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Zones and Country Lists and UPS / USPS calculators

    Nov 07 2015 10:27:30

    #1

    Bacchus

    Join date : 2014-12-04      Posts : 57

    Reading this "Advanced shipping uses the same basic concepts as the standard shipping methods but allows you to set-up many more zones; up to twenty instead of just five." My enthusiasm soared, finally a solution for the limited Country list of 3 zone options (home, worldwide or exclude) and increase in the shipping options availlable for a premium account using UPS, Fedex and USPS calculators. But, a message pops up at the last minute saying you have to use the Country list if you're using UPS and USPS calculators. ????
    Why? and why can't this issue be fixed? Also, allowing a few more characters in the text bars used for naming the Options?

    Bacchus




    Nov 07 2015 20:28:22

    #2

    Alan

    Join date : 2008-09-18      Posts : 2950

    A few years ago the thread https://www.mals-e.com/viewtopic.php?id=18898&mid=18898&fid=2 enlarged on how to exclude countries. It may help.

    Alan
    Some shipping help documents are available at www.stoner.org.uk/mals/




    Nov 08 2015 04:00:28

    #3

    Bacchus

    Join date : 2014-12-04      Posts : 57

    Thanks Alan for trying. Most helpful comment there was "Not sure I'd go as far as saying the problem is sorted but it confirms how it works and we know what we have to live with!" - Alan

    The issue isn't about including or excluding countries - that's clear and easy enough to do. But if you're using UPS/Fedex/USPS auto calculating (premium account) For those countries you can select ONE zone option only. You must use the Coutntries list, you cannot use the (up to 20) Zones list which if you could - allows several Zone options to show up in the shopping cart. You could offer a Worldwide UPS Zone, Worldwide Fedex Zone, Worldwide USPS Zone plus in each one, the 6 options available for each of those would be sufficient. Theoretically they would all show up in the shopping cart window for customer.
    But that's not available. What is available is 1 Zone and 6 options., period. 6 Options to cover UPS/Fedex/USPS/Any Other Option you need..
    To my eye, there must be some problem at the back end using the auto calculator UPS/Fedex etc in more than one zone. More frustrating there are for the 1 Zone available only 6 Options, which is harder to understand why a limit of only 6 Options.
    Unfortunately none of it is ever explained or fixed. If it can only be 1 Zone, I need more than 6 Options.

    The issue is the claim that you can create up to 20 zones, which sounds good - I would just create a zone for

    Bacchus




    Nov 08 2015 07:32:41

    #4

    Alan

    Join date : 2008-09-18      Posts : 2950

    If you want more you would have to be talking to Mal.

    I'd guess that the process of going to a calculator for each option puts a load on the server and doing it more than six times whenever the customer chooses to recalculate shipping is regarded as excessive.

    Alan
    Some shipping help documents are available at www.stoner.org.uk/mals/




    Nov 10 2015 05:13:34

    #5

    Bacchus

    Join date : 2014-12-04      Posts : 57

    Thank you Allen. I invite you to have a go at Mal on my behalf if you're inclined.
    The reason for his not making an increase in the number of options has been roughly "you're the only one in the history of Mal's asking for more than 6 Options."
    Well I doubt it, since 20 zones are on offer, and a drop down list of zones is on offer - it suggests a high interest in more shipping solutions.

    Unless I’m missing something in the shipping cart set up - If you’re using UPS/Fedex/USPS calculated shipping - the Zone choice goes down to one (1) and the options within that single Zone are six (6) only.
    I read the "Advanced Shipping Calculator - Help" and it seems to say otherwise.
    But if you set up Zones and try to use the check box “A drop down list of the zones names you’ve created” and you are using UPS/Fedex/USPS - you get a warning “You must use a countries list if use USPS, UPS, Fedex or Australia post rates services. Do not use a list of zone names.”
    So the only way to get around that limitation is more Zone Options.

    Bacchus




    Nov 10 2015 18:12:30

    #6

    Alan

    Join date : 2008-09-18      Posts : 2950

    Assuming you are in the USA, you can have one zone for the US, one for Canada, one for Puerto Rico... And one for the rest of the world.

    Is the typical customer expecting to be offered more than six delivery options? Sorry, I'm not inclined to fight that cause.

    Alan
    Some shipping help documents are available at www.stoner.org.uk/mals/




    Nov 11 2015 04:02:08

    #7

    Bacchus

    Join date : 2014-12-04      Posts : 57

    To your points - one zone for US which can include a UPS Ground option for Canada, One zone Worldwide which includes shipping by air to Canada - and Puerto Rico?, come one, not really of importance like your appendix.
    So you've got two Zones - USA - the options have to cover several express options and ground- UPS only or Fedex only to be consistent - and you want to add USPS as an economical shipping option? You're out of options before you start.
    Worldwide shipping - since UPS or Fedex are so expensive you have to offer a USPS lower cost alternative. Out of options yet? Take a look at the number of useful shipping options available through UPS and USPS.
    You want to add any fixed cost shipping as an option? No room.
    As said, there's a reason for the Mal's 20 zones using the Zones list. Somebody wants them and uses them.

    You want to compete against "free shipping" and mega companies like Amazon - you need to be able to offer alternatives. People change their minds about placing an order over a couple of bucks.
    The system available in Mal's UPS/Fedex/USPS self calculating is limited and limiting. In the Options lines you can't even spell out the full names - the characters are limited.
    Why should we have to play to someone's least expectations?
    When you can rationalize the 20 zones versus the 2 zones available you might have a winning argument for laying back.

    Bacchus




    Nov 11 2015 07:41:33

    #8

    Alan

    Join date : 2008-09-18      Posts : 2950

    If it helps, it looks as though you can treat USA and Canada as separate zones.

    For the rest, my only connection to the cart is that in 2001 ago I integrated Mals into a charity website I managed at the time. As it happens I'm not enthusiastic about a change that could chew up server power at others' expense.and think half a dozen shipping options might be enough to offer in this market.

    So we disagree and you get to choose which cart you use.

    Alan
    Some shipping help documents are available at www.stoner.org.uk/mals/




    Nov 11 2015 08:50:40

    #9

    Bacchus

    Join date : 2014-12-04      Posts : 57

    Thanks and always appreciate your willingness to discuss.
    Will follow up on co-opting Canada as a zone slave. One more zone would be a boon.
    I understand your context now and, well, the perspective is quite different running a business out of the US with domestic and international shipping needs. In my conversations with Mal I picked up a perspective on shipping that seemed quaint, and I don't mean to be pejorative, just surprising for someone running an e-commerce company. I also notice that no one else pitches in to this conversation. Says something.
    I have no idea what chewing up server power for the benefit of the few might mean. Never heard that idea expressed before and would be surprised if adding a few lines of Options would in fact create a burden. Surely in this business there are few things like that which cannot be overcome. All ready paying a premium would not be bothered to pay additional if it improved the shipping section.

    I love this e-commerce solution and worked hard to put it to work/make it work in our websites. Would much prefer to improve it rather than have to make a choice to leave it. Personal motto: "Adopt, adapt, Improve"

    Bacchus