How to choose an Add-on shipping profile

This article will outline how to choose a Shipping Profile based on some commonly used shipping fee structures.

Choosing a Shipping Profile

When attempting to decide how to account for add-on shipping costs, there are a number of things to consider: Do you want to charge more when backers add on to their orders?  Do you know the weights of your items yet? Will all items be shipped together? How much time do you want to invest in setting up or researching shipping? How accurate can you afford to be?  For everyone, the answers to these questions can vary drastically, and so we have made available a variety of ways to charge for shipping for add-ons.  Once you have an idea of which profile will work best, you can head here to learn how to set up a Shipping Profile.

Per-Item Shipping Profile

Flat fee applies to each selected add-on

The Per-item Shipping Profile will charge the same amount for each add-on ordered endlessly. This means that if you set up a $3 per item fee for US backers, and a US backer orders 10 of that add-on, they will be charged $30 for shipping. Per-item Profiles are the  EASIEST to set up, but they are often the LEAST accurate to the cost you will actually pay.  You can have a different Per-item fee for each add-on, or you can use the same per-item fee across multiple add-ons. 

Instances where you may want to use a Per-item fee Shipping Profile:

  • You have an add-on that must ship separately from other rewards. (Large Custom Artwork, Posters, Items shipping from a different warehouse/fulfillment center than the rest of your rewards)
  • You have don't know your item's weights and dimensions
  • You have thin margins without a lot of room to cover for shipping errors/lost packages

Quantity-Based Shipping Profile

Scalable fee applies to selected add-ons

The Quantity-based Shipping Profile allows you to set quantity ranges that should be assigned the same shipping fee. A single Quantity-based Profile can be applied to as many Add-ons as you want to be included under the same umbrella of charges.  Ultimately, this allows you the most flexibility with your add-ons, as you can set pre-defined ranges, scaled costs down as order sizes go up, and even do more custom profiles - such as a one-time base charge for all add-ons.  These profiles often give you a balance between accurate fees and the amount of effort/information needed to set them up - they also are the most flexible.  This means that what you charge should be slightly grossed up to help account for possible increases in cost down the line, as well as giving you room for errors during fulfillment. 

Instances where you may want to use a Quantity-based Shipping Profile: 

  • You only have a general idea of how heavy your items will be, but you know your items will be able to package together during fulfillment.
  • You want to offer free shipping on add-ons after a certain quantity of add-ons has been added. 
  • You want to offer a one-off base shipping fee for all add-ons. 

Weight-Based Shipping Profile

Scalable fee applies to selected add-ons (must set up weights for SKUs)

The Weight-based Shipping Profile allows you to set weight ranges that should be assigned the same shipping fee. Like the Quantity-based Profile - a single Weight-based Profile can be applied to multiple add-ons. This allows you to set the weights of each individual SKU, and the system will calculate a shipping fee for all add-on SKUs. This will not include the SKUs assigned to pledge levels, as these will have a separate cost applied to the pledge level directly (often imported directly from Kickstarter/Indiegogo).  You will need to know with some relative accuracy the weights, dimensions, shipping costs for your items. These profiles often are the most involved to set up, but allow you to pass on the most accurate cost to your backers. Weight-based Profiles can give you some flexibility but are often a bit more rigid due to SKUs only being able to have one weight value assigned.

Instances where you may want to use a Weight-based Shipping Profile: 

  • You have a willingness to put in a little bit more effort to pass on the most accurate shipping fees to your backers. 
  • You have a strong understanding of your shipping costs, and you know exactly how much each item weighs, and its dimensions. 
  • You will be fulfilling all rewards together
  • You already charged shipping for pledge rewards. 

If you haven't already charged shipping on Kickstarter/Indiegogo and you would like pledge SKUs and Add-ons SKUs to all be calculated together, we recommend using Whole Order shipping profile, which is a weight based profile that calculates the fee based off the total weight of rewards/add-ons in backer's order. 

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