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Wow Setting up shipping is not easy.
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The-Cluttered-Loft



Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:58 am    Post subject: Wow Setting up shipping is not easy. Reply with quote

I have been with eBay since 2004 and I guess I am spoiled with their shipping.
But I am so disappointed and unhappy with eBay that I want to find another venue.
I am at a loss to understand the shipping matrix and setting up rates.
Most of my items ship first class - well under a pound. How do you set up shipping for that? Maybe free shipping?

In regards to shipping services, I was with Endicia from the start but since they were purchased their software doesn't work on any of my computers. But I am thankful because I found PirateShip. No monthly fees but commercial base pricing! Their labels print beautifully on my Dymo 4XL. Friendly easy site.
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 4209

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to eCRATER. Most of the sellers here, especially the ones active on the forum, have experience with eBay. Some still list on eBay while some have left there completely. I work with several sites, but if I had to close all but one, eCRATER would be that one for sure. The roots of the two sites started from different points of view which affect shipping. When eBay started, it was a marketplace only that later added stores. When eCRATER started, it was a collection of stores that later developed their marketplace. Shipping on eCrater is designed to be store related. It's well worth the time spent to learn the system and selected a system that will work for your store. Remember, on eCRATER listing will remain until they sell or the seller terminates the listing. On eBay, even with GTC, they are still "relisted" every 30 days so you never really build the links on the web that a store can find so helpful.

Here"s a link to another topic where I posted some information I wrote about the eCRATER shipping system that some have found helpful.
eCRATER.com Forum Index -> Selling on eCRATER.com -> SETTING UP SHIPPING FOR NEW SELLER
http://community.ecrater.com/viewtopic.php?t=38420
Take a look to see if it helps shed a little light on the system. Feel free to ask questions as you adjust to the new shipping system.

Edited to remove the highlighting from the link and to add the below information.

I took a look at your store this morning and reviewed the information I wrote before. There are a few of points I need to add.
1) With calculated shipping, NEVER offer Media Mail unless every item in your store can ship via Media Mail.

2) When you offer First Class Parcel (and you use a Commercial rate for purchase), you might want to "fudge" the weight for items that weigh over 13 ozs. to show 0.8125 (13 oz) for items with a shipped weight of 13 to 15 oz. so the First Class Rate will be shown to the customer. The system will never show the First Class Parcel option unless the total weight of all items is 13 ozs or less. If you want to offer First Class for an item instead of First Class Parcel, see the next option.

3) When using Calculated Shipping, if you have an item that you want to add the actual cost of shipping for that item, simply enter the weight as 0.00. When the checkout system see the weight is 0.00, the system will check the item page for the flat rate shipping.


Last edited by SheilaDeesPostcards on Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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MoonwishesStore
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Posts: 16935

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only use the Matrix since I have been here since I think 2008. I know that I have posted multiple times on the topic to help people. I thought it was confusing and then one night the light bulb went off and it was no longer confusing. Most of my stuff is FCM as well. I'm trying to quit work for the night otherwise I would try to give some advice on it for you.
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 4209

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:57 am    Post subject: Re: Wow Setting up shipping is not easy. Reply with quote

The-Cluttered-Loft wrote:
In regards to shipping services, I was with Endicia from the start but since they were purchased their software doesn't work on any of my computers. But I am thankful because I found PirateShip. No monthly fees but commercial base pricing! Their labels print beautifully on my Dymo 4XL. Friendly easy site.
I'm still using Endicia, but have been annoyed with the delay at start-up of the software. I have taken a look at PirateShip and been impressed with what I saw. I love their special International Rates and have considered changing services just to be able to use that feature.
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MoonwishesStore
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Posts: 16935

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally, after a very long and wonderful relationship, broke up with endicia. I had not been able to use the site and when I had the time to call and talk with someone (I had problems during my two extremely busy months earlier this year). The first thing I found out is they had changed my ID number and hadn't told me although the CSR said everyone should have received letters about it. and we worked and tried and could never get endicia to work on my computer again and ended up at stamps.com which I don't like at all. Right as I am about to print a label out, it reverts back to the label I had printed the day before or right before this one. So if I don't notice I print the wrong thing and have to get a refund on the postage. Does anyone know how to fix that?

I have found that the Matrix works wonderfully for me and unless I have inputted bad info into a listing, I have always gotten the correct postage amount, even with international postage? One of the reasons that I quit shipping internationally unless someone asks me. The postage was getting so high, it was hard for me to guesstimate.

The biggest thing to remember with the matrix is those columns and names can reflect what you want them to reflect. For me, it is Column One represents one sewing pattern with a weight of up to 4 oz or anything else that lightweight (including shipping in the 'weight'). Column Two represents 2 patterns or a lightweight item that weighs in that range 5-7 oz. Column #4 represents 3-4 patterns or lightweight item and so on. When I hit 7-8 patterns and from then on to 16 I used a flat rate PM envelope. 16+ Is an extra $2.00 as there is a limit as to how many patterns I can put in one PM Flat rate envelope.

