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How to handle shipping cost for smaller items



12:41 pm on Jun 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi, I'm using a standard flat rate for all items that are shipped, but a few of the items are very small and light and can be shipped in an envelope. How do ecommerce sites typically handle this situation? I'm using osCommerce with a Flat Rate setup right now. I could use Table Rate and drive the shipping by weight, but wondering if there is a better way that is commonly used. Thank you.


1:55 pm on Jun 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

We up the price a bit to cover actual shipping costs and mark these types of items as free shipping (USA delivery)

Not sure if osCommerce offers this feature.


10:10 pm on Jun 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

LizaJane.... I don't think that S_Wagner is offering free delivery, but more like a fixed amount such as $4.95 per order, or simillar.

I personally think that you should just offer the same price even if the item is small for an envelope. Our shipping charges also combine handling, packaging which is often more than just the cost of a stamp to send it in an envelope


1:33 pm on Jun 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Yes, I understand. We do not offer nor was I suggesting offering free shipping on all items. However, we have some items that our shopping cart set up adds too much shipping. We found our sales doubled on these items when we increased the price a bit ( to cover the actual shipping costs) and offered free shipping - only on these particular items.


5:15 pm on Jun 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

We are trying buy 4 of our low cost item and get free shipping worldwide.

Shipping is a major pain for online retailers. Customers should not really worry about it, as if they realised how much it costs them to drive down town in their car, and park and walk round town (time) and then buy a coffee somewhere, then drive home....

But of course some people think of that as entertainment !


5:24 pm on Jun 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

We have a couple things we can ship via First Class Mail, while most goes UPS Ground.

Don't use OsCommerce, but we use weight-based rate Table in our cart system to control shipping methods. Under 1 lb goes FCM, 1 and above goes UPS (expect AK/HI/APO which are Priority Mail). We also use zones so our rates to far coast are more than 1-day zones close to us.


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