Shipping classes are a great way to setup different rules and pricing for items in your shop. Usually due to weight or size, some products in your shop may cost very different amounts to ship. Shipping classes allow you to group together similar products and give each group a different shipping cost. This will work for shipping only regardless of what category or attributes are assigned.
Charging Shipping Per Item
In this example, the shop owner manages a wine store that sells both individual bottles and boxes. Each items ships in its own box, so a shipping cost must be applied separately for every product in the cart. By basing the shipping costs ‘per item’, this shipping method will go through the customers order line by line and determine a cost for each item separately. This field can be found in section #1, General Settings, as seen below:
Moving to the Table of Rates section, one option for the customer is setup that will define the costs for all shipping classes. For this example, the shop owner has three classes: Single Bottles, 3 Bottle Box, and 6 Bottle Box. Every product in the shop has been assigned to one of these shipping classes.
The table below shows how shipping classes are used to setup the shipping costs for each shipping class. A single bottle ships at $3.50, a small box with 3 bottles ships at $10, and a large box of 6 bottles ships at $14. Orders containing more than one product will have the combined shipping cost of all items in the cart. This includes multiple quantities, so the Cost column has the multiplied by option enabled to multiply the cost by the amount ordered.
Pay special attention to how the rows for both shipping classes are within the same table. It is important that these rows are together in one table. This tells the plugin that all items can be shipped within the same order. Otherwise, the method will assume it has two incomplete options, and neither will be returned. One shipping option must cover all items in the cart, even if you are not including the shipping cost for those items.
Charging Shipping Per Shipping Class Group
In some cases you can charge one shipping rate for all items of a particular shipping class. In situations like this, the change is very simple. Under section #1, change the Base Table Rules field to Per Class instead of Per Item as seen above. In the Costs column of your table of rates, change the multiplied by feature back to the currency symbol. These two changes will charge a flat rate for each group of products in the cart.