So I tried a test order in my store with test mode enabled, and the shipping price is not correct with regard to the supplier's (Chinabrands, pushed to the store via the app) product page for the product I test ordered. Here are a few screenshots that illustrate the discrepancy. Instead of E-post, the default selected method for shipping, it appears that the method in the test order is the Singapore option, which isn't where I'm shipping from or by. How do I set this up so it maintains the correct, selected shipping method?
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Taking a look at your screenshots, it would appear that the rates appearing at checkout are USPS live rates which come from Shopify Shipping and not a specific app. These rates are useful if you're packing and shipping your own products, however, wouldn't be accurate (in most cases) when operating a dropshipping business. For this business model, we would typically suggest creating manual flat rates that cover the average cost of the epacket option your suppliers provide.
Diving into the app you're using "Chinabrands Dropshipping," I had some time to review their app page, and from what I can see, they don't provide shipping rates at checkout. I suspect this is due to every supplier being different, however, if this app does provide shipping rates, then it would be best to reach out to their support directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) as they'd be able to provide further insight on how to get that setup. If you find that you do need to set up manual rates, then you'll need to navigate to Settings/Shipping, click into your shipping zone, and scroll down to the bottom. From here, you'll want to click on the "x" to delete the USPS live rates. (Note: this will need to be done for each shipping zone you have within your shipping area.)
Thanks for the clear instructions, and for checking into the CB app about the availability of current rates. The problem I have with entering a flat rate is that the rates vary a bit too much to charge a fair flat rate. From the products I've gone through, it appears that the range for E-Post (one of CB's most common methods) for similar or same size packages is too wide for a flat rate to be reasonable. For instance, the following two products may go in the same package size (5 x 5 x 5 inches) due to their LWH, but then I don't know how CB packages for shipping:
The rate for the camera is 3.57 USD, and the rate for the Diffuser is 4.09, so a flat rate for the diffuser would be unfair (I think) to apply to the Camera, if they're the same size/type of package for shipping. I could set the rate between those two values, but then I need to create several different rates for the same package size to account for different weights and packing material that are potentially used for other products using that package size (e.g., 3.75, 4.75, 5.50, 6.40, etc.) in order to account for the loss / gain in price paid. If all the options display in the checkout, then a buyer could select a lower rate and end up defaulting to the wrong package when I fulfill, since I'd need to set rates for multiple different package types/sizes. It could also seriously confuse and hinder speedy checkout. CB has a really nice app overall, but a few major aspects are missing, including that shipping rates sync feature, inventory updates (which it claims is there, but I think needs to be properly configured at the Shopify end), and something I contacted the Merchants Mgr. about: a button to return a product from my store to the import list (pre-store import list) so I can view the original product page for accurate and up-to-date info via the already built-in link in the upper right corner of each product's import list itemization. If it's getting aberrant to discuss this, I understand. CB has a wonderful VIP program which is free, and their product catalog is so extensive I can't begin to throw enough praise at it, plus the incredible dropship costs (minus shipping in certain cases). How would I go about communicating with CB regarding solving those problems or building those features into the app?
You bring up so very valid points, and honestly, this is something that a variety of dropshippers face when it comes to creating shipping rates for the products they offer. I can appreciate that you don't want to undercharge/overcharge your customers, however, given the type of business module, this is something that will most likely happen.
When it comes to Shopify, you're able to create either price based or weight-based rates which are per country and can't be setup per package/collection/product which does throw a wrench in the riddle you find yourself in. I typically recommend setting a price based rate of $5 and increase each rate by x amount, however, your situation is a little more unique. Have you considered placing the cost within the cost of the product vs charging the customer shipping? This way you can ensure you're still covering the shipping costs, while also ensuring the price stays fair to your customer and simplifying the checkout system. Alternatively, you could also consider using apps like "Better Shipping" or "Parcelify" as these apps allow you to create per product shipping rates which can also help solve this conundrum. The only catch with these apps is that they require the "CCS" feature which would come at a cost of $20/month, or free with an annual payment of your Shopify monthly subscription plan (total of $240 in savings).
In terms of what you can ask the app developer, I think your best approach is asking them what other dropshippers do to accommodate the different shipping costs. This is a very normal question that I'm sure they've seen numerous times so they may have further insight on what steps you can take to help ease your concerns. Expressing why having these features would greatly impact your business can also help them in understanding the value in why they should put resources into getting this added to their app.
Let me know if that helps!
Thanks for the reply. I was looking into how to add product options info to the product pages in the form of tabs or options that show the price for shipping for each product. This is far less efficient than a per-checkout calculation of shipping based on the supplier's estimate or the carrier's updated rates. I'm trying to get a solution that doesn't involve setting the price of shipping for each product, but calculates the options available at checkout. Perhaps the $20 per month would allow me to do it. However, it may be important to inform the customers of the options prior to checkout. It could reduce abandoned carts, and perhaps even things like charge-backs or order fraud. 3dcart offers real-time rates for Fedex, UPS, and USPS "out-of-the-box" how Shopify does too. So I think this issue I'm encountering is primarily based in the variable shipping rates from overseas suppliers that haven't gotten the easy-to-calculate at checkout integration yet. I notice even opencart has only a simplified shipping calculator, and would require installing extensions, lots of which aren't free, and I couldn't find any free ones in the marketplace there that resolve what I'm having trouble doing. I don't have an account with 3dcart or opencart, or any other site. I'm starting from almost no funding, so I'm trying to get the store up and running so I'm capable of paying for more extensible and efficient functions to offer a more helpful and customer-adapted shopping experience. I'm going to continue to try to solve this problem with what's available in the basic Shopify plan and free apps, and I'll update in the forum if I'm successful.
Chinabrands is the supplier. I think they don't maintain a list of suppliers from which they ship how Oberlo does. If so, I'd be surprised, and that is probably really bad for logistics for them and their suppliers. How can their shipping estimates be so much higher than Oberlo's suppliers (verified or not)? Is it a matter of negotiated rates?
I'm not entirely sure what the best route would be for you as I'm not a dropshipping expert, however, I'm hopeful that someone else within the community can shed some light on your thoughts above! As for the shipping estimates, I suspect this has to do with the supplier themselves vs something that was negotiated as I don't believe Oberlo negotiates rates with their verified suppliers. This question would be better suited towards Oberlo, or Chinabrands themselves as they'd be able to advise you further on how they generate their shipping estimates.
Yeah, I figured it was a question that couldn't be readily answered here in the forum. Chinese New Year puts a slowdown in the ability to communicate with either Oberlo or Chinabrands. For now I'm setting prices to include shipping if it's feasible, and then a write-in saying the product has free shipping. I had a question about shipping from overseas too:
Does the cost for shipping that's given by Oberlo or Chinabrands or Spocket only represent the cost to arrival in the US? or does it represent cost to the customer's door? Doesn't a product change carrier once in the US? so wouldn't it involve a second rate applied by USPS / UPS / Fedex / DHL?
The cost of shipping would cover the entire trip, regardless of whether the package changes couriers as the rate would take this into account. That said, it would be the customers' responsibility to know whether the items they've purchased would incur "duty fees." These are fees charged by their government to ensure they are paying the appropriate tax on certain goods, however, this is something they'd pay to the courier when they receive the product should they apply.