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Last edited March 05, 2008
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Carrier-calculated shipping rates This post is outdated

I know a lot of you have been eager for this, so I'm happy to let you know that we have just now given you the ability to set up automatic shipping rates calculated by either UPS or USPS on your shipping preferences admin page. _*This feature is currently in beta*_, so right now the implementation is rather minimal. Here are some of its limitations right now: * *Incompatible with Google Checkout*: sorry folks, the way Google Checkout handles shipping rates made it impractical to support it in the initial release. If you use Google Checkout and set up carrier-calculated rates, they will only be available to customers who choose some other payment method. * *No package dimensions*: right now, the rates are calculated using the total weight of the products in your cart. We also _pretend_ that everything is going into a box that is 12" x 6" x 2" (or 30 x 15 x 5 cm if your shop is using metric). This will be used for volumetric weight calculations, and it means that the rates are not going to be as accurate as they could otherwise be, especially for particularly large (or small) orders. * No way to filter out undesired rates (*Update: now there is*): we are making things more reasonable for you by filtering out some rates that involve flat-rate boxes and so forth, but currently if you have a burning hatred for a particular service from a particular carrier, there's nothing you can do about it. * *You need your own API key from the carrier*: The aforelinked wiki pages give some instructions on how to get the required credentials for each carrier. One feature that we decided is important enough to include from the get-go, however, is a way of adjusting the rates after we get them from the carriers. You can do this by clicking the "edit" link on the carrier shipping rate entry for a particular country. You can modify each rate returned for that country by a percentage and/or flat amount, either positive or negative. You could use this to account for handling fees, or to give your customers a break for paying customs charges, for example. Carrier-calculated rate estimates are never going to be perfect, so the rate adjustment feature can also be useful in compensating for biases that you find as time goes by. Besides using your feedback to squash any bugs that you help us find, we are also really interested to find out what your biggest priorities are in terms of fleshing out this new functionality. Here are some things that we have in mind for the future: * Support for Google Checkout. * Defining one or more shipping container sizes for your shop to use. * Setting dimensions for each product. * Integrated signups for you to get API keys from within Shopify. * FedEx, DHL, Canada Post, etc., etc. (expect a similar situation to how we implement our payment gateways). * *Edit:* also, the ability to enter a carrier account number to get negotiated rates for your account with some carriers. Our recent customer survey showed that carrier-calculated shipping was the most-requested feature out of all the ones listed, so I'm really happy that it's now in your hands to try out.
James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
i
Replies
Posts:
233
Last edited January 25, 2008

Wow great to see!

I just noticed one little bug. When i click activate for The United States Postal Service, the UPS dialog pops open.

Safari 3. Leopard 10.5.1

Posts:
172
January 25, 2008

Eek, so it does! I’ll get right on that.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
tg4fsi Member
Posts:
12
January 26, 2008

So, before I try “Try It Out”...

What will happen to the rating I currently have set up? I’d like to know if I’ll lose all of that work in case it doesn’t work well for me.

And, can we un-Try It Out?

Thanks,
Erik
http://www.ZingDisplay.com

Posts:
172
January 26, 2008

Erik: all your existing shipping rates stay exactly where they are and show up alongside any carrier-calculated ones during the checkout process. You can deactivate either carrier whenever you want on a per-country or whole-shop basis.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
172
January 26, 2008

Chad: I just fixed the USPS activate button. Thanks for letting me know about it; I’m not quite sure how that managed to sneak in right before we deployed…

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
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5
January 26, 2008

the link seems to be broken when you try to activate it the page cant be found

Posts:
172
January 26, 2008

Kreese,

This might be because you haven’t saved a shipping address to use for the carrier rates, or because the address is invalid in some way. Your ship-from address is edited right below the options for each carrier.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
5
January 26, 2008

Yeah i have the address correct but when I try both activate links they dont work

Posts:
172
January 26, 2008

If you go to the “Fulfillment Services” preferences screen, do the activate buttons on that page work for you?

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
5
January 26, 2008

Yes they work im currently signed up with shipwire to could that be the problem?

Posts:
172
January 26, 2008

I’ve replicated the problem, and it doesn’t have to do with Shipwire. It works with some shops and not with others. I’ll do what I can to get it fixed soon.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
2055
January 26, 2008

Stores on plans lower than professional were seeing the 404 error when trying to edit the rates. This is fixed now. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Tobias Lütke - Shopify CEO // http://twitter.com/tobi
Posts:
233
January 26, 2008

Here is my experience so far for USPS

As per the wiki’s instructions, I went to https://secure.shippingapis.com/registration/ and signed up for USPS.

I was immediately emailed a username and password. I then logged into the Shopify admin and added the username for USPS. There was no field for the password. I hit submit and then a Shopify red bar error came down the bottom (I actually had to submit 3 times because I didn’t notice the error). It turned out I hadn’t entered my shipping address for this new Shopify account, which I then quickly did. Since the add your shipping address was below the activation, I missed this. It seems like since that is step one it should be above the activation part.

I then went to enter the username again, and the error message said “Authorization failure. You are not authorized to connect to this server.”

I went and checked the email again and it mentions that by default my account is in test mode (“Depending on the API, the address to the test server is either http://testing.shippingapis.com/ShippingAPITest.dll or https://secure.shippingapis.com/ShippingAPITest.dll.”;). After testing I can then email USPS to be switched to the main server.

So can I test with Shopify in USPS test mode? Or to use Shopify with USPS rate calculation do I have to immediately request moving to the production server?

I’ll update the wiki after you verify. http://wiki.shopify.com/USPS

Lastly, thank you for this new feature! I look forward to testing it out.

Posts:
2055
January 26, 2008

thanks chad, i added a quite note the the wiki page. Please update it with your findings.

Tobias Lütke - Shopify CEO // http://twitter.com/tobi
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7
January 26, 2008

I just set up a USPS account for our website at http://brandinitoffee.myshopify.com/

It works but we’ll need the ability to limit the shipping options before we’re able to use it. It currently returns 6 options for shipping including…

First-Class Mail
First-Class Mail Parcel
First-Class Mail Flat
Priority Mail
Parcel Post
Express Mail

I spoke to a USPS tech. who said that they can calculate accurate shipping cost based on the dimensions and weight of the product. Can this functionality be added to the product setup and then passed on to USPS?

Justin Post
Posts:
7
January 26, 2008

My apologies for not reading the top of the thread regarding the calculation of dimensions – duh.

Justin Post
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3
Last edited January 28, 2008

We are getting the same error “Authorization failure”. Do we need to contact USPS to switch to the production server?

Posts:
172
Last edited January 28, 2008

Yes. It may be that USPS will require you to use your account with the test servers first before allowing you to use the production servers. I will look into providing this capability to run in “test mode” through Shopify tomorrow.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
tg4fsi Member
Posts:
12
January 28, 2008

Yeah we really need a way to limit the choices of service they have…perhaps something like a text box where we can simply list the services we want to avoid.

Thanks,
Erik
http://www.ZingDisplay.com

Posts:
68
January 28, 2008

Anything on the horizon for other shipping changes? I just want to give people free shipping if they spend a certain amount

Posts:
3
January 29, 2008

After calling USPS to launch the production carrier server, our site now has the beta carrier calculator version. As Erik stated, I’d like to eliminate some of the choices of USPS services. We primarily ship Priority mail because it’s fast and boxes are free. Also, shipping insurance needs to be added based on total value of orders. How can this feature be implemented? I like the fact handling fees can be added—thanks James!

Rich and Debbie
http://detroitdiecast.com

Posts:
576
January 29, 2008

Do I understand correctly that the UPS values delivered are not based on our existing accounts?

You folks have made a massive effort here, and I realize it is beta, but there is no way I am moving to this until it reflects the rates I have worked hard to get and I have the ability to limit choices. It’s kind of funny you would choose to arbitrarily eliminate the flat rate options for USPS - they are my and my customers) #1 choice for shipping light items.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
172
January 30, 2008

A way for you to filter your own rates is definitely coming soon, and it’s good to find out how important a feature that is.

