Author Topic: Shipping by item, shipping rates for different products - some solutions  (Read 32092 times)

webuser

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Hi everyone

There seems to be stacks of posts on these forums and other forums about Virtuemart's inability to set shipping rates for individual products or items. We have come up against this on 2 recent projects and I wanted to share our experience.

Ship By Item Module

Firstly if you are not aware that there has been a shipping module developed which does exactly what we need (allows you to set different shipping rates for different quantities of products) then contact derek@hallmarkhomes.com who will provide the module to you for $20. It is brilliant and will save your hours of fiddly work-arounds.

Note I have also seen 2 shipping modules in the virtuemart extensions area but it doesn't look to me like that area gets used too much, there are more hacks and extensions contained in these forums than there are in that extensions area (see comments in conclusion below about this).

The in-built VirtueMart method - weights

Most of the suggestions on the forums relate to the weight method. You can set a weight on a product and then set a shipping rate based on weight using the standard shipping module. For some projects this has worked alright, for example we did a project for a winery which needed free shipping on all orders of 12 or more bottls, we simply gave each bottle a weight of 750 grams and set up a shipping rate of $0 for orders of 9000 grams or more. This approach is counter intuitive for sites with lots of products and it became embarassing to tell clients they had to do this because the system wouldn't let them set a shipping cost for an individual product. We had another site that had a new product every day so setting rates based on weights would have been an absolute nightmare.

Shipping as an attribute

One option that I haven't seen discussed too much is adding an attribute to the product called shipping and giving it a certain value. It means the shipping cost is not included as a seperate item in shipping on the checkout / orders and order emails etc so there are other hacks you need to make to compensate for this but it is an easy way to have the shipping method factored into the product but still have it seperated as its own cost.

Incorporate it into the product

Of course you could easily just ditch shipping altogether and incorporate it into the cost of the product. However this isn't always practical. It also has the same issue as above in that the cost is not seperated and it doesn't work for companies who like to offer lower prices on products but make their margins on the shipping.

Conclusion

Thats about all I can think of for now, obviously if any VM developers are listening and this is not something that is part of the next version consideration should be given to this, there are lots of companies who ship this way. What might be an even better idea is for virtuemart to have its own extensions directory like the Joomla ones where any hacks or extensions must be placed and build a bit of a community there as opposed to in the forums because the forums are not a very good way of finding extensions nor are they a good way of controlling the quality of them.
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MikeUK

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I would just say that a better place to post this would be the Shipping section of the forum.
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webuser

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Well I thought about that but I thought this is something that people who are thinking of using virtuemart should be aware of especially given that they are reviews in the Joomla Extensions Directory giving Virtuemart a bad review because it doesn't have this feature (which haven't been responded to by the developer) so I thought it was an issue a little bit broader than what is generally discussed in the shipping section. Feel free to move it if you think its better off in the shipping area I don't think this is something I can do with my access.
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MikeUK

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I'm not sure this is really the place to advertise commercial modules, but I am not a moderator so it is just my opinion.

I think the issue can be said to be 'solved' (although the thread is not about a specific issue) when the community can freely access the mod / code in the forum.

The Joomla extensions directory (assuming it is GPL) is the place for this.
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webuser

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I posted this topic and I'm not affiliated with the developers of the module in any way. If this helps people get around one of Virtue Marts major deficiencies I think it is a good place to post it but I apologise if this is against the rules. Better people know that it is possible than continue to post negative reviews on the JED about Virtumart because it doesn't do this.
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Alex S

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Re: Shipping by item, shipping rates for different products - some solutions
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2009, 22:36:11 pm »
Thanks for your summary on this matter, webuser. I think this feature is really important, and loads of other shopping carts simply have a check box that says 'Free Shipping'. It's worrying that Virtuemart doesn't have something as basic as this. Anyway, here are my responses. I'm using the latest version of VirtueMart...

1/ Ship By Item Module. I haven't tried this, but I'd be interested to see this module in action. Do you have any links?

2/ The in-built VirtueMart method - weights. This method just isn't practical, and like you said, users shouldn't have to resort to this. I actually use the product dimensions attributes, and these are displayed on the flypage so I simply can't just put '0' as this would look like an error.

3/ Shipping as an attribute. I have recently been experimenting with custom attributes, and so far they are working as hoped. I will look into creating a custom attribute for free shipping.