You do need to be mindful of when listing where you have the weight that you put a one in the box if it is a lighter weight item. If it is going to be heavier than the first column weight, then you put in a 2 or whatever the number represents that weight. This is how I can mail lightweight books or craft items or the same weight as a pattern.

Ecrater's computers do not care what number you put in for weight either on the listing or the matrix. To get started go through your shipping prices and see what the postage cost will be for each weight. (be sure you are using the commercial price if possible). Then figure the costs for each weight for the postage, and add in the extra costs that you wanted to be covered by the postage such as FVF from PP/Stripe, any eCRATER fee, or of course packing supplies.

Hope that helps.
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 4209

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your information regarding the Shipping Matrix is helpful IF you are using it as your primary method of shipping.

If a seller is using USPS Calculated shipping and wants to use the shipping matrix for your backup, you CAN NOT use the shipping matrix in any manner other than actual shipping weight. In this case, column one WILL mean 1 pound, column two WILL mean 2 pounds, column three WILL mean 4 pounds, etc.
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MoonwishesStore
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Posts: 16935

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for adding that as other than one or two pieces that I have a flat rate, the matrix is the only thing I use.
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pickychicky



Posts: 1552

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SheilaDeesPostcards wrote:
I work with several sites, but if I had to close all but one, eCRATER would be that one for sure.


I second that and, yes, WELCOME! =) Although, I have already taken that step...shutting them all OUT (and down) except eCrater. I'm in the process of getting my blog in order to get some backlinks to my shop. Other than that, the only promotional tool I use is Pinterest now (shut out FB and their affiliates, too). Until the government gets a handle on its regulation of the eCommerce industry, I'm not wasting my time on thieves and other crooks.

Anywho, feel free to ask any questions as there are a number of us who can help. Although, the Matrix is not my forte. LOL Heck, I still learn new things about shipping here (just did a few weeks or so ago) and I've been here since 2010 or so (I always used the calculator before).
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pickychicky



Posts: 1552

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew there was something I was wanting to point out to you that I learned after deciding to quit using the calculator. It charges retail rates and they have just gotten to be so much more expensive than the already expensive commercial rates. So, I've been spending nearly the past year fiddling with flat rates again (hate it). When I first started selling online more than a decade ago (elsewhere), I was forced to use flat rates on hundreds of items. I had hundreds more to list, but I spent so much time messing with shipping that I just couldn't get beyond a certain level of inventory. So, when I was finally able to use the calculator, I said I would never do flat rates again. But here I am...so, yes, I hate it because never means never. LOL

So, onto what I wanted to point out...Whether or not you use the calculator, Google Shopping pulls your shipping rate from, first, the individual flat rate set, or, if it's not set, then the matrix. So, if you have nothing set in either the individual item's flat rate or the matrix, then Google will display your shipping as free.

On eCrater, if you use the calculator, you need to have a backup system (flat rates and/or matrix) in place for those times the USPS site is down or any order placed during that time won't get charged shipping. So, even if you use the calculator, you're going to have to make use of one or both for your backup. I used both...flat rates for First-Class and Media Mail items and matrix for everything else.

What I most recently learned is that you can bypass the calculator and set an individual flat rate if you don't want to charge the USPS retail rate...by simply entering 0 for the weight (entry required) and then entering the flat rate. This little bit of knowledge REALLY helps. Before, I thought I had to use one or the other as my main shipping rate...calculator or flat rates. Now I know I CAN use both, bypassing the calculator on First-Class and Media Mail items and using the calculator on everything else with the matrix as its backup. While still being able to set flat rates on heavier items where the retail price is just ridiculous.

Anywho, I thought I would share that because it took me about a year to finally get it all sorted out. That last bit of info put the final piece in the puzzle for me.


Last edited by pickychicky on Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:29 am; edited 2 times in total
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MoonwishesStore
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Posts: 16935

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still remember when checking out eCRATER as a newbie. I knew somehow the matrix should work for me but I just didn't understand it. I kept reading over the instructions and in posts and finally by the second or third night laying in bed, the light bulb turned on and I told myself what a ninny I was. I got up the next morning and in no time at all had the matrix set up, like maybe half and hour or less and never had a problem.

Sometimes pushing into a problem just makes it that much harder to figure out. When all you really need to do is go to bed, get some rest and the answers will pop into my head.

The matrix has been amazing for me for the last 11 years I think it has been, and hardly any trouble. The only thing I have ever gotten a wrong result was my problem as an extra heavy pattern snuck through as a weight of 1 oops! Embarassed
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pickychicky



Posts: 1552

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What would be really great is if the calculator charged commercial rates. Then I could just set the weight for everything, set the backup shipping, and be done. No having to update shipping every year as the backup usually suffices until you feel you need to update it.

