Difference between weight based and calculated rates?

New Member
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Can someone please help me understand the difference between these two options?  I thought that the calculated rate IS based on weight?  TIA!

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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
359 13 47
Hi, Amy. 
 
Dallas here from the Shopify Social Care Team. That is a great question and I can totally see how that can be confusing. 
 
The short answer to your question is that weight-based rates are essentially the preset weight of your shipment with a set price. Whereas calculated rates use the weights of the product (yes), however, the rates are based on what the postal rates are at that time for that day. Carrier Calculated Shipping (CCS) allows Shopify to retrieve shipping rates directly from carriers via their web APIs for your customers to receive a real-time shipping rate. 
 
If you were to use weight-based rates you would figure out the weight of your products and the general cost of shipping said products beforehand. You would also have to take into consideration the number of items that you are going to sell. For example: If all of your items each weigh around 1kg you could set up a rate for a package of 0-5kg to ship for $10 and a package of 5.1+ to ship for $20. Then if your customers were to add one product to their cart at 1kg or if they were to add 3 items to their cart at 1kg each with a total of 3kg they would always pay $10. This link here will give you all of the extra details that you need for understanding about weight bases shipping rates and how to set them up. 
 
If you were to use Third Party Carrier Calculated Shipping your customers will be charged the rate that is given directly from the postal company that you are using. You would just have to make sure that all of the product weights are set up as well as box dimensions so that your products will get the most accurate reading from the shipping company. With calculated shipping, the rates are pulled directly from the time of purchase so you never have to worry about overcharging or undercharging for your shipping. 
 
This link here as a really handy informational tutorial on what calculated shipping is and how to set it up. 
 
I will also add that carrier calculated shipping is not available to all countries. At the moment it is only available in Canada and the United States. 
 
As well, CCS doesn't come with all plans right away. There are three ways to get CCS.
  • Sign-up for the Advanced Shopify plan.
  • Add CCS for an additional $20/month to the Basic Shopify or Shopify plan.
  • Sign-up for any Annual plan of at least 12 months. We can add CCS for free as a thank you for choosing Annual.
 
Does that help to clarify? Based on the information that I gave does this sound like something that you would be interested in? 

Dallas | Social Care @ Shopify
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New Member
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Hi Dallas,

 

I appreciate the reply, however the response you gave addressed discounts.  What I was asking about are the shipping options.  I am trying to understand the difference between weight based shipping and calculated shipping.  

 

I thought that calculated shipping IS based on weight.

 

So I was looking for some clarification there.

 

Thanks you,

Amy

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New Member
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Hi - sorry.  For some reason the email that came through to me from you addressed discounts.  But now that I am in the forum itself, I see you addressed my shipping question.

 

I have been doing CCS and it has been working well.  I guess I would love to understand what the advantage is to weight based shipping instead?

 

Also while we are on the topic.... how would I set up something like:

Order $50+ and get free shipping

 

?

 

Thanks!

Amy

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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
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Technically speaking CSS and weight-based shipping are more or less the same thing. With weight based shipping the price that your customer will pay for shipping will be based on the weights of the products. 

 

With CSS the price of the shipping will be based on the weight and size of the package in accordance with the shipping rates that day from the shipping company that you are using. Does that help to clarify? 

 

The links I gave above should really help explain the features of weight-based rates vs third party carrier calculated shipping in more detail. 

 

To answer your second question you will want to have a manual shipping rate called Priced based weight. This will mean that when a customer spends over $50 they will get free shipping. To set that up you will need to follow these steps: 

 

  1. Go to Settings > Shipping in your Store Admin
  2. Click on Add A Shipping Zone
  3. Name the zone what you want to call it based on organization. It won't be seen by your customers.
  4. Then add the countries that you will be including for free shipping
  5. Under Price Based Rates click on Add Rate
  6. Name the zone what you want your customers to see. For you, it will be something like Free Shipping
  7. Change the Minimum Order Price to $50
  8. Under Rate click on Free Shipping

I made a little video here for you to see what to do.

 

Does that help you get that setup? If you have more questions or need more help with this please let me know. 

Dallas | Social Care @ Shopify
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

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