John: negotiated rates for UPS and other carriers for specific accounts is another feature that is definitely going to be implemented. I’m not familiar with the particular kinds of discounts that UPS offers; is it the kind of thing that can be approximated for the time being by modifying the rates within Shopify?

Regarding USPS flat rate options, I chose to leave those out for the time being because of the current lack of real product/package dimension data within Shopify (right now it would give you all the flat rate options even if the order would not actually fit in a flat rate box of any kind). Once there are ways to specify dimensions, then flat rate options will make more sense.

Nickdavis87: Yes, part of the work that has been done on the shipping system has made it easier for us to implement other shipping options like that in the future.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
576
January 30, 2008

OK, my turn to say maybe I was a little harsh. Yes, it should be a set percentage off, or leaving it as is, is not a bad way to put a handling cushion.

Do you have an ETA for limiting options (Next Day, 3 day, etc)?

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
172
January 31, 2008

There are a large number of shipping services offered by UPS and USPS, and they don’t return information about those services in the most helpful of ways. So I’m expecting there to be a few wrinkles in the process of developing a straightforward way for you to limit your customers’ options.

Because of that, it’s hard for me to give a real ETA. Now that I’ve got some other loose ends tied up with the shipping system, though, limiting shipping options is my sole focus until we can give you something workable and which will scale for future additions of carriers, etc.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
576
January 31, 2008
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I have one small “perk” request. While you are fine tuning and limiting choices, could you look into cross checking the UPS choice against PO Boxes. i.e. if the shipping address is a PO Box (or pobox, or Post Office Box or P.O. Box you get the idea) then don’t show a UPS rate as UPS won’t ship to PO Boxes. I would not expect it to be 100% fool proof (fools are so damn inventive and all), but something would be nice.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
12
January 31, 2008

James-
Regarding the flat-rate USPS. . . . in the absence of a product dimensions field, could we perhaps use weight as an interim way to designate when something qualifies for flat rate shipping?

In my instance, I sell t-shirts. If the customer only buys one shirt (using a weight of 1 lb, for example) I know that I can fit exactly one shirt into a USPS flat-rate envelope. If a customer orders 2 shirts (2 lbs.), this will NOT fit into a flat rate envelope.

So if there was a way for me to designate orders totaling x weight or x number of products qualify for flat-rate shipping, it would be a workable fix until something more elaborate is developed.

Just a thought.

Posts:
79
Last edited January 31, 2008

I have a display suggestion for the “Products” pages inside the Shopify Admin – can you please include a weight column and list the weights for all products by default?

Thumbnail – Product Title – Weight – price

This is done on inventory pages, but since I don’t track inventory on everything, seeing weights here would really help.

When I move to calculated shipping, I’ll need to double check all the weights carefully.

And while on the topic of weight, why not allow for ounces and pounds for product weights? Without support for weights like .54 lbs, it would be great to have two fields to use like USPS where you fill out a separate box for ounces and another for pounds (your system of measure may vary). Converting 7 oz to 0.4375 pounds is time consuming and Shopify will only allow 0.4 lbs (one decimal point) anyway.

Thanks for considering this.

Julene

Gifts for Life’s Celebrations http://www.presentbydesign.com/
Posts:
172
Last edited February 01, 2008

John: Thanks for letting me know about the P.O. Box issue. It would be nice if UPS did this check themselves, but we can probably put something together at some point on our end. In the meantime, UPS-using shop owners can put a notice on their cart page warning against using P.O. boxes with those shipping options.

ClothMoth: That’s an interesting idea. We don’t want to spend time implementing a feature that is just going to be replaced with “the real thing,” though. Things get considerably more complicated than your situation as soon as a shop sells more than one kind of product (i.e. products with different size-to-weight ratios).

Julene: I’ll look into both of those suggestions, thanks.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Adam Roth Member
Posts:
7
February 06, 2008

I’ve been waiting for this feature for more than a year! It’s the only part that held us back. While we mainly rely on DHL for shipping, this is better than nothing…

I setup UPS integration with the proper XML key, but when I go to checkout I get:

“Shipping method

Unfortunately there is no Shipping Rate available for your destination and/or weight of your cart.”

...any ideas?

Thanks
Adam

Posts:
233
February 06, 2008

Just an update to my earlier posts.

I emailed USPS asking to be moved to their dev servers. I never heard back from the, but I just tried setting this up in Shopify again and it worked.

Like the others said, I am very excited to use this feature, but I want to limit the choices offered. As soon as I can do that I am hoping to have this feature live.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers

JamesT Member
Posts:
2
February 07, 2008

I also get

<hr />
Shipping method

Unfortunately there is no Shipping Rate available for your destination and/or weight of your cart.

Please contact the Shop Owner for further assistance.
<hr />

when trying to test out UPS. My Shopify store said UPS has been activated when I entered the key.

Posts:
576
February 07, 2008

James: One would hope UPS would do that, but they do not, nor do most shipping softwares. As a user and customer, it’s just a perk.

In addition, I really like that you can turn UPS rates off and on at a click. OTOH, that I can’t turn my current rates off (without deleting them) is frankly holding me back from jumping into this. I am already being burned by various countries not being included in “Rest of world” after deleting my own “Other” category (because I could not toggle it). Any chance of a general shipping toggle? Much like a product being hidden or active. This 100% live is difficult for an operating store.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
JamesT Member
Posts:
2
February 07, 2008

John: Huh? A perk? I just want this feature to work. I don’t have any ‘other’ rates. I just want the UPS feature to handle everything. I had a sample item weighing 5lbs shipping to California and thats the message Shopify displays.

Posts:
172
Last edited February 07, 2008

Ah, the joys two people in one conversation having the same name (I’m used to it since I was named after my dad…but I digress).

James: John was talking to me, and referring to his previously requested feature as a “perk.” He wasn’t talking about the bug that you found. About that bug: it will be fixed soon.

Scratch that: it’s fixed.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Adam Roth Member
Posts:
7
February 07, 2008

Great. It works!

Now for my 2 cents: It’d be great if…

1. We could choose which services from the shipper we support (we’d only like to use UPS ground and not all the others, for example)

2. DHL integration!

3. Box size calculation… I know this is a hard one.

This beta service is enough to get us rolling (and to think I just paid Yahoo for their store service..ugh). Thanks so much for finally integrating shippers.

danetidwell Shopify Partner silverloft.net
Posts:
40
February 17, 2008

YAY YAY YAY

Thanks SO much you guys! Google checkout is important for us—we used to use Paypal Pro but didn’t like that they kept raising their fees.

- Dane Tidwell Creative Director Silverloft consultancy http://silverloft.net -
Posts:
172
March 05, 2008

Hi again folks,

We just released an update to carrier-calculated shipping that lets you select which rates to offer customers; just click the ‘edit’ link for a particular country’s carrier service and you’ll see checkboxes. Still no flat-rate services in the mix because of the aforementioned product dimensions issue.

The update also changes the UI a bit in other ways that you might notice, such as changing the “disable/enable” scheme for each country so that it’s just based on whether or not you’ve got any rates checked off. Those of you who had rates disabled before will still find them to be disabled.

As usual, let us know in this thread of any glaring/not-so-glaring issues with this new functionality.

-James

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
233
March 06, 2008

Great implementation guys! This makes it usable now.

Posts:
3
March 06, 2008

Ok I must be a complete idiot because I cannot figure this out. I registerd for my ID and got an email that said I needed to test it with the two links to do so and neither of them work. When I called USPS they said it was a problem on my end, but I cannot figure out how to get from test mode to production mode. Could someone please help me?

Carrie Finney

Posts:
576
March 06, 2008

I need some input shopify guys.

