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Multiple Shipping Methods?
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dragonturtle



Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:00 am    Post subject: Multiple Shipping Methods? Reply with quote

I think I've read everything on shipping and the matrix and still not understanding what I need to know.
I've seen some have multiple choices, ie. parcel post, 1st class, and priority. have not found anything on how to do that. Also I must have missed setting up the calculator and now can't find that option.
What I need to do is twofold. For a grouping of items I want to offer a flat rate for media mail with an option for a flat rate for first class or possible priority (I use media and priority options on abebooks) then for the bulk of items intended for ecrater I would like to offer a choice of parcel post, and priority. I've spent days now trying to figure this out, time to admit my ignorance and plead for help!
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cosmicray



Posts: 4475

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Multiple Shipping Methods? Reply with quote

dragonturtle wrote:
What I need to do is twofold. For a grouping of items I want to offer a flat rate for media mail with an option for a flat rate for first class or possible priority

That group of items would likely need to be in a different store. eCrater has no easy way to group items, for a unique shipping profile, within the same store.

If you enable Media Mail is a store, than all items in that store will appear as tho they can be shipped via Media Mail (which could be quite wrong).
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dragonturtle



Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I was thinking I just may have to break it up into 3 different stores. Nevertheless I see people have multiple options, just looked at someone with a similar item and shipping came up with prices for parcel post, first class, and priority for US Mainland. If I can figure out how to do that it will be half the problem solved.
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 2155

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To offer the customer a choice of services you'll need to activate the USPS Calculated shipping and choose the methods you wish to use. In admin, go to Account > Options and click the box for Calculated shipping. Click on a service you wish to add in the left box, click the add button and you'll see the service in the right box. The Calculated shipping is a global choice and will be applied to every item in every category. If you activate Media Mail, the customer will see that option on every item which is why some people have multiple stores.

The thing I like about calculated is the ability to account for the difference in price for Priority Mail in the different zones. I like being able to offer Parcel, Priority and Express to my customer. I like the fact that the postage rate is automatically changed when the rates change.

I don't like the fact that you can not add anything to shipping, the customer will be charged the exact postage for the weight. (If you want to add DC, insurance and/or something for your packing materials you must increase the price of your item or take these items out of your profit.) I don't like the fact that the service will time-out sometimes and you MUST have the shipping matrix completed as a backup and it only allows one service per column. I don't like that you must give up the option of any flat rate shipping when using the calculated shipping.
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dragonturtle



Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sheila - Thanks. Looks like I'll have the same issues you do with it and I'll certainly have to break the books out into a new store, but that was helpful. Always something more to do!
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A-Better-Way



Posts: 1780

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know but my thinking is different.If it was me all the media mail just set each item as fixed shipping, $3.99
or zero $ shipping and add to price.

I don't like to think en mass a one fix-all for shipping, unless you sell almost all identical things that all have a close range in weight.

By having more stores seems illogical, since you will need people to find 3 different websites, or, not show enough product in each store.
The categories are the strongest friend too have around.One store, and instantly see all your items if desired and they can click on the category for what they want to see.

I just don't like the multiple store idea at all, you see Kmart, then a few yards away it's Lmart, then toolmart, all those logos and advertising all different.triple your time to post things like in twitter, more things in one spot seems most logical too me.Other than selling offensive stuff that you would want to keep separate.

ya ya everybody will disagree, but that is my idea.I just think compiling everything in one place and not trying to make it simple by trying to make shipping simple, is outweighed by making things more complicated trying to boost multiple stores.
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dragonturtle



Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fixed rate is great for low shipping cost items and media mail but, as I learned on ebay, it doesn't fly as well for a variety of large but light items or small but heavy items.
Now if I'm thinking right, a global change to the calculator will not stop me from listing publications under fixed price, I'll just have to make it clear in the listing that it will go media mail at that price. is that right?
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A-Better-Way



Posts: 1780

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think i would post that in the listing no matter what, as long as the shipping price remains the same.

Not sure of what the global change will do, but each item can be marked as fixed amount.I assume all media mail is $3.99, but I never looked, but thats all i ever see on Amazon. "$3.99"

If I sold a book say $5, I think would just list it as free shipping, $5 plus $3.99

or $8.99

keep in mind am not experienced in selling books online, but I think the one price removes the weight of a buyer with more math, one price, paid, and send, and you can still say free shipping even though the customer knows it isn't, but is happy that it is convenient to know a flat out price that won't change on them.

Oh don't forget your FAQ or point them to that.
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 2155

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dragonturtle wrote:
Now if I'm thinking right, a global change to the calculator will not stop me from listing publications under fixed price,
The shipping calculator is storewide. When it is turned on, all items will be shipped using the USPS Calculated Shipping even if you have shipping prices listed in the fixed price boxes.

There is one exception which I haven't used so I can not speak from experience. The Post Office has a weight limit of 70 lbs. If your item has a weight greater than 70 lbs. and you have a price listed in the fixed price box, the fixed price will be used.

