A product family is used to have variations of a single product, e.g. different sizes and colours of a clothing item.


  • Item: T-shirts
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
  • Colours: Red, White, Blue.

Both the product family and each variation within the product family will have a unique SKU in the system.


Table of Contents

Create a new product family

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  1. Go to Inventory → New → Product Families, or Inventory → Product Families and click +.
  2. Fill in the product family details (see below for more info) in the document header. Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory. 
  3. Enter up to 3 variations in the Option Label fields. The option labels will then populate the Options tab below.
  4. Add option values in the Options tab. DEAR has no limit on the number of option values that can be added, however some eCommerce integrations may have their own limits on total number of product variants. e.g. Shopify limits product variants to a maximum of 100.
  5. Click the Variations tab. This generates variations for the product family or allows you to map existing inventory products to variations. Prices, SKUs, Dimensions and Weights for each variation can be edited here.
    • Manually add existing products from your inventory to the product family by clicking +Product and searching for the item.
    • Let DEAR generate the variations by clicking Generate. SKUs are generated automatically but can be manually edited if necessary.
  6. Click Save to finish.

Product family general information fields

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Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory for creating a new product family. Once the product family details are filled in, click Save to finish.

NOTE: Incorrect setup of product families, e.g. they don't have any defined options and variations don't have option values, may result in errors when loading products from DEAR to your marketplace. When this happens, unlinking all product family variations from your marketplace, deleting the products entirely, then properly configuring the product family in DEAR before listing it again on the marketplace may help resolve your issues.

Family SKU

Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is the unique identifier of the product. Please note:

  • Unacceptable SKU: All numerals, starting with a 0. This will cause problems importing and exporting data into CSV templates. E.g. 01 234 567
  • Acceptable SKU: Alphanumeric, including starting with a 0. E.g. 003-Gloves, 103-Gloves
  • Acceptable SKU: All numerals, not starting with a 0. E.g. 1 234 567.

Each variation within the product family, as well as the product family itself, needs a unique SKU. The variation SKUs can be assigned automatically by DEAR or manually by the user.

Family Name and Category

Enter a product family name, and either choose a category from the dropdown list or click Add New Category. Only one category can be chosen per product family. To add a product family to more groups of products, use Comma Delimited Tags.

Brand (optional)

Enter the product family brand.

Costing Method

Costing methods in DEAR Inventory are based on real accounting methods. You can choose from First In First Out (FIFO), First Expired First Out (FEFO), and Special costing methods, with variations of each. Learn more about Costing Methods.


Choose between No Dropship, Optionally Dropship and Always Dropship for the product. Learn more about Dropshipping.

Dropship Supplier (optional)

Choose a supplier for drop ship orders, if you are using the dropship option.

Last Supplier (optional)

Enter the last supplier of this product family. This information will be used to populate purchase orders in DEAR.

Supplier Price (optional)

Enter the supplier of this product family. This information will be used to populate purchase orders in DEAR.

Option Labels

Up to 3 option labels (e.g. colour, size, etc.) can be chosen per product family. 

Unit of Measure

Unit of measure for sales of the product. The default is Item but new units (e.g. Hour, kg, L); can be added by clicking Add New Unit.

Accounts and Tax Rules (optional)

Choose which accounts to use for COGs, Inventory and Revenue. These can also be entered at the purchase/sale level. 

Tax rules can be applied for Purchases and Sales. These can also be applied at the customer/supplier level or on individual purchases or sales.

Please note that the product's account mapping has the highest priority. That means that it will override the default account mapping and supplier/customer account mapping on the purchase/sale order. If you do not use special accounts or tax rules for your items we recommend leaving these fields blank. This way default accounts will be used.

Default Location

Enter a default location for this product family. This will autofill fields on purchases and sales.

Additional Attributes Set (optional)

See here for more information on additional attributes.

Minimum before Reorder and Reorder Quantity (optional)

These affect low stock reorder points for the product. See here for more information about Low Stock Reorder.

Comma Delimited Tags (optional)

Comma delimited tags or product tags can be used to group products together. You can add as many tags as you require, separated by commas.


The manufacturer warranties to be applied to the product. The options available on the list are set up in Settings → Reference Books → Warranties. See Warranties for more information.

