Help with Marketpress calculated shipping

Are there any directions yet for intigrating the USPS calculated shipping options?
I signed up with USPS and got their e-mail directing me to their developer area. Woah...pretty complicated. Could it be that I'm making it more difficult than it has to be? I'll be searching the forums tonight, but maybe you can direct me to someone else that worked through it or give me step by step instructions :wink: thanks, Catrina

  • jameswilliams90

    This could be really easy depending on what you want to pack and send with USPS, and how many products you plan to sell via marketpress.

    If you have a few items, then perhaps using weight based might be the best plan. Allow the plugin to calculate by weight and then you add the pricing based on the total weight of what is being shipped.

    Alternatively using Table Rate will allow you to deliver flat rate shipping. With flat rate pricing up to a certain price, and then perhaps free over a certain value of the shopping cart. This has several advantages, firstly you can encourage people to buy more to get free postage... and you simply add a postage amount to each product to cover the cost of the free shipping later.

    See an example of how this can be setup - for example for free shipping over $80 (note $73.45 + 10% tax = $80)

    Example of setting table rate

    If you can provide additional information of what you are posting, and how many products in your store, I'd be happy to provide more meaningful suggestions.

    James Williams

  • Catrina

    Hi James,
    Thanks for your answer.
    I am useing flat rate now and using the "extra shipping" function to add extra cost for a heavy item. Unfortunatly I have a variety of products that differ in weight and value and how they need to be mailed.
    Plants need to go priority but it's unfair to the customer to add the whole single item shipping price if they are adding more than one plant per order for example: one plant can go in a medium flat rate box for $10 (example) but I could fit 3 in there I don't want to charge them 30$ so flat rate really doesn't work well.
    Table rate; some of my items are small and light but cost much more than some of my heavy items so going by price is not fair to the customer.
    Weight based: first some have to go priority and some don't so that doesn't really work. Also because plants are mailed inseason and other products can be mailed any time there are cases where things have to be mailed in 2 seperate boxes. So as you can see I need the customer to be able to choose from a variety of shipping options and so that I don't continue to loose a lot of money on shipping have actual shipping prices displayed.
    Also if "shipping directions" are too difficult for the customer then carts are abandoned.
    I waited it seems like a couple of years for this feature "calculated shipping" and now it seems like it is too difficult for the average do it yourself developer to install.
    Unless I'm missing something and it's really easier than I think. That's what I'm hoping.

  • Catrina

    I was on the chat session today and although I didn't get an answer I was led to believe that it is not as difficult as USPS makes it seem.

    I copied some of the text from the chat session and will paste it here. I didn't get the answers copied before the session ended, but essentially I think they told me just to enter the user name and that market press should take care of the rest.

    Here is what was said in chat: Yes here is what I did so far. I turned on calculated shipping in the store settings. Then it says you have to first register with USPS and do “testing” before it will work. I registered successfully and got the e-mail with the user name and password for testing. Then I got to the USPS site and it seems very complicated. I know when I set up the api for paypal gateway the same thing happened to me and all I really had to do was enter my user name and password and it worked. That’s why I’m wondering if there is some simple step that I’m missing. Or do I really have to go through all of the steps on the USPS site, or have the MU developers already done that for us?
    After you register with USPS you get an e-mail with user name and password for your “test” api. Then if you follow the link in the e-mail you get to the USPS ecomerce API page. From what I read you have to first read and follow the directions in the “view technical guides” link and then follow specifics in the “price calculators api link”.
    After Chat I entered the test user name into marketpress added some shipping choices and weight limits and saved changes. Then I went to my store and put a few products in the cart and tried to go through the check out. I get a USPS shipping option showing up, but after I enter a shipping address I get a message that says “the shipping method is not valid and check your address carefully. (the address is correct).
    Am I really supposed to send a test somehow? If so How? Please help.

  • aecnu

    Greetings Catrina,

    You are getting this last message because the application you made with USPS has not yet been approved and therefore no matter what address you enter I believe you will get this message.

    You are indeed trying to navigate their system so what I would do at this point is give them a call and ask them. Considering their financial situation, one would think they are willing to bend over backwards to help you use there system and talk your money ;-P

    Let me know how it goes for you with a call to them.

    I would dig in more but it is highly unlikely me living in Eastern Europe that they will want to assist me considering I do not have a stateside address to test.

    Please advise.

