Flat rate shipping for international only

SmallHDSmallHD Member
in General edited June 2009
Is there a way to set shipping up so for domestic shipping it is calculated with the live rates, but for international addresses it just uses a flat rate?

Seems like it could be done with product categories, but that also seems like it would require having duplicate products?

Confused. Help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Dale
Comments
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    Hi Dale.
    This actually comes up fairly often (in one form or another). However, your question is backwards from most. Most people want to do a flat rate domestically, but live rates internationally. Out of curiosity, how would a flat international rate work? Wouldn't that be kind of problematic, as a country like Canada (from the US) would be _much_ cheaper than Zimbabwe, right?

    Perhaps if we have a better feel for the "why" we could answer the "how". Not to say it's a bad idea, but I want to make sure we understand the issue before we recommend action.
  • Hi brett,

    Thanks for the response. Basically, the reason we want to do this is because of our relationship we have with UPS. They have their book rates which is what is used with the live ups rates function here and everywhere else. However, we get highly discounted rates with them. We do a lot of shipping internationally, and if someone from zimbabwe for instance placed an order using the UPS book rates, it would probably come up as 250-300 bucks, which is just ridiculous, where our actual rates would be something more like 150 or so. Then, take into account something like canada, which would probably cost something like 50 dollars, and we would only have to pay something like 20-25.

    Basically we want to do a flat rate with something in between so we lose some we win some and hopefully it comes out about even. Something like 60 dollars flat rate no matter where they are in the world. We ship high dollar (around 1000 dollar orders), so for us to charge 250 dollars for shipping to certain countries like belgium, hungary, etc is just ridiculous.

    Hope this makes sense - its fairly late and you know how that goes.

    Thanks a lot!

    Dale

    PS. I realize you now have the option to plug your UPS account number into the UPS shipping option, however the way it works is UPS discounts the shipping when they bill us, not immediately. So this would not work. And even if it did, you'd still see very high shipping rates to certain countries.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    Hi Dale.
    Thanks for that explanation. As I was reading it I was thinking, "Oh, for sure just use your own UPS account, which is now possible." So, on that note, if they apply the discount at the end of the month, would it perhaps make more sense for us to allow you to arbitrarily add a % + or - option to the shipping rates? So you could perhaps say, "All UPS, multiply the rates by -40%."

    I'm just thinking out loud. The quick and dirty solution would be to do categories based on the user's country, and just do a quick pre-add-to-cart question to see which it's going to, but I'm wondering what the ideal solution would be.
  • pimspims Member
    I would also like a similar functionality, being a flat rate of zero international option. We have a cart set up for resellers who want to use their own account numbers for international shipments (specifically fedex because of their own special negotiated rate) when we drop ship for them. Instead, they have to pay for USPS international or UPS international and we credit them, or they have to put in a phone order. Weird situation I know but it'd be great to have a flat rate for int'l option.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    Thanks pims. It's always good to know the "real world" needs out there. When we started building FoxyCart we actually mapped out a _ridiculously_ complex shipping system, but we ended up scrapping it because a) it was just _crazy_ complex, and b) 90% of merchants can get by with live rates or very simple things.

    The more requirements we're familiar with, the easier it'll be for us to build a new shipping system that allows for all the flexibility you need. So... thanks again. Keep the feedback coming, everybody!
  • SmallHDSmallHD Member
    edited June 2009
    Hey Brett,

    The pre-add-to-cart question is a good idea. I had thought of having separate categories, but thought it would be weird/confusing to the customer to have two separate, but seemingly the same product.

    Now i just gotta find someone who can code that for me..... seems simple enough, but i'm not a coder.

    This helps. If you or anyone else here can think of a better solution feel free to speak up!

    Thanks!

    Dale

    Edit: Just realized that instead of doing a quick pre-add question, maybe i should just do a pre-store question and have basically an international and a US store. I think that would be the least confusing.
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Hey, just wanted to chime in a bit. We got an email from FedEx today in response to a question along these same lines. In order to provide account-specific rates, we'd have to get the account's security code, developer key, account number and meter number. That seems like a lot of trouble, but that's what they said we'd need. Most people probably don't know this info (or how to get it)... what do you all think? Should we make this available? My personal thought on this is it would raise more questions than it answers and we might have to provide a way to generate the meter number which can be a pain.
  • hey brett,

    speaking of which, how would you actually do that: "Most people want to do a flat rate domestically, but live rates internationally"?

    I would like to just ship internationally to Canada only for the moment. I already have my flat rate set up for the U.S.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    @SmallHD: Either would work. I was going to link you to a FoxyCart store that does a really nice page overlay on pageload and then sets a cookie, but they appear to be temporarily down. But you could definitely make that happen without too much trouble. I'll whisper you some developers we recommend.

