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Carrier-calculated shipping rates This post is outdated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