All About Shipping

Shipping calculations require the Weebly Business plan or better.

Shipping may seem pretty straightforward - you figure you'll set up a shipping rate for regular USPS delivery and maybe one for overnight or some other expedited delivery. But when you take into consideration that some carriers charge by weight, others a flat fee, your products may incur special handling charges, you need to figure in your time and materials, and that people from all over the world may visit your site, you start to realize that it can get pretty tricky.

Much of that hassle can be reduced by using Weebly's Real Time Shipping (RTS). With RTS, shipping rate estimates are calculated by the carrier at the time of check-out. To enable this feature, you connect to a carrier, set up a default shipping box (size, maximum weight, etc.), and enter weights for your shippable products. When a customer places an order, the carrier determines how much to charge for shipping based on the weight of the products in the order, the number of boxes needed to ship the order, and the shipping address, and that rate is displayed to the customer. Once the order is placed, you use the Shippo third-party app to purchase shipping labels for the boxes. 

Weebly makes it even easier if you are based in the US and shipping to a US address, and using United States Post Office or DHL. These carriers are already set up for you when you choose to use RTS, and we've negotiated special rates that we pass on to you! You can also use FedEx and UPS if you want by connecting to your own account. With your own account at these carriers, you chan ship outside the US.

Weebly also has a default shipping box set up for you to use. Its dimensions are 10" x 10" x 10" with a max weight of 70 lbs (a popular shipping box size). You can edit that default, if you'd like. This default is used by the carrier to determine how many boxes the order requires.

If you don't want to use RTS, or you ship from outside North America (where RTS is not yet available), you can set up shipping rates manually based on parameters such as the number of items or the order total. For example, you might have a tiered rate in the US, based on the number of items in an order, and then a flat rate for orders outside the US. You determine the amount to charge.

Your best bet is to take a look at sites like yours to see what other store owners are doing, investigate carriers that are convenient for you and can handle your products safely and efficiently, decide where you'll ship to (and where you won't), and then set up your pricing structure.

Once you configure your rates, they are displayed to your customers during checkout. Weebly automatically shows the correct rates based on the info entered for the shipping address and the products in the order.

Before setting up your shipping rates, you need to decide on the following:

  • Your shipping address
  • Where you will be shipping orders to (called shipping areas)
  • How many different rates you need for each area (called shipping rates)
  • What kind of packaging you'll use, and if using weight-based rates or RTS, how much your products weigh, and how your packaging might affect those weights.

Shipping Address

Your shipping address is the physical location you ship orders from. It doesn't have to be the same location as your business address. For example, you might have a warehouse that ships orders for you. This location may have tax implications, as certain states require you to collect tax if you have a physical location (called a nexus) in that state. More info here.

Shipping Areas

It's likely that you'll charge more the farther away an order is shipped, so Weebly allows you to set shipping rates for groups of locations (countries, states, etc.). These are called shipping areas. For example, you might have one area for the Continental US and another area for Canada. Those areas will each have different rates, allowing you to tailor your rates to specific regions.

Weebly supports shipping all over the world - you just need to decide what you want to support. You can choose from large areas (like all of North America or all of Europe), individual countries, or individual states in the United States and individual provinces in Canada.

Shipping Rates

​Once you decide where you're going to ship, you need to decide how much to charge and what to base it on. Shipping rates are the actual charges to your customers. For RTS, these rates are dynamically determined by sending the weight of the products in an order and the number of boxes required to ship those products to the carrier you've chosen. The carrier then returns an estimated amount they will charge to ship the order, and that amount is displayed to the customer as the shipping rate (note that when you actually purchase the shipping label from Shippo, the amount may vary slightly from the estimate, depending on the actual size and number of boxes used for the shipment).

For manual rates, you can make the rate a flat rate (one price for all orders shipped to that area), or you can create tiered rates based on the price of an item, the number of items in an order, or the total weight of all items in an order. And you can have more than one rate for each shipping area. For example, you might have one tiered rate for standard shipping to the Continental US area based on weight: a rate for orders under 5lbs., a rate for 5-10 lbs., and another for over 10 lbs., and then a second rate that's flat for overnight shipping.

Note: You can use a combination of RTS and manual shipping.

Putting it All Together with Examples

To get started, you’ll begin by adding a shipping rule. Shipping rules combine an area and a rate for you so that it's easy to see what your different areas and rates are. Once you use a rule to create rates, you can continue to add more rates to that area, or you can create another shipping rule to set up a new area.

Here are some examples of shipping areas and their rates.

This first example uses RTS with USPS when shipping to the Continental US.

Rate Name Rate Type Price
USPS (*determined by the carrier) Real time Automatically calculated

​This next example uses a shipping area of Alaska, Hawaii, and US Territories, and has a tiered rate based on weight and a flat rate based on next day delivery.

Rate Name Rate Type Price
UPS Ground Delivery Under 5 lbs. Free
  5 - 10 lbs. $5.00
  10+ lbs. $10.00
FedEx Next Day Flat $20.00

This next example is for Canada, and has a tiered rate based on the amount of the order (under and over $50), and another flat rate for next day air.

Rate Name Rate Type Price
USPS First Class Under $50 $10.00
  Over $50 $15.00
FedEx Next Day Flat  $30.00

​This example is for the rest of the world.

Rate Name Rate Type Price
DHL Worldwide Flat $25.00

And don't forget that you can combine RTS and manual rates, like this last example shows.

Rate Name Rate Type Price
USPS (*determined by the carrier) Real Time Automatically calculated
FedEx Next Day Flat $30

Rates, whether created manually or using RTS, are shown to your customers based on their shipping address. So given the above examples, any customer with an address in the 48 states would be able to choose between the rate dynamically determined by RTS or the FedEx flat rate. A Canadian customer would be given a choice between USPS First Class and FedEx Next Day.

Now that you have an understanding of what goes into setting up shipping areas and rates, you can create them for your online store.

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