I've already spent considerable time working with Shopify support on this issue to no avail. They have suggested a workaround that doesn't accommodate my dropship partner's flat shipping rates or that I install an app that costs money and allegedly does what their platform is supposed to do.
With that said, here is my challenge:
Background: We currently warehouse almost all of our products but are looking to expand into dropshipped products. We have established a dropshipping relationship with a provider that follows a "flat rate" shipping schema. The rates are actually stairstepped based on the total of the products added to the cart. All of our current inventory, warehoused at our headquarters location, ships for free.
Attempted Solutions: We have attempted to accommodate these two shipping models in two ways - neither of which has been successful. First, we set up a second location for the dropshipper's warehouse under the General Shipping profile. We then hand-built their 40-step flat rate shipping schema into the shipping options for the second location. (Which begs the question, why in the world doesn't Shopify have the capability to upload shipping schemas. But, that's a complaint for a different day.) When a free shipping item from our warehouse and a flat rate shipping item from the dropshipper were added to the cart, we received the error message, "Shipping not available for the selected address," when attempting to check out. If either item was removed from the cart, the checkout process would proceed as normal.
When that didn't work, we set up a Custom Profile for the dropshipped products. This produced the same error message and the same results if either item was removed from the cart.
During a support session, the Shopify support rep suggested (re)building out the entire flat rate schema as we has only built one level after having to delete everything we had done. When we built in several levels, the cart calculated shipping on the total of the free shipping items as well as the flat rate shipping items in the cart. Flat rate shipping should have only been calculated on the flat rate items in the cart and should have excluded the free shipping items.
Has anyone made something similar work? Thanks in advance.
Example of Free Shipping Product: https://www.safariworkstaxidermysales.com/collections/african-decor/products/authentic-african-male-...
Example of Flat Rate Shipping Product: https://www.safariworkstaxidermysales.com/products/moose-antler-paper-towel-holder-k10017741?_pos=1&...
The results you're experiencing don't seem to make sense.
If you have yourself and your vendor under your own separate Shopify shipping profiles, each set of products added to the cart should be blended together by adding the shipping cost from each profile together. So if a customer added items to the cart that both you and your vendor fulfill, the shipping cost would be $0 from your profile + whatever flat rate for your vendor.
My first thought is that your locations are causing this. Locations are only needed if you stock inventory in multiple locations. If you use locations without having multiple locations with inventory, it can cause shipping errors that only people well versed in front end shipping can solve. Try and remove your locations and seeing if just having the two profiles works.
Also keep in mind that if you have created multiple Shopify shipping profiles for your various dropshipped product categories (i.e. rugs, antlers, décor), each of these costs will calculate individually in each profile and then add together at checkout.
Feel free to shoot me an email at Sharon@intuitiveshipping.com with some screens and I can have my team troublshoot for you.
We have inventory in both locations set up in Shopify. (Just one item in inventory at the dropshipper's location until we get this sorted out.)
I agree it doesn't make sense and Shopify chat support basically just threw up their hands and said use a(n) (unacceptable) workaround or give these paid app solutions a try.
Right now, we only have one shipping category (General) and two locations (because we gutted everything when it was found not to work). We do not have multiple profiles now nor did we prior to this attempted implementation.
Thanks for the offer on the e-mail. I'd have to go (manually) re-create the flat rate schema and I'd prefer not to have to do that unless I know it's going to work. I'm going to give this post a bit more time and see if anyone else has run into this.
Shopify's support doesn't tend to have a deep understanding of shipping, unfortunately. Especially when you throw locations and profiles in the mix, you're not likely to get an accurate answer.
In my experience, locations are likely the culprit for you. You will want to remove all locations (except your default one) and then create 2 profiles: one for the items that you ship and the other profile for the items that your supplier ships. Locations will only mess up your setup.
Profile 1: Your warehouse
Create free shipping
Profile 2: Your supplier
Replicate their shipping tiers, making sure to cover every number (i.e. if one tier goes to 10, the next should start at 10.01)
This is how we direct merchants to set up quite frequently and it's always worked.
In your case, what you want is for Shopify to "talk" to your fulfillment provider (vendor), so you will want to assign them in Settings > Shipping > Accounts & Integrations > Add Fulfillment Service. When you do this, they will be automatically pinged when an order goes through your store that they have to fulfill (ship).
The purpose of locations is for merchants who have multiple warehouses they fulfill with and if they keep track of their own inventory. I.e. Blue Dress is stored at both your West Coast warehouse and your East Coast warehouse. If a customer from California orders the Blue Dress, it will come from the West Coast warehouse (since it will be faster and cheaper to ship) and the inventory will be deducted from the West Coast warehouse to maintain accurate inventory counts.
It's confusing for most store owners and gurus lol - it was confusing for me at first, too! We had a lengthy meeting with the team to go over all of the different scenarios that can happen (I swear I had 18 coffees that morning lol).