I am trying to implement UPS, but the rates that are being returned are too low. I know I can add an percentage and/or flat rate but I rather expect if I don’t do this, then shouldn’t the rates UPS charges me and those your app returns be about the same? It seems to be worst on low weight items.

For instance, a 5 lb package shipped across the country costs me $9.85 (with my account discount). The software is returning $7.85. Why do much difference?

Is anyone else seeing this? Granted, I could add 2-3 dollars, but I thought this kind of integration was supposed to stop the estimates and such.

I SOOOO want to get this going, but I can’t loose $2 per sale because it is off and I don’t want to overcharge my customers otherwise. I am just looking for accuracy.

HELP

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
172
Last edited March 06, 2008

Carrie: no, you’re definitely not an idiot! This situation involves more hoops for you to jump through than we’d like, and it’s great to find out what’s causing confusion for people. The test URLs that USPS gave you in that email are not meant to be used with a web browser. When you input your USPS user ID into Shopify, our system does the required tests for you.

Specifically, if after saving your user ID you get a message saying “Your USPS account is in test mode and cannot be used to get shipping rates,” then that means we have done those tests successfully. If those tests had failed, then you’d get a message about invalid credentials instead. So assuming you got that first message back from Shopify, you can tell the USPS representative that you have completed the required tests, and then they should put your account in production mode. I will edit the wiki to make this more clear.

John: our system should give you back the same rates that this web form does. If that’s not the case, then you can email me (james at jadedpixel dot com) with the specific addresses and exact order weight that is giving you that result and I will be able to look into that (or just give me an order ID that I can look up).

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
576
March 06, 2008

James,

You link gave me the clue I needed to determine where the discrepancy is. Your web form defaulted to Commercial delivery whereas 99% of my customers are Residential and this makes the difference. Sometimes quite significantly.

Is this an oversight or can you default to Residential please?

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
172
March 06, 2008

Thanks for the heads-up about the residential/commercial issue. Right now Shopify doesn’t specify either one, and from what I can tell, UPS is deciding for itself using the same logic that it uses when you tell UPS to figure it out with that web form.

I need to investigate further, though, and it would definitely help me if you gave me the specific address you noticed this happening with.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
576
March 07, 2008

What I tested on was a garbage address – random characters with a valid zip code (33615), city (tampa) and state (Florida).

My thought is that if it thought a garbage address was commercial by NOT being residential (since it didn’t find it) that is kind of a problem, but I am not sure how to check that. I would much prefer the higher (residential) quote than the lower one. Usually if it can’t find an address it tells you so and won’t give you a quote until it is an address in the system, so not finding the address is not the only criteria.

Ok, I am rambling…

I will test with a verified real address tomorrow and see what I get back.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
576
March 07, 2008

I have not tested yet, but I wanted to ask about another adjustment.

Right now we can add a % and/or $ amount, which is great and has it’s place. What would be sweet is if we could add a weight addition. Virtually everything I ship is by the pound. So my 2 lb order has packaging that bumps it to a 3 lb shipping weight (for UPS). Neither % nor $ make it quite accurate. And yes, I could make my shipping weights 2.1 lb but the this suggestion is based more on making a versatile and robust shipping integration. Seems way smarter in the large picture to add one code adjustment then have every customer fudge every product weight.

Thoughts?

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
576
March 07, 2008

OK, I have tested it out. You can have a look at my orders (I assume) 2263 and 2264.

They are identical except 2263 has a typo in the address. Something I can easily see a customer doing. The result of appears to be that UPS can’t find the address and gives back a commercial quote. If the address is perfect, it works fine.

The difference was this

7926 Wood vale Cir
vs
7926 Woodvale Circle

I tried (but did not save) another that was

7926 Woodvale Cir and it worked fine, i.e. Cir = Circle to UPS.

Seems like for a worst case you should return the higher, not lower value.

Thoughts? Your turn.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
172
Last edited March 07, 2008

My view is that the weights you enter should be “packing weights,” i.e. including whatever packaging is needed for that item. The only thing we use weights for in Shopify is calculating shipping, so they should be specified for that purpose. This is not “fudging” the weight; it’s using the weight values in a way that actually corresponds to the use case.

Likewise, any product dimension system that we implement will almost certainly take the entered values to mean “product plus packing space” (otherwise we would need to assume some arbitrary value for how much buffer to give around each item). We might label the input fields like “packing dimensions” or “space used in package” or have a little note about this in the UI.

On a more general note: as Shopify’s features grow in number, we have to be extremely conscious of avoiding clutter in the UI. One of Shopify’s big strengths is the straightforward and clean interface, and this is sacrificed a little bit every time we add another input field or checkbox or drop-down menu. So, we need to carefully consider the merits of any potential new element in the interface. When application developers don’t make a habit this, their apps can easily slide into…umm…unfortunate territory:

Anyways, I’m sure those issues aren’t news to you but I just wanted to take the opportunity to mention it here because of how important it is to take care with each of those small details that make up the system, lest they snowball.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
172
March 07, 2008

Thanks for testing that out, that is really good to know. We certainly don’t want to have customers realize that they can type their address in a bit differently to get a lower price! I will look into either giving UPS users the option of forcing residential rates, or just making that what we do all the time.

I’m interested in feedback from you or anyone else about whether any shop owner would now choose to leave it up to UPS (especially after seeing John’s findings).

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
576
March 07, 2008

James,

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I REALLY appreciate the concern of app sprawl.

BUT on that same logic, why don’t you say “take into account your packaging and overhead cost per item in the cost of the item”. You don’t – you gave us the option of adding a flat or percentage to the shipping rate of the order. I am just SUGGESTING you do the same with weight. A place to account for the entire order’s packaging – not the individual components.

As it is, I will just bump all weights 0.1 lb on all my products to make sure the order weight bumps up an extra pound. It really is a fudge factor because 0.1 is not even close to real, but I need some way for those 2 1 pound packages to weigh in at 3 lbs (because the order’s box weighs something). The bags those products come in are grams.

Am I making my point any clearer?

As for packaging dimensions – I don’t envy you that. Good luck there.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
172
March 07, 2008

’why don’t you say “take into account your packaging and overhead cost per item in the cost of the item”. You don’t – you gave us the option of adding a flat or percentage to the shipping rate of the order.’

Excellent question! The reason is that we anticipate there to be significant variance in how people use the flat/percentage rate adjustment with different countries. So, for instance, a shop owner might want to impose an arbitrary “annoyance charge” of $20 for shipping overseas if they feel they want to discourage that for whatever reason. Or they might want to give customers in Canada a percentage discount to offset their inevitable customs charges.

Also, there are various reasons of customer psychology that could come into play, making it desirable to shift expense one way or another onto product prices or shipping prices. (For example, you will definitely sell many more Doohickeys at $9.95 each than at $10 each.)

Weight of packaging, on the other hand, should not change much from country to country, and most of the time the customer never sees a product variant’s weight value anyway.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
576
March 07, 2008

Those are good points also. I guess I am just trying to save myself all the work of going into every product and every variation and adjust the weight just a little.

I guess I will just let it be and if anyone else has the same concerns I have, they can voice them.

Oh, and least I forget to say it, it is really great that this is finally in place.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
68
March 07, 2008

In regards to the point presented about the UI, why not just have it so the store owner can set how the UI is setup? If someone needs the complicated options then they can use them, if not then they just see the basic options.

Posts:
172
Last edited March 08, 2008

Sometimes that works well in certain situations, but other times it doesn’t. After all, each time you present the user with an option of seeing more advanced options, that’s another bit of time and clutter that everyone has to deal with.

There are lots of variations on that idea, too…in some sense, we are doing a variation on it right now by hiding the options for each country’s carrier services until the user decides they need to change them. That screen would certainly look a lot different if those edit boxes were all expanded from the beginning :)

Whatever other global options we add in the future for carriers, I expect they’d go in the same spot that you currently have to edit your credentials (which, again, is hidden until you need it).

