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How To Make A Free Shipping Option


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    Timothy W. Rodriguez

    Having the ability and configuration flexibility is awesome. The question is how does one arrive at the threshold amount?

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    Ryan Olson

    That's a good question. However as you've found there is no simple answer or a formula that you can follow all the time. It completely depends on your customer base, your profit margins, average shipping cost, etc. If your average order amount is small and the profit doesn't cover the shipping cost... you're gonna have a bad time.

    Here's an article I found discussing the topic: 

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    Louis Jimenez

    In my experience, the best way is to use a ZERO shipping weight. I have found that amount spent, doesn't necessarily mean you can do free shipping. The product's markup, and the carrier, and shipping methodology you can use will determine that. For example USPS Flat Rate Envelope, $5.05 to ship, vs. using another carrier, which will most likely average out at 7 to 9 dollars, depending on where it's going, weight, and size. I have found that free shipping depends on the product, and shipping means, not total dollar amount spent. I have $3400 products that don't merit free shipping, once the cc charges, are taken into consideration, as well as box, shipping materials, and transportation to the shipping facility. 

    After you analyze your final profit margin taking in to consideration all the costs involved, the ability to use a zero weight for free shipping, allows you to quickly add free shipping via the mass editor on those products you know you can ship for free. Product Ships individually, is another feature that allows me to separate those things that require a separate shipment. Example, if a customer orders an item that requires a 7 ft shipping box, and another item that requires a standard 8x8x8 box, those two things can't be shipped together in one box, so the item requiring the 7FT box, has to ship individually, and the shipping costs must take into account the volume of the box, not just the weight. If you were to combine those weights, the total shipping charges may not add up to enough of a charge, once you set the 7 ft box to ship individually, the shipping calculation will work out correctly, you will neither short yourself, or over charge. 

    Personally I use custom shipping methods that I have created based on the carriers that I use. FedEx, Post Office, and UPS on a few items that I drop ship. In e-commerce you can't marry yourself to one carrier, you need to use whichever carrier makes the most sense for the item you are using, and base your shipping charges on the system you develop.

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