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Reference Guide

Shipping Rules

If shipping rates can't be retrieved from a carrier (for whatever reason), the Shipping Rules:

  • Prevent some shipping errors from occurring, and
  • Allow you to continue to taking orders
  • When no Shipping Methods are Available:

  • Use Fallback Shipping Method: In Miva Merchant builds before PR8 update 4, certain shipping conditions could generate an error. For example, if shipping for an item was required, and no shipping options had been configured or were available for the order, the customer would see a system error during checkout.
  • Fatal Error

There are several reason why shipping for an order cannot be calculated:

  • Carrier servers are unavailable.
  • No shipping modules or methods have been enabled.
  • Some shipping methods have been enabled, but none are valid for the current order.
  • Starting with PR8 update 4, if there is any reason that shipping cannot be calculated, you can still take the order without causing a system generated error.

  • Select the Use Fallback Shipping Method radio button.
  • Enter some text in the "Fallback Shipping Method Description" text box. For example, if you can't calculate a shipping rate, you could enter "Standard Shipping" in this field. If shipping cannot be calculated, your text will appear in the "Shipping Selections" screen.

Standard Shipping

  1. The text that you entered in the "Fallback Shipping Method Description" field.
  2. The price that you entered in the "Fallback Shipping Method Price" field.
  3. The default error message.
  • If you are able to estimate what the shipping charges should be, enter a value in the "Fallback Shipping Method Price" field. If you have no way of determining the shipping charges, it's better to leave "Fallback Shipping Method Price" blank. You can enter a fixed price for shipping, or you can have shipping calculated as a percentage of the order subtotal.
  • You can modify the default error message that appears in the Shipping Selections screen (above). The message is in: Menu> User Interface > Edit Page OSEL (Checkout: Shipping/Payment Selection) > Page tab > Details Section > Template field.
  • You can easily review the orders for which shipping charges could not be calculated. By default, a Miva Merchant administrator receives an email about each order. You can search your order emails for the text that you entered in the "Fallback Shipping Method Description" text box, and then contact the customer to find the shipping method that they prefer.
  • Display Error Message and Redirect Shopper to Page:
  • Display Error Message

    If you choose this option and shipping cannot be calculated, the customer will be automatically redirected to the page that you select in the drop-down list. You can even create a custom page and re-direct the customer to it. (If you create a custom page to handle this situation, it will show up in this dropdown list.) An error message will appear on the page that you selected. This error message cannot be modified.

Not Found

Skip Shipping/Payment Selection for Free Orders: If you check this box, all orders where the order total is $0.00 will receive free shipping. This field cannot be over-ridden at the product level. In Miva Merchant builds before PR8 update 4, this feature was handled through the Edit Store > Settings tab > Require Shipping for Free Orders checkbox.

Fallback Shipping Method Description: If shipping cannot be calculated, this is the text that will appear in the "Ship Via" drop-down list of the Shipping Selections screen. See Use Fallback Shipping Method.

Fallback Shipping Method Price: If shipping cannot be calculated, this is the price that will appear in the "Ship Via" drop-down list of the Shipping Selections screen. See Use Fallback Shipping Method.

Handling Charge

Use this section to control when handling charges are applied to orders. Note that these settings are global to all products in your store and cannot be over-ridden at the product level.

Apply Handling Charge:

  • Never: No order in your store will ever have a handling charge.
  • Always: Handling charges will be applied to every order.
  • When Order Subtotal Within Range: Apply a handling charge when the order subtotal is within a certain dollar range. After you select this option, enter dollar values in the "Range (Inclusive)" field. For example, if you want handling charges applied to orders under $25.00:
  • Range Inclusive

  • When Quantity of Items in Order Within Range: Apply handling charges to orders that contain a certain number of items. After you select this option, enter a range of items in the "Range (Inclusive)" field. For example, if you want handling charges applied to orders that contain more than 10 items:
  • Range Inclusive

  • When Shipping Weight of Order Within Range: Apply handling charges when the total weight of an order falls in a certain range. After you select this option, enter a weight range in the "Range (Inclusive)" field. The weight unit will be whatever you have set in Edit Store > Settings tab > Weight Units. For example, if you have your weight units set to "pounds" and you enter a range of "0 - 10", the system understands that as "0 - 10 pounds".
  • Range (Inclusive): See Apply Handling Charge.
  • Handling Charge Amount: Use Apply Handling Charge to decide when handling charges will apply. Use the "Handling Charge Amount" field to determine how much the handling charge will be. You can enter a handling charge as a fixed amount, percent of shipping amount, or percent of order total.
  • Display: Include in Shipping Rate: Any handling charge that is applied is automatically added to the shipping rate. The customer is not notified that a handling charge has been added.
  • Separate Line Item: Any handling charge that is applied appears as a separate line item in the Payment Information screen.

