# How Does Everyone Calculate Shipping

I'm just wondering how everyone who uses cs-cart, or any online website, calculates shippings cost for multiple product orders?

I understand that you can enter a dimension and weight to a product so cs-cart automatically calculate it, but this will not give you the real end-result shipping dimensions because we'll usually pack all the products the customer ordered in one big box instead, and this affects the price of shipping.

Do all the giant online stores online just “estimate” shipping and lose or gain money on each order?

this has always been the same for me. I also “package smartly” and sometimes when I set up a shipping condition of say 1-4 pcs. in a box size of 6x6x96 and the customer purchases one item that is say 1x2x48, the shipping charge will be much higher and I know I do loose some sales because of this. In my case I have an item that is available in many lengths and I use options list so customer can select the proper length.If I were to break each length into a separate product, I would have a lot more products and navigation time would increase for my customer… Some cases I will not define box sizes or max/per box and It all seems to work out in the end.

I often wondered if I use a sliding scale and base the shipping rate as a percentage of the sale amount, would this work.

I do have a few years of data I could look at.

It's so rare that any of our customers order only 1 product at a time from our store. We're using cs-cart as a distributor, rather than a retailer, but the only big difference is that we have an approved list of customers buying from us. Our customers often buy thousands of dollars of products at a time, and as you stated we “package smartly” by trying to fit as many products as possible in one box so shipping is cheaper for the customer.

Currently we receive our orders and enter shipping costs manually afterwards. It's just longer and sometimes surprises the customer with extra costs after the fact.

The other option we were thinking of doing is simply averaging out the cost of shipping and making a “percentage” of the order for everyone (eg. add 3% to the cost of each order.) But I'm not sure if CS-Cart allows that yet.

We use custom shipping methods so box size and item dimensions don't work. We use weight based shipping and whilst many of the weights are estimated we pretty much get it right (those products which are light but large will be given a higher shipping weight, and those that might need a lot of packing) - but there is an element of some we win, some we lose - but mostly it's spot on.

Yes CS does support % cost of products for your shipping charge.

Barry

[quote name='BarryH' timestamp='1401954122' post='185126']

We use custom shipping methods so box size and item dimensions don't work. We use weight based shipping and whilst many of the weights are estimated we pretty much get it right (those products which are light but large will be given a higher shipping weight, and those that might need a lot of packing) - but there is an element of some we win, some we lose - but mostly it's spot on.

Yes CS does support % cost of products for your shipping charge.

Barry

[/quote]

I haven't had time to test out the costs yet, but using weight only might be an option. The only thing, though, is I have a feeling with Fedex, package dimensions will have a big impact on shipping cost. If a package is 2"x2"x2" and weighs 5 lbs (hypothetically), versus a package of the same weight that's 36"x12"x12", the bigger one will most likely cost us more to ship.

But none-the-less, it's good to hear what others are doing for shipping. Thanks!

Just for kicks I looked up my past 3 years of sales and the freight charges I actually paid. The freight charges that I paid were a consistent 16.5% to 17% of the sales amount(not including freight). I do have shipping properties set up for the most part just for weight. Some items I do use items/box & box size. I guess if I really wanted to I could just figure 17% for shipping.

FYI: my products have a wide range of sizes. From the size of a quarter to 16 feet long.

[quote name='jimmyod' timestamp='1402581654' post='185593']

Just for kicks I looked up my past 3 years of sales and the freight charges I actually paid. The freight charges that I paid were a consistent 16.5% to 17% of the sales amount(not including freight). I do have shipping properties set up for the most part just for weight. Some items I do use items/box & box size. I guess if I really wanted to I could just figure 17% for shipping.

FYI: my products have a wide range of sizes. From the size of a quarter to 16 feet long.

[/quote]

I had some time today, so I checked as well. It looks like just using weight does seem to get pretty close to the actual cost that FedEx charges us, versus using box dimensions (which is waay more expensive because it calculates every items shipped separately I'm assuming). But it's still off by about \$10 more (\$37) on an item that should be about \$27 shipping (that was one of the example orders I checked). It's quite a bit of a difference for our regular customers that know our shipping costs.

It turns out for us it's around 3% shipping on average. I guess it's so low because of volume and our business account.