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In hook, determine if processing a New customer or an Existing customer

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In a hook I wrote, I am validating a custom field against a database table to ensure the value in the custom field is unique (not already used in our database)...




As you can see, I'm doing this at the hook point 'ShoppingCartValidateCheckout'


It works great for new customers, but when there is an existing customer, I don't want to do this check as it is not necessary, and by definition it will fail, and is causing problems of course when this occurs. I need to by pass this check for existing customers.



In my hook code I need to know how to determine if I'm dealing with a New or Existing customer so I can do nothing and return a positive response code if its and existing customer, effectively bypassing the validation logic in my hook.



1 - How can I determine in my code if I am processing an order for a New customer or an Existing customer?

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