Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I am looking at my shop pages with a vexed eye today. I have had to jack up international shipping prices in line with the dollar to pound exchange rate, which is fine and good for one shirt. But because of the unique way Paypal's shopping cart is constructed, it means that international customers ordering more than one shirt are being overcharged. I have a terrible sense of deja vu as I attempt to bend this inflexible and ill-maintained shopping solution to my will, my will being that when a customer orders more than one tshirt design, the second design is charged at the lower "shipping2" price.

Paypal's cart is so ham-fisted that even if you order two of the same thing in different sizes, which is to say, the same item code, it still charges both at the full shipping price! I figured I could trick the cart this way by making all the items the same name and sticking the item code in the size variable. Well they bloody well showed me because you can't.

I didn't really care about this when $2 to £1 meant my shirts were cheap whatever. But now I have to do right by my countrymen lest I be burned alive by an angry mob. And I want to do right without having to install a whole different shopping cart solution.

(The other option is to have people add international shipping to their basket as a separate item. My experience is that a lot of people won't actually do this, or do it correctly.)

Anyway I am being transparent about this failing because I know it is not fair. I hope that someone can help!


Rachel Dukes said...

I'm running into the same problem with out store, too. :/ I've been doing research, and I can either:

a) install Shopify for $25/mo, which works but looks nothing like my site; or
b) pay someone $2,000 to install an ecommerce shop and make it look like our site; or
c) install an ecommerce site myself, and muck around with it 'til I break it.

None of these seem very appealing. :/ If you come up with a genius solution, please feel free to keep us posted! <3

Glen said...

why dont you use Topatoco? all your colleagues seems to be going that way, and their price structure is a bit cheaper than yours at the moment

John A said...

Topatoco isn't a shipping company, it's a buyout of your business.

John A said...

Sorry, that sounded bad tempered! It was just a fact that came out too fast.

Unknown said...

A fact that came out fast like a punch right in Jeff Rowland's face! No wonder he fears The Englishman so much.

I have done some investigation into the Paypal shopping cart and if I'm honest it's one of the most irritating bastard pieces of miserably incompetent software I have ever had the misfortune to deal with. It fills me with rage.

dig412 said...

If you feel up to it, ProtX are a very good payment system, but don't offer any kind of shopping cart of their own. Out of all the third party systems i've dealt with, they've been the easiest to integrate.

Ray Gun said...

Have you considered giving shoppers the option to buy T-shirts in packs? Buyers can then use the comments box at the paypal checkout to specify which designs, and sizes, they want.

Priced appropriately, packs of two, three or four shirts would then be cheaper than adding single designs to the shopping cart.

Also, is it just me or is Captain Nemo the spitt of Johnny Depp?

Bugs and Fishes said...

I have nothing helpful to add (sorry) but I feel your pain! My shopping cart has similar issues and it drives me crazy ...

John A said...

Three packs sort of work, but some people want two, or four, or five, or twenty-seven shirts. Also, a lot of people get confused when they are typing in what they want or fail to type anything. But it is entirely sensible to suggest this - I have tried it in the past.

I have retooled my store for now until I work out something more sensible. Thank you everyone for chipping in.