (it will be used for Wholesale site)
Netzarbeiter_CustomerActivation – User need to be approved from site admins in order to be able to login to the site. (again it will be used for wholesale site)

Both plugins need to be activated for wholesale only. Because they are activated when they are installed, you need to disable them for Default/Retail website and to leave enabled to Wholesale. You should know that distinction between sites in System->Configuration is done from top left corner of the config window.

First plugin is enabled/disabled from: System > Configuration > Catalog > Login only catalog
Second one: System > Configuration > Customer > Customer Activation.

4. Setting separate url for Wholesale
Now wholesales need to have separate urls, so regular users will access http://domain.com/, while wholesale will access http://domain.com/wholesale/. I found this solution in the Magento Forum: Thread.

So, following the instructions I created directory wholesale/ and copied .htaccess and index.php files from the root directory. Modifications in the index.php are the same as in the Forum:
Mage::run(); become Mage::run(‘wholesale’);
and
$mageFilename = ‘app/Mage.php’; become $mageFilename = ‘../app/Mage.php’;

5. Change the wholesale paths from the admin
From System->Configuration (select Wholesale website)->General->Web and change the paths by adding wholesale/ (it’s also mentioned in the forum thread).

6. Adding products to both websites
When adding products, you should mark them visible for both sites. This is done from Product page->Websites tab.

That’s it! Now on http://domain.com/ users will see full catalog, they can login without Admin approval and prices will be retail, while on http://domain.com/wholesale only users registered as wholesale and activated from admin will be able to see catalog with wholesale prices.

What’s left…

And this was the easiest part … the rest is to import about 2000 products from the current osCommerce store, and to add another 4000 from the client’s ERP system. After this on regular basis to update prices and quantities from ERP system.

Hopefully this will help someone.

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