Magento: Setting order quote’s tax rate based on shipping

One of our customers recently approached us to add an in-store pickup module to their Magento website. No problem, this is a pretty simple task and we quickly setup the module. However, the customer then notified us that they needed to start charging their city tax for orders that are picked up from one of their stores. After much searching, I didn’t find many leads on how to do this, so now that I have figured it out I thought I would post it here in case someone else had the same problem. I am going to stick to the high level abstraction on most of this and assume you know how to build a Magento module.

First, you need to create your module and add an observer that hooks into the event you want to set the tax rate after. In our case, we are changing the rate after the user chooses shipping, so we created an observer on the checkout_controller_onepage_save_shipping_method event.

Second, you’ll need to set up a customer group and assign it a new tax rate. Do this through the Magento admin.

The trick is that you can’t set the tax rate on the quote item iteslf. If you dig into the Magento code, you’ll find that when you get the tax rate on the quote, it actually returns it from the customer group and not the quote.

If the user is logged in, you actually have to change their tax group and save the user. If they are checking out as a guest, you can simply set the customer tax group on the quote itself.

// We need this quote
$quote = $observer->getEvent()->getQuote();
// get our shipping address
$shipping_address = $quote->getShippingAddress();
// get our selected shipping method
$shipping_method = $shipping_address->getShippingMethod();
// if our shipping method is selected
if ($shipping_method == "storepickupmodule_pickup") {
// get our session object
$session = Mage::getSingleton('customer/session');
// load the customer from the session
$customer = $session->getCustomer();
// if this customer is logged in
if ($session->isLoggedIn()) {
// Set our group id to whatever we need it to be (be sure to get the correct id from your group)
} else {

In our case, the site isn’t using groups in any special way (everyone is in the General group) so we don’t have to worry about setting the user back to a default group etc. However, you might want to add another observer to change the user back after checkout, etc.

I know it’s pretty basic, I hope this helps someone out that might be struggling with this task.

Remove “+” (plus symbol) from Custom Option Prices in Magento

Create the following file structure to avoid making any changes to the Magento Core files.


Then open and and copy the content from app/code/core/Mage/Catalog/Block/Product/View/Options/Abstract.php into the Abstract.php file you just created in your local folder.

In your new Abstract.php file run a search for $sign = ‘+’; (It’s in the _formatPrice function if your search doesn’t work)

Replace the ‘+’ with ‘ ‘.

Save, Upload, Enjoy!

Easy 301 Redirect

Just add the following to the .htaccess file in the correct directory of the pages you would like to redirect.

RewriteEngine On
Redirect 301 /shop/oldFILE.html

Lather, Rinse, Wash, Repeat….as needed.


Google Mobile Usability warnings

Google is sending out mobile usability warning emails like this:



with more and more web usage going mobile, with phones, tablets, and the like, and with modern screen sizes for PCs varying from laptop screens to TV sizes, responsive design is the only way to go. Responsive designs adapt to the environment they’re in (phone, tablet, browser window size) and change accordingly. This has positive effects on user interaction as well as search engine optimization (SEO) and even the cost of your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

If you haven’t gotten an email like this (they’re going to Google Analytics users), but would like to see what Google thinks of your site’s mobile-friendliness, you can type your web address into this tool:

If you don’t like what you see, or just need help with SEO, running your PPC campaign, managing your content, contact us today.


Certified Magento Developers Wanted

We’re looking to add quality certified Magento developers with WordPress experience. Experience with PHP, CSS and template customizations a must, some experience with custom modules/plug-ins and experience with Git implementations highly preferred.

Jamersan is a fast growing e-commerce company based in Alabama but with a distributed remote team in states such as Georgia, Texas, Florida, Michigan, and Colorado.

We want the best talent, so working remotely is always an option! We offer a competitive salary and a benefits package that includes insurance, paid time off, and a generous profit-sharing plan.

Interested? Please contact us.

Jamersan, LLC is an equal opportunity employer.