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
jdeveloper Member
Posts:
15
March 12, 2008

can someone please tell me why on my shop http://shop.mattsorum.tv that when you go to checkout the automatic rate calculator does nothing ? i can’t get it to pull up any US shipping options it just said no shipping method available so i added 2 manually so people could order

i got the email back saying my account was in production mode and not test?

Posts:
172
March 12, 2008

Hi JJ,

I just took a look at your settings and you just need to complete your shipping address by entering your zip code into the “postal code” field.

-James

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
233
March 20, 2008

Just looking at this again, and I love the checkbox feature where you can select rates. It would be better with just one little tweak:

With USPS for example, the customer sees values like:
USPS Express Mail
USPS First-Class Mail
USPS First-Class Mail Flat
USPS First-Class Mail Parcel
USPS Parcel Post

Say you want to use parcel post and express mail, but these don’t indicate the type of shipping. It would be great to edit these descriptions to say something more meaningful like “overnight” or “ground shipping”.

So the feature request is being able to edit the descriptions that would be shown to customers, much like you can do now for regular shipping.

Posts:
3
March 24, 2008

Hi everyone, I thought I’d stop banging my head against the wall for a moment to ask if anyone has had similar confusion over the shipping rate calculator. I’ve done the sign up and test mode message thing, contacted the USPS, who told me that I have access to te production server but then there’s the following: 1. The Production Server URL is: http://production.shippingapis.com. For APIs calling the secure server, the URL is https://secure.shippingapis.com.
2. There is a line of code that refers to “shippingapitest.dll”. You’ll need to remove the word “test”.

Huh? I don’t understand. Please explain this to me? Please?

Posts:
172
March 26, 2008

Chad: I agree that something like that would be useful; we’ll keep it in mind.

Deidre: You can safely ignore those instructions. Shopify performs the required testing behind the scenes when you enter your credentials into Shopify, and will give you an error message that your account is in test mode unless USPS has switched you to production mode already. I’ve made all of this more clear in the wiki now:

http://wiki.shopify.com/USPS

All you have to do is inform them that you’ve completed testing with your account.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
576
March 27, 2008

James,

I am in the middle of increasing the weights of all my products in my shop by 0.1 lbs so the shipping rates get a little closer due to packing material.

But I wanted to toss in an observation that it still isn’t going to work as well as being able to add a flat weight to the order.

Why?

The two current carriers calculate and round differently.

Example:

1 plastic mold: really weights 0.1 lb if that. After it is packed, it is around 0.8 lb.

USPS returns a value of $2.20 since it is under 0.75 lbs (0.1 after all) but in reality due to the packaging weight I am charged $4.50. I loose money.

UPS returns a value of $5.50 for a 1 lb package since they round up to the nearest weight.

I suspect you would answer that I could increase the mold to 0.8 lbs or add $2.50 to USPS rate.

0.8 lb option falls apart if they order someone orders 5 molds. They know these are light weight molds and having a shipping charge of 4 lbs is way out of line since the packaging didn’t change, just the number of 0.1 lb molds.

The add $2.50 option isn’t horrid, but starts over charging people for the 1-2 lb ranges, right where they notice it the most.

I totally understand able feature sprawl, I am really feeling the impact of this. If I could add 0.65 lbs packaging to UPSP and 0.5 lb packaging, suddenly it works very well in both cases and all weight ranges.

Finally, you said

“Weight of packaging, on the other hand, should not change much from country to country, and most of the time the customer never sees a product variant’s weight value anyway.”

That is my point – weight of the packaging (of the shipment) does not change – therefore it should be a field we can set. Right now it is set to zero and that is where the problem is.

It’s basic algebra IMO:

Total Weight = package weight + item 1 + item 2 + item 3.

Since the number of items can change, if I add the packaging weight there, the “weight of packaging” does change – opposite from what you say.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
172
March 27, 2008

I understand where you’re coming from. At some point we are intending to add the ability to change the dimensions of the shipping containers that you use, so it might make sense to give a weight to the packaging in that context.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
576
March 27, 2008

That’s something. Thanks.

While you are doing that, please keep in mind that I doubt the majority of orders are only one item. I know mine are not. So if what you are thinking is linking a product to a dimension which is linked to packaging weight, what happens when you add 3 items?

I look forward to see what you come up with.

If I may be so bold, from an algorithm standpoint, I will toss this out.

In the variants (not just the products – almost none of my variant have the same weight), include an OPTIONAL (zero if not used) H x W x D field. Let it calculate volume.

In the shipping area, let us enter a set of boxes we use, again with H x W x D with associated weights.

So, when a customer orders the following:

widget X – 1 lb, it will pull 3”x4”x5” = volume 60
widget Y (different variant) – 2 lbs, it will pull 4”x5”x8” = volume 160

total volume 220

It compares against my box list

4×4 x 6 = 96 → 0.3 lbs
4×6 x 8 = 192 → 0.5 lbs
8×10 x 6 = 480 → 1.1 lbs

Decides it will probably go into the 4×6 x 8 box. Adds the appropriate weight and sends 3.5 lbs (1+2+0.5) off to UPS and USPS. UPS returns the price for a 4 lb package. USPS returns the price for a 3 lb 8 oz package.

A perk would even be for the backend interface to recommend to us which box to use.

Thoughts?

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
2686
March 27, 2008

Wow,

This is so interesting. My partner is just completing a freight forwarder logistics web application that is far more complicated than Shopify, and has extensive code that deals with moving boxes.

There seems to be some room in Shopify to adopt the same algorithms as the freight industry if you ask me.

They use dimensional weight to get around all the problems experienced by Shopify stores. You calculate the dimensional weight using volume of course, and compare the price you get from volume calculations to the weight price. Then you charge the higher of the two.

Since this is industry standard, why not investigate this and just do it right? If 99.9% of people who ship things for a living do it this way, should Shopify not conform? At the moment anyway, it appears the Shopify weight-based shipping setup is far too primitive to reliably provide accurate shipping for most, it not all clients. It is at best, providing fair-to-middling results?

Just my 0.02… again….

Specializing in Shopify Apps hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
Posts:
172
March 27, 2008

John: What I meant about changing the dimensions of shipping containers is the idea that your shop will only use one, or a few, types of boxes or whatever, which have defined dimensions and weights. So you would perhaps end up defining a single standard size box that you always use, and you set it to a fixed weight which would always be added to orders that are shipped in that box.

The algorithm you described is along the lines of how we’ve been thinking we might do it. It’s definitely one possibility (see below for more about that).

Bill: The shipping carriers figure out accurate shipping prices based on the higher of real weight/volumetric weight, just like you described. Shopify doesn’t need to worry about that. The tricky part is figuring out, from the items in the order, which box(es) to use, if there is more than one defined for the shop, and how many it will take. People do their PhD theses on better and better ways of solving this problem; it’s not an easy one.

Shopify could settle for something really simplified and just add up the volumes of the items and then smoosh them all together into an imaginary cubic package (of course we also need to somehow decide when it’s likely that two packages would be better than one, etc.). We could also go the more complex route and actually simulate packing items into each container using an algorithm of truly stunning robustness…that would take more time, of course.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
2055
March 27, 2008

The other aspect which makes packing algorithms difficult is that they are often better than humans. If shopify decides that mathematically a certain order should fit in two standard package containers but in praxis the items are just a tiny bit too large than the merchant must accept the financial hit of shipping a 3rd package. For this we need to add some lax into the calculation. Its a really difficult problem.

Tobias Lütke - Shopify CEO // http://twitter.com/tobi
Posts:
576
March 28, 2008

James wrote:
“Thanks for testing that out, that is really good to know. We certainly don’t want to have customers realize that they can type their address in a bit differently to get a lower price! I will look into either giving UPS users the option of forcing residential rates, or just making that what we do all the time.”

James, I wondered if you have been able to look into this.