    @allisona: Unfortunately... options are still kind of limited. If you are extremely skilled at javascript you can work some magic, but trust me, we're painfully aware of how much we need to improve our shipping functionality.
  • OliOli Member
    edited June 2009
    just stumbled on this thread.

    one of my clients badly wants account-specific rates through FedEx. as they are pretty antsy about their local customers being quoted up to five times what they will be paying in shipping.

    if it's something you are willing to add, roughly when would this be available?

    * i suggested UPS but they are pretty attached to the rates they get with FedEx.

    btw, these forums are really slick. pros to everyone for all the ridiculously awesome support, really! :)
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Oli, do you happen to have their account's security code, developer key, account number and meter number?
  • SmallHDSmallHD Member
    edited July 2009
    Hey Guys,

    Just wanted to update you on how i solved the problem. It was a bit hairy at first, but i thought it might help the user base as well as the foxy developers.

    Again, the problem was i needed for international orders to be calculated with a flat rate, and domestic using live rates. But then there was another caveat, in that what if someone orders multiple units, or JUST accessories (which are very low dollar and the flat rate wouldn't make sense with them alone).

    So what happens is, when you hit add to cart on any item (and this works because we currently only have 7 items in our cart), the foxybox pops up, but instead of showing the cart it has a very simple question, that asks the person if they are shipping to the US or not. Then the "yes" and "no" buttons are the actual add to cart links. If they answer YES, it adds the product to the default category that uses live rates. If they answer no, than it adds the product to the cart using the second category i made called international. This is the same for all the products.

    Now if the person decides to order like 10 units or something ridiculous, obviously a set flat rate of 75 dollars or something isn't going to cover it. And i could not find any conditionals or anything that would help with this. So what i did, was i had a fairly low flat shipping rate, and then added a handling fee that was 1 dollar + 4% of the price of the products. This worked out ABOUT right as to what our actual rates internationally are with UPS. Obviously the more they order in price the higher the shipping will get, and in some cases we'll make a little money. And in the lower cases, we may lose a little money. That's OK, as long as we don't lose money and we aren't overcharging our customers it will be OK. We did several tests and it seems like it will work in most cases.

    We've gone live and no one has had issues with any of the pricing, nor have we, so it seems to be fairly successful. It's a little convoluted, but hey, it works. I love Foxycart so much and i just had to figure it out.

    Thanks a lot to the support you guys give.

    One question - UPS requires that we have a phone number to ship internationally. I found the script in the FAQ that is supposed to require it, but when i added it, it didn't add the asterik, nor did it flag me when i went past the field while leaving it blank. I checked the source of the checkout page and the script is there, after the checkout variable... the FAQ said that code was for 0.4.x - i'm using 0.5.1 Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks!!

    Also, btw - not sure if this is cool or not in this forum, but the website is www.smallhd.com if anyone wants to see for themselves..
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Thanks for posting, SmallHD! Yes, definitely feel free to share your work here.

    As for that script, just change $j to jQuery and it should work. 051 doesn't use no conflict mode anymore because jQuery can conflict with itself.
  • Perfect, that did the trick!!

    We are up and going with foxycart. Stop by www.smallhd.com/store to see this implementation in action.

    Thanks for all the help, and really enjoying the superior flexibility and modernism that foxycart offers.

    oh oh oh.. btw, has anyone had issues with the foxybox not centering vertically in IE8??? Like, wtf IE. I'm continually amazed by how microsoft degrades products and calls them upgrades. It seems to work fine in IE7, but IE8, the foxybox is justified well down the screen.

    Thanks
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    Haven't seen that happen, but you're loading thickbox.css as well as the foxybox.css. The "foxybox" is just a modified thickbox, so there's a chance the height declarations in the body/html pieces might be conflicting.

    That said, I'm testing your store page in IE8 on XP and it looks fine. Are you still having issues?

    And yes, wtf IE. I love the IE: wysiwtf. Hilarious.
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    "I'm continually amazed by how microsoft degrades products and calls them upgrades." For real! Outlook anyone?

    Seriously. Too ridiculous.
  • Ha, seriously - they'll only continue to lose market share, and firefox will continue to gain. It's finally time to teach microsoft a lesson, that enough is enough and its time to get along with the rest of the world and stop trying to make their own rules.

    If you're not seeing an issue, then that works for me. I haven't had any complaints from anyone yet, so whatever... i appreciate the support.

    IE: wysiwtf - brilliant.

    Dale
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