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Yet another Shipping Matrix Question

 
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C-ShellArts



Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:39 pm    Post subject: Yet another Shipping Matrix Question Reply with quote

I've read through several posts and I guess I'm getting tired and this just isn't sinking in. I wish there was a video tutorial on setting up the shipping matrix. I'm more of a visual learner. Most of my items are under a pound and I'll be shipping them in Priority Mail boxes. I want to enable the USPS calculated shipping and fill in the matrix as a back-up. I just can't figure out what goes in all the matrix boxes. I'm thinking of charging $9 for the first item, and $3 for each additional if they buy multiples. How would I fill in the matrix for this scenario?

And this $9 will only kick in if the USPS database can't be connected by ecrater at the time of the order, right? Otherwise, they will be charged actual Priority Mail shipping?

Thanks in advance for your help. It's nearly midnight so I'm heading to bed. Hopefully I can get the store set up tomorrow.

Christine
C-Shell Arts
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16271

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a bit fuzzy-headed myself this morning. My doctor's office called me and woke me up this morning needing to reschedule my appointment tomorrow for today.

I don't know what size of PM packaging that you plan to use, but unless all your items fit in the same sized box, that could be a potential problem for you with a flat rate shipping amount. I do strictly matrix and can help you with that, once I am more awake, but I don't use calculated.

With the matrix, it took two days of pondering before while laying in bed the lightbulb went off! Shocked Each of the columns in the matrix can stand for whatever you jolly well want. It could mean ounces, pound, wampum, etc. My columns are set up as the number of items being shipped. If one of my items is heavier than average, I give it a weight of 2 on the listing and so it gets the postage, 2 items would generate.
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C-ShellArts



Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply. It seems a good night's sleep hasn't helped me with this! LOL. My items will all fit in the same size box, the USPS Box #4 (6x6x7). They are decorated seashells that will weight less than a pound. Even if they were to purchase two (unlikely, but I can hope!), two could fit in the same box and still be less than a pound or a little over, thus the added $3 for additional items. I planned on charging $9 shipping in the back-up shipping matrix as that is a little less than the highest rate for the farthest zip code from me. I figured it would all even out. So what I did (and I'm not sure this is right) is put $9 in the first column, and $3 in each of the other columns across. Is that correct? Would that mean shipping is $9 for one item, and $3 for each additional item purchased?

My store is still on hold while I add my inventory. While I did a preview and checked the shipping cost, it defaults to the back-up matrix and doesn't use the USPS calculated shipping. Is that the norm for stores that are on hold, or is it just not picking up the USPS rates? I wonder how reliable the USPS rate option is.

It really would be a help if the admin at ecrater would post a video tutorial on the shipping matrix as this seems to be a real sticking point. I read through dozens of questions last night until I got bleary eyed and gave up. I thought for sure I'd find something on YouTube.
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 4046

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Christine, sorry the shipping is giving you such a hard time. The very first question you have to ask yourself is what type of shipping do you want to use in your store. It appears you already asked this and your answer is USPS Calculated shipping, using a #4 box. This will allow you to take advantage of the zoned shipping cost for your customers. So, your next step is to go to Account > Options in your admin. and scroll down to "Enable USPS Calculated Shipping instead" and make sure the box is checked. (Yours appears to be checked because your store shows USPS Calculated as the method of shipping.) NEXT, make sure you selected the Domestic Services you want to offer in your store. The ones you select must be available to use for every item in your store. In your case, it sounds like the only service you'll need to offer is "Priority Mail (1-3 days)". Click on the service, then click the Add button. After you click add, you'll see the service in the right window. Now scroll down and click the Update button. After you've added the service AND clicked update, you can preview your store to see the shipping. Pick an item and click on the link to "click to check" the USPS calculated shipping. You'll see a pop-up window where you can add a zip code to see the shipping to that location.

I just realized I didn't mention the weight you added to each item. You must enter the packaged weight of the item for the USPS Calculated shipping to work. If the packed weight is less than 1 pound, the weight needs to be entered as a decimal beginning with a zero. There is a chart in the FAQ topic on shipping that shows the decimal weight for each ounce. For example, if the weight is 10 ounces, it would be entered as 0.625.

At this point, you have your primary shipping set for your store.