After three orders in a row with $5 discrepancies in quoted vs real shipping costs (I just ate $15), this has come to mind and I wanted to see if you have gotten anywhere with forcing Residential designation in the system?

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
576
April 02, 2008

Hi, minor bump on the Business vs Residential default setting.

I realize this is Beta.

On that note, thinking fine tuning to non-Beta, a small bit of fool proofing would be nice if the customer makes an error in their address and no rates are returned for a service.

Example, 97499A entered in the zip code. First off, if the country is USA, not allowing characters would be good, but aside from that, having

No UPS shipping results available – check your address

or something along those lines would be nice instead of just nothing showing up would be great.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
172
April 02, 2008

About the residential/commercial thing: I am in touch with UPS about this, and trying to figure out from them exactly how they expect users of their web service to handle this issue. We don’t want to implement a fix for something that UPS ends up fixing themselves in short order, and then have Shopify users in a position where you get used to one thing and then have it changed unexpectedly, etc. A little of this is unavoidable when dealing with as many APIs from as many different companies as Shopify does, but we want to minimize it.

About address-checking: that’s a good point to raise. I’ll see what we can do to make this aspect of checkout smarter.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
576
April 03, 2008

Thanks James. Good point on ‘fixing’ something that UPS may fix itself.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
10
April 04, 2008

I was testing the USPS shipping calculator today and didn’t get back the numbers I expected. Specifically:

Shipping 0.2 lbs (3.2 oz) from 99205 to 94597…

USPS Postage Price Calculator:

  • FirstClass Mail Package – $1.64
  • Priority Mail – $4.60
  • Express Mail – $16.25

Shopify Shipping Calculator:

  • FirstClass Mail Parcel – $2.00
  • Priority Mail – $5.00
  • Express Mail – $16.00

Now, this could be because I misunderstood how the USPS does their rates (I’m still learning). I thought that the USPS has the same rate within a weight range. Therefore, the numbers coming back from the Shopify calculator do not fit within the USPS’ table. If anything, FirstClass Mail (for instance) might be $1.81, $1.98, or $2.15.

Or…am I misunderstanding something. I’d appreciate any advise.

Jeff

Unique products created for you, to be built by you. Free plans, parts kits, support, and more... Laboratory 424 Experiments in Progress www.laboratory424.com
Posts:
25
April 04, 2008

A real newby here.
I have just entered the user id provided by USPS.
How long until this feature is available on my site?

Thank you

http://www.myalingerie.com
Posts:
576
April 04, 2008

@Labguy, Have you verified your ‘from’ zip code in your admin page? That might cause that. I was going to say you had a % turned on, but that would not explain the less expensive Express Mail. And Shopify’s are oddly whole numbers. Do you have any other custom rates in your store?

@stoneypointe, I found about 24 hours for USPS to respond.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
172
April 04, 2008

@Labguy & John: Those are indeed oddly whole numbers. In fact, they are just the expected values, rounded off. I saw this before with UPS and thought that they had changed their methods of calculation, but now I see that it is definitely a Shopify bug. I’m looking into it; thanks for bringing it up.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
25
April 04, 2008

Thank you John.
The strange thing is that they replied inmediately providing the user id and password. I have entered it in my store but still I don’t see the shipping option available anywhere.

Thank you.

http://www.myalingerie.com
Posts:
576
April 04, 2008

You have to enter it in your shopify admin page. Shopify will then ‘test’ it, and you will get a reply that it didn’t work. USPS will then move you from the test server to the live server. That is what takes 24-48 hours. Then it will be fully available to you.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
11
April 04, 2008

hi all,
this is my first time posting on the shopify forum! i just activated the ups shipping calculator for my account and i have a a quick question: must i create a shipping category for each country or can i just select “rest of the world”? will the automated rate calculator be accurate? help me, please.

thanks!

www.ilovekaramel.com
Posts:
172
April 04, 2008

You can just create a “rest of the world” region and, if you have UPS set up, it will automatically add UPS options for the rest of the world. They will be as accurate as any other UPS rates.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
11
April 04, 2008

thanks, james!

now that i’ve linked up my ups account with my shopify account, the available shipping options show up with the prices but is there a way to also show estimated transit time? a customer asked me today what the difference was between the options and i couldn’t answer them. i ended up calling ups but i am hoping that there is a way to have the transit time show up alongside the cost in checkout?

thanks,
denise

www.ilovekaramel.com
Posts:
10
April 05, 2008

@John: Good point on the zip. I checked and it is correct. I also checked the offset values in shipping and they are both 0.

@James: It appears you fixed it, yes? I tested it today for US shipping and the numbers appear to be correct now. I have another (possible) rounding error while testing international shipping:

Shipping 0.2 lbs (3.2 oz) from 99205 to 04000 (Mexico, Mexico City)...

USPS Postage Price Calculator:

  • FirstClass Mail International – $1.98
  • Priority Mail International – $16.50
  • Express Mail International – $22.00

Shopify Shipping Calculator:

  • FirstClass Mail International – $1.55
  • Priority Mail International – $16.50
  • Express Mail International – $22.00

Everything is perfect except the FirstClass Mail rate. USPS bumped me up to the 4 oz rate since my weight was over 3 oz. Shopify displays the 3 oz rate. Is it possible that Shopify may be rounding the weight down to 3 oz before requesting the tables from the USPS?

Jeff

Unique products created for you, to be built by you. Free plans, parts kits, support, and more... Laboratory 424 Experiments in Progress www.laboratory424.com
Posts:
172
April 09, 2008

Denise: different shipping carriers handle transit time information in different ways, so this isn’t likely to be something that Shopify would show automatically any time soon. For now you should probably give information about shipping times on your cart page. Just lookup the names of the shipping services on ups.com (you could do this with Google by entering site:ups.com before the name of the service if it isn’t otherwise obvious where to find the info).

Labguy: Yes, the rounding issue you mentioned earlier is now fixed. Thanks again for bringing that up. Also, thanks for bringing up this new issue. It looks like it’s fixable on our end; I didn’t realize that USPS always rounds up.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
576
April 10, 2008

I just had an order come in with a totally inappropriate shipping amount from the UPS API.

The order weight was 0. The only choice of shipping should have been one I designated as “Shipping Included” which has a weight range of 0 to 0, but for some reason it pulled UPS values. What the customer saw was that he could ‘bump’ his order of a 50 lb item, “shipping included”, to “Next Day Air” for a mere $45.17. He took the option.

I have verified the item in question had no weight, so should not have validated for UPS. Shopify did not return any USPS values as expected. I have also checked that UPS will not accept a 0 for a weight, so I am not sure what happened.

Help.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
172
April 10, 2008

We’re going to change this. UPS does indeed have a minimum weight (100 grams) and we currently bump up package weights to this amount, in case of ultra-light orders (I’m kind of surprised that USPS didn’t return any rates, actually). We don’t treat a zero-weight in any special way, because we didn’t anticipate the kind of situation you describe, but we’re going to start making zero-weight orders just ignore carrier-calculated shipping altogether.

If someone is actually using zero to mean “very very small, but not zero” then any weight-based shipping will screw them up anyways (e.g. if someone orders a thousand of those postcards, or whatever, and it ends up still totalling 0 grams).

Thanks for letting us know about this.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
576
April 10, 2008

Thanks James,

I am rather surprised this didn’t come up before with all the times people have asked for free shipping and been given the suggestion to make the weight zero.

Is this in place now, or how long?

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
172
April 10, 2008

I just wrote the fix; it will be live the next time we deploy.

During development of all this, I suppose I’ve been working with the idea that people would stop using workarounds involving fake weights once their weights had a direct and uncontrollable impact on shipping rates.

I was kind of surprised that you assumed that a zero-weight order would not return any rates; is that because of previous experience you had with UPS rate calculators?

