Per-item shipping rates

Suppliers generally charge you for shipping on a per-item basis. If you have a high number of products per order, then this can lead to high shipping costs from your suppliers.

To help offset the exact cost of what suppliers charge you for shipping, you can set up a per-item shipping rate strategy. This can be the most complex strategy to set up, and in some cases it might require a third-party application from the Shopify App Store.

Create a per-item shipping rate strategy

Before you add per-item rates to your Shopify shipping settings, there are a number of things to consider. Review the following to create a per-item shipping strategy that works for you.

Know how much it costs to send products to your customers

See Check the shipping costs you pay your supplier.

A per-item shipping strategy requires you to know how much it costs to ship product to each of your shipping zones. If you find that it costs you the same amount to ship to each shipping zone, then you might want to consider another strategy. For more details, see Evaluate the different shipping strategies.

Decide where to offer per-item shipping rates

Choose the countries or shipping regions where you want to offer per-item shipping rates, then see Shipping zones.

Choose a per-item shipping rate app

There are a number of apps that can help set up per-item shipping rates. See Shipping rates and labels apps.

Reevaluate your product prices

Although a per-item shipping strategy helps offset your own shipping costs, the higher shipping rates that this strategy can lead to might deter customers at checkout. Keeping the rates as low as possible can keep your checkout conversion rates high.

A strategy to keep the shipping low is to add part of the shipping cost to what you charge your customers for your products. For example, if the lowest cost your supplier charges you for shipping to any shipping zone is $5, then you could add $2 to your products' price and charge $3 as a per-item shipping cost for that product to that zone. By adding the cost to the product and offering a lower shipping cost, it helps your customers see more accurately how much the product costs to get to them upfront.

Keep in mind that if you adjust the product price, then shipping rates in other zones should also be adjusted. This strategy provides shipping prices that are lower at checkout, and helps to prevent you from paying extra to cover Oberlo's shipping costs.

It can be hard to find the right balance between higher product prices and lower shipping costs. Testing different amounts and gathering feedback from customers can help you find out what works best for your store.

Decide if you want to store some products yourself

Another strategy to maintain your profit margins on orders with many products from different suppliers is to bulk order products to your own location so that you have inventory available. When a customer orders products from different suppliers, you can then package and ship out the products yourself because you have some on hand.

The benefits of this method are that you can control the branding for the package you send out, the customer receives all their items at once, and you only need to pay for one shipping rate.

Create per-item shipping rates

How you create your rates depends on the shipping rate app you choose. Contact the developer of your app for any assistance.

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