I looked at your store and have a couple of comments. You currently have no shipping to Alaska and we are required to provide shipping to all 50 states. If you use fixed price, you must fill-in cost for Alaska & Hawaii. If you switch to calculated shipping, there will be no problem. Also, you have Cash on Delivery as a payment option. There is an FAQ topic on that payment option and you may want to re-think using that service. It can be very costly to a seller and risky. Check out the FAQ info.

@ A-Better-Way you said, "Not sure of what the global change will do, but each item can be marked as fixed amount." As I've been saying, if you use USPS Calculated shipping, you can not use fixed amount shipping because USPS Calculated takes priority over other methods. Just because Amazon charges the public $3.99 does not mean that's what it cost to ship a book. Amazon holds back $1.35 on each book order. At one time they point blank stated they charge the buyer $3.99 and the seller would receive $2.64 for shipping. Now they have a different name for it and say they give you $3.99 for shipping but have a fee of $1.35 per book in addition to the % charged. I charge my book customers $2.80 for up to 1 lb and $3.40 for up to 2 lbs. They only pay more when the book weighs over 2 lbs.

As do many sellers on eCrater, I have multiple stores. Each store sells in a specialized niche which I find easier to promote than one store that is all over the map with what they sell. Just my opinion and each seller has to decide what works best for them. I use the shipping matrix for my book store, but I do switch on calculated shipping in late fall for Christmas shopping and just eat the cost for DC, packing and insurance.
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cosmicray



Posts: 4475

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dragonturtle wrote:
Now if I'm thinking right, a global change to the calculator will not stop me from listing publications under fixed price, I'll just have to make it clear in the listing that it will go media mail at that price. is that right?

If the buyer gets to pick a shipping method, via USPS Calculated Shipping, then you must ship with that method. Unless of course the buyer selected media mail for something that is incompatible with media mail, in which case you would have to eat the additional postage and ship via First, Priority or Parcel.

You may not give the customer the choice, and then eliminate the choices in the item description.
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A-Better-Way



Posts: 1780

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see, I keep thinking media mail was a fixed amount, I talked to the post office once for a 4 pound book I sent, from Michigan to Florida for $11.00 !!!!! parcel post.He mentioned media mail and assumed it is some flat rate type of thing, ANY media including computer hard drives etc etc.
Then i see that on amazon and ebay that $3.99 deal.
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cosmicray



Posts: 4475

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A-Better-Way wrote:
including computer hard drives.

Someone once shipped a computer hard drive to me as media mail. They wrapped it in plain brown paper, and put no padding about it. The post office treated it like a book, and threw it across the room to proper bin. Needless to say, it did not survive the journey. Don't use media mail for items that are not books and proper media.
Quote:
Then i see that on amazon and ebay that $3.99 deal.

The prices on Amazon (possibly ebay too) do not reflect the real shipping costs. The sales venues are forcing the sellers to offer subsidized shipping.
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A-Better-Way



Posts: 1780

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes but what is the advantage of using media mail, would my 4 pound book been cheaper to send?
I also see a CD and could be sent for probably $2 or less using first class mail.Why would anyone want to use media mail, I also hear it goes slower or unpredictable shipping times.
Or is it some flat rate thing?

It seems on ebay or wherever, it's always $3.99 and can't figure out why they don't just use first class.
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dragonturtle



Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A normal sized hardcover or trade paperback books by media mail typically cost $3.21 to 3.65 in postage from midwest to most continental usa address'. The balance of my shipping at $3.95 is dely confirm and packaging. Sometimes I lose a little sometimes I make a few cents.

I never activated Cash on Delivery, it was already checked and others were not so I thought we had to offer it. Thanks! I'm going to go in now and remover those. I hate COD.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 9540

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Media mail prices go by the pound starting at one pound. The shipping, although some say takes longer, may only be a day or more (I get lots of books in the mail and used to ship lots of them when we had a book store). However media mail can only be used for media-books,CD, DVD,Film,player piano rolls, and a few other assorted things. Where you live in the US has no bearing on the cost of Media Mail. It is a set charge per pound. Don't mix it up with Library rate as that is only for LIBRARIES although I have seen some nuts try to argue the point that they themselves were a library Rolling Eyes . Any how, be sure that you only send media mail in a media package because if you don't and the PO catches it, they will charge the buyer Priority Mail prices for the difference (you ship a 5# box of linen media rate for $4.34 the PO will charge them the difference between that and Priority 5# $9.32. It is not a way to make and keep customers. My PO guy once told me of a local man tried to ship a children's tea set via media mail! Oops he got caught!! Media mail can be opened at the PO discretion to be sure that it actually contains media mail. Unfortunately, because it generally comes out looking like the cheapest shipping, when a customer can choose the type of shipping they want, they are always going to pick media unless they are educated.
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