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Handling Rate for an Order as a Whole?

bushybushy Member
in Bugs & Feature Requests edited April 2008
Short of having all of your products in a single category, is there no way to charge a single flat or percentage handling rate for an order as a whole? I have my products divided into five categories (call em cats, dogs, snakes, voles, and wombats). For each category I selected as the handling fee method Flat Fee Per Shipment + % of Products in this category. What I expected this to get me was that each ORDER was charged $1 + the percent for each category. But instead each CATEGORY gets charged $1 plus a percent. Which means the guy who buys 1 each a dog and a cat gets charged more handling than the guy who buys 2 cats.

Is there a way to specify a flat or percentage handling rate that gets applies to the order as a whole, regardless of how many different product categories the customers is buying from?
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    We set that up thinking special products might need a handling fee while other products would not. Example:

    An order with products from a pillow category, a feather category and a bowling ball category might only have a handling fee on the bowling ball products. From there, the decision is made to charge the handling fee for each product in the bowling ball category or just a one time charge to the order as a whole if any products exist in the bowling ball category. So either you charge $1 per bowling ball, or you just add $1 to the order as a whole because it contains bowling balls.

    Does that make sense? Clear as mud, huh?

    I think what you're describing can only currently be handled by the flat rate shipping option which adds a flat rate to the entire order or with a positive discount which you could label a "handling fee". We've been toying around with having some shipping/handling/tax options go across the entire store and not just individual categories, but until now we've found the categories were the most flexible way to go.

    We'll keep this in mind as we move forward on the restructuring. It makes sense to have options across the whole order and we'll be dealing with this when we implement coupon codes and the like as well.
  • bushybushy Member
    edited April 2008
    Thanks for responding, Luke. We have products divided into categories because we use live shipping rates. We used live shipping rates because there are significant weight differences between the product categories--not as extreme as bowling balls vs pillows, but enough to make weight an important consideration (especially with fuel and shipping costs escalating these days). Not to mention that flat rates have no way I'm aware of to account for the increased cost of international shipping (25% of our orders).

    When it comes to handling costs, my client wants either a flat rate or a rate based on the percent of the order or a combo of the two--literally, he doesn't care which as long as it's fair to both him and the customer. But because we have some customers who order from only one category, and some who order from all five, the current FC setup handling options mean that customers who order from five categories will be charged very different handling fees from those who order from only one, even when in truth our handling costs for those orders may be essentially the same. Given that, I guess the only way we can be consistent for now, then, is to charge no handling at all. But that would mean my client loses money on handling for every order he executes. Or we could stick with category settings, knowing that some customers are being overcharged and some are being undercharged and cross our fingers that it doesn't cost us sales.

    But it's an issue. Suppose you placed 2 different orders on Amazon and in each order you bought 5 items of 1 pound each. In order A you bought five books and got charged $1 handling. In order B you bought 1 book, 1 shirt, 1 bottle of hot sauce, 1 pair of shorts, and one Leonard Nimoy action figure. Both orders cost the same, both weigh the same, but in order B you're charged 5 times the handling. My guess is that the next time you wanted to order 5 unique items online Amazon would not be your first choice.

    Follow Up:

    OK, I figured out a kluge. The kluge won't let you charge a flat handling rate for an order but it will at least let you charge a flat handling percent based on the order do, for each category, 1) as the handling fee type, select "Flat Fee Per Category +% of Price for Products in this Category. 2) set the handling fee percentage to what you want (the percent should be the same for each category; 3) set the handling fee to a decimal that could never translate into real currency (e.g., for US, 0.001).

    Wicked kewl. Tehnically I guess you could call this as bug cuz if after saving these settings you exit and re-enter a category in the Admin UI it shows 0.00 as the handling fee and whatever % you entered as the handling fee percentage, and that's not something you're supposed to be allowed to do. So this may be the first time in my life I implore with engineers not to fix a bug. :-)
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Haha... that is pretty funny. We'll make this make sense in the future, but I'm glad to hear you found a work around. Just be careful updating your category settings. :)
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