The USