Thanks for the replies guys. I hand coded the sql in the end. I will look at the solution given above. One of my reasons for buying web assist plugins is to speed up my production and so improve on the profit margins.
I know this will happen in time. The learning curve may be a bit steeper than I had thought. Given the complexity of what some of the plugins are doing this is understandable. I need to set aside time to learn the wizards etc. The volume of work makes this a tad hard...
I would however like to see user guides with more depth to them. I find the quick starts are ok but for example, the checkout wizard in ecart does need seem to be very well documented or perhaps I am just not looking in right place.