(V1… subject to change)
On the new GearSource Marketplace platform, sellers will have the opportunity to select from 5 (initially 4) unique methods for providing shipping cost information on orders. Depending on the method chosen, it may affect your margin and the seller fees you pay when the listing sells.
The current method being used widely is the Request a Shipping Quote method. The buyer creates an order and clicks “Request Shipping Quote” during the checkout process. The Seller will receive all Shipping Quote Requests both by email alert and in your Seller Dashboard, and you will simply fill in a shipping total and submit it. The buyer will be alerted and will proceed to complete and pay for the order, based on your quote. You will be responsible for shipping the item(s) and will be paid whatever amount you provided in the quote process. If it’s less, you win. If it’s more, you lose.
Offering free shipping is one of the best ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment. Free Shipping means you will “include” shipping in your listing price, into whatever zones you choose. Zones can include various parts of or all of the USA and Canada, Mexico, S America, Europe, Asia, Australia, etc. As an example, if you ONLY select the Zone Western USA, and include Free Shipping, this offer will not be available in other zones. You could have other shipping options available for those zones. However, as you might suspect, shipping is never free. Someone always has to pay. To make free shipping work, you have a few options.
- Increase product prices to cover costs for shipping (customer pays).
- You pay the full price of shipping out of your margins (you pay).
- Increase prices of products slightly to cover partial costs of shipping (you and the customer pays).
Additionally, you can also try offering free shipping on a minimum order amount. This strategy can help offset the costs of shipping by helping to increase your average order size, but you’re still the one paying for it out of your margins.
Charge a Flat Rate
A popular option is to offer flat rate shipping. The best practice for this option is to try and make sure that you don’t drastically undercharge or overcharge your customers. Flat rate shipping works best when you have a fairly standard product line of items that have similar sizes and weights. Flat rate shipping tends to become complicated and less effective if you sell a wide variety of products with different sizes and weights.
Zoned Shipping / Flat Rate
You can select the Class, and assign a Flat Rate cost for each of the zones you wish to ship into. As an example, let’s say you are based in Italy and select a Moving Light Cases, Projectors, Motors – full. Your shipper might already know that is around $250 to ship within Western Europe, or $350 into Eastern Europe. When a customer orders that item from Ukraine, they will automatically be charged $350 for shipping – per 2 lights in cases. When you receive the order, you will ship and will collect that Flat Rate you have already quoted. If the shipping is less, he made a profit. If it’s more, he obviously under-priced that Flat Rate item, and will need to adjust it for the future.
Selecting the right class is important. Freight companies will re-class something if it is classed incorrectly, and may bill you additional freight charges. Chances are, you’ll generally come close based on our simple descriptions.
Automated (not available at launch)
Soon after our initial launch, our team will complete our automated shipping process. Here, you will add weight and dim’s to your listings. At the time an order is placed, our automated shipping plug-in will calculate a freight cost based on weight and dims plus, any add-ons or expediting the buyer has selected.