The Shipping page in your Admin Area takes the hard work out of shipping for both you and your customers. Once you've decided which methods to offer, the only thing your shoppers need to do is choose a method when they place their orders.

Check out this video to learn how, or scroll down to read a step-by-step guide.


Getting Started

Start by finding the shipping carrier that's right for you; compare rates and services and find one that best fits your business. Once you have chosen your carrier(s), you can begin configuring your store's shipping settings.

To get started, log in to your Admin Area and go to Settings > Shipping. The tools you will use are detailed below.

Ship From Location

Click Edit to enter your name, company name, and company address.

If you ship from a warehouse with a different location or use a third-party fulfillment or shipping service, select the Use a Different Location to Calculate Live Shipping Rates check box and enter its location. 

After you enter your Ship From Location(s), click Save.

Ship To Location

Most merchants do not ship to every country in the world, so it's important to designate which countries you will allow shipping to.

  1. Click within the Include field to enter the countries you provide shipping to. 

  2. Click within the Exclude field to exclude states or provinces within the countries you added in the Include field. For example, you may want to offer shipping throughout the continental United States, but not to Alaska or Hawaii.

  3. Click Save.

Edit Available Countries

By default, the Shipping page contains a list of all countries and states. In the event that a country or state you ship to is missing from this list, you can create it by clicking Edit Available Countries or Edit Available State and then Add the location.

Shipping Methods

Any shipping methods you've activated will display at Settings > Shipping under one of four headings: Free Shipping, Live Rates, Flat Rates, or Special Rates. 

Under each of these headings you'll see a list of related shipping methods you've configured, where you can activate, copy or delete them!

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Free Shipping

You can assign free shipping to specific products, order totals, countries, and states.

To create a free shipping method from the Settings > Shipping page, click Add Rate next to the Free Shipping heading then follow the steps below.

  1. In the Label field, enter name for your shipping method (for example, "Free Ground Shipping" or "Free FedEx Express Saver" if you'll always be using a specific carrier and method). This label will appear in the shipping method selection menu at checkout for qualifying orders.

  2. Select Active to make this shipping method available to shoppers.

  3. Select Show Free Shipping Qualification Message on Shopping Cart if you’d like to display a message letting shoppers know when they’re close to qualifying for free shipping.

  4. By default, the locations you selected at Settings > Shipping will be pre-filled as Qualifying Locations for all shipping methods. To modify locations, select Change Ship To Locations for this Method and use the drop-down menus in each field. Note that any locations you excluded on the Settings > Shipping page will already be excluded from all shipping methods, and cannot be included for an individual method.

  5. By default, all orders will qualify for free shipping. To set a specific price or weight threshold that an order must meet in order to receive free shipping, select Free Shipping on Specific Orders.

  6. In the Price Range fields, enter the minimum and / or maximum order price for which free shipping will be offered.

  7. If you want orders that have cost of zero to qualify for free shipping, select Free Shipping When Order Cost is Zero. Zero cost orders are those where the entire cost of the order is covered by gift certificates, discounts, or coupons.

  8. In the Weight Range fields, enter the minimum and / or maximum order weight for which free shipping will be offered.

  9. To designate a display order for this method, click Advanced Settings and enter a number in the Display Order On Checkout field. Entering "1" here will cause the free shipping method to display first in the Shipping menu when shoppers check out.

  10. Click Save.

How to Make Products Ineligible for Free Shipping

By default, all products in your store are automatically enabled to receive free shipping, but you can modify this per product:

  1. Go to Inventory > Products.

  2. Click the code of the product you want to modify.

  3. Under Advanced Info, select the Shipping tab.

  4. If the Free Shipping Item check box is selected, the product is eligible for free shipping. Deselect this option if you would like to exclude it from free shipping availability.

  5. Click Save.

How to Restrict Customers From Receiving Free Shipping

For more information, see the "Restrict Free Shipping" section of our article on shipping method restrictions.

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Live Rates

Volusion's shipping system integrates with live rate feeds provided by the following major shipping carriers: USPS, FedEx, UPS, Royal Mail, Canada Post and Australia Post.

Note on UPS and FedEx Live Rates

UPS and FedEx use "dimensional weight" to help determine the most accurate shipping cost for a package. Dimensional weight is different from actual weight, and is more representative of the amount of truck space a package actually occupies.

Dimensional weight of a package can be calculated by measuring its dimensions in inches (length, width, height) and plugging them in to the following formula :

(Length x Width x Height) / 139* = Dimensional Weight (in pounds)

If the result contains a decimal, always round up to the nearest whole number for the final dimensional weight. Once you've calculated an item's dimensional weight, compare it to the item's actual weight. Whichever number is higher will be the weight UPS and FedEx use to calculate shipping for that package.

*UPS uses 139 as the divisor for Daily Rates or 166 as the divisor if using Retail Rates. More information is available from the UPS Dimensional Weight page.

FedEx uses 139 as the divisor for U.S., Puerto Rico and International shipments. More information is available on the FedEx Dimensional Weight page.

For even more information, see the dimensional shipping guide from

How to Register With Carriers

Before you start enabling live rates, you’ll need to register with your chosen carrier(s). Click Add Carrier next to Live Rates and select a carrier. You’ll see additional steps you need to follow in order to get accurate live rates. Note that the procedure you need to follow is different for each carrier.

How to Enable Live Rate Shipping Methods

After following any carrier-specific registration steps, click Add Method. In the pop up window that displays, choose the method you’d like to enable for that carrier and click Add.

  1. Select Active to make the shipping method available to shoppers on the storefront.

  2. By default, the locations you selected at Settings > Shipping will be pre-filled as Qualifying Locations for all shipping methods. If you only want this method to be available for specific countries or states within your selections, select Change Ship To Locations for this Method and use the Include and Exclude fields to modify qualifying locations.