Of course, that's just me. Who'da thunk that charging actual cost would be so difficult? LOL It's not so easy setting up shipping when you have an inventory that ranges widely in weight without having an accurate calculator. I sure as heck wouldn't want it charging retail rates for even First-Class, much less a 5-lb package. And then anything of dimensional weight? No way, Jose!
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cosmicray



Posts: 7136

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pickychicky wrote:
What would be really great is if the calculator charged commercial rates.


No.

Because then we would have sellers in here screaming that they went to the retail counter and got charged more than eCRATER calculated.

If your going to show commercial rates, you must get it thru to the sellers that they must print their own postage. Considering the denseness of some sellers, I'm not putting any money on that bet.
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pickychicky



Posts: 1552

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know why they would be going to a retail counter when they can buy and print labels online at commercial rates -- at a variety of sites, so the "I hate PayPal" excuse doesn't fly anymore. If they're a business, they should be set up properly to conduct that business. So, I'm sorry, but a site where business is conducted shouldn't be catering to those who aren't set up to do business properly. Why on earth should anybody in business give up a valuable, time-saving tool on a site where they conduct business just because somebody else wants to do things the archaic way for lack of professionalism? Let them learn how to do it right.

Call me a snob, if you like, but business is business, honey, and one should always be putting their best foot forward in business. It's why God/Nature (whoever you believe) made male birds prettier than females. If you want to procreate, you have to attract your mate. The same can be applied in business...if you want to succeed, you have to attract your customers. That's what my corporate mentors always taught me and that would include saving your customers money on shipping.

They also taught me to work smarter, not harder. So, no, I don't make those kind of concessions for those who haven't set themselves up properly to be doing business online in the first place. It's absolutely ridiculous that a small business owner wearing all the hats should have to spend so much time on setting up shipping just because there are those who refuse to catch up to the 21st century or make use of the brain they were given by learning how to do things properly, whether or not the hard way.

When you look at it that way, it's ridiculous that we should even be having this conversation about a much-needed tool that would save a small business owner so much time that could be spent on actually listing items. Let those who don't care about being set up properly for business waste their time doing flat rates; not those who are set up properly and would much rather be listing, marketing and selling than wasting time on updating shipping all the time on several hundred items without a more flexible global editor.

For those who like to pad shipping, they can use flat rates, too. The difference between retail and commercial rates these days goes well above covering the cost of packing material and gas, so I don't want to hear that excuse anymore, either, because they are actually profiting from those excesses now. Cover those costs in your item price like most other businesses do if you don't want to do flat rates and let eCrater earn their much-deserved commission on it. As it is, I'm paying that commission for you on most transactions because I don't charge zone 7 pricing on everything and cover the rest in my item price. So I'm basically paying fees on shipping charges that may not have even needed charging because the customer lived in a closer zone than what I accounted for.

The bottom line is that the system is currently set up to charge customers the maximum in shipping and it is absolutely impossible for someone wanting to charge actual cost to make that happen -- no matter how we set up our shipping -- and now that First-Class is zone-based, one can't even charge actual cost there anymore. Yet, it would be rather easy for those wanting to pad shipping to make use of a system, charging exactly what they want, with a calculator that charges commercial rates. So what if they'll have to completely redo their shipping setup. Let them mess with their shipping for a change because THEY are the ones wanting to circumvent fees. At least they can make use of the shipping calculator to charge what they need in the meantime.

Now tell me that sounds right to you. It's not like eCrater makes money on that extra shipping, so what's the point in making it so difficult for sellers who want to conduct business properly, saving themselves time for all the other tasks, personal and professional, they have on their plate? The fact that the calculator charges retail rates is my ONLY gripe about this site because not everybody can make it work for them and it does cost people like me more than it should in commissions -- the commissions others should be paying instead. It's like eCrater is giving them a tool to circumvent fees while small business owners happy to pay their fees and trying to charge their customers actual cost on shipping are made to cover them instead. Makes no sense, does it? It's most certainly unfair.


Last edited by pickychicky on Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:12 am; edited 2 times in total
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pickychicky



Posts: 1552

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just copied the above to the Suggestions forum because I can't remember if I ever did in the past. Even if I did, things are different today, so the excuses given by others for charging retail rates no longer apply.

https://community.ecrater.com/viewtopic.php?t=38890
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jigsaw-puzzle-palooza



Posts: 766

PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Wow Setting up shipping is not easy. Reply with quote

SheilaDeesPostcards wrote:
The-Cluttered-Loft wrote:
In regards to shipping services, I was with Endicia from the start but since they were purchased their software doesn't work on any of my computers. But I am thankful because I found PirateShip. No monthly fees but commercial base pricing! Their labels print beautifully on my Dymo 4XL. Friendly easy site.
I'm still using Endicia, but have been annoyed with the delay at start-up of the software. I have taken a look at PirateShip and been impressed with what I saw. I love their special International Rates and have considered changing services just to be able to use that feature.


Thanks for mentioning PirateShip. I checked it out and came across something I have never even heard of in 20+ years of online selling.: Priority Mail Cubic.

https://support.pirateship.com/en/articles/1068204-what-is-priority-mail-cubic
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