With eCrater, you need a backup system for the USPS Calculated shipping for those rare times with the USPS website times-out and the system has to fall back on your backup system. The backup system will also be used in the feed eCrater sends to Google Shopping to show the cost of shipping. For your backup system you can use either the shipping matrix or the flat rate shipping listed on each item page. If you use the shipping matrix, it will be easier to change your shipping when the USPS changes their rates. As far as what to put in the blanks, keep in mind that with USPS Calculated as your primary, you need to fill in the blanks as a backup to your calculated shipping. If the item weight 1.0, then the shipping cost currently for Priority Mail will cost $7.50 to $9.60 depending on the zone in which the customer is located. (The eCrater system will always show the retail shipping price.) You have stated you wanted to charge $9.00 as your backup system, so you would put $9.00 in the 1 column for US-Mainland, Alaska, and Hawaii. Column 2 would be the amount you want to charge for the USPS Calculated shipping for 2 pounds. In other words, the columns equal the weights in pounds. If the total weights of all items ordered is 4 pounds, then the customer is going to be charged the retail Priority Mail price of 4 pounds to the zone in which they live. If the USPS website "times out" you need your shipping matrix to come close to USPS Priority Mail price for 4 pound using an average of the zones like you did for 1 pound. When you use USPS Calculated shipping, the shipping matrix needs to come as close as possible to matching the amounts charged by the USPS so it does serve as a backup.

You mentioned you were thinking of charging $9.00 for the first item and $3.00 for each additional item. You can do this with the Shipping Matrix IF you do not use the USPS Calculated shipping.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16271

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Sheila has mentioned, you can do the $9, then $3 in the Matrix if that is all you use. As I only use the Matrix, well I might still have a few flat-rate items left, I don't have a clue how the two different systems work together. When Matrix has to the shipping cost instead of the calculate.

So remembering I only am speaking about the Matrix exclusively, You can put the $9 in the first box, then column two-three would be $12, for fourth thing you would put in $15, and so on. at the 16+ box you would put $3 and each subsequent item gets another $3 tacked on. Don't worry I only had this happen once while away for my son's wedding, I got an order for 27 patterns, ~$300! Then our plane got delayed 12 hours, my son that drove beat us home by about 10 hours and came over to the house, bless his heart, and pulled them all for me!

You might actually want to consider using First Class Mail and the Matrix as your primary shipping. I think I have been here eleven years now and have never had a problem, and with the price being cheaper, you might have more of a chance to sell products. My FCM shipping usually reaches buyers within 3-4 days. After 15.9 ounces, then FCM becomes Priority Mail. It is just simply math to fill in the amounts in the columns for what you need to cover the postage (by weight of the item and the packaging), fees, supplies. Some sellers love to say how they ONLY charge exact postage, which means that they are either ignoring the other costs, or the price of the items they sell has the PP/Stripe fees, packaging supplies, etc. in the price of each item. I prefer to charge it within the shipping and handling. But that is just my opinion. I also sell on Amazon and they take, at least for what I sell, 15 cents for every dollar. The difference between FCM and PM is $4-5 for which just for that difference alone, I am debited $0.60-0.75 just due to the price of shipping So when I am shipping PM there, my price includes that extra fee. I don't want to add it to my item cost as most items go via FCM, no reason to charge them extra for PM if they aren't using it. If someone does want to buy from you and wants PM it is easy to send them a PP invoice with the change in the price of shipping to cover PM.

Some of the above is just philosophy, so you can think about what you are doing here as you are working on your final touches.
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C-ShellArts



Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both for your detailed replies. They were a BIG help. After much though, I have decided to go strictly with the matrix and not bother with the USPS Calculated Shipping. I will be shipping USPS Priority Mail because I like having the items automatically insured. My shells are fragile and somewhat expensive ($25-$50 each) and I have a supply of the #4 Priority Mail boxes coming, eliminating the need to purchase boxes.

In the off-chance someone wants to purchase multiple shells, I don't really want to charge them $18 shipping. How can I offer them a discount for multiple items? Is that done off the books with a PayPal refund? Is that something I can add to my descriptions (Is there sample wording that is typically used in this instance I can see?).

I'm not even sure how well my shells will do online. They are the type of item you need to see in person, like at a craft fair. Pictures don't really do them justice. I've had an ecrater store in the past for "yard sale" type things and have done okay with it so I thought I'd give this a try. I'm busily painting and getting my inventory built up and getting the products loaded into my store. Hopefully I can open for business next week now that I've just about figured out the shipping puzzle, thanks to you both. I really appreciate your help.

Christine
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16271

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the off-chance someone wants to purchase multiple shells, I don't really want to charge them $18 shipping. How can I offer them a discount for multiple items? Is that done off the books with a PayPal refund? Is that something I can add to my descriptions (Is there sample wording that is typically used in this instance I can see?).


Easily done with the matrix. I got a 5 item order today and instead of charging the initial shipping 4 times, I have a column in my matrix for 4 items being shipped. I sell sewing patterns and most are between 2-7 ounces in weight and for the 6-7 ounces, I have to, when listing, put them as a weight 2 and that way there is a bit more added in for postage.

The thing you do want to do although you can is refund via PP as you will not get any of the original fees back for the refund. If you know that two shells should both fit in the #4 box, then for two items, the shipping should be the same. Are those #4 boxes flat rate or will they have to ship according to the zones? Something to remember.

If you need more help just post it here and I will see it eventually or someone else as well. Very Happy
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