A Shipping Calculation General FAQ
Posted by Doug Sherman (Import), Last modified by on 14 Aug 06 04:11 PM
- Are our rates accurate?
Our rates come directly from the carriers themselves, in "real-time." We use the carrier "API's" to procure our base rates. If our rates are wrong, well, then the carriers' own rates are wrong! To determine our base rate for a particular service, you must examine the Shipping Inspector to see the various components of the final rate, which also includes, potentially, handling, insurance, and other carrier fees you may have included.
- How can I see how the calculator is determining the final rates?
To better understand how the calculator computes shipping is to view the calculator with the "Shipping Inspector" enabled (or Rate Inspector, for the Mals Plug-In). This is only available when you are logged into AuctionInc and viewing your own auctions. When logged in, a link to view the Shipping Inspector is provided in the shipping calculator. The Shipping Inspector provides valuable information on how the calculator actually determined the shipping.
- Why dont I see my Handling Fees?
Note that on the cart we label our rates as "Shipping & Handling." We fold in whatever handling fees you have configured into the single rate per service that we present to your customer. The final rate, then, consists of the base carrier rate (which includes their fuel surcharge and residential surcharge), any carrier surcharges based on excess weight or dimensions or additonal premuim services you have requested (ie, delivery confirmation, hazardous fee, etc) and all the various handling fees our system allows you to add, at the item, package, and order level. Insurance (if included) and any applicable state taxes appear as seperate line items in the cart.
- Why does the Inspector show the weight of my item as more than the weight I have listed in the Add to Cart HTML?
Dont forget that you mght be adding additional weight to account for Packaging Materials. This is a set of configured values that you can change at any time.
- Why does the Inspector show the "rated rate" as more than the "actual rate?"
This is because some carriers round up your package weight to the nearest pound.
- Why are your rates different from the ones I see when I use the carrier website?
There are a variety of reasons why you may be finding a difference between the online calculator on one of the carrier websites and the rate calculated in our product. The most likely one is that you are using different data in the two calculators. Make certain that you are using the same "entry method" on the carrier website that you have configured with AuctionInc (ie, the method you use to deliver your package to the carrier). Also be certain that you select "residential"; all our rates include the residential surcharge. With some of the carrier sites, it may be difficult or impossible to perfectly match the data as their online calculator may not offer all the options that are available to us "under the covers" through their API.
Another reason that the rates may differ is because you might be comparing your "discounted" rates to our "list" rates. For all our carriers except DHL, we provide "list" rates. If you are logging into the carrier site in order to use their calculator, chances are that you are not being quoted list rates. For DHL, however, we do indeed provide only your customized account rates, as they are the only rates that DHL makes available through their API.
- Why can't the calculator determine rates for items with my item dimensions?
Carriers have different limitations on the dimensions of packages that they are willing to ship. The shipping calculator checks the dimensions and rules out carriers that can not handle the dimensions that are specified for the item.
- Why doesn't the calculator recognize the changes I make in the eBay auction listing (aiShip, AiSeller)
AuctionInc does not recognize the changes in the eBay listings once the data is initially collected. If you need to change the weight or dimensions after you have inserted the calculator into your eBay listing, you must edit the auction in AI, not in eBay. You can do this by searching for the auction id in AI and then clicking on the auction status, which is a link to the auction edit window.
- Why dont I see rates for all the international services I have enabled?
It is very likely that, for any particular destionation, the calculator will not provide rates for every one of the international services you have enabled-- particularly the USPS ones. This is because virtually every country has its own limitations on which services they support, and for those services, weight and diminsional limitations for each. For USPS, we maintain this data ourselves (as their API does not) and qualify each package for each service for each destination.