New on bidorbuy: Easing the shipping burden

shippingThere are high volume bidorbuy sellers who say they spend about forty percent of their time untangling the shipping fees knot for their customers. You know how it works: buyers buy something, go to complete the order and then stumble on this or that aspect of shipping fees. They abandon the procedure; write to you; you write back with additional explanations… All that translates into heaps and heaps of wasted time.

The new shipping functionality now available on bidorbuy addresses this problem and automatically includes the shipping fees into the total a buyer needs to pay for a specific purchase.

To benefit from the new functionality in this initial, beta phase, drop a line to shipping@bidorbuy.co.za. Wait for a green light, and then proceed to create your shipping methods and product classes.

Regarding shipping methods, decide how you want to ship your items. For example, you may create these three methods: Economy South Africa, Express South Africa and International.

Creating product classes can be more involved.

If you sell only one type of items, create only one, default product class, and specify a rate for each of the shipping methods (that is, Economy South Africa shipping rate, Express South Africa shipping rate and International shipping rate, from the example above). You may specify one rate for the first item and another, lower rate for additional items bought.

If you sell different categories of products, you may create one products class for items weighing under one kilogram and another products class for items weighing over one kilogram. Or you may create indefinite number of products classes: for stamps, books, CDs, paintings, etc. Assign a shipping fee for each and every one of them, for different shipping methods and different quantities. When you list an item, you select the product class under the shipping fees, and the buyer selects the shipping method.

With the new shipping functionality, the system will calculate shipping charges and add them into the total amount to be paid during the check-out process. A buyer can still change the shipping amount, but the system will inform the seller about this.

The new shipping functionality enables the sellers to go into great detail regarding the shipping fees. However, this can defeat the purpose by becoming too complicated. It may make more sense to charge one flat rate for orders from South Africa and another flat rate for international orders, plus a little extra to cover the remote or more expensive location.

It is also worth remembering that free shipping always appeals to buyers. That is why it is a good idea to sometimes “hide” the shipping fee within the price of the items you sell, occasionally even at the cost of taking a cut in the profit. Remember, when you want to offer free shipping in the new system, enter a 0 in the shipping rate field.

If you need additional information about this functionality, the best place to go to is the bidorbuy Forum.