4/ Incorporate it into the product. I have tried this method before, but a major flaw in this is that you can't exactly advertise the product as having free shipping, as the customer will still have to pay shipping in the Checkout. If the product had free shipping, I'd advertise this on the flypage.
Alex

webuser

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Re: Shipping by item, shipping rates for different products - some solutions
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2009, 02:35:27 am »
All I have is Derek's email address (See above), he is very busy but it would be awesome if he could put it up somewhere for sale, it should be part of VM its very good.
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MikeUK

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Re: Shipping by item, shipping rates for different products - some solutions
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2009, 10:20:15 am »
webuser, take a look at your profile and the 'show lasts posts' link. Everything on the first page is you talking about / advertising this module.

There is nothing wrong with commercial products, but people will not trust an extension that is being promoted like this. Whether you are or are not connected with this, you are not helping it. It is becoming close to spam now and not in the community spirit of this forum.

As I suggested at the beginning, there is a shipping section of this forum, plus there is a community here who may want to work together and create this functionality.
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yaani

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Re: Shipping by item, shipping rates for different products - some solutions
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2009, 21:30:55 pm »
I emailed Derek & for a small fee he emailed me the shipping module so I can assign fixed shipping fees to each item and also fees for multiple quantities of the same item. There is even a default setting (that can be over ridden on individual items) if most of your items cost the same amount to ship.

It is an awesome extension & I highly recommend it. The documentation is easy to follow & understand & you can have it installed & running in minutes.

I am using Joomla 1.5.15 & Virtuemart 1.1.4 & it works like a Charm!

This functionality is well worth the fee. I don't possess the programming skills to have been able to accomplish this & using the attributes feature to assign a shipping fee was not a very good solution.

Thanks Derek, you were a life saver for me with this extension!


webgobe

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Re: Shipping by item, shipping rates for different products - some solutions
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 13:10:45 pm »
Still no link to any live sites of the advertised module or to the developer's homepage. I'd would be interested to see it in action before I - eventually - buy it. Or decide to write a better one myself LOL.
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jamiesbeck

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Re: Shipping by item, shipping rates for different products - some solutions
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2010, 22:46:42 pm »
i second that.  any demos/examples/reviews

ZenMasta

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Re: Shipping by item, shipping rates for different products - some solutions
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2010, 09:10:53 am »
Like many of you, I am interested in this kind of solution. But in addition I wonder how if at all possible it would be to automate uploading of products with csvi and if there would be a field to use for adding the shipping cost per item... Anyway I I found this site http://virtuemartshipping.com/ and based on the user review on the home page, it is exactly the same as the OP's comment.   It's only 20 bucks so not a significant loss really. I probably will try it but first posted a message on the csvi forums about my import question.

[edit, this is supposed to be a site that has the module installed http://www.livestransforming.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=6&Itemid=75&vmcchk=1&Itemid=75 ]

P.S. it would be nice if this type of feature was included as a core vm feature.

billpk4

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re: posting, given the severe shorting that VM has in the area of shipping i think this thread should be posted here and in shipping. reviewing the history ove how long the shipping feature set has been of issue, i am surprised that it hasn't been addressed... except by competitors.

providing a fixed shipping & handling fee by product is a desire i have as well.

in addition, for several months now i have been trying to get USPS 1st Class to come up as a choice for a product 13" x 9" x 1" and weighing 2 ozs.  all that comes up is priority mail and priority mail small box flat rate.  USPS 1st class large envelope or even USPS 1st class package should be a choice.

every forum "solution" discusses "hacks".  there's no reason that any piece of software that lists a feature should need a "hack".

is that the trade-off to not having to pay for it?  no, of course not, but i hold expectation for best practices and regression testing before a release.

so....  at least as a matter of competitive positioning featureset, what's the "non-hack" solution to get:
- fixed shipping cost by product
- USPS 1st class to work as a selection among priority options


cebby

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Re: Shipping by item, shipping rates for different products - some solutions
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2010, 22:26:29 pm »
I am using this module and it works pretty good.

I really need to figure out how to import via CSVI and have sent an EM to the developer.  I have too many products to input manually.

Found squantity1, sprice1, squantioty2, sprice2, etc in the generated source, but using field name attribute with column header squantity1 etc up to 15 groups but it didn't work.

Is there a way to add field names to CSVI so they appear on the drop down?

webgobe

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Re: Shipping by item, shipping rates for different products - some solutions
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2010, 09:21:52 am »
As I promised above, I wrote one which works for me. In fact adapted an old one written for VM1.0, enhanced to satisfy my needs, added language support - and shared with the community. It's up - for free - in VM extensions.
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