How can I correctly assign boxes to products for accurate shipping?

Geoffrey_Ferdon
Tourist
11 0 12

Does anyone out there know if there is there a way to assign boxes to products, such that shipping can be calculated correctly at checkout?

My box sizes vary greatly, so the shipping calculations can  be very inaccurate.

Thank you for your help.

-Geoff
XGuitars.com

Replies 79 (79)

-Emma-
Shopify Staff
89 10 30

Hi, Geoff.

 

Emma here from Shopify. Thanks for reaching out!

 

When you are shipping products that vary greatly in size, the included shipping options can certainly fall short, given the limitation of only being able to select one default package size.

 

Our development team has received feedback from merchants like yourself who would love to see the option for assigning package sizes per product, so I know it's on their radar. We are always looking for ways to improve Shopify!

 

In the meantime, you can assign specific shipping packages to individual products with the use of an app such as Boxify (free 15-day trial) or Parcelify (free 30-day trial). Both of these apps are well reviewed by merchants. I'd recommend giving one (or both) a try to see if they suit your needs. So long as an app is removed within the trial period, you wouldn't see any charge for it on your Shopify invoice.

 

Let us know how you make out, and if you have any further questions just reply below and we'd be more than happy to assist you as best we can!

 

Emma | Shopify Support

-Emma- | Social Care @ Shopify 
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shopucw
Visitor
2 0 36

Boxify is trash. i have yet to have a good experience with any of the apps. just make boxes assignable. this is basic shipping 101. all this lack of box selection fiasco has done is cost me sales and or money.

Flindseth
Visitor
1 0 17

Any idea if they are making progress on adding this feature? My products also have varying package sizes and it will be extremely important to assign boxes to certain products. 

Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36

Tried installing parcelify, and after installation it hit me with this requirement:

 

parcelify.png

 

Can't really justify paying a bunch more for a free trial when I don't even know if the thing will do what I need it to do.

 

About to see if any better luck with another app.

 

Thanks

gary-fuel
Shopify Partner
1 0 22

Hey Geoff,

 

It been year now this thread started. Do we have any solution for this?

We're facing same problem for our client. And other makes it impossible to manage.

 

Thanks,

Gary

jdash86
Excursionist
16 0 44
If you search this forum, you'll see that this feature has been asked for many YEARS. And the most we've ever gotten is some useless Admin telling us they're listening and to spend money on apps.

Don't hold your breath on this ever happening.
Daniel_Moravec
Tourist
5 0 9

Guys, I have a hack that I personally use on my stores (shameless plug, https://www.streetsaw.com). The reason that the sizes are being charged more is due to something called "dimensional weight." (Learn more here: https://goshippo.com/blog/usps-dimensional-weight-pricing-june-2019/) In essence, the size of your box is increasing the "weight" that the carrier charges to you for shipping.

 

I know that the real reason you're here is that you are charging the customer price A but having to pay price B, even though it doesn't weigh as much as you're being charged for. The reason Shopify hasn't bothered to make this update yet is that carriers are CONSTANTLY changing how they charge. Rates fluctuate frequently, new rules are implemented, flat rates change... blah blah blah.

 

Anyways, the hack is to go to the carrier's pages (like this one for USPS: https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/123.htm#1185034) and do the calculations on your own, determine the "dimensional weight" and use THAT weight for your product(s).

 

Follow these steps to determine the dimensional weight for a rectangular parcel:

  1. Measure the length, width, and height in inches. Round off each measurement to the nearest whole inch.
  2. Multiply the length by the width by the height.
  3. If the result exceeds 1,728 cubic inches, divide the result by 166 and round up to the next whole number to determine the dimensional weight in pounds.

From one store owner to another: I hope that helps!

 

Sincerely,

Daniel Moravec

AliciaS
Visitor
1 0 1

This was so helpful Daniel!  One question- what is it is under the 1,728 cubic inches.  I set the proper package size for a different item, to test and it didn't calculate the amount correctly. What is calculated was 1/2 of what I paid ($18.14 vs. $9.26).  Thanks for any insight! 

 

 

Alicia 

lilmulberry
Visitor
2 0 5

Was looking for this feature. It's so basic that I thought I'm doing something wrong by not being able to figure it out. 

 

Then I went through this thread and realized that it's a big miss from Shopify! I wish there was a free app to do this in the meantime.

revelrea
Visitor
2 0 5

Agree! Shopify where are we on assigning box sizes to products? 

Sal_Collaziano
Excursionist
16 0 9

There should also be the ability for the system to take the dimensions or products and know which boxes will be too small to ship the items. If a store has several products a customer wants to buy, a single box assignment for a product won't work. The dimensions of the various products and boxes need to be considered so that an appropriate box type can be selected for a group of products.

Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36

That's the classic Computer Science 101 Bin Packing Problem. I don't know if their programmers have the skill to solve that one, considering we can't even assign a single box per product at this point. And that's a rather trivial problem, comparatively speaking.

Sal_Collaziano
Excursionist
16 0 9

I'm currently using the Bespoke Shipping app - which does it really well. If you need the functionality, go for that app. Their customer service is also EXCELLENT. 

Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36

I've tried every app they have available, none seemed to do the job. Some require you to negotiate your own shipping rates. I don't ship enough volume to get a better rate than the Shopify rate. Some don't have the functionality. Obviously no point with those. Others require you to pay for additional options or shopify service levels. No thanks.

I need a simple tool that lets me assign box sizes and gets me the shopify shipping rates. That is apparently a bit too much to ask, however.

louis1lal
Visitor
2 0 4

Should not be hard. I pretty much gave here the perfect solution lol. Create your boxes than choose the box you want from the product page (with a drop down menu). Very simple, they should do it now!

Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36

Exactly. Let me create boxes and assign them to products. Too easy.

AtelierSLaser
Visitor
1 0 2

Truth is, they'll never implement it.

As much as I would love it, they won't. There are apps for that and Shopify makes money off app vendors. They won't offer a feature for free when they already charge money for it through apps...

Oh do I wish they prove me wrong, but I won't hold my breath waiting for it.

Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36

I tried all the available apps months ago, and they all suffer from deficiencies that make them unusable for me. And apparently for many others out here.

Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36

While I agree with you generally, I would argue that the most basic ability to assign 1 box per product should be built in. The basic assumption being that every item will be shipped separately. That alone would solve a lot of people's problems. 3rd party vendors could still sell more advanced "bin packing" software that mixed and matched various items into the fewest number of boxes using a special rules engine.

TelescopesCan
Shopify Partner
41 1 44
Yes the current "one box for all products" is either incredibly lazy, insane or malicious. Unless you sell literally a single product this can't work for anyone. This was likely initial half baked coding that was supposed to be fleshed out and instead just got ignored
Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36

I spoke to Shopify Support about their previous commitment that this was "on the radar" 3 years ago. Got their response, am now confirming with them that they have no intention of providing this functionality, ever.

Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36

A small correction to the Dimensional Weight calculation Daniel provided previously:

 

  1. Measure the length, width, and height in inches. Round UP each measurement to the nearest whole inch. Always round up. A height of 12.4" is 13" to UPS, et al.
  2. Multiply the length by the width by the height.
  3. If the result exceeds 1,728 cubic inches, divide the result by 166 and round up to the next whole number to determine the dimensional weight in pounds.

A problem I've encountered is Shopify randomly assigning the wrong size box to my products, which can cost me $20, $30, $40 easy.

rolaruba
Visitor
1 0 12

What's the update on this Emma?

Been a year already, Im sure by now Shopify has come up with a solution.

shopucw
Visitor
2 0 36

 


@rolaruba wrote:

What's the update on this Emma?

Been a year already, Im sure by now Shopify has come up with a solution.


Lol. you'd think so. but i've been complaining about this for going on 7 years now. 

jdash86
Excursionist
16 0 44
I am 100% confident that Shopify will NOT create a relatively easy solution for this. Instead, they will focus on growing their revenue from paid apps and leave it to those apps to deal with our complaints.

Shopify does not have the backs of very small businesses.
Toziel
Visitor
1 0 3

I'm not sure why this is something we have to ask for.

 

I sell artwork. Sizes range anywhere from 12x12 loose canvas to 24x24 Wrapped Canvas. I'd love to sell bigger, but with the lack of this feature I'm going to have a hard time not eating my shirt.

 

The packaging is going to be wildly different across each product and each variant, and the lack in a very basic and implied feature of eCommerce is now limiting what I'm willing to sell online. I have to erroneously pad my sale price with theoretical shipping costs where I'd otherwise be content to charge 2/3 that price + shipping. This costs me sales because I'm forced to raise my price to account for a factor that is otherwise easy to foresee.

 

I'd like to hear someone explain why the lack of a critical eCommerce tool is something that's okay to not implement, meanwhile offering haphazard and bandaid solutions.

M0w45
Excursionist
37 0 6

I'm not sure why I'm even bothering to comment here while no one at Shopify really cares about this thread, but I'm hoping there might be a new app on the market that handles this? 

We've been wasting a lot of money with the lack of support on this, some customers are paying for 1 box to be shipped while they have ordered multiple units and therefore need multiple boxes. I'm left with no margin, and actually selling at a loss. 

 

@Shopify can you guys do something about this? It seems like an easy fix really. 

