Changing SKUs On Existing Items

Why do I need to be careful about this?

Let's say you set up your catalog and everything looks fine, so you go to tradeshow and start selling. Later, you realise that some of your SKUs are (gasp!) wrong. Maybe they are in lowercase when they should be in uppercase, or maybe you used the UPCs instead of the SKUs. Whatever the case, they're wrong and need to be changed.

"Why can't I just upload new spreadsheets with the SKUs changed?", you ask. If you do this, then your catalog will be correct, but previously written orders with the bogus SKUs will no longer be able to connect them to items from your catalog. That's why some care is required here.

Luckily, the items and variants uploaders have a way of re-mapping old SKUs to new ones without breaking the orders that have already been written for them.

Remapping item SKUs

To convert old item SKUs to new ones, do the following:

  • Open up your items spreadsheet that has all the old SKUs in it in Excel.
  • Select the sku column, copy it, and paste another copy immediately its left, so that you now have two identical sku columns side-by-side.
  • Change the header of the leftmost sku column to oldsku. This is the column that lets the importer know what the current SKUs are, so you shouldn't change any SKUs in this column.
  • Update the sku column with the new, correct SKUs.
  • Save the spreadsheet, upload it as per normal, and the importer will remap any changed SKUs to their new values along with all previously written orders for those items.

Remapping variant SKUs

This is more or less the same as the process for items above, except that the column header for the old variant SKUs should be old variant sku instead of oldsku.

One other difference is that when remapping variant SKUs, you can (and should) omit the master sku column from your spreadsheet. In this mode, the importer really only cares about finding your old variant SKU and changing it to the new one and isn't going to look at the master SKU at all.

You've probably got enough on your hands without having to worry about getting three columns of SKUs right at the same time ... so keep it to just two and make life easy on yourself :)