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Zen Cart Big Chooser vs. Combination Discounts


I used to say, "Combination Discounts is Better Together on steroids." Now I say, "Big Chooser is Combination Discounts on steroids."

Big Chooser just has many more features than Combination Discounts. Which one you select for your cart will depend on your needs. Of course, you may run both if you wish, but I'll assume for simplicity that you want to choose one.

Should you buy Combination Discounts or Big Chooser?

Well, it really depends on what you want to do. There are functional differences which are described below. In addition: if an admin panel is important to you, the Combination Discounts Admin Panel is now available, whereas Big Chooser will probably never have an admin panel.

Let's go through some scenarios:

What you want to doWhat to use
Buy 2 of A, get B at a discount
Buy 3 of A, get B at a discount
Buy 2 of A, get a third A at a discount
Either
Buy A and B, get C at a discount Either
Buy A, B, C, D ... get Z at a discount Either
Buy A, B, and C, and get all at a discount Only Big Chooser.
Buy 1 of A, 2 of B, 3 of C, ... get unlimited Z at a discount Either
One of the discounts above, but only for group 1. Only Big Chooser; Combination Discounts does not have qualification by group.
One of the discounts above, but requiring a coupon. Only Big Chooser; Combination Discounts does not have the ability to make a coupon required.
Discount items from one or more manufacturer(s). Only Big Chooser; Combination Discounts does not have selection by manufacturer.
Discount items with a particular attribute setting. Only Big Chooser; Combination Discounts does not have filter by attributes.
Buy A or B or C, get a discount on D.
Buy from category A or B or C, get a discount on category D.
Only Big Chooser; Combination Discounts does not have choices in the purchase part of a linkage; Big Chooser has set_choice_constraint.
Buy A, get a discount on B or C or D.
Buy from category A, get a discount on category B or C or D.
Only Big Chooser; Combination Discounts does not have choices in the discount part of a linkage; Big Chooser has set_choice_discount.
Buy items A, B, C, get a discount off D, E and F Only Big Chooser. Combination Discounts only allows one item or category to be discounted.
Buy items A, B, C, get a your choice of a discount off D, E or F Only Big Chooser. Combination Discounts only allows one item or category to be discounted.
Buy items A, B, C, get a your choice of two items from category 1 and 2 items from category 2 Only Big Chooser. Combination Discounts does not allow a choice of discounts.
Buy items A, B, C, get a discount off the entire cart Only Big Chooser. Combination Discounts does not provide a discount off the cart total.
Buy items A, B, C, get a discount off D, but select items A, B, C by product id, category id or exact price Either.
Buy items A, B, C, get a discount off D, but select items A, B, C by minimum price Only Big Chooser. Combination Discounts does not have selection by minimum price.


That having been said, obviously Combination Discounts is much easier to configure; Big Chooser has so many knobs and switches that even I get confused by it sometimes. But both work well; it just depends on your needs.

From an add-on perspective, Big Chooser is more limited. For example, there will never be a "Buy the Set" for Big Chooser. Add-ons are discussed below.

Other features you may want



Promotional Pages Both have Promotional Pages.
Discount Preview Both have Discount Preview.
Display Offers on Listing Pages Only Combination Discounts allows offers to be displayed on listing pages.
Checkout Candy Only Combination Discounts has Checkout Candy.
Buy The Set Only Combination Discounts has Buy The Set.
Marketing Text The marketing text generated by Combination Discounts automatically includes a product link. The marketing text generated by Big Chooser only includes the condition description you specify in your add_condition() statement. You may of course code a product page link into this, but you would have to do it manually (which is admittedly tedious).
Double Dip Protection In both Big Chooser and Combination Discounts, individual items may only be discounted once. In Combination Discounts, all items in a combination - not just the discounted item - are not considered further for discounting. In Big Chooser, the "constraint" items may be discounted or contribute to other discounts; this behavior may be disabled by using the "no_double_dip" feature of Big Chooser.


You can run both modules in the same cart; you just have to be careful in designing your discounts so that you won't create a situation in which products are discounted twice (unless this is what you want).

Big Chooser vs. Big Spender


What if you're trying to choose between Big Chooser and Big Spender?

The same sorts of discounts are available in both; the difference is how a customer qualifies for the discount. In Big Chooser, qualification is based on selection of certain products (with lots of ways to specify those products). In Big Spender, qualification is based on dollars spent (with lots of ways to compute this total).

Big Chooser vs. Table Discounts


What if you're trying to choose between Big Chooser and Table Discounts?

If you are only doing quantity discounts style discounts, with different amounts and levels for different products, categories or manufacturers, Table Discounts is a better choice.

Big Chooser vs. Free Gift Chooser


What if you're trying to choose between Big Chooser and Free Gift Chooser?

Free Gift Chooser has a GUI and is easier to configure, but does not allow highly complex discount specifications the way Big Chooser does. You must decide which route is right for you.

Big Spender vs. Free Gift Spender


What if you're trying to choose between Big Spender and Free Gift Spender?

Free Gift Spender has a GUI and is easier to configure, but does not allow highly complex discount specifications the way Big Spender does. You must decide which route is right for you.

BOGO Discount

There is one final option which may be appropriate if you only have a single discounting policy for your whole cart (e.g. "Buy 1, get one half off for the same item," or "Buy any item, get any other item of equal or lesser value free"). BOGO Discount for Zen Cart allows you to specify a single "Buy some-number-of X, get some-number-of Y at a discount" policy for the whole store. It's easily configured through the admin panel. See BOGO Discount.