Basics not included, apps are expensive

New Member
1 0 5

Look, I'm new to this.  I've gained some starting traction on eBay and a bit on Amazon and Bonanza.  I'm cancelling AdScale at the end of the month because when considering cogs, I lose money on the app (it's simply not generating enough sales to offset it's cost). So, I have a lot to learn and patience is important in this stage, but I'm also very frustrated.  There are some retail basics that are not met by Shopify.  Retail basics that can only be met by paying an app and often exhorbinantly.  $30 a month may not sound like a lot to someone who's been in business for a long time, but when you are getting started and you can't get financing, it's significant.  Then all these apps.  I get why email marketing is done through third party apps.  Marketing isn't Shopifys job.  I get inventory, accounting etc being add on apps.  BUT I pay for a Shopify store online.  So basics of online sales I thought would be a given. Name any retail or service operation who doesn't have to consider cost of goods sold?  They all do.  In fact, it's required by the IRS.  Why then is this not a built in thing?  I get changing code require work but this isn't trivial, it's an essential part of doing business.  So essential it has its own section on our tax form.  Even more important: shipping.  The workarounds are expensive apps or playing with weight classes.  Surely the idea that many if not a majority of retailers need to restrict shipping items shipping destinations based on what it is.  Some of my vendors or US only, some are North America only, and most are worldwide.  The weight class workaround would stop a sale internationally if any one item was in a restricted class...not acceptable.  So my options are just not to offer those items on Shopify (my main store) or to cancel after the fact (unprofessional) ...

There are others but these two are the biggest pet peeves I have either Shopify.  Yes it's work to add features on such a large platform, but these are retail BASICS.  We aren't talking about marketing or accounting, these are essential to running an online retail outlet.  It's the equivalent of selling someone a refrigerator, but charging extra for its doors... Please Shopify fix these essential functions, I want to offer all my merchandise online, but manfuacturers of branded products can only license their products to be sold where their agreements allow, agreements I intend to follow but if I can't restrict products or classes without paying for an app to do it then I can't list a significant portion of my items until I'm big enough to justify apps.  Becoming big enough would be a lot easier if I could list all my products instead of just the ones that have no shipping restrictions.  This applies to hazardous materials too.  Some items are restricted to ground shipping only (ie charcoals). I had to cancel a sizeable order today, one of my first orders, because the item he bought can't be legally shipped overseas...something I could have prevented with class based shipping.

Having different item pricing for different countries would be something that justifiably costs extra, but cogs and restricting what can ship where...I don't understand why this is an added seems to me like a pretty basic tenant of doing business

Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
521 1 105

Hey, Jonathan and David,

I'm Alex, with the Shopify team.

I'd like to thank you for reaching out to us with your feedback. We've designed Shopify to do the majority of what our merchants need, right out of the box; and to be able to easily add functionality that isn't yet included in our core platform. That said, we know that there's always opportunities for improvement - hearing about what's causing pain points is invaluable to making Shopify a better platform for everyone.

From what I'm seeing here, your two biggest issues with Shopify are the way shipping rates are calculated, and the lack of cost of goods sold, correct? Currently, you're correct; the easiest way to track that, if doing so manually outside Shopify isn't a viable option, is an app. I'm not sure what apps you've looked into for this already, but there are a few lower-cost options that might work for you; SimplyCost and Delirious Profit are each $5 per month, and both offer a free trial period so that you can try them out end see if they'll work for your needs.

In terms of shipping, rules are currently set by either weight or price of the cart, not by individual product; I can absolutely understand your use-case here, however. It can help to indicate shipping rules in restricted products and let the customers know where they can order that product from, and letting them know that you will be unable to fulfill the order if they're in an unsupported region. Beyond that, there are apps that can introduce per-product shipping rules; Better Shipping is an excellent choice that's very popular among our merchants.

I'm just mentioning these so that you're aware of all your current options - completely understand that your position is that these should be features included in the core Shopify product. What I'll do at this point is reach out with a feature request for these two functions; while we don't have a roadmap available indicating when or if those features will be available, the more we let our developers know what's crucial to our merchants, the more we can improve our system to support our merchants.

You'd mentioned in your post that you had other concerns about working with Shopify - please do let us know! We'll be happy to help with workarounds or, failing that, we can pass the information on those points on to our developers as well. You can reach out to us here, or via phone, email or chat - we're open 24/7 for your convenience and always happy to assist.


Alex | Shopify

New Member
2 0 3

I agree 100% with the initial comment. To start with I want to make it clear that I have thoroughly enjoyed working and building on the Shopify platform. I recently switched over from Woocommerce as I found it to be more complicated and less stable. I knew going into this that I will be paying a premium to use a service like Shopify, but it is not a problem if it saves me time and headache.  

So I bit the bullet and purchased a $180 theme and signed up for the $29 a month plan which allowed me to start building my store. Now that I am done and have started to put the final touches into the backend I tried to apply shipping classes to certain products, as a t shirt can't fit inside lettermail whereas a keychain can. When I realized that you are required to purchase an additional app to assign specific product shipping which cost $20 a month I was very upset. This is a very simple/ standard feature that Woocomerce offers for free and in order to get this for Shopify it almost doubles my monthly bill. Now I emailed customer support and they said it is very complicated to add into the system (which I am sure it is to a point), but if 4+ independent apps can figure out how to do it I feel like Shopify is purposely ripping us off.

What makes it worse is you mention there are cheaper options available if we would like, but still recommend the $20 a month one as it is the best. The issue isn't just an additional $20, the issue is you need to pay another $20 just for a simple feature that should be standard at this point. Now I have paid $180 for the theme and at $49 a month for the plan and app. Well, then I realize that in order to edit an order (which should also be a pretty standard feature) you need to purchase another $20 a month app. All of a sudden my $29 plan has turned into a $69 plan just to have a platform with the most basic features that are usually standard across the board. This is unacceptable and to me seems like it is intentionally done to nickel and dime customers. There is absolutely no reason that I should have to pay for an app for the ability to edit an order or to offer shipping rules for a given product.


I have read comments about this very issue from years ago and they have done nothing to fix this problem while instead just telling the customers that we should sign up for the annual plan and use the saved money to pay for the app. This is very infuriating and I really hope Shopify does something to rectify this system as I would like to continue using their platform.

New Member
1 0 2

Totally agree. Doing basic things like setting up more than one automatic discount is going to cost you minimum $12.99/mnth

4 0 2

My biggest issue with using the apps is it doesn't stop at just one, You need to buy several just to add a few simple features. It adds up quickly and you're soon paying $100+ per month.

16 0 6

I'm guessing they have nothing to say. The person on the shopify team has gone quiet lol

4 0 2

Seems like there's one or more apps available for every issue or feature that shopify can't resolve on their own. If you bought an app for everything you'd be up for several hundred dollars a month on top of the shopify subscription. Small businesses can't afford this so we're stuck looking unprofessional. It's really sad. Makes me wonder how much of a kickback shopify makes on the app purchases.

8 0 3

about 20%