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When you focus your business on a niche market, then most, if not all of your products, are going to be shipped in the same size packages. And when shipping from one main location to various customers, one can easily find an average shipping cost to cover the entire region without losing any money. And you can possibly make a small profit on shipping charges as well.

However, when using the services of multiple drop-shippers to ship the products for you, then shipping costs will vary from order to order since the “ship to” addresses will vary in location. Many drop-shippers have multiple warehouse locations strategically placed throughout the entire region bringing shipping cost down to a minimum when a customer is located nearby the distribution warehouse.
And shipping cost can vary from location to location by a few dollars or more. And since it’s impossible to know for sure, what the shipping costs are going to be for each and every order, then the best and safest way to set shipping charges would be to set a flat rate shipping charge for each type of delivery service.
For example, if you were selling computer software, then you can charge $14 for 2-Day shipping services while the distributor charges you $11.

You can charge $24 for over night shipping while the distributor charges you $20.

In the case of software, it’s easy to determine a flat rate shipping charge since most software packages are the same size in dimension and in weight as well. However, if you’re selling different types of products from sub-categories such as printers for example, then you may have to create more fixed shipping rates based upon the size and weight of these larger packages.

For example, for a large laser printer, you can charge $20 for 2-Day shipping while the distributor may charge you $15. And you can create smaller flat shipping rates for smaller packages as well. And of course, these are just examples of average shipping rates. You would have to check with distributors to see their shipping rates for various sized packages and then create a more accurate shipping rate for various shipping services.

For example:

2-Day shipping for small packages: $12
2-Day shipping for medium packages: $16
2-Day shipping for large packages: $19

How to create a flat shipping rate

To obtain a flat shipping rate, you can visit multiple distributor websites and begin to enter in orders for 2 to 3 multiple sized product packages, as if you were going to place those orders to have them shipped to the customers.

Once you have entered in the shipping address(s) for different locations across the country, then the shopping cart system on the distributors’ website will calculate a shipping charge based upon the weight and dimensions of the product and the “ship to” address provided before completing the order. And once you’re able to see the actual shipping charge that the distributor is going to charge you for shipping that product to the customer, then you can now have a distributor flat shipping rate. And from there, you can add two to three dollars more to create your own flat shipping rate charge to the customer.

You can also visit your competitors online and proceed to place various orders for similar products while providing shipping addresses for multiple locations as if you were going to purchase the product yourself.
At the end of the check out process, you will be able to know what they charge their customers for shipping and you can create an average shipping rate based upon those shipping charges.

It’s important to remain competitive on shipping charges as well. And although it may seem tedious to commence to place “pretend” orders on other websites just to see shipping charges, it would be worth while doing so in order to remain competitive.

(NOTE: When placing orders on other websites, you will be canceling the order on the last page before check out. You will not be actually ordering the products online; instead you will proceed in the checkout process only to find out their shipping cost for those types of products. And once you’re able to see how much they charge their customers for shipping, then you can cancel the order or leave the website entirely.)

Once you have an average shipping rate for what the distributors are going to charge you along with an average shipping rate for what your competitor’s charge their customers then you can easily create your own flat (fixed) shipping rate and add that rate to your shopping cart system accordingly.
Adding shipping charges to products

Once you have determined the flat shipping rate that you’re going to charge for shipping, then you can proceed to add those shipping rates to each product from within the administration area of your shopping cart program.

After the customer clicks on the “Add to cart” button on your website, then they can proceed to check out and select a shipping option for their order. i.e. 2-Day Shipping, 3-Day Shipping, or over night shipping.

Your shopping cart program will automatically add your flat rate shipping charge to the product in order to create the total and final sale price, (with shipping included).

Then after the customer has checked out and completed their order, an order confirmation email will be sent to both you and the customer as well.

Then you can proceed to order the product from the wholesale distributor and have the product shipped directly to your customer with your business name on the package.