TelescopesCan
Shopify Partner
41 1 44
We ended up using Boxify - it does handle multiple boxes well for us, quoting the actual cost to customers and it allows you to store dimensions for everything. I wince every time we need to buy an app to fix a limitation in Shopify, but this one does the job well. They're also very responsive to questions. One of the few apps we consider crucial.
Cheers

Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36

It's been a while since I tried a third-party vendor (a couple of years ago I tried them all without success). With Boxify do you still get the Shopify doscounted shipping rates or is it one of those ones where you have to negotiate your own?

 

It's a crying shame that I constantly get emails from Shopify about new features I really don't care about or want, but can't even get a response on this one basic feature that is core to everyone's success on their platform.

 

Currently I'm adding an additional $ amount to my shipping. It costs me sales, but at least I'm not giving away the farm when Shopify charges a customer for a 8"x5"x2" box while the shipper charges me for the correct 14"x11"x6" box.

 

Thanks

tony5280
Shopify Partner
85 6 52

^ this. unfortunately, Shopify knows that most merchants will just give in and pay for the app, which is great for them because they collect most of the revenue.

tony5280
Shopify Partner
85 6 52

The reason this is something that you have to ask (and pay) for, is because that's the whole plan. Shopify's business model is designed around revenue from the third-party marketplace. They advertise a a monthly rate lower than what they need to hit, then make up the difference through add-on costs.  Shopify intentionally limits functionality in key areas, to create opportunities for revenue (particularly obvious in the checkout flow). This is not a bug, it's a feature.

RSIMMEN
Visitor
1 0 11

@-Emma- wrote:

Hi, Geoff.

 

Emma here from Shopify. Thanks for reaching out!

 

When you are shipping products that vary greatly in size, the included shipping options can certainly fall short, given the limitation of only being able to select one default package size.

 

Our development team has received feedback from merchants like yourself who would love to see the option for assigning package sizes per product, so I know it's on their radar. We are always looking for ways to improve Shopify!

 

In the meantime, you can assign specific shipping packages to individual products with the use of an app such as Boxify (free 15-day trial) or Parcelify (free 30-day trial). Both of these apps are well reviewed by merchants. I'd recommend giving one (or both) a try to see if they suit your needs. So long as an app is removed within the trial period, you wouldn't see any charge for it on your Shopify invoice.

 

Let us know how you make out, and if you have any further questions just reply below and we'd be more than happy to assist you as best we can!

 

Emma | Shopify Support


 

Hi Emma - Any updates? This has been requested for years - Shopify owes their customers an answer. If a paid third party app can solve the problem surely shopify can figure out a solution..

 

Please give the community an update?

 

thanks

Brian_Keesbury
Visitor
2 0 11

Seems like they could create an easy fix for this by allowing the boxes to be assigned to Shipping Profiles. 

Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36
Agreed. Heck, I'd be happy if they could assign a box size per product even, for my purposes.
kulugo04
Visitor
1 0 0

 


@Brian_Keesbury wrote:

Seems like they could create an easy fix for this by allowing the boxes to be assigned to Shipping Profiles. 


 

Thanks Brian for this suggestion, let see if I can figure this out. This is way better than paying monthly for an app. 

CarlyA_art
Visitor
2 0 6

Does anyone out there know of any website platforms that do this well?  I'm willing to consider switching at some point.  Shopify storefront capabilities are so good, and I never have to worry about any of those things.  It makes my life easier and simplifies everything on my end, in this area.  But this little hangup is very frustrating.  I hate losing money when they order multiple items in one order, and I might sacrifice a little bit of the benefits just so I can stop losing money.  Any other insights on this?

Sal_Collaziano
Excursionist
16 0 9

Try the Bespoke Shipping app...

Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36

Been there. Done that. Still got the t-shirt.

cromeinc
Tourist
3 0 0

I swear I used to be able to do this, like - maybe, a few years ago..? What happened??

 

I could assign certain boxes that I make at home from used cardboard boxes to ship a variety of sizes of my art out in - just today I am noticing I no longer have this option and now understanding why all my shipping has been out of whack when I take it to the PO. They always say "oh, no it's x amount more".

 

So, I started going with UPS dropoffs, there wasn't a person to question the labels where I knew I had weighed the product, the shipping, and even before I dropped off to make sure it was accurate. And, luckily all the packages were tracked fine and arrived!

 

I even used to be able to add a custom item to shop for commissioned work I get outside of my site, as well as enter in the exact dimensions of the box I created for that specific item and it's weight - because I have a scale, like most folks here reading this - probably do.