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
576
April 10, 2008

Yes, that is the reason. I was expecting it from some personal API work, that UPS does not accept a zero field (or didn’t) for weight. But it is only logical that they would not accept it as you can’t send anything that weights nothing.

As for workaround, this particular case is no fault of Shopify’s previous system (really) but still needs a workaround. It is a drop shipped item . Technically I would like to charge the rate from my drop shipper to my customer as we are on completely different sides of the US, but I have no way to do that in Shopify. So I charge a flat shipping rate for that item. The only way to add a flat rate to this item only is to include it in the price and set the weight to zero. It’s so heavy I don’t dare take the hit for the wrong shipping rates if I were to use the integrated system.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
3
April 12, 2008

Hi, I had an order yesterday from Canada but couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to set up a shipping rate under preferences. The order qualified easily for PMI flat rate due to the size of the order-large for my product-3 lbs. But since all of my items weigh under 4 oz -hand fans.
How do I establish an international rate for this? Flat rates are not reasonable for my customers who order only a couple of items.
I hope that this isn’t a dumb question with an obvious answer.
Thanks for any help

Posts:
172
April 14, 2008

John: That makes sense. As you might have noticed, weightless orders won’t return carrier-calculated rates now.

Deidre: right now Shopify doesn’t return any flat rates, because we currently have no way of knowing how big the products are, and whether or not they would fit in one box. Product dimensions, multiple packages, and flat rates will be in a future update.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Paige Member
Posts:
9
April 18, 2008

We are about to launch a store and are just now merging with UPS for shipping. I have read this WHOLE chain and it looks like many of the bugs have been worked out which is great. My client is currently getting all set up with UPS. In the essence of time I am trying to think forward about how the systems will merge together.

How does the UPS tracking number get merged into the order fulfilled email and how to get the customer’s address over to the UPS label with out having to manually do any of it.

Does this all just automatically “work together” once the UPS account is set up?

Also these are small light weight items. Any that were say .02lb that were automatically rounding to 0.0lbs we have manually rounded up to .1 lb so there is a weight associated with it. Is this the best way to go for light weight small items -per all the posts it sounds like it is.

Should I be testing the costs between UPS and the UPS Shopify generated costs to make sure they are close and my client is not losing $$ or does this seem to be calculating accurately now?

Since you can see what stage I am at if you have additional info that I need to know please share.

Thanks
~ Paige

Posts:
576
April 18, 2008

Paige,

The UPS integration is for rates only. It absolutely does NOT “work together”. You have to enter the addresses all by hand. I have heard about WebHooks and I wonder if there might be a way to automatically enter a customer’s name into your UPS address book if that is their shipping choice, but for now, that is not the case.

Same thing for the tracking number. You have to enter it.

Personally, I find it such a hassle to flip back and forth between the two sites (shopify admin and UPS) I don’t even bother with entering the tracking information since it is for my use only, i.e. even if you enter it, no email is sent to the customer telling them what the tracking.

My current work flow is:

Shopify: Open the order.
S: Note UPS
Open UPS in another window
UPS: log into UPS
U: Create a shipment
S: Accept Payment
S: Ship items
S: Copy Name
U: Paste Name
S: Copy Address
U: Paste Address
S: Copy City
U: Paste City
S: Note State
U: Choose State
S: Copy Zip
U: Paste zip
S: Note weight, Copy email address
U: Enter weight – next page
U: Enter email address for email notification
U: Print label
I could at this point copy the tracking number, but I gave up the step.
S: Print the order and close it.

As for loosing money, there are two items that I will call glitches. You will have read about both of them above.

1) If the customer enters an address that UPS does not recognize it will assign it a Commercial status and return a lower rate, but when you enter the address on UPS it will default to Residential and charge you more and you can’t force Commercial if the software disagrees.

2) All your individual weights need to be a little high to account for packaging like you were shipping them individually, even though you may often ship them together. It’s because there is no place to account for your order’s package weight, which I often find is 1/2 to 1 lb. You can add a % or $ amount, but neither of those really account for the variable extra weight charge. The classic example I keep getting burned on is when someone chooses 4 2 lb items. I have each item set to 2.1 lbs because a box and padding for 2 lb is about 2 oz. But the box and padding required for 8 lbs is over a pound so my calculated rate is for 8.4 or 9 lbs, but my real weight is usually 9.2 lbs and I get charged for 10 lbs.

I have added about 5% to help this situation, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. Being able to add 1 lb to the order would work much better.

Good luck.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Paige Member
Posts:
9
April 18, 2008

Thanks John! I appreciate the quick feedback. We’ll give it a try and go from there.

Paige Member
Posts:
9
April 24, 2008

At the moment I am waiting on the UPS account info and therefore can not see the fields that are unveiled once this info is entered. Per the response by John above it makes me believe that I can add additional weights to the group of items and not have to add to each individual item for additional packing weight.

If this IS the case please let me know. Otherwise I am going to start manually adding the packing weight to all of the items right this minute.

Posts:
576
April 24, 2008

Hi Page,

It IS NOT the case. You can not add extra weight for the shipment weight. Only a flat dollar amount or percentage of the shipping amount. You have to add amounts to the individual items. I requested shopify add an additional weight variable but they disagreed with the need.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
3
April 24, 2008

Does anyone know if UPS returns rates even if the cart content’s weight is less than their minimum weight. Seems like it should return their minimum charge, but it just says “no Shipping Rate available for your destination” when I try to checkout.

If this is a limitation, I really think their needs to be an option to “add or subtract a fixed weight”. Especially since the packaging for a lot of store’s orders will be the same for every order.

Tray it like a lunch lady.
Posts:
172
April 24, 2008

Tommy: since Alchemist John brought his issue to our attention about weightless orders, the expected behaviour is now that orders which have exactly zero weight do not return carrier-calculated results. See above for the reasons why. Orders above zero weight but below UPS’s minimum weight should get bumped up to their minimum, though. If this didn’t happen for some reason with a particular order, then please give me your shop and order number and I’ll look into it.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
3
April 24, 2008

James, the order actually isn’t zero weight, but it’s like 0.4 ounces. Should that return something? I’m working with Paige on the same store. Probably should have mentioned, I’m in test mode, would that affect it?

Tray it like a lunch lady.
Posts:
576
April 24, 2008

As a daily UPS shipper, I am rather familiar with the ins and outs of UPS online. At 0.4 ounces, it sounds like you are sending a letter or card, not an actual package. From what I have seen so far with the API here is that it is sending over information with some basic assumptions and defaults. One of those seems to be that you are using “Your own packing”. This is what I do and the rates match. Are you using UPSPak’s or Envelopes? If so, I think the API simply may not be structured to handle it. You could tweak your shipping rate by putting in a higher value, but it may then return a value radically out of line for a letter.

Just some thoughts.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
rob. Member
Posts:
184
April 24, 2008

For those have used/currently using the USPS calculated shipping, is there an option to add insurance (domestic), or registered mail (international)?

I would try and use it, but with the way shipping weights currently work, I don’t have a need for it (I need ounces to be calculated).

Posts:
576
April 24, 2008

Hi Rob,

No current way without work arounds like adding insurance or registered mail as a product with a price.

Can’t speak for the future of course as to what shopify plans to tweak with the integration.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
3
April 25, 2008

James, the weight is 0.4 POUNDS not ounces. It is indeed NOT returning a value from UPS. Is there a way that I can contact you privately to let you know what the store number and order number is?

Tray it like a lunch lady.
Paige Member
Posts:
9
April 25, 2008

Well I am stuck here with this error. I have put in a real address and real CCard for testing as I thought that could be the issue. I have read the above but still not sure what the prob is. I get this error in checkout (Still test mode maybe this is the problem?)

Shipping method
Unfortunately there is no Shipping Rate available for your destination and/or weight of your cart.
Please contact the Shop Owner for further assistance.

All weights are around .4 lbs to .6 lbs.
All of the UPS account info and XML key are in and correct.