    Cheers, Joe

  • Catrina

    Yup...that's what I intend to do. Of course...being the post office, they are not open except when I am at work, but I'll have to sneek out and give them a call on my lunch hour.
    I read their stuff over a number of times and from what I gather I put this string directly into the address bar. Does that sounds right to you guys? Anyway I think I have the string close to correct. I will post what I did once I get it figured out. Right now I seem to be stuck on what the API is actually called. Here's what I have: is where the api name that I don't know goes]&XML=[<RateV4Request USERID="my id that they gave me"><Revision/><Package ID="1ST"><Service>FIRST CLASS</Service><FirstClassMailType>LETTER</FirstClassMailType><ZipOrigination>44106</ZipOrigination><ZipDestination>20770</ZipDestination><Pounds>0</Pounds><Ounces>3.5</Ounces><Container/><Size>REGULAR</Size><Machinable>true</Machinable></Package><Package ID="2ND"><Service>PRIORITY</Service>
    <Pounds>1</Pounds><Ounces>8</Ounces><Container>NONRECTANGULAR</Container><Size>LARGE</Size><Width>15</Width><Length>30</Length><Height>15</Height><Girth>55</Girth></Package><Package ID="3RD"><Service>ALL</Service><ZipOrigination>90210</ZipOrigination><ZipDestination>96698</ZipDestination><Pounds>8</Pounds><Ounces>32</Ounces><Container/><Size>REGULAR</Size><Machinable>true</Machinable><ShipDate>27-Jan-2013</ShipDate></Package></RateV4Request>]"

    For the API name I tried RateV4Request, RateV4, Rates_Calculators, Rate_Calculators, I really don't see what they tell you what the actual name of the api is.
    I copied the XML string from the Post office but I'm not sure its the right string. They say you have to use a specific string for testing, but then they never really tell you what the string is.
    Who knows if you are supposed to leave the brackets in or take them out. Thanks, I'll report back after I talk with the post office.
    We'll get it.

  • aecnu

    Greetings Catrina,

    We have not heard back from you as to the status of this issue.

    If you are still having an issue please let us know so that we may try to get you fixed up as soon as possible by choosing to check mark this ticket as unresolved below and posting any new errors or symptoms you are noticing.

    This action will also bring your ticket up front back in plain view again within the ticket system.

    Thank you for being a WPMU DEV Community Member!

    Cheers, Joe

  • Catrina

    Hi Again,
    I have a review and instructions for the set up which I'm hoping will help the next person that has this question.

    Arnold is absolutly right. Thanks Arnold! Basically what you do is go to the post office website (the link is on the shipping tab in the store settings of market press). You ask them for a username and pass word. They will give you this with some very confusing instructions about how to do testing. Skip the testing and write back and ask them to change you to production servers. Then you just put your user name in the appropriate box in the marketpress shipping settings tab, choose your available mailing services, and set any weight limits that you have for each type of box. Then you have to go into your product listings and give your products weights. I logged out and went to my store and tested it out and it works! Almost....that leads to my question.

    Example...I set my weight limit for a small flat rate box to 3 pounds. Then I gave product A a weight of 1 pound and product B a weight of 4 pounds. The medium flat rate box has a weight limit of 15 pounds. The shipping calculator nicely displays the price of all of my shipping choices but I'm wondering why the small flat rate box is still offered as a choice since what I ordered is more than the wight limit for that box? The small box is of course the cheapest so I'm guessing the average customer would choose that and I will have to write and tell them that this is not an option for them as the products won't fit in that box.

    Also, is there a way that I can restrict the shipping choices per product? For example; I sell plants and non plant items. Plants need to be restricted to priority mail because they will die if left in the post office too long. Non plant items could be mailed by cheaper, slower parcel post if that is what the customer wants because they won't die if the mail takes too long.


  • Catrina

    Hi Joe,
    Thanks for the kudos.
    I'm wondering if anyone has any solutions for the box sizing problem discribed above. It seems the calculated shipping has you set weight limits for different sized boxes, but then when that weight limit is exceeded the smaller boxes are still on the list. I removed the small boxes for now, but would my customers to get the cheepest shipping available if what they have ordered will fit.
    Any ideas?

  • aecnu

    Greetings Catrina,

    With the lead developers last post and input it appears this particular topic is now resolved/closed, if you need any further assistance please let us know.

    If it wasn't resolved, or you have any more questions related to this thread, please feel free to post them below including any new symptoms or errors and tick the 'Mark as Not Resolved (re-open)' box below the post area (or else we'll miss it!)

    Thank you for being a WPMU Dev Community Member!

    Cheers, Joe

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