    Graphic Card

    Handling

    Warning

    Separate Line Item Description: The text that will appear if you are applying a handling charge and you have "Display" set to "Separate Line Item". In the sample screen capture above, the "Separate Line Item Description" text was set to "Handling".

    Separate Line Item is Tax Exempt:

    Miva Merchant allows you to control how state sales tax is applied to orders:

  • No state sales tax.
  • Sales tax just on order.
  • Sales tax on order and shipping:

Go to the Menu> Store Settings > State Based Sales Tax tab. In this screen you can control what states sales taxes should apply, and whether the state sales tax should only be applied to the order, or to the order and to shipping.

If you want state sales tax to be applied to the handling charge, you can do one of two things:

  • Tax shipping and handling together:
  1. Go to the Menu > Store Settings > State Based Sales Tax tab. Make sure that you have states that apply sales tax and that "Tax Shipping" is selected.
  2. Go back to the Menu> Shipping > Settings tab > Handling Charge section.
  3. Set "Display" to "Include in Shipping Rate". The handling charge is now included with the shipping charge, and the total shipping charge will be taxed.
  • Tax handling separately:
  1. Go to the Menu> Store Settings > State Based Sales Tax tab.
  2. Make sure that you have states that apply sales tax. You may or may not want to tax shipping.
  3. Go back to the > Shipping > Settings tab > Handling Charge section.
  4. Set "Display" to "Separate Line Item".
  5. Make sure that "Separate Line Item is Tax Exempt" is unchecked.
  6. The handling charge now appears as a separate line item and will be subject to state sales tax.

If you do not want state sales tax to be applied to the handling charge, you can do one of two things:

  • Combine shipping and handling, but do not tax either:
  1. Go to the Menu > Store Settings > State Based Sales Tax tab.
  2. You can make sure that no states are applying sales tax, or you can apply sales tax, but make sure that "Tax Shipping" is not selected.
  3. Go back to the Menu > Shipping > Settings tab > Handling Charge section. Set "Display" to "Include in Shipping Rate".
  4. The handling charge is now included with the shipping charge, but state sales tax won't be applied to either one.
  • Separate shipping and handling. Do not tax handling:
  1. Go to the Menu> Store Settings > State Based Sales Tax tab.
  2. Make sure that you have states that apply sales tax. You may or may not want to tax shipping.
  3. Go back to the > Store Settings > State Based Sales Tax tab.
  4. Make sure that you have states that apply sales tax. You may or may not want to tax shipping. > Shipping > Settings tab > Handling Charge section.
  5. Set "Display" to "Separate Line Item".
  6. Make sure that "Separate Line Item is Tax Exempt" is checked.
  7. The handling charge now appears as a separate line item and will not be subject to state sales tax.

Packaging Rules

Packaging Rules

The Packaging Rules section tries to predict how many boxes you will need for a given order, so that you can estimate the shipping charges. It's mainly useful for companies that sell a lot of products that are the same size or the same weight. For example, if you only sell DVDs, you might know that you can put ten DVDs in your smallest box. You could set "Box Packing" to "Pack by Quantity", and in the Box tab create a box that holds ten DVDs. When your customer places an order, Miva Merchant software figures out how many boxes are needed for the order, along with the total weight, and total cubic inches of boxes in the order. If you are using the UPS Developer Kit Module, this information is submitted to the carrier and affects the rate quote for the order.

Although the settings in this tab create global defaults for your entire store, the settings can be overridden at the product level: Menu> Catalog > Products tab > Edit Product > Product tab > Shipping Rules section.

Box Packing:

  • Always Use the Fallback Package Dimensions: This option assumes that every order you ship will fit into one box of the same size. The box size and the weight of the order are sent to the carrier to get real time rate information. This is the least accurate method of getting real time rate information because it is unlikely that all of your orders will fit in one box of the same size. If you select this option you should enter the size of the box that you are always going to use (or the size of the box that you are going to use to estimate shipping charges) in the "Fallback Package Dimensions" fields.
  • Pack by Quantity: most commonly used by companies that sell a lot of products that are the same size. For example, if you sell mostly DVDs, you could create a set of boxes that will hold 5 DVDs, 10 DVDs, etc. When your customer places an order, the system will select the least number of boxes and the smallest size boxes automatically.
  • If you select "Pack by Quantity", when you create boxes, you will set the max number of items that can fit in each box. However, it's still a good idea to enter values in the Fallback Package Dimensions fields. If you forget to create boxes, or if you set the max items in your boxes to zero, having Fallback Package Dimensions guarantees that the system will always have a backup box size.

  • Pack by Weight: If you select this option, you create boxes (below) that will hold a certain max weight. When your customer places an order, the system will select the least number of boxes and the smallest size boxes automatically.
  • If you select "Pack by Weight" it's still a good idea to enter values in the Fallback Package Dimensions fields. If you forget to create boxes, or if you set the max weight in your boxes to zero, having Fallback Package Dimensions guarantees that the system will always have a backup box size.

  • Pack by Cubic Volume:
  • Pack by cube designs a box to fit the cubic volume dimension of the products in the basket up to the maximum Package volume/dimension specified in the module settings screen (pack by cubic volume). Because of this It can create a cube shaped box of any dimension from 0.01 to the max specified which when used to get live rates should get more accurate rates then the pre-configured boxes.

To get a shipping estimate, Miva Merchant:

  1. Looks at the dimensions of products in the customer's basket.
  2. Figures out how many boxes will be needed.
  3. Submits the boxes and box dimensions to the selected carrier.
  • The shipping estimate can be affected if you use Pack by Cubic Volume and don't set the dimensions of a product. In this case, Miva Merchant assumes that the product has zero dimensions (takes up no space) and can't accurately calculate the number of boxes that the order needs. The person who is picking the order will realize that extra boxes are needed, and the shipping charge would have to be changed after the customer completes checkout.

Fallback Package Dimensions: It's a good idea to always enter values in the "Fallback Package Dimensions" fields. Even if you are using Pack by Quantity or Pack by Weight, an error condition can occur if you forget to create boxes or if you accidentally set the max quantity/max weight in the boxes to zero. By entering values in these fields you guarantee that a box dimension is always available to the system.

Inventory Variant Handling

The settings in this section give you some control over how Miva Merchant calculates the weight of a kit with parts, or the weight of a master product that has Variants. This can be particularly important when the weight of the master product doesn't match the weight of the parts or variants. For example:

  • The weight of a kit master product might be set to 20 pounds, but all of the parts in the kit add up to 30 pounds.
  • The weight of a t-shirt master product might be set to 2 pounds, but a variant of the shirt (say, size small, color blue) was set to 1 pound.

Pack master product (Uses variant weight)

Always ignore the part/attribute weight.

Example: If you have a master t-shirt product that weighs 2 pounds regardless of the size or color that the customer orders, select this option.

Pack variant parts using part weights as-is (Ignores variant weight)

Select this option to always use the part/attribute weight. Always ignore the weight of the master product:

  • Kit: The weight is calculated as the weight of all of the parts in the kit. If the kit has three parts, and each part weighs 5 pounds, the weight of the kit is calculated as 15 pounds. It doesn't matter what the weight of the kit master product was set to.

  • Master product with variants: if you had a master t-shirt product with variants, you would set the weight of each variant. The weight of the master product is ignored. The product weight depends on which variant the customer orders. For example:
  • Name Weight

Pack variant parts and adjust part weights to equal variant weight by spreading weight evenly across all parts

This option adjusts the weight of the parts or variants if they don't match the weight of the master part. Let's say there was a data entry error that caused the following situation.

  • You have a kit where the kit master product weight is set to 50 pounds.
  • The kit has two parts. One part weighs 99 pounds. The other part weighs 1 pound. The parts in the kit weigh a total of 100 pounds, but the master product weight is only 50 pounds.

The Miva Merchant software knows that the parts weigh 50 pounds more than the master product. That is the discrepancy weight: (weight of all parts) - (weight of master product).

