I know this isn't the answer you guys are hoping for, but Shopify will very likely not be adding dimensions to their platform in the near future. As the developer of checkout shipping apps, they are incredibly expensive to build and cost even more to operate, especially dimensional shipping algorithms. At Shopify's scale, their checkout couldn't handle it without increasing the cost of everyone's plan prices to increase server infrastructure, so they choose to have developers specialize in the area so only merchants who use the feature pay for it.
My parents are small makers and a common topic at family dinners is shipping costs (yes, I feel bad for other family at the table not in the indsutry lol) and how awful it is to lose money because they can't charge an accurate shipping price. Unfortunately, they also use Etsy which has limitations as well so they mimic their Etsy setup in their Shopify store. This leads to them sometimes spending hours handmaking an item only to realize it's shipping to the middle of nowhere and they end up losing money on the order. It sucks and I don't want this to be the reality of merchants.
Because of this, we made a standalone app of our dimensional shipping algorithm, SmartBoxing™. This is one of the most-loved features of Intuitive Shipping and I drove the build of it with our team to support merchants just like my parents. I also fought hard to make the entry point $9.99/mo for 100 orders, which we barely break even on (account management and server infrastructure is expensive).
If anyone is open to using a third-party app to stem the bleed of inaccurate shipping costs, I encourage you to try out Smart Boxing. We are free to install and configure and also offer a 14-day live trial in your store so you can take it for a true test drive to see the value it provides.
Yes, this is a huge problem for me. Shipping costs are eating away my profit. I actually lost money on one shipment. I sell baskets that are huge but only weigh a pound or two. On Etsy they cost $16 to $65 to ship. Etsy does a great job calculating this. I had to eliminate my baskets on my shopify store. I am also being shorted on other sales. This store is not so busy and I am considering leaving because of the poor shipping process to determine costs. I hate to leave, but it is way off with configuring shipping s. .
Well reading this really depressed me, all this time setting up on Shopify and discovering that the shipping options are a JOKE. I'm very glad I chose NOT to pay a year in advance. Not supporting dimensional rates and shipping zones is totally unacceptable. Requiring me to spend additional money for my small time store to gain the same functionality offered elsewhere for far less is unacceptable. All in all, this makes Shopify an unacceptable platform and I'm locking my site immediately and looking to move it elsewhere. I can't believe that any ecommerce site finds it the least acceptable to not support the industry standard at every level.
3rd party app solutions are not compatible with the Ebay for this function. The Ebay app (official Shopify Sales Channel Integration) uses a single default package size like Shopify. When I try to add package dimensions to my linked products in Ebay (which has fields for this) I get an error message telling me I must edit the products back in Shopify. This effectively means that I must use a 3rd party dimensional shipping app, OR the Ebay integration app, but not both. If anyone knows of an app for integrating Ebay that might have this feature, or a way to edit Ebay linked products in Ebay, please let me know.
This is another great point and reason it should be an out of the box feature for Shopify.
Any sellers who offer even a small variation in the sizes of their products end up having to overcharge or undercharge systematically for shipping, screwing over either the customer or the seller.