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Offering variable shipping rates

You can offer variable shipping rates manually. This is useful for eCom stores who cannot use an integrated shipping strategy. For example, eCom stores that have products that are very large, hazardous, controlled, or have unique dimensions.

To vary the shipping rates, products must have weight values entered in each of its variants. Whether you use the exact weight of the products or just a general estimate depends on your shipping needs:

  • You can enter the exact weight of the product in shipping packaging in order to charge the estimated cost for shipping. This is explained in Scenario 1 - Closely match the actual cost of shipping.
  • You can also enter general values in the weight field to differentiate products in order to charge a couple flat rates that may change according to other factors, such as insurance costs or irregular package sizes. This is explained in Scenario 2 - Two flat rates.

Alternatively, connect to an integration or app in your region so the rates vary by weight automatically. Or setup manual shipping rates without adding weights to your products, by:


Before you setup a way to offer a shipping rate per weight tier, you need to ensure your products have weights, have a familiarity of the costs of shipping, know the size and quantity of the weight tiers you will need, the regions you will be sending your orders.

  1. Ensure the packaged weight is added in each of the products that are visible to your eCom store.
    • For more information about adding weights manually, click here.
    • To add weights via product import, click here.
  2. Decide on the size of your weight tiers. For example, for products like jewelry that maybe expensive to ship and very light, you may decide to have many small weight tiers, none more than a few grams or ounces. Or for heavy products that are inexpensive to ship, you may choose to have a few large weight tiers.
  3. Decide how large of an order you are likely to receive. This will be useful in knowing how many weight tiers you will need to create. For example, if you have jewelry products, an order over 5 pounds may be unlikely.
  4. Decide the locations to which you plan on shipping. Later when creating shipping methods, you will need one for every area that has a significant change in price. For example, the shipping costs may vary when comparing national vs international shipping.
  5. Research the cost of shipping for each weight tier and each geographic location to which you plan on shipping. This can be done by:
    1. Visiting the shipping carriers website, changing the weights and locations, then recording the price differences.
    2. By contacting shipping carriers. They may provide you with tables that explain the prices to ship based on weight and region.
    3. Understanding the cost of the materials you will use to package your shipments.
  6. Decide on whether you want to offer free shipping and decide on the amount customers must spend to receive free shipping.


  1. Open your Lightspeed eCom Back Office and click Settings.
  2. In the second column called Store Settings, click Shipping methods.
  3. Click Add manual shipping method.
  4. Enter a title for the new shipping method that will be visible to your customers.
  5. Keep the type set as Default shipping and click Continue.
  6. Enter the name of the shipping method in the field labeled Title in the SHIPPING METHOD TITLE section. Optionally, type a description. For example: We ship using Fedex only.
  7. Click Add shipping rate in the SHIPPING RATES section.
  8. In the SHIPPING RATES section, repeat these steps until all required weight tiers are added:
    1. Add a weight tier by clicking Add shipping rate.
    2. Add the minimum and maximum weights of the tier.
    3. Select the unit of measurement.
    4. Enter the price of this specific weight tier in the field labeled Rate excluding VAT.
    5. Click Save.
  9. If offering free shipping above an order amount, enter the amount in the field labeled Minimum order price for free shipping.
  10. In the COUNTRIES section, select the countries for which free shipping should apply.
  11. In the TAX RATE section:
    1. North American eCom stores: Keep the switch labeled Calculate taxes automatically enabled.
    2. European, UK or Australian eCom stores: Select an appropriate tax rate.
  12. Click Save.
  13. Click Shipping methods and click Add manual shipping method again to create another shipping method. This is required if you have a different set of rates for another geographic region.
  14. Repeat these steps until you've created all your shipping methods for all your regions.

Scenario 1 - Closely match the actual cost of shipping

Many weight tiers are created to cover the entire range of product weights so rates stay close to the actual cost.

For example, you own a business in New York city that sells recording equipment to the film industry in only two states: New York and California. You have products that have package weights ranging from 1 pound to 5 pounds.

You research UPS rates for ground shipping in New York and find that it costs about:

  • 10.20 USD to ship 1 lb
  • 10.30 USD to ship 2 lbs
  • 10.40 USD to ship 3 lbs
  • 10.63 USD to ship 4 lbs
  • 10.90 USD to ship 5 lbs.

For Ground shipping to California it costs about:

  • 11.50 USD to ship 1 lb
  • 12.90 USD to ship 2 lbs
  • 14.50 USD to ship 3 lbs
  • 16.60 USD to ship 4 lbs
  • 18.27 USD to ship 5 lbs.

To charge customers the correct amount, you create two shipping methods, one for New York with the following settings:

  • Name: Default shipping
  • Description: UPS usually delivers in 2-5 business days.
  • Shipping weight range and rate:
    • From 0 - 5lb,  10.90 USD
  • Countries: United States > New York

And one for California with the following settings:

  • Name: Default shipping
  • Description: UPS usually delivers in 5 - 10 business days.
  • Shipping rate tiers:
    • From 0 - 1 lb, 11.50 USD to ship 1 lb
    • From 1 - 2 lbs, 12.90 USD to ship 2 lbs
    • From 2 - 3 lbs, 14.50 USD to ship 3 lbs
    • From 3 - 4 lbs, 16.60 USD to ship 4 lbs
    • From 4 - 5 lbs, 18.27 USD to ship 5 lbs.
  • Countries: United States > California

Conclusion: With this scenario's setup, when customers from either state go through your checkout, they will receive rates for their own states and won't even see the other state's rates.

Weight tier differences

Price ranges for New York only vary by 0.70 USD compared to California that have a range of 6.77 USD. Since a 0.70 USD price range is trivial, only one weight range is required for New York.

Scenario 2 - Two flat rates

You own a business in The Netherlands that sells jewelry and purses. You decide on two flat rates because of expensive shipping insurance required when shipping jewelry. In this case, the exact weight value that you provide doesn't matter as long as all of your jewelry have a specific weight value that is different from the value assigned to your purses. You give your purses a weight of 1kg and your jewelry products a weight of 100 kg. This way, your customers could purchase many purses without paying for expensive shipping. However, as soon as they add any jewelry to the cart, the cost will go up to cover the cost of the shipping insurance.

To charge customers the correct amount, you create one shipping method, with the following settings:

  • Name: Default shipping
  • Description: UPS usually delivers in 2-5 business days. Shipping insurance for jewelry included in cost.
  • Shipping weight range and rate:
    • From 0 - 99 lbs,  6.50 USD
    • From 100 lbs - 2000 lbs, 30.00 USD
  • Country: The Netherlands

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