I know similar topics have been addressed before.
I've had this ecommerce site for about 4 years. I use a drop shipper and their shipping structure is kind of complicated and impossible to actual calculate. They charge a certain amount to ship large bulky items, but if the customer also orders a few smaller items that will fit in that big box for example, they just throw those in the box and don't charge any extra. So, how in the world do I calculate that? It's impossible. I pretty much got it set up after much hair pulling and a few orders where actually lost money overall (I paid the dropshipper more than the customer paid me) so that I usually don't loose money on shipping and never loose money overall anymore. I have a basic shipping charge based on weight and then an oversize charge for all the big bulky items. My margins are pretty thin, mostly about 30% markup, so making a $20 shipping error could be huge.
Just before Christmas, I got an account with another company who will also drop ship for a $5 dropship fee + regular shipping charges. They sell higher end items. I like that part, but they mostly sell to brick and mortar store fronts whose purchases are in the thousands at a time instead of the hundreds. They have no weights listed on any of their items. This is what they say under Shipping Policy:
Please note that we are unable to provide price quotes for shipping. Shipping prices are determined based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to weight, size of cartons, number of cartons, and the delivery location. Due to these varying factors, we are unable to provide accurate shipping estimates prior to packaging and processing your order. Please be assured that we take all steps necessary to provide you with the most fair and competitive shipping prices available.
I don't really care if they tell me the exact shipping cost, but an estimate with zones would be so helpful.
How in the world do I figure out how to charge for shipping on their products? What would you do? Use the same shipping model as the other site, guestimating the weights of the items. With a lot of digging, I could probably estimate the weights of many items.