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Giving My Store Some Love
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Five-And-Dime



Posts: 157

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:34 am    Post subject: Giving My Store Some Love Reply with quote

Good Morning, All...

I have had an eCrater Store for years, but, never put a dedicated effort in.
With eBay's horrible behavior in gouging on fees & hiding items, & inserting itself in Sellers' business policies, I'd like to focus 75% of my online time to eCrater.

I read - Moonwishes - post on Shipping Matrix but I also noticed eCrater suggests doing Calculated AND Matrix.

My items vary in weight / size from 4" square 4 ounce packet to 2 feet square and up to 15 lbs.

I sell cheap small items under $9.99 and expensive antiques over $200.00 and books that are mostly affordable, out of print.

Clearly, the small/cheap, First Class is best, most affordable for Customer.

Larger, breakable, should go Priority Mail w/ insurance.

Books should go Media Rate.

I have a few conditions where I get tired (I work 7 days) and brain fog results. I've messed up my Shipping Matrix in the past, either:
1. It has been way too expensive (no idea why).
2) It wound up too cheap or 'free'.
3) Worst: wound up FREE for overseas... which I THOUGHT I disabled.

I am in the USA and want to START w/ US ONLY until Store is set up right.

Can you offer a simple on how to set up:
Light - First Class Parcel
Medium - Priority Mail
Heavy - Media Mail (books)
That I can click as I list each item...
e.g.:
How to set up grid matrix & calculated
How to set the item to correct matrix
(I know about adding weight in listing).

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, in advance !
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 3901

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've touched on many topics in your post. In looking over your request, it seemed the most pressing problem was having items listed in your UK and AU stores with $0.00 shipping. Since you no longer want to offer international shipping and don't want UK or AU stores you must follow these steps to completely close the two stores.

1 .. In your store admin, go to Shipping Zones and make sure the UK and AU are NOT listed in the right section called "Selected Zones". If they are, make sure you remove them and click update.

2 .. Still in your store admin, go to Accounts: Options. Scroll down to "Do not auto convert prices in other currencies" and make sure there is a check in the box.

3 .. Next go to More Options > Global Editor, choose "set UK price" and then choose "delete" as an operator.

4 .. Next repeat the operation except choose "set AU price" and then choose "delete" as an operator. You must run the Global Editor twice if you want to delete items from both the UK and AU sites.

Once both operations have completed, there will be no items in either the UK or AU stores AND new items will not be added. In the future, you will have the option of selling to the UK and/or AU from within your US store or you can reactivate your UK and/or AU stores.
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Five-And-Dime



Posts: 157

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you... so very much for answering...
@ShielaDeesPostcards...
All done...
Now...
From what I read...
Doing the Shipping Matrix for US...
I just decide on weights for box 1 (e.g. 4 ounces),
box 2 (e.g. 8 ounces)...
and input postage there...
PLUS... also do the Calculated w/ weight...
Doing both...
If Calc. fails... the Matrix kicks in...
{ according to Moonwishes posts }
Correct ?
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 3901

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are two major shipping systems available to US sellers, the eCRATER shipping system which includes Free Shipping, Flat Rate Shipping stated on the item page and the Weight Matrix OR the USPS Calculated Shipping system. If you look in your admin under Account > Options and scroll down to the check box for USPS Calculated Shipping you'll notice it says "instead". In other words, you can use the options listed on the item page OR use the USPS Calculated shipping instead.

