Setting shipping preferences in Paypal
Setting up shipping preferences is a crucial part of running your eStore. Although I use MarketPress by WPMU, I’m going to talk about Paypal in this post because I think it applies to the widest range of members. Needless to say, I think you should take these basic concepts and apply them to whatever you’re using to process online orders.
First, let’s identify the problem. For years I didn’t have my shipping set up properly. I used a flat shipping surcharge. And it cost me plenty — in one of two ways.
• In the case of multiple orders, my customers got charged far too much for the purchase and those high-value sales get discouraged. That’s because the flat shipping surcharge was applied per item (instead of assuming that I would package these items in the same box).
• In some cases (such as international orders), my customers got charged too little, and I end up eating the difference. If my surcharge wasn’t enough to cover delivery to the country that I was shipping to, I ate the difference. And it often wiped out my profit.
The better solution assigns each item a *weight* and then totals that weight of the final order. It totals that weight up, gives the customer several shipping options, and then charges shipping based on those variables — plus the final destination of the package.
Take it from someone who spent years getting burned both ways on flat shipping pricing — undercharging for international orders and missing sales from overcharging — this is a must-have option for any Web storefront solution.
To that end, here are some step-by-step instructions on setting your shipping preferences in Paypal.