  3. In the Price Range fields, enter the minimum and / or maximum order price for which this shipping method will be offered (optional).

  4. Note that some methods will have weight limitations per the individual carrier. In the Weight Range fields, enter the minimum and / or maximum order weight for which this shipping method will be offered (optional).

  5. Under Pricing Options, specify a backup rate for this method (recommended).

  6. To add an Extra Shipping Cost on top of the live rate cost, locate the Flat field and enter a currency value, and / or enter a percentage in the Percent field.

  7. Click Save.

Repeat the above steps for any additional live rate methods you want to enable.

Note on Backup Rates

It is recommended that you configure a "backup rate" for each live rate, which will be display to shoppers in the unlikely event that a live rate can’t be obtained from the carrier at the time of checkout. You can configure a backup rate in the Pricing Options section of each method.

Shipping Method Restrictions

To learn how to set up shipping methods that only certain customers can access, see "Restricted Shipping Methods".

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Flat Rate Shipping

Flat rate shipping applies a fixed shipping cost to an entire order. You can specify a minimum and maximum order cost or weight to determine if an order qualifies for a flat rate.

For example, you might want to offer a flat shipping charge of $5 for all orders over $100 for all US states:

  1. Go to Settings > Shipping.

  2. Next to Flat Rates, click Add Rate.

  3. In the Label field, enter a method name that you want to display in the shipping method selection menu on the shopping cart page – something like "US orders over $100".

  4. In the Rate fields, enter "5" for the Base rate and leave Cost Per Lb blank.

  5. Under Qualifying Locations, in the Include field, make sure that United States is the only country selected.

  6. Under Qualifying Orders, you can set the lowest order price eligible for this rate. For this example, enter "100" in the Minimum field. If you were creating a flat rate for orders below a certain price, you would enter this price in the Maximum field.

  7. When you're done configuring your flat rate method, select the Active check box to make it available for shoppers at checkout.

  8. Click Save.

Now any order worth that totals over $100 and ships to an address within the United States will be eligible for a flat shipping rate of $5.

Tiered Flat Rate Shipping

You can create multiple flat shipping methods to offer different rates for specific order price or weight ranges. For example, you could set up 3 flat methods so that orders under $50 are offered a rate of $10, orders between $50 and $100 are offered a rate of $5, and orders over $100 are free.

You can also use multiple flat rate methods to set different flat rates for different shipping destinations. For example, you could have methods for Western US, Central US and Eastern US.

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Fixed Rate Shipping

Fixed Rate Shipping lets you offer fixed shipping prices for individual products. To enable this method:

  1. Go to Settings > Shipping.

  2. Next to Special Rates, click Add Rate and select Fixed from the drop-down menu.

  3. In the Label field, enter a name for your fixed shipping method.

  4. Select Active to enable the fixed shipping method.

  5. Click Save.

Now, set a fixed shipping cost of at least $0.01 for each qualifying product:

  1. Go to Inventory > Products.

  2. Click on a product to edit it.

  3. Under Basic Info, in the Weight field, type "0".

  4. Update the description fields for this product to state that it has a fixed shipping charge.

  5. If you want to provide further delivery information for your customers once they've placed their order, go to Advanced Info > Product Display and enter your text in the Order Finished Note field.

  6. Under Advanced Info > Shipping, make sure Free Shipping Item is deselected (unchecked).

  7. In the Fixed Shipping Cost field, enter the fixed shipping cost for this product.

  8. If you ship internationally and need to charge a higher fixed cost when shipping this item outside the country, fill in the Fixed Shipping Cost (Outside Local Region) field.

  9. Click Save.

Repeat this process for all products for which you want to assign a fixed shipping cost!

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Downloadable Products

If you want to offer downloadable products such as software, eBooks, videos, or music files, you need to enable the downloadable products shipping method.

  1. Go to Settings > Shipping.

  2. Next to Special Rates, click Add Rate and select Download from the drop-down menu.

  3. In the Label field, enter a name for this shipping method.

  4. Select Active to enable the method.

  5. Click Save.

Now for each downloadable product:

  1. Go to Inventory > Products.

  2. Click on a product to edit it.

  3. Under Basic Info, in the Weight field, type "0".

  4. Under Advanced Info > Shipping, make sure that both the Fixed Shipping Cost and Fixed Shipping Cost Outside Local Region are set to "0" or blank.

  5. Under Advanced Info > Misc, next to the Download Filename field, click Upload File.

  6. In the Upload a Downloadable File dialog box, browse for the file on your computer and click Upload.

  7. In the Download Filename field, enter the file name.

  8. Click Save.

Repeat for each downloadable product. For more information, see Downloadable Products.

In-Store Pickup

In-Store Pickup is most often used by merchants with retail locations where customers can pick up their purchases. This method can be used with the Point of Sale system when selling products to customers in person. A default In-Store Pickup method displays in the Special Rates table at all times, but it can be modified or copied to a new method with specific settings.

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How to Test Your Shipping

Congratulations, you've set up your shipping methods! Now, use the Test Shipping Rates section to make sure everything is configured properly.

Here, select or enter your shipping location, select or enter a test destination address, enter a package weight, and then click Run Test.

Use the drop-down menu to see each qualifying shipping method and its cost! Looking good? Awesome: you're shipshape!

Restricted Shipping Methods

You also have the option to limit the shipping options that are offered to a certain customer. If you have a situation where a specific corporate customer requires a certain shipping method, or you need to make sure that a customer with a history of shipping issues always chooses a shipping method with delivery notification, Restricted Shipping Methods can make this happen. To learn more, check out our Restricted Shipping Methods Article.

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