Please help. :)

Paige Member
Posts:
9
April 25, 2008

FYI: Tommy and I are on the same job so his and my probs go hand in hand on this one.

Posts:
576
April 25, 2008

FYI, as troubleshooting input, I just tested out my store with a 0.1 lb item and received rates back for both UPS and USPS.

With that in mind, make sure UPS.com gives you rates if you ask for them – could the destination be invalid?

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Paige Member
Posts:
9
April 25, 2008

Humm thanks for the test. I am going to reenter the ups info and see if that is the prob

Posts:
172
Last edited April 25, 2008

Paige: I just looked up your shop, and it looks like you don’t have any UPS info entered. Make sure you are entering your “XML Access Key” exactly as you received it from UPS; and make sure you are not actually entering your UPS “Developer Key” instead. For some reason UPS likes to hand out lots of different credentials and it can get a bit confusing :)

If you enter the wrong credentials into Shopify, then you will see a red error message rise up from the bottom of the page when it reloads, and we won’t save those credentials that you entered. When you enter good credentials, you will get a success message and the “try carrier-calculated shipping beta” message that’s currently shown on that page will be replaced with your editable UPS and/or USPS info.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Chelsea Shopify Merchant www.sleepysheep.ca
Posts:
105
May 06, 2008

Hoping the Shopify guys will do a Canada Post Venture One shipping integration; if we could have this setup reliably, we could ship all over the world instead of just in the US and Canada.

Chelsea My Shopify Sites ~ http://www.SleepySheep.ca * http://www.SleepySheepBedding.com ~ Sites we have coded (but not designed) http://www.ecocessories.ca http://www.drinktoque.com Other Shopify Integrations ~ http://www.ecocessories.ca * http://www.drinktoque.com *
Posts:
172
May 06, 2008

We’re planning on adding Canada Post, but it’ll probably come after FedEx and DHL (unless someone else adds it to Active Shipping before us…).

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
576
May 09, 2008

Thought you guys might like/need to see this email I received:

Dear customer,

On May 12, 2008 several APIs will be altered in response to the USPS Price Change
(<http: />). While the APIs listed below will remain
structurally and syntactically backward compatible, data changes are possibly
substantial enough to affect some integrators. Please contact icustomercare@usps.com
<mailto:icustomercare> (1-800-344-7779) with any specific schema or
enumeration questions.

Please review the attached document for detailed overview.

<<webtools 12 price change may>>

USPS Internet Customer Care Center
icustomercare@usps.com

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
172
May 12, 2008

Thanks John, we got that email too. I’m working on making sure nothing breaks right now.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
JohnG Shopify Partner
Posts:
21
May 31, 2008

I have successfully activated the UPS shipping option on www.aplusenv.com – at least that is what my shipping preferences say. But, when I tried to test it multiple times over the past two days, the UPS option was not listed as a shipping alternative.

What have I missed?

Posts:
172
June 02, 2008

JohnG: all the products in an order need to have real weights for them to use carrier calculated shipping.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
JohnG Shopify Partner
Posts:
21
June 02, 2008

OMG, how dumb am I? Thanks, James.

However, that means that the hack espoused elsewhere about listing product cost as weight to “fool” the price-based shipping option into becoming a weight-based option will not work. http://forums.shopify.com/categories/1/posts/3125

Sooo, I’ll ask again, can we have a weight-based shipping option WITH A RANGE similar to the price-based option? If not, why not?

Posts:
172
Last edited June 02, 2008

Improving the error-reporting in this area is on my to-do list; we all make mistakes like that, and you definitely should have gotten a helpful error making it clear what you needed to fix.

Carrier-calculated shipping is never going to work properly if your products don’t have their correct weights entered, because that information is vital for the calculation that the carriers do.

I’d missed your other thread on the subject of price ranges. See my reply in that thread also.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
jenniffurr Member
Posts:
1
June 06, 2008

Hi, We’re new to shopify and have just set up our store and shipping options. We’ve been a daily UPS shipper for years and as with John, I’m quite familiar with their web shipping options. However, this is our first time using a hosted webstore and trying to get it set up the way we want and need. One thing that I’ve noticed with our first few orders is the commercial vs residential issue. We’ve lost money on all of our first orders due to this. Is this something that’s still being worked on?

Also, another concern is adding additional services to orders. We ship all orders with a proper declared value amount for insurance and also with a signature confirmation. The current system works great when 1 item is ordered because I can set up an automatic increase for the cost of the signature confirmation and declared value charge. However, once a second/third/forth item is added, all of a sudden I’m not covering the costs of the insurance.

Anyone figured out a way around this?

Posts:
172
June 06, 2008

jenniffurr: I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been losing money over the residential issue. I’ve been in further contact with UPS about it recently and it looks like we’ll eventually do a better long-term solution that involves more robust address verification, and for a short-term stopgap measure we might just force everything to be considered residential.

Proper support for shipping insurance will arrive in the future. I don’t know of a better way to do it right now than what you’re already doing.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
10
Last edited June 09, 2008

I am having a problem with the shipping calculator where International First-Class parcel via USPS is not showing up:

Ship Weight: 0.3 lbs

Ship From: 99205, USA

Ship to: Some Person 113 Oleander Street Holloways Beach, Queensland QLD 4878 Australia

Result: Only offered priority and express mail options.

My preferences are set for “Rest of World” to have only First-Class, Priority, and Express options. First-Class is missing from the calculator though. I tried several different addresses over the world with the same result. Domestic works however.

Any ideas?

Jeff

Unique products created for you, to be built by you. Free plans, parts kits, support, and more... Laboratory 424 Experiments in Progress www.laboratory424.com
Posts:
172
June 11, 2008

Hi Jeff, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ve just made a fix for this which will be live the next time we deploy, and USPS first class mail international will then show up correctly.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
172
June 27, 2008

About the whole residential/commercial destination issue for UPS: everything should be working optimally now. We managed to set it up so that UPS will quote commercial rates only if they are sure that it’s a commercial destination; otherwise they will default to residential rates.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Phylo Member
Posts:
10
July 23, 2008

How is the progress on getting fed-ex integrated going? Fed-Ex always gives me way better rates than UPS and sometimes even better than USPS so I would love to be able to use them.

Phil

Posts:
79
July 29, 2008

Hello – I put this in as a bug and in the bugs topic, but here it is again:

We had a customer use their extended zip code as in:

Coon Rapids MN 55433-4626

And they were not returned ANY USPS shipping options, only UPS.

Is shopify passing the extended zip code correctly to USPS or should they disallow it as user input?

What happens is that the customer using their extended zip gets no affordable USPS shipping options, leading to lost sales.

Thanks.

Gifts for Life’s Celebrations http://www.presentbydesign.com/
Posts:
116
August 01, 2008

I just got UPS all set up with our store… but I’m wondering how I can eliminate some of the UPS options and keep them from showing up in check out?

For example I DO NOT want to give customers the option of selecting Next Day Air Early A.M.

Our fulfillment provider (not shopify supported) does not offer this method.

If we have no way of keeping this option out, setting up shipping rates will be a nightmare.. Please tell me it’s possible?

Owner, Velocis Enterprises LLC www.velocisenterprises.com We Build Custom Shopify Themes http://www.velocis.us/shopify.php
Posts:
172
Last edited August 05, 2008

Phylo: FedEx support is coming, but we don’t have an ETA right now.

Julene: the extended zip issue with USPS has been fixed. The USPS rates API can’t deal with ZIP+4 codes, so Shopify now strips them down to the regular 5 digit variety.

Bradley: You can indeed control which services to provide. Just hit the ‘edit’ link for a particular country’s UPS rates entry on the shipping preferences screen and you can filter as you please.

