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Jan
22
2017 Carrier Updates
Posted on 22 Jan 17 06:23 PM
With USPS changing its rates on Sunday, Jan 22, all four of our supported carriers now have completed their round of rate and other updates for 2017. Here is a short summary of the "high points" of their changes for this year.

  • Dimensional Weight:  UPS and FedEx made the most substantial -- and mostly hidden -- change to their rates not by simply increasing their base rate per pound (although they have done that as well) but by changing the formula they use to calculate weight based on volume, or "dimensional weight". Previously, for domestic shipments they divided your package's total volume by 166; now they divide by 139, the factor they previously used only for international deliveries. Decreasing this number results in a higher weight calculation, and if your dimensional weight is more than your physical weight, then "dim weight" is used to determine the price. Right now, UPS only uses this new factor for packages greater than 1,727 cubic inches, while FedEx implemented it for all packages. This change makes it important than ever that you stock a sufficient variety of box sizes so you can pack each order into the smallest possible box to minimize your shipping costs.

  • Base Rates: USPS rates are increasing between 2.7% - 4.9%, UPS rates increased an average of 4.9%, and FedEx rates increased an average of 4.4%. DHL also increased rates an average of 4.9%

  • Surcharges: For UPS and FedEx, the base rate is just the starting point of your final charge. All their many required and optional accessorial fees also have increased, including residential fees, rural surcharges, on-call pickup fees, weekly pickup fees, additional handling charges, etc.  UPS is also decreasing the size of packages that get hit with their Additional Handling charge, from 60 inches longest side to 48 (FedEx made this same change last June).

  • Fuel Surcharges: Starting in February, both UPS and FedEx will be adjusting their fuel surcharge percentage on a weekly basis, rather than monthly. 

  • Retail Rates: for their "retail" or "counter" rates, both FedEx and UPS have "folded in" some of their fees into the base rate, rather than calculating them separately. These include residential, extended area, and fuel surcharges.

  • International rates: Most USPS international rates are staying the same with no changes to Priority Mail International, Priority Mail Express International, or First-Class Mail International Package Service.

USPS First Class remains the best option for shipments under 1 pound, and in most cases, USPS Priority Mail the best option up to 70 lbs. This is especially true if you are able to fit your order into one of the USPS flat rate or Regional boxes.  The USPS "cubic" rates are also remain an excellent deal if you qualify for Commercial Plus rates.

While these annual rate increases are never pleasant, as always AuctionInc will help you minimize your costs and generate more orders by quoting highly accurate comparative rates to your customers.
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Mar
24
Multi-Carrier Plugin for OpenCart
Posted on 24 Mar 16 04:01 PM

AuctionInc has released a plugin for the OpenCart platform which integrates our multi-carrier technology and rates.

Like all our plugins, it provides for quoting rates for all domestic and international package services from multiple carriers (DHL, FedEx, USPS, UPS) into your OpenCart store. Many advanced features including drop-shipping from multiple origins, USPS flat rate box calculations, insurance, flexible handling charges, packaging material weight, and many more. Our technology is especially unique in its capability to accurately generate rates for items/quantities that must be packed into multiple boxes. 

You can download the plugin from the OpenCart Extension Directory.


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Mar
24
Carrier Plugins for WooCommerce
Posted on 24 Mar 16 03:55 PM

AuctionInc has released a new set of plugins for WooCommerce for specific carriers:

- USPS

- FedEx

- DHL

 

These are each available at the economical price of $9.95/mo.  (If you use two or more of these carriers, you will want to subscribe to our Multi-Carrier version.)


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Dec
14
USPS Advanced Flat Rate Box Module
Posted on 14 Dec 15 06:04 PM

AuctionInc is pleased to announce the release of an enhancement that adds new advanced functionality for USPS flat rate boxes. These advanced features are included with our ShopCart and Single Seller API subscriptions, available as an Add-on for our Third-Party Cart Multi-Carrier plugin subscriptions, and also as a stand-alone plugin for WooCommerce or Magento.

As you know, the USPS flat rate boxes are (well, mostly) the best deal in package shipping. A 10-lb box going from Boston to Los Angeles, for example, costs $37 (retail) in your own box, but only $12.65 in a medium flat rate box. Not bad!

On the other hand, a 1-lb box costs only $7.15 in your own box -- so you cant use the flat rate boxes indiscriminately.

AuctionInc has long offered great support for these boxes, but now, with our Advanced release, our capabilities are substantially improved:

  • Select the specific flat rate boxes you use;
  • Set the percentage utilization of the boxes, to allow space for any packing materials;
  • Determine if you want to compare the cost of the flat rate box into which your cart items fit to the regular calculated rate, and even set the percentage differential to control if the regular rate is used;
  • If you qualify for Commercial Plus rates, quote the Cubic flat rate box price (which allows you to use your own boxes at flat rate pricing) to your customers.

For ShopCart and Single Seller API subscriptions, you will find these additional options on the USPS tab of your AuctionInc Carrier Settings page. To add on to your Multi-Carrier extension for a small fee, go to your AuctionInc Product Subscription page.


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Oct
15
AuctionInc has a New Home
Posted on 15 Oct 15 02:05 PM

AuctionInc is pleased to announce that we have completed our move into our new Data Center (Quadrant 4) in a virtual cloud hosting environment.  As part of our move, we have upgraded every software component we use, including php, apache, and our mysql database.   Our stability and responsiveness are all greatly enhanced, and as we grow we can immediately scale up for greater usage.  Beyond the faster page loads on our site and quicker generation of shipping rates, we are backed by a strong 24/7 team for managing our infrastructure and uptime.

We are looking forward to continuing to enhance our capabilities in our new home.

 

 

 

 

 


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Jun
10
Responsive Cart Released
Posted on 10 Jun 15 07:10 PM

AuctionInc has released an update that supports a responsive cart page for our AuctionInc ShopCart. The cart now uses a mobile-friendly layout for any phone or tablet!

With both PayPal and Amazon Payments also offering a responsive checkout process, ShopCart shoppers will now have an integrated responsive experience from the moment they click on one of your Add to Cart buttons.

The responsive cart is enabled by default. If for any reason you wish to to disable it, log into your AuctionInc account, go to your Cart Configuration page, and set the Enable Responsive Layout setting to Off. 


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