 

I have been using Shopify since shortly after it began - and this has never been more of an issue until the last few years - so this is definitely something NEW(er). I can show folks my list of the greatly different sized boxes I have had for wooden boxes I make, custom framed artwork, & more - with their adjoining weight. 

 

Based on another store owner's comment, I can see why carriers went with a more "general approach" as I am sure that is simply what the carrier is relaying to Shopify, thus Shopify doesn't have a choice in the matter. It's probably for ease on the carrier's end, because maybe without as much control with flat rates - the shipping carrier is losing money based on possibly the shipper's wrongdoing?

 

So - now they make flat rates. So, they are basically charging the shipper like a "wiggle room" price - so it covers "most weight & sized" items? 

 

I just don't understand, because it doesn't even seem that the products I assigned a box size, can even be "edited" - almost as if the information I spent days entering & assuring accuracy - doesn't apply anymore.

 

I also tried downloading an app, but then was informed that in order to use that app better - I needed to, yet, install another app! To which, the lowest price that started at - was $90USD... 

 

A MONTH!!!! HAAAAAA! I am an artist, I am not famous. I am struggling.

AND struggling to SEND the art I owe people where i am not paying $3-$5 more than I need to!

 

So much for convenience, Shopify! See, one of the reasons WHY I like(d) Shopify - is that my shipping record & data is stored on HERE - with all my other business-y things when I set up orders & shipping labels from my site. Not only is it the ease - but having a bill collected at the end of the month included within your Shopify monthly statement WORKS for me.

 

And, no payments on the shipping upfront, per item.

NOW, I have to cough up the money to go to my UPS & not receive the Shopify Discount. Just to save money on shipping...why must things be so difficult??

 

THANKS SHOPIFY.

Sincerely, 

Your faithful client since 2010

TelescopesCan
Shopify Partner
41 1 44

Hello,

Any updates on this ability?  This is a very basic thing, and causes me a great deal of problems whenever a customer orders something that isn't a standard dimension.  No one should have to pay extra to extend Shopify for something like this, we already pay a significant amount for Shopify services. 

 

I have a customer who ordered something that I need to ship to the US - it decided to use a small packet envelope for something that is 6" square.  If I use Shopify's label on an appropriate box I'm pretty sure Canada Post is going to reject the shipment and cause me more pain.

danteamk
Tourist
9 0 28

Any update on this feature?

It's quite basic and necessary I believe for most merchants.

Seen that now we are all more and more dependent on deliveries due to COVID-19, Shopify could speed up the development of freight-related features.

Waiting for your feedback. Thanks!

 

Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36

SERIOUSLY.

 

I just got an order for 3 items, weighing 16.1 pounds total. They are boxed separately, because they tend to get DESTROYED if shipped together.

 

One item alone costs at least $15 to ship.

 

Shopify charged the customer $6.95 for ALL THREE.

 

WHAT GIVES?

Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36

After speaking with support through chat, their solution is to create a fake box that is much bigger than any boxes you will actually send, increase the weight of the fake box or the individual items substantially, and make the fake box the default. I created a 16"x16"x8" fake box at about 3 pounds weight. It will overcharge shipping for customers who order single items, but will help lose less for customers who order multiple items.

 

Their other solution is to configure your store so that only 1 item can be ordered per customer order. So a customer wishing to order two or more of your products would need to place multiple individual orders.

 

Neither solution is ideal, but it's all they had apart from the 3rd party apps we all know about that don't do what we need them to.

Abracax
Excursionist
25 0 36

Just a follow-up, in case anyone was wondering whether this hack worked out. I can definitively say, no, it didn't work.

It appears shopify is literally choosing random box sizes when it calculates shipping. For a big item one time it chooses a small box. The next time, for the same item, it chooses a big box. The next time it chooses a medium box. It hasn't yet chosen my "fake" box that I created specifically for the purpose of fixing shipping.

I'm not sure what is going on with this -- maybe if I delete all the other box sizes it will work as intended?

cruzmiester
Visitor
1 0 1

charging US$20 just to access your API the 3rd party solutions you recommend need to work seems "a bit" excessive (no charge for the sarcasm) . 

TelescopesCan
Shopify Partner
41 1 44
Another issue we found is that when you use third party solutions, they don’t receive the Shopify discounted shipping rates ☹
SEANHAWG
Shopify Partner
4 0 8

I just started using Shopify and was amazed at how everything is so smooth compared to nasty ol magento.

Then I ran into this and it made me scratch my head and say "WTH, how insanely dumb"

Sal_Collaziano
Excursionist
16 0 9

It's truly mind boggling how such an important piece of the online store puzzle is missing - and absolutely nothing is being done about it...

aliprints
Visitor
1 0 2

Any news shopify? This is soooo frustrating. Why can't you enable us to assign certain boxes to certain products?