Another common practice is for stores to base the amount they charge for shipping on the total weight of items the customer is ordering. For the following example, let's suppose you operate a store where you would like to charge a base of $5.00 handling for every order. In addition to that, you'd like to charge $1.00 per pound for orders whose weights total between 0 and 10 pounds. For heavier orders totaling more than 10 pounds, you'd like to charge $0.75 per pound. This sort of policy corresponds to a "Per Weight Unit Table" shipping method type.
Example 6.3. Charging Shipping Based on the Weight of Items in the Order
Leave Minimum Charge at 0, but change Base Charge to 5.00. This corresponds to the amount of handling charges you want applied to every order.
Leave dollar signs or other currency symbols off when entering price values.
Use 0 for the floor of the first range, 10 as the ceiling, and use 1.00 for the amount of this first weight range.
This tells the store to use this rate if the total weight of items in the user's cart is greater or equal to 0 and less than or equal to 10.
Now enter the next range in the weight-based shipping table. Use 10 for the floor of the first range, 0 as the ceiling, and 0.75 as the amount.
This tells the store to use this rate if the total weight of items in the user's cart is greater or equal to 10, up to infinity (0 as the ceiling means no upper limit).
Ranges for the Per Weight Unit Table can overlap, in which case the rate of the lower range will be used. In other words, it's ok to make the ceiling for the lower range equal to the floor for the following range. Because weights are computed as decimal values, doing this will ensure that no order will fall through the cracks (i.e. it will make sure all possibilities are accounted for if the order's weight is something like 10.01).
As an example of how this works, if a user is placing an order and the total weight of all the items in the order is 15.25 pounds, the store will compute the shipping costs for this method to be 5.00 (from the Base Charge for the method), plus 15.25 times 0.75 (because 15.25 falls in the second range). The shipping cost presented to the customer will be 16.44.
Sometimes it's simpler and more convenient to set a static rate for each weight range, rather than having the costs be multiplied out per unit of weight as they are in this example. This is done by selecting the regular "Weight Table" for the Method Type of the shipping method instead of "Per Unit Weight Table". In that case, the number you enter for the "Amount" of each weight range is the flat amount that will be charged if the user's order falls within that range (plus the Base Charge), rather than the price per unit of weight.
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