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Understanding and Using the eCRATER Shipping System

 
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SheilaDeesPostcards
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2022 5:40 am    Post subject: Understanding and Using the eCRATER Shipping System Reply with quote

Information to Help Explain the eCRATER Shipping System

There are two different shipping systems in use on eCRATER, the eCRATER Shipping System (Free Shipping, Weight Matrix, and/or Flat Rate Shipping) and the USPS Calculated Shipping. If you are not based in the USA, the USPS Calculated Shipping is not available. If you are in the USA and you choose to use the USPS Calculated Shipping, you will still need the eCRATER Shipping System as a backup to the USPS Calculated Shipping and for the shipping amount the system to uses on the free eCrater feed to Google Shopping.

How the shipping is determined at checkout depends on selections a seller makes on the individual item page and their selection in their admin for Accounts > Options > Enable USPS Calculated Shipping Instead. Please note the word “Instead”. If this box is checked, every item in the store will be charged shipping based on the USPS Calculated shipping. (See the section on USPS Calculated shipping for ways to create an exception.)

Shipping Options When the USPS Calculated Shipping is NOT enabled.

On each item page a seller must
1. complete the Weight field and
2. select the type of shipping to be used with that item.

* The Weight field should be the packaged weight of the item based on the decimal system. (See decimal system chart at the end of this article for more information.)

* The Weight field will accept a value of 0.00 but this value should be used only when the item will not be shipped, such as an item that will be sent digitally OR when you desire Free Shipping for an item with the use of USPS Calculated shipping.

* It is also possible to use a synthetic weight with a weight matrix that is designed by the seller. (See the topic Using synthetic weights with the weight matrix)

Here’s what happens with each shipping type selection.

Free Shipping to United States:
If the buyer is located in one of the 50 states, their shipping will be 0.00. The item page will state free for the US-mainland. If the customer checks for other destinations and enters a US zip code for Alaska or Hawaii, the shipping will be 0.00. The item will be shown as free shipping on the feed to Google Shopping.

If the customer checks the shipping weight for an international location, they will be shown the shipping for their country as shown in the Weight Matrix based on their country and the weight of the item.

Weight Matrix:
The shipping charge will be based on the Weight Matrix. The shipping charge shown to the buyer on the item page will be the shipping from the Weight Matrix for the US-mainland based on the weight entered by the seller on the item page. This shipping charge will also be submitted on the feed to Google Shopping.

Alaska and Hawaii are listed separately to accommodate US sellers who may use one shipping service for the mainland and a different shipping service to the other 2 states.

Flat Rate Shipping to:
The shipping charge will be based on the buyer’s location and the shipping amount shown by the seller on the item’s admin page. Currently sellers are allowed to select up to 10 locations using the Flat Rate Shipping. The US-mainland, Alaska and Hawaii are automatically added to a seller’s Flat Shipping zones because sellers are required to ship to all 50 US states. A seller can add 7 additional zones to their Flat Shipping Zones.

When Flat Rate Shipping to: is selected on an item page, a seller will see boxes for each location in their Flat Shipping Zones. The seller should complete the shipping for that item for each zone. If the item can be shipped at a lower rate if combined with other items, then the lower rate would be shown in the second box. If the item must be shipped alone, add the same rate in the second box rather than a reduced rate.

* If the seller enters the rate as 0.00, the buyer will be charged $0.00 shipping for the item.

* If the seller leaves the box blank, the system will look to the Weight Matrix for the shipping charge based on the buyer’s country and the weight of the item.

* The amount shown for the US-mainland will be the amount on the feed sent to Google Shopping.

The checkout system will look for the shipping on the item page checking first for Free shipping, then checking for Flat Rate Shipping. If both are blank, the system will check the Weight Matrix.
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SheilaDeesPostcards
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Posts: 4452

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2022 5:57 am    Post subject: Using the USPS Calculated Shipping Instead Reply with quote

How the USPS Calculated Shipping Works When Enabled

When this option is selected on the Account > Options page, you will need to select the methods of shipping you will allow the buyer to select. All of the options selected will be offered to the customer for every item in your store. The one (1) exception is when you select any form of First Class. If you select First Class Parcel, this service is only available for orders that have a total weight of 13 ounces or less. If the order weighs over 13 ounces, the customer will not be offered First Class Parcel. In other words, if any item in your store can not be shipped in a Priority Flat Rate Padded Envelope, you shouldn’t offer Priority Flat Rate Padded Envelope. If the customer pays for Priority Mail, you select the type of Priority Mail you wish to use.

When the customer is ready to check out, the eCRATER checkout will send a computer call to the USPS website to get the cost of shipping. If there is a glitch in the communication or if the USPS site is running slow and times out, no shipping will be reported by USPS. At this point, the eCRATER checkout system will fall back on the eCRATER shipping systems and follow the rules already outlined above.

