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Zencart: Adding a Product

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zen-cart-review-logoBefore you add a product on ZenCart, you would first need to create a category. Aside from that, you would need to have the following:

  • Product name (should be unique)
  • Description (can be added to or edited later)
  • Price
  • Weight (required for calculating shipping)
  • Image (can have more than one)
  • Quantity in inventory (must be 1 or more to be able to sell the product)

Depending on what your product is, you may also need to add the following features:

  • Attributes/Options: Size, color, etc.
  • Manufacturer, manufacturer’s URL link to product
  • Additional images

When you already have what you need to get started, you can then proceed to adding the product to your ZenCart.

  1. Log in to your ZenCart dashboard.
  2. Hover over Catalogue and click on Categories/Products.
  3. Select the category or sub-category where you want your product to be listed.
  4. Click on New Product.
  5. Fill out the form based on the information you previously gathered. Once you’re done, click on Preview and review all the information you entered.
  6. After checking all the data, click on Insert to add the product. It is important that you review everything before clicking in the insert button because once the product is added, you can no longer edit the information.

If you need to make any changes, click on Back and you will be redirected back to the form.

Click here to watch our video tutorial on how to add a product on ZenCart.


Definitions (Source:

ID: a unique number used by the system for each product

Categories/Products: The product’s name

Model: The product’s unique model number that you assigned it (optional).

Price/Special/Sale: This lists the current price of the product, including sale and special pricing.

Quantity: This is the current inventory for each product

Status: Green means that the product is Enabled and ‘live’. You can click on this to change it to red (disabled and not available)

Sort: Just like the Categories, the sort order will allow you to display the products in a particular order.

Product Status will usually be “In Stock”, but you can create products before you receive or manufacture them and have their status as “Out of Stock”. Of they are Out of Stock, indicate a “Date Available”, or leave blank if the product is “In Stock”.

Product Manufacturer: This droplist will be populated with a list of Manufacturers that you have already created. If you make all of your own products, this could be left blank.

Product Name: This should be an accurate and brief name that clearly describes the product.

Product is Free: Use this for samples or other giveaways.

Call for Price: This is used for products that may be subject to a market price, or a highly competitive product whose price you don’t want to advertise.

Product is priced by attributes: Only used when products have all different prices based upon their attributes. Not used much, as you can set some attributes to have a surcharge (example: XXL shirts sell for $2 more).

Tax Class: Most products are affected by sales tax, so choose the “Taxable Goods” option if this applies to the product.

Product Price (Net): This is your selling price.

Product Price (Gross): This will update to your selling price + sales tax.


Adding Product Attributes

Product attributes are options you can add for a specific item. For example, rather than listing a shirt 3 times because it comes in 3 different colors, you can create one listing for the product and give your customers the option to choose from red, blue, and white. Doing so will make your store organized, save your customers time, and will help save disk space.

Before you start, it is highly recommended that you already have a list of the options you will be adding to each product. This is will save you a lot of time and will prevent errors.

Adding product attributes on Zen Cart involves three steps:

Step 1: Option Name Manager: (color, size, etc)

Option Name Manager can be found by navigating to Catalogue. There, you will be directed to a page like the one below:


In this example, some have already been added, but on line 4, a new option can be added. You can also enter a Sort Order. You can also select the method that the customer will use to select the option value. Using a Droplist is an easy way to provide the list, while not taking up a lot of screen space. Once you have the Name, Order and Type, press Insert.


Step 2: Option Value Manager: (red, blue, small, medium, etc)

Once you’re done with filling out the Option Name, it’s time to fill in the Option Values. From Catalogue, click on Option Value and you will see this page:

Select the Option Name that you want to add a value to, then enter the Value. Then enter the (sort) Order and press Insert.


Step 3: Attribute Controller: (Attaches options to the products)

The Attribute Controller will allow you to add the attributes to your products. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. a) Select a Product to add Attributes to

You can look up a product in a couple ways …

  • Either pick a Category or a Product
  • When you pick a category, the ones with a * have products in them and this will display the first product Previous/Next
  • When you pick a product, click display … this sets the category to this product’s master category id … so you can now use the Previous/Next if you like.
  1. b) Add the Attribute Option Name+Value Pairs

Once the Product is displayed that you want to add attributes to … go to the Add Attributes box

– The Product Name should already be selected.

  1. Now select the Option Name
  2. Next select a matching Option Value, notice they say what kind of Option Type you have selected. ie: Blue [COLOR]

You will notice the Option Values say their names and next to them the Option Name that they match to.

  1. Depending on what you want to do with attributes there are several methods to price, add weight, sort order, and mark the type of attribute this is.

Price can be entered with a prefix of + or – or blank.

+ and blank will add the attribute price

– will subtract the attribute price

Weight can be entered optionally if it effects the product weight with a prefix of + or – or blank.

+ and blank will add the attribute weight

– will subtract the attribute weight

There are other pricing options also available besides the standard prices.

  • One Time Charge
  • Price Factor
  • One Time Charge Price Factor
  • Attribute Qty Price
  • One Time Attribute Qty Price


  • Price per word and free words
  • Price per letter and free letters


  1. Then there are the Attribute Flags in the colored boxes.

These are used to help distinguish other features of the attribute such as:

Use for display only (attribute cannot be selected and added to cart. Good for things like “Select from Below” to force the customer to make their own choice and not just hit Add to Cart and get a pink snail instead of a blue snail.

Attribute is Free when product is Free (Some products you may set to Free … but the some attributes are free and some attributes cost money.)

Default Attribute (Should be used especially on Radio buttons, or if you have an attribute you prefer the customer selects.)

Apply Discounts used by Product Sale/Special (this will apply the same type of discount that the product is getting from the products_price vs the special or sale price.)

Include in Base Price (when products are priced by attributes mark the attributes include in base price then the lowest price in each Option Name group are added together to make up the product price. NOTE: when not the product is not marked priced by attribute this setting has no effect on the price.)

Attribute Required for TEXT (Some text is required text and cannot be left blank by the customer.)

  1. If this attribute is a downloadable file, enter the filename.
  2. Be sure to click Add to add the newly-defined Attribute.

You can always edit or delete them after adding.

When done … you can update the sort orders for the product to the Option Value sort order by pressing the button at the top of the page.

And now you’re done!

You can also watch our tutorial video on how to add product attributes on ZenCart by clicking here.


Putting Products on Special

Specials allow you to reduce the prices of certain products that are on clearance without having to touch the details of the new stocks. This saves you time, effort, and stress when cleaning out your inventory.

Here are the steps on how you can put products on special on ZenCart:

  1. Log into your ZenCart admin and select Catalog -> Specials
  2. Click on “new product” or if you have a lot of products click on “select” Product ID to be Manually Added as a Special.
  3. This screen has 4 bits of information to fill out.
  4. Scroll through the list to select the product you want to put on special. The list is alphabetical.
  5. Special Price–you can enter a percentage discount here or the new price (must have a decimal point)
  6. Available Date
  7. Expiry Date–leave it blank if there is no expiration date.

Then click on “insert”.

View your special in the admin.


Click here to watch our tutorial video on how to add products on special.