I think that the current VM logic and the manual are somewhat confusing concerning attributes. So I wrote this explanation a few days ago. Perhaps it is helpful for others, too.
If you want to use products with stock control, the following procedure applies:
1. Add a new product
- type in SKU (no empty spaces!) for basic product as well as the title, price, tax, description, images,etc.
- select a category and eventually a manufacturer, if you have defined some already.
- save the new product and open the saved product again
2. Click on "Add attribute" in the top menu
- type an attribute name, for example 'SIZE' or 'EDITION' into the "Attribute Name" field. You may leave the "List Order" field empty.
(Initially I would recommend to actually type i.e SIZE in bold letters, so you can identify and see how this attribute interacts with the
childlist later, depending on the display options you choose)
3. After you clicked the "Save" button, something like "Attribute List for - Item: Your new product" shows up as a blue headline.
- click on "Your new product" in this headline to return to your product page.
4. Now you will see a button named "Add New Item" in the menu above your product data. Click it.
- a new product entry form appears, titled "New Item :: Your New Product Title" (from the parent product)
5. Enter a unique SKU for the child product (slightly different from the parent product SKU) and at least the title and price. If you leave the
description blank, the parent product description will be shown to the customer.
You can enter different images for this child product, if you like.
6. Click on the "Item Status" tab in the menu. At the bottom of the form (you may have to scroll down) you will find the "Attribute"
you have defined in step 2.
In case you named it 'SIZE', you can enter the value, for example 'Medium' here. Now you can save your entries again.
7. Finally you might want to play a little bit with the display options for the parent product and child products, to explore how different
settings affect your display.
(click on 'item information' under the product title in the product list to access the childs (items)
If somebody who reads this detects that I missed something in describing the procedure above, feel free to submit a corrected (better) version of this text in a reply.