The USPS Calculated system uses the USPS Retail rate by default*. A seller is allowed to ship the order using the USPS Commercial rate. The difference in the 2 amounts can be used by the seller to help off set the cost of other shipping expenses. Seller’s do not have the option to add insurance or tracking. It is helpful USPS includes some insurance and tracking with some online postage purchases depending on the type of shipping selected.

If a customer purchases multiple items, the item weights will be totaled and the shipping charged will be based on the total weight. Currently this may result in an overcharge because packing weight is normally included in the item weight of each item. Since most customers are accustomed to other sites charging a handling charge also, this usually doesn’t cause a problem.

NOTE: When items are sent to Google Shopping by eCRATER, the system will look to the backup eCRATER shipping system to determine the amount of shipping to show in Google shopping. If the seller is using USPS Calculated Shipping and does not have a backup system, the shipping will be submitted to Google Shopping as Zero (or free). The USPS Calculated Shipping can not be determined until the checkout system knows the buyer’s zipcode, therefore, the feed eCRATER sends to Google Shopping uses the backup eCRATER shipping system.

* Sellers have the option to select USPS Commercial Rates. When this box is checked, the customer will be charged the current USPS Commercial Rate instead of the Retail Rate for all services EXCEPT First Class. Currently, when the eCRATER system contacts USPS system, the USPS returns the Retail Rates for all First Class mail options.
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SheilaDeesPostcards
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Posts: 4452

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2022 6:12 am    Post subject: Using Synthetic Weights with the Weight Matrix Reply with quote

Using Synthetic Weights with the Weight Matrix

Some sellers prefer using the weight matrix with a synthetic weight. This is very easy to use if all or the majority of products sold have a similar weight. The weight matrix cost to ship would be based on the number of items sold rather than the weight of the items. For example, if it cost $3.50 to ship one item, $6.00 to ship 2 items, $8.00 to ship 4 items then you would enter $3.50 in the 1 column, $6.00 in the 2 column and $8.00 in the 4 column. On each item page, the weight would be entered as 1. If a customer ordered 4 items, the weight would be totaled to 4 (weight of 4 items at 1 each) and the customer would be charged the shipping cost in the 4 column.

If the seller wanted to sell a different item that had a shipped weight that would cost the amount in column 4, the weight of 4 would be entered for that item. One downside to using this type of synthetic weight system would be the inability to switch to an actual weight based system without editing every item to correct the weight.

One would also have the option of using the flat rate shipping for a heavier item. Remember, the system is going to check for free shipping, then flat rate shipping before it checks the Weight Matrix. It is strongly recommended that a tracking system be created by a seller to be able to identify these items so they can be quickly found and corrected when the shipping company changes their rates.
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SheilaDeesPostcards
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Posts: 4452

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2022 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

General Comments or Tips on the eCRATER Shipping system:

1) The more items that have the shipping listed on the individual item pages, the greater the work load when the shipping rates change.

2) Items with weights of 3 lbs, 5 lbs., 7 lbs, etc could have their shipping weights listed on the item page. The eCRATER system will always check the item page for a Flat Rate shipping before checking the weight matrix. This would be true even if you are using this as a backup for USPS Calculated shipping. This system could also be used for items that weight less the amount of shipping in column 1.

3) If you are using USPS Calculated Shipping and want to force the system to allow First Class Package shipping for items weighing between 13 ozs and 15.999 ozs., you have the option of showing those items as having a weight of 13 ozs. Currently, the commercial rate for shipping First Class Package is the same to all zones for items weighing 13 ozs to 15.999 ozs. This way your customer would be charged the retail rate for 13 ozs.



IMPORTANT: If you use a combined system, it is strongly recommended that you keep your own record of these items as you list them or you will have to review every item in your store to find these items to update after a shipping increase.
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SheilaDeesPostcards
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Posts: 4452

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2022 6:31 am    Post subject: Converting ounces to pounds as decimals Reply with quote

Item packed weight shown in decimal value based on 1 pound

The following chart was prepared by BT to help the community.

Converting ounces to pounds as decimals

1 divided by 16 = 0.0625
that means 1 ounce is equal to 0.0625
Here's a chart

1 oz = 0.0625
2 oz = 0.125
3 oz = 0.1875
4 oz = 0.25 ----- that's 1/4 of a pound
5 oz = 0.3125
6 oz = 0.375
7 oz = 0.4375
8 oz = 0.50 ----- that's is half a pound
9 oz = 0.5625
10 oz = 0.625
11 oz = 0.6875
12 oz = 0.75 ---- that's 3/4 of a pound
13 oz = 0.8125
14 oz = 0.875
15 oz = 0.9375
16 oz = 1 ------- that's 1 pound

For example, if your item weighs 3 pounds 5 ounces you would enter 3.3125 for the weight on the item page.
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