Description (optional)

You can enter a short and long description for your product family. The long description has an HTML editor for formatting. This information is mandatory when using the eBay or Magento Sales Channels.


DEAR Inventory lets you set up to 10 price points for each individual product or product family depending on your subscription type. Customers are assigned a price tier which sets what price they can buy products for. Price Tier names can be changed by going to Settings → General Settings. Only static pricing is available for product families, however, you can apply markup pricing to product family variations. Learn more about Pricing and Price Tiers

Discount (optional)

Discounts can be applied at the product level. Learn more about discounts. Please note that a product discount can be overridden by customer/customer group discount.

Add images and attachments to product family

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Images and attachments added to a product family apply only to the product family, not to the product variations within that family. 

  1. Go to Inventory → Product Families and select a product family.
  2. Click the Images & Attachments tab. 
  3. Drag and drop, or select images/attachments to upload. You can choose to select a default image by checking the box next to the image. 
  4. Click Save to finish.

Product variation images and attachments must be added from the product variation record (Inventory → Products → [selected product]), from the Images & Attachments tab. 

This can be done by individually adding images to each product variation record, or alternatively, uploaded in bulk via CSV file, using links to your image hosting provider. See Uploading Product photos via CSV file to DEAR inventory for detailed instructions. 

  1. You will need to export the Images & Attachments CSV file (Inventory → Products → Export → Images & Attachments).
  2. Enter the Action (Create or Update), SKU, Image URL and FileName into the downloaded Images & Attachments CSV template.
    • NOTE: Bulk image import requires a direct link URL to the image. Interstitial pages or the image itself will not work. If using a different hosting provider for your images, please check what URL you should use with your hosting provider to access it publicly i.e. any user can access image using url with out having to log in. 
  3. Click Inventory → Products → Import → Images & Attachments to upload the CSV file back into DEAR and update your product images. 

Delete a product family

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Product families can be deleted from the product families list screen. Multiple product families can be deleted at once. Deletion first deprecates all product family variants, then deletes deprecated variants if possible, then deletes the family. If a product family variant has already been used in DEAR operations (sale, purchase, production, etc.), it will not be deleted but instead remain deprecated. The product family will be deleted regardless. 

  1. Navigate to Inventory → Product Families
  2. Check the box to the left of the families you wish to delete. 
  3. Click More Actions → Delete Product Families. Confirm your decision.


  1. Navigate to Inventory → Product Families → [Product family name]
  2. Click Delete in the top-right of the screen.

Add product families to a purchase/sale order

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Items from a product family can be added in bulk to a purchase or sale order to save time. See Processing a Purchase and Processing a Sale for more information about both of these processes. 

  1. Create a new purchase or new sale.
  2. When adding items to the order or quote, click Family.
  3. Enter the Product Family.
  4. Chooses quantities to order/sell. You can view the product family in Matrix or List format. 
  5. Prices and quantities can still be edited from the sale/purchase order if necessary.
  6. Click Add Products and then continue with the sale/purchase order as usual.

Clone a product family

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DEAR allows you to clone product families to speed up the entering of multiple similar product families into your inventory. This clones product family information including prices, production BOM, etc. 

  1. Open an existing product family from Inventory → Product Families and click Clone
  2. Enter a new Family SKU and Family Name and click Done to generate the product family. 
  3. New variations are generated once the cloned product family has been saved. 

Add a production BOM to a product family

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Product families are used to group together products with similar characteristics but different options, for example colour and size of clothing. Depending on the number of options, there can be a large number of product family variations. Manufacturing a product family requires each variation to have a production BOM, but adding these one by one is inefficient. 

Product family production BOM creates a general production BOM for the family (e.g. shirt) but allows other product family variations to be used as components (e.g. fabric). Production BOMs for each variation are auto-generated from the general BOM and the mapping values, saving our users lots of time when preparing production BOMs for many variations at once. 

NOTE: Users will need the Production - Production Bill of Materials permission in order to add a production BOM to a product family. Organisations must also have the Advanced Manufacturing module added to their subscription in order to use this feature. 

Please see Production BOM for product families for detailed information.

Documents with product families

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Product families can be shown in two ways on your sales and purchase documents. You can choose between showing all variants in list format or matrix format. 

List format is the standard sales/purchase document format, showing all variants in a list of order lines:

Matrix format displays the variant quantities in a compact table:

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