Knowledgebase: Shipping Methods
How do I set Up a Custom Shipping Method?

3dcart offers two types of shipping methods. Real time Shipping Methods through the regular shipping carriers (UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc) and Custom Shipping methods that can be based on the Weight, Order Amount, Number of Items, or Zip Code.

In some cases you may need to create a custom shipping method in order to cover shipping costs for a particular set of circumstances. For example, perhaps your products need special shipping considerations not directly offered by 3dcart (freight shipping) or perhaps you'd like to set a free shipping type option where your customers come to your warehouse directly to pick up the merchandise. In these cases, you would use the custom shipping methods to accommodate these circumstances.

With 3dcart, you are able to set up 4 different types of custom shipping methods. These are:

-Custom - By Quantity:
Based on how many items are being ordered/shipped
-Custom - By Value:
Based on how much the total order costs
-Custom - By Weight:
Based on how heavy the total order is
-Custom - By Zip:
Based on the zip code where the order is going to

The basic set up for each of these is the same. However, their execution is what sets them apart from each other. For the purposes of this article, we will first describe where to set up your custom shipping method and then detail how they can be used.

Setting Up Custom Shipping Methods

  1. Login to your 3dcart Online Store Manager
  2. Select Settings =>Shipping
  3. Look for the section labeled "Shipping Methods" and click on its "Select Methods" button

You will see your store's currently configured Shipping Methods.

Tip:
Along the top you will have two pre-created shipping methods for "Free Shipping" and "Flat Rate" respectively. Clicking on the "Settings" link for either will allow you to customize these as needed.

  1. Scroll down the page until you arrive at the "Custom" section and click on "Add Methods" to begin creating some custom shpping methods.
  2. Select the Country and State that the shipping method(s) will apply to.
  3. Place a mark in each checkbox that you'd like to create a custom shipping method based on (see descriptions listed above).
  4. Click on the "+Add" button to add them.

Next, you will need to create the specific ranges for each of these methods that you added.

Setting/Editing Ranges

After creating your custom shipping methods, you will then need to specify the ranges used by each Shipping method. Clicking on the "Settings" link for each will allow you to change the label for the individual methods as well as add a markup cost to them as needed. More importantly, you will see the "Advanced Settings" link which will allow you to further configure the Custom Shipping method by specifying the weight ranges and customer groups that it will apply to.

Furthermore, within the Advanced Settings section, you will have the ability to click on "Edit Ranges" to add your the applicable ranges that will apply to the shipping method..

The ranges are the factors that set the different custom shipping methods apart from each other, so we will describe these in more detail with example scenarios where they may apply. Please keep in mind however, that the examples offered are only suggestions as there are many possible applications possible for your specific needs which may be addressed using custom shipping methods.


Examples

Custom by Quantity

Example:
You may be selling clothing accessories that don't weigh much, aren't very expensive, but tend to be ordered in bulk. In a situation like this, you may need to use a Custom Shipping - By Quantity method. This will allow you to specify shipping rates dependent on the amount of items placed for the order. After you create your Custom - By Quantity method, click on its "Edit Ranges" link to enter your specific ranges.

 

Note:
When adding ranges, it helps to make the final range go up to an extremely high number. This way there is adequate coverage on the possible number of items a customer orders and the shipping method applies.

Also, for quantity shipping, please make sure there are no gaps in the specified ranges. If a range ENDS in 15, the next range should START at 16 etc.


Custom by Value

Example:
Your products may need to have shipping calculated based on value of the order. For example, jewelry -which doesn't weigh much, but is somewhat of a high priced item - may need to be shipped in a manner based on the order's total value. For this type of situation, you would use a Custom Shipping - By Value method. This will allow you to specify ranges based on the overall price of the order. After you create your Custom - By Value method, click on its "Edit Ranges" link to enter your specific ranges.

 

Note:
When adding ranges, it helps to make the final range go up to an extremely high number. This way there is adequate coverage on the possible value of the customer's order and the shipping method applies.

Also, for Value based shipping, please make sure the cost ranges take decimal prices into consideration by having the ranges start in x.01. For example, if a range is specific for $0 to $10 and the next range is for orders up to $30, the second range should START with 10.01 to cover the ranges completely.


Custom by Weight

Example:
You may have certain items that need to be shipped via freight - a method that is not integrated in the regular shipping carrier settings 3dcart offers. For this type of situation, you would use a Custom Shipping - By Weight method. This will allow you to specify ranges based on the order's total weight and calculate shipping accordingly. After you create your Custom - By Weight method, click on its "Edit Ranges" link to enter your specific ranges.

 

Note:
When adding ranges, it helps to make the final range go up to an extremely high number. This way there is adequate coverage on the possible weight of the customer's order and the shipping method applies.

Also, when adding ranges for weight, please keep decimals in mind to cover weight between ranges. For example, if your create a range for 1 to 5 pounds, and the next range is intended for 6 pounds, you will need to make the first range END in 5.99.


Custom by Zip

Example:
You may have a "brick and mortar" store where customers in your local area can simply come to the store to pick up their items. In a case like this you would want to offer a free shipping method, but you obviously don't want to do this on a global scale for your non-local customers. For this type of situation, the Custom Shipping - By Zip method would be ideal. After you create your Custom - By Zip method, click on its "Edit Ranges" link to enter your specific zip code ranges.

 

Tip:
With the Custom by Zip method, you can specify as many Zip codes you'd like. For the example described above where you want to offer free shipping to local customers, you can input zip codes near your immediate area and assign a $0.00 shipping amount to them. Then, within the caption section, you can simply label the shipping method "Pick up Only" or something along these lines.

As a merchant, you may have specific shipping needs that are not addressed by your shipping carriers. In these special circumstances, the Custom Shipping Methods should be customizable enough to provide you with a solution.


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