The USPS Calculated Shipping is a store-wide option. If you select this option, it is selected for every item in your store. Every domestic service you select will be offered for every item with one exception. If you select First-Class Package it will only be offered when the total weight is 13 ozs or less. You can not select media mail or Priority Small Flat Rate Envelope or any other domestic service unless every item in your store can be sent with that method. If you use USPS Calculated Shipping and want to show the item as post paid, you will need to show the weight as 0.00. It will not say Free Shipping on the item page, but the shipping will show as 0.00 when the customer checks the shipping estimate. You will be free to ship using the Priority method that works best for you, so if the customer selects Priority Mail you can use any Priority Mail option you wish, Flat Rate, Regional Rate, box or envelope. The eCRATER system will charge the customer the retail rate based on the weight you listed on the item page. Make sure the weight you list is the packed weight. If you purchase your postage online from Paypal or a postage Service (like Stamps.com or Endicia), you will be charged the lower Commercial rate. The difference in the amount the customer paid and the amount you are charged can be used to help off set the cost of insurance and/or packing supplies.

If you use the eCRATER shipping system, then you can select Free Shipping, or enter the Flat Rate of shipping per item, or use the weight matrix. The checkout system will ALWAYS check to see if you are using the USPS Calculated system. If no, then the system will look to see if Free Shipping is selected, then check for Flat Rate and if both are blank, then the system will check the weight matrix. The weight matrix works great for sellers who sell very similar products in their store, for example only postcards or only sewing patterns. If you are not going to use USPS Calculated Shipping, you can use the weight matrix in a number of creative ways. However, if you are going to use USPS Calculated Shipping, you must use packaged weights on each item and the weight matrix columns will equal pounds with the columns being 1 pound, 2 pounds, 4 lbs, 6 lbs, 8 lbs.

If you sell items with a wide variety of weights, you will probably want to consider using USPS Calculated Shipping so you can take advantage of the USPS Priority Mail zone shipping.

If you use the USPS Calculated Shipping, you still need the eCrater shipping system as a backup in those rare cases when the USPS website is slow and doesn't return the information in a timely manner or if there is a glitch in the API system. You also need the backup so a shipping amount will be shown for your item in Google Shopping. There is no way to know the address of a buyer for the Google Shopping feed, so eCrater can't use the USPS Calculated Shipping for the feed. The shipping from your backup system will be used and if you have no backup system, the feed will show $0.00 for shipping on Google Shopping.

You must remember your items will stay listed on eCRATER until they either sell or you remove them from your store. With the USPS Calculated Shipping the rates will stay current when USPS changes their rates. You'll only need to change your backup.

Personally, I keep an independent database of all my items listed on eCrater. I have a column where I list the weight and a column that is coded to show that I'm using a flat rate backup. I use the USPS Calculator with the weight matrix as a backup for every item that would ship at the 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, & 16 pound rate. Every thing that would ship at the First Class Parcel rate or at the Priority Mail rate for an odd pound amount uses a per item Flat Rate backup. Using this system, I know when the postage rate increases I can pull lists from my database that shows which items I will need to change the Flat Rate backup.

You asked about Media Mail. The only way I've seen to add books to your store with lots of other items is to sell them with postage included. Personally, I have a separate store for all items that can be shipped via Media Mail and use the weight matrix. I do have correct packed weights listed for each item so I can turn on the USPS Calculated shipping if I want to during holidays. When I do that, I offer both Media Mail and Priority Mail.

The best system for your store must be determined by you. This information says how the system works. You are the only one that can say what works best for your store.
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Five-And-Dime



Posts: 157

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:11 pm    Post subject: THANK YOU SHEILA Reply with quote

GOT IT...
MANY THANKS
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 15507

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a note. I have a few--less than 10, flat rate items and all the rest are set up to sell through the matrix. I don't have calculated shipping set up at all and after 10 years of working with the matrix I can say the only problem I have had with postage is when my brain short circuits! It does take some thinking about but once you understand it, it works well. With the matrix and the way I have it set up, multi-item orders have their postage price figured out no problem.