If you were shipping from one main location, then a shipping calculation method can be used. But when you’re working with multiple distributors and with multiple warehouse locations then charging a flat rate shipping charge can work best for you and for the customer as well.
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Main Article Index Page
How to Succeed in Your Online Store Business
How to Start Your Online Store Business
How to Choose Your Niche Market
How to Create an Effective Business Name
Check for Domain Name Availability
How to Register Your Business Name
Should You Use a PO Box or Home Address
How to Choose the Right Business Entity for You
Sole Proprietorships Explained
Corporations Explained
Partnerships Explained
Limited Liability Companies Explained
Incorporate Your Business Online
How to Obtain Your Sales Tax License
The Best Selling Products Online (Intro)
1. Books
2. Computers, Computer Hardware
NEW:Start a Computer Reseller Business Online
3. Computer Software
4. Consumer Electronics
5. Apparel, Clothing
6. Toys/Video Games
7. Videos DVD’s
8. Health and Beauty
9. Music
10. Jewelry
11. Office Supplies
12. Linens/Home Décor
13. Flowers
14. Sporting Goods
15. Footwear, Shoes
16. Small Appliances
17. Tools and Garden
18. Gifts
About Distribution
Choosing the Right Distributors
How to Get Signed-Up With DropShip Distributors
Books Distributors, DropShippers, Wholesalers
Computers, Hardware, Software DropShippers
Apparel, Clothing Distributors, DropShippers
Toys/Video Games DropShippers, Wholesalers
Video DVD  DropShippers, Wholesalers
Health and Beauty Distributors, DropShippers
Consumer Electronics DropShippers
Music Distributors, DropShippers, Wholesalers
Jewelry Distributors, DropShippers, Wholesalers
Office Supply Distributors, DropShippers
Linens/Home Décor DropShippers, Wholesalers
Flowers Distributors, DropShippers, Wholesalers
Sporting Goods Distributors, DropShippers
Footwear, Shoes Distributors, DropShippers
Small Appliances DropShippers, Wholesalers
Tools and Garden DropShippers, Wholesalers
Gifts Distributors, DropShippers, Wholesalers
How to Find More DropShippers, Wholesalers
How to Open Your Online Store
How to Build Your Own Online Store
How to Build Effective Product WebPages
Building Your eStore with Website Templates
Designing, Planning and Organizing Your eStore
Implementing Graphic Elements
How to Create Your Own Company Logo
Create Search Engine Optimized Product Pages
How to Create a Content Rich Website
Choosing Your Web Host Provider
Create a Search Engine Optimized Domain Name
Check for Domain Name Availability
Top Web Building Software Programs
Top 10 Web Host Providers
Top 10 Complete eCommerce Solutions
Top Website Developers
All About Shopping Carts
All About Payment Processing
All About Merchant Accounts
Using PayPal as a Payment Processing Solution
More Merchant Account Providers
All Merchant Account Providers
Setting Your Prices
Setting Shipping Charges
Maintaining Your Online Store
Your Internet Marketing Master Plan
All about Search Engines
The Top Search Engines
Search Engine Optimization Guide Pt.1
Search Engine Optimization Guide Pt.2
All about Building and Exchanging Links
Purchasing Text Link Ads
All about Press Release Marketing
All about Pay-Per-Click Marketing
All about Discussion Forum Marketing
All about Article Marketing
All about Email Marketing
All about Banner Advertising
How Offering Free Shipping Can Boost Sales
All about 800 Toll Free Numbers
How to Beat the Competition
How to Run an Online Store Business
Dealing with Customers
How to Minimize Interaction with Customers
How to Deal with Customers via Email
How to Take and Place Orders
Paying for Products with Your Customers’ Money
How to Collect Sales Tax for Internet Sales
Avoiding Credit Card Fraud
How to Ship International and Overseas
How You Get Paid Each and Every Day
Dealing with Product Returns and Exchanges
Sample Return Policy and Procedures
Sample Privacy Policy
Sample Terms and Conditions Policy
Internet Business Resources
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