The software will adjust the weight of each part using this formula:

Adjusted part weight = Original weight of part - (Discrepancy weight / number of parts)

Part #1: Adjusted part weight = 99 pounds - (50 pounds / 2 ) = 74 pounds.

Part #2: Adjusted part weight = 1 pound - (50 pounds / 2 ) = -24 pounds.

Notes:

  • From the above example, you can see that using this option can result in a part weight being adjusted down to a "negative weight". When this weight is sent to a carrier for a rate quote, the carrier will send back an error. However, the part weight can also be adjusted up (if the master product weight was lower than the part weights). If a part weight is adjusted up over 150 pounds, that can also cause the carrier to return an error.
  • This is the default setting if you’ve updated your store from PR8 Update 8 or older
  • If you want to duplicate the way that older versions of Miva Merchant behaved, select this option and check all 3 checkboxes at the bottom of the Packaging Rules screen.

Inventory Variant Handling

Figure 6: These settings will duplicate the way versions before PR8 Update 8 behaved.

Pack variant parts and adjust part weights to equal variant weight by spreading weight proportionally across all parts

Like the option above, this option also adjusts the weight of parts or variants if they don't match the weight of the master part, but it uses a different formula. Let's use the same example as above:

  • You have a kit where the kit master product weight is set to 50 pounds.
  • The kit has two parts. One part weighs 99 pounds. The other part weighs 1 pound. The parts in the kit weigh a total of 100 pounds, but the master product weight is only 50 pounds.

Adjusted part weight = Original part weight - [(Discrepancy weight) x (Part weight as a percent of total weight)]

Part #1:

  • Original part weight = 99 pounds
  • Discrepancy weight = (weight of all parts in the kit: 100 pounds - weight of master part: 50 pounds) = 50 pounds
  • Part weight as a percent of total weight: The combined weight of all parts in this kit is 99 + 1 = 100 pounds. Part1 weighs 99 pounds, so Part1 is 99% of the total weight.
  • Adjusted weight of Part1 = 99 pounds - [(50 pounds) x (.99)] = 99 - 49.5 = 49.5 pounds.

Part #2:

  • Original part weight = 1 pound
  • Discrepancy weight = (weight of all parts in the kit: 100 pounds - weight of master part: 50 pounds) = 50 pounds
  • Part weight as a percent of total weight: The combined weight of all parts in this kit is 99 + 1 = 100 pounds. Part2 weighs 1 pound, so Part2 is 1% of the total weight.
  • Adjusted weight of Part2 = 1 pound - [(50 pounds) x (.01)] = 1 - .5 = .5 pounds.

The Inventory Variant Handling Checkboxes

Inventory Variant Handling

  • Allow adjustments up:
  • If the kit master part weight is heavier than the sum of the part weights, the weight of the parts is adjusted up.
  • If the kit master part is lighter than the sum of the part weights, the system assumes that the part weight total is correct and uses that weight to get a shipping quote.
  • Allow adjustments down:
  • If the kit master part weight is heavier than the sum of the part weights, the system assumes that the part weight total is correct and uses that weight to get a shipping quote.
  • If the kit master part weight is lighter than the parts, the software will adjust the part weights down.
  • Allow negative adjusted weights: We don't recommend that you select this checkbox because it's possible that you can end up with a negative part weight. This option is only included for backward compatibility with previous releases of Miva Merchant.
  • If you check this box, you will allow the system to send a negative part weight to a carrier. Unless you have a specific reason for wanting to allow negative weights to be sent to the carrier for a shipping quote, you should leave this option unchecked.
  • If you leave this box unchecked, negative part weights will be adjusted up to 0.

Price Table Based Shipping Options

Include Other Basket Charges in the Order Total: With price table shipping, you create shipping charges based on the order total (see Shipping > Settings Tab > Price Table Based Shipping Options Section) For example, you might create two shipping ranges:

  • Range 1: If the order total is $1.00 - $9.99, the shipping charge is $5.00.
  • Range 2: If the order total is $10.00 - $19.99, the shipping charge is $10.00

If you do not enable this option, the range that your customer ends up in is determined solely by the value of merchandise in their basket. If you enable this option, the range that your customer ends up in is determined by the value of merchandise in their basket, plus any additional fees that you charge, such has handling. For example, the customer's merchandise might total $9.00, but if you include a $2.00 handling fee, the customer is charged the shipping fee for range 2.

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