James MacAulay, Shopify Developer
Posts:
116
August 06, 2008

Thanks James! missed that little edit link :-)

Owner, Velocis Enterprises LLC www.velocisenterprises.com We Build Custom Shopify Themes http://www.velocis.us/shopify.php
Posts:
27
August 12, 2008

Is there a way to set it permanently to residential?

or to basic UPS rates versus daily pickup rates? Because mine aren’t working either. I have basic rates and the shopify rates are pulling daily pickup which is an additional cost to me of about 3 bucks a shipment.

www.lesavocado.com

www.lesavocado.com
Posts:
55
August 18, 2008

I accidentally de-activated my carrier calculated shipping for USPS, now I want to reactivate it, but I forgot my User ID they gave me. Anyone know where I can get that?

Posts:
8
August 20, 2008

I love the USPS addition – however it gives too many options. Can we customize the drag down list to not include USPS First Class Mail. This method of shipping does not work with USPS Click N Ship – meaning we’d have to add postage manually with stamps, write out all customs forms by hand, and label every box by hand. Being we get multiple international orders daily it is not worth it. However, I love the calculated shipping rates and they would give my customers a choice and better price.

How can we edit what pull downs are available and limit it to just 3 which work with USPS Click N Ship?

Posts:
1
August 20, 2008

Does anyone know a way to disable one of the shipping options offered by USPS on Shopify? The First Class Mail International Package is not offered online through USPS.

Posts:
2055
August 21, 2008

Simply edit the USPS rate for a given country and it will give you a list of possible rates. There you can decide to enable / disable individual offerings.

Tobias Lütke - Shopify CEO // http://twitter.com/tobi
Izzy Member
Posts:
1
September 09, 2008

After receiving orders on my website with Shopify, how do I print off shipping labels using UPS? Do I have to download and transfer customer’s names and addresses and upload on the UPS site? I don’t see that there is a way to print shipping labels on Shopify.

Posts:
1
September 18, 2008

I want to use the USPS rates, but for some reason it tells me that my username is not valid.

I tried checking it 3 times with the USPS website, and it works there just fine.

I also tried UPS and it works just fine.

This issue may have already been addressed, but that is a lot to read through up there.

Help?

Mike Rochon Shopify Employee www.shopify.com
Posts:
45
September 18, 2008

Hey Devon,

It is important to note the difference between a standard USPS account and the USPS Web Tool user ID that is required for using USPS Calculated rates.

Please check out the wiki for a link to obtain the proper ID: http://wiki.shopify.com/USPS

Best regards,

Mike
Shopify

Posts:
576
September 22, 2008

That is correct Izzy. There is no current way to use Shopify to create and print your UPS or USPS label. They just calculate rate, not perform the shipping for you.

Personally, I would love to see that at some point also.

John Nanci www.ChocolateAlchemy.com The Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate
Posts:
79
October 08, 2008

It has been said that “the way Google Checkout handles shipping rates made it impractical to support it in the initial release.”

How close is shopify to supporting calculated shipping for Google checkout?

Gifts for Life’s Celebrations http://www.presentbydesign.com/
Posts:
4
October 08, 2008

i could really use the options of defining product size and shipping container number.
right now i’m working on a site that ships art prints but can only pack up to 3 per box.

Posts:
116
Last edited October 22, 2008

EDIT: Turns out UPS is choking on my zip code unless I put in the full zip w/ 4 digit extension… weird, all other zips seem to work.

okay, is anyone else having issues with UPS calculated rates today? It was working fine a few days ago for me while we were still testing the store, now we’re live and suddenly I am getting the error:

Shipping method

Unfortunately there is no Shipping Rate available for your destination and/or weight of your cart.

Please contact the Shop Owner for further assistance.

Anyone else having this problem right now?

Owner, Velocis Enterprises LLC www.velocisenterprises.com We Build Custom Shopify Themes http://www.velocis.us/shopify.php
Jamie Chief Officer of Funness shopify.com/plus
Posts:
5854
October 31, 2008

Shopify & Co. Any word on FedEx?

http://evolvedesign.co ::: http://twitter.com/bacchus
kerri Shopify Partner www.kerriparker.com
Posts:
6
November 06, 2008

I too would like to know an eta for fex ex shipping tables. I am in great need of this feature including being able to get specified rates for your own account

Posts:
1
November 06, 2008

Bump for FedEx Ground

Posts:
4
November 07, 2008

Hello,

I wanted to follow up on any information regarding when Google Checkout can be used with this option for carrier-calculated shipping?

I’m setting up my shop right now and all these different shipping variables are driving me nuts!!

Update and/or time frame?

Thanks. Alston www.pinktigre.com
Posts:
79
November 17, 2008

Hello,

I’ve noted that a 2 pound item from my store costs $10.62 to ship parcel post from 83843 to 70001….

But when I go to the post office site, it shows $6.67 for the same weight to and from the same zip codes.

So, it ends up the priority mail is cheaper than parcel post which is I think is incorrect. This was an abandoned order in my cart – and I can’t blame the person. it was either 8.50 or 10.62 to ship. I do add .25 cents to each rate.

Can you investigate these prices and rates to see if what the USPS is returning for parcel post, and why it is wrong somehow?

Thanks,

Julene

Gifts for Life’s Celebrations http://www.presentbydesign.com/
Posts:
15
November 19, 2008

Does anyone know if UPS’s change will affect our live shipping rates working??

UPS will be making changes in the security architecture of our secure websites. These changes are being mandated by our Digital Certificate Vendor.

The change will entail migrating Secure Site and Standard SSL certificates from a single-tier certificate hierarchy (unchained) to a more secure two-tier certificate hierarchy (chained) under the Class 3 Public Primary Root Certification Authority. This will require a new root certificate which is largely available already in most Web browsers. This change will also cease support of SSL Version 2.0.

http://www.golfcarttiresnmore.com
Posts:
79
December 06, 2008

Bump for when Google Checkout can be used with this option for carrier-calculated shipping?

Gifts for Life’s Celebrations http://www.presentbydesign.com/
rogerush Member
Posts:
3
Last edited April 20, 2009

Any word on Fedex support?

Chris Jessee Member
Posts:
1
April 26, 2009

There are a couple of great services that I use on another host that are amazingly useful. For rates and shipping.

http://www.endicia.com/

wouldn’t it be great if this was integrated and you could print postage right from shopify or at least click a button and send data to endicia.

http://www.intershipper.net/
This pulls rates from USPS, UPS and FEDEx – why reinvent the wheel?

Jamie Chief Officer of Funness shopify.com/plus
Posts:
5854
April 30, 2009

Is Fedex dead or a work in progress? Do I need to keep people on FedEx ShipManager software? For some reason their software freaks on cart notes if they contain any punctuation at all which means that the CSV file has to be downloaded and that column has to be deleted every time before going into ShipManager.

http://evolvedesign.co ::: http://twitter.com/bacchus
Jacinda Member
Posts:
2
June 01, 2009

How can I set the shopping cart to only display “Ground Shipping” using the carrier calculated shipping option?

jeffv Member
Posts:
17
January 28, 2010

I know this thread is stale, but hopefully this will be seen. I ship products that are both standard and oversized. I use volumes to calculate weight which is fine, but UPS and FedEx both charge a large box handling fee (about $8) in addition to the weight-based charge. With Shopify's implementation, this charge is not added to the total. I can add it back by adding $8 to UPS and FedEx shipping options, but this also affects the standard size boxes. Also, it doesn't handle multiple items - if someone orders 3 products with oversized boxes, I will be charged the extra $8 3 times ($24), but Shopify will still only add $8 to the order.

I imagine there are more than a few Shopify customers facing this problem. It would be VERY helpful to include all the fees UPS and FedEx charge in the carrier calculations. Since these are readily available with carrier online tools, I'm sure they are available via api. Dimensional pricing is great, but it should also allow for the additional charges added for extra handling, rural delivery, fuel surcharge, etc. I know it can be done...as it stands now, the carrier pricing consistently underprices my real cost and forces imperfect "fudging" to cover the additional fees.

thanks!

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