But then most of what I sell are sewing patterns. For other things, I figure out what the shipping weight and current cost would be and assign that 'weight' to it.
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Five-And-Dime



Posts: 157

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi... Moonwishes...
Thx for your input...
PS... I'm a fan of your posts on Ina's.
I will be doing a MIX of lightweight AND heavy.
Calculated is best so close from NY don't overpay.
BUT, if Calculator doesn't respond...
eCrater says we NEED Matrix.
Maybe I'll do matrix only & subsidize postage on heavies.
Thx a bunch
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Five-And-Dime



Posts: 157

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:27 pm    Post subject: THANK YOU SHEILA & MOON Reply with quote

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 15507

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Maybe I'll do matrix only & subsidize postage on heavies.


I do that because it works out in the end unless it is only one extra heavy item. But since I sell mostly patterns, If someone buys 10-15 of them and the weight might go over 1#, doing a 1# Priority flat rate package for 15 items is much cheaper for me than shipping 15 different pattern orders if you take into consideration the PP/Stripe fees and that initial ounce fee x 15. I love it when someone buys multiple items. Once someone bought 27 patterns at once! Normally 27 item seperatly would have that initial charge of 30 cents per item from PP would save $7.80 (since I would only pay 30 cents once). Currently shipping a lightweight pattern with tracking starts at $2.66 would end up with 27 being $71.82 plus the 30 cent fees would be a total $79.62 of postage and fees I wouldn't pay and my customer wouldn't be charged. If I remember right the package cost $10 Priority to ship. This is my way of giving a customer a discount and it adds up! That is a whole lot more patterns that they can buy instead of paying for shipping!
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Five-And-Dime



Posts: 157

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 10:11 am    Post subject: Marketplace Cost / Google Advertising Reply with quote

What level of google advertising {marketplace cost} does everyone fine most effective ? I'm at minimum fee now. Thx. F&D
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 15507

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Marketplace Cost / Google Advertising Reply with quote

Five-And-Dime wrote:
What level of google advertising {marketplace cost} does everyone fine most effective ? I'm at minimum fee now. Thx. F&D


2.9% I've test two other ones and couldn't see any difference in sales.
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 3901

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My personal opinion is it would depend on what you sell in your store. If you are selling in very competitive fields, it would probably make good sense to select a higher level. If you have very limited competition, the higher rate really wouldn't help. If someone is looking for your item they wouldn't see lots of choices.
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antiquepapergirl



Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 4:17 pm    Post subject: Would appreciate someone just giving my store a peek Reply with quote

Hi all. Long time stalker, first time poster. I've sold on other venues since 2001, mostly that monster that begins with an E, quickly becoming one that takes almost all my money more and more with each passing day.

That being said, I recently reactivated my Ecrater store and plan to keep growing it. I don't plan to do Google checkout in the near future as PayPal works very efficiently for me, my accounting system and my software integration.

Overall, I just was grateful to find some current friendly faces and wanted to introduce myself, as I am a frequent power seller helper on the other site we won't mention. I would love any feedback on my store.

As a side note, I have noticed lately, when I do a feed update they will pick out a few random items and want weird attributes. For example, they will choose a few random strange items and want a size on something you would not normally put a size, or a gender, etc. Is anyone else experiencing this? Today, it was UPC's on used items! Arghhh

Ta Ta for now
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thelivesandlovesofmaggiethecat



Posts: 9747

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recommend setting up a separate store for books if you are going to offer media mail shipping. Then you can offer multiple shipping options for the books without conflict. If a book is light enough in weight the difference in shipping between media and first class is a few cents but first class is many days faster. It also gives them the option of a priority flat rate envelope for more expensive books.

If you are calling your store 5 & 10 and selling antiques over $200 you'd have a hard time attracting me to your store. Selling high and low priced items in the same store is not a good mix.
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antiquepapergirl



Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply. My moniker is antiquepapergirl because a lot of what I used to specialize in is antique paper. I have never had anything over $200 and I don't sell books. The reason there is a media mail option is that often the paper is a catalog or magazine and that can go that way.

Fair comments to be sure, and you weren't familiar with my business model so you had to make assumptions but both comments you made would never happen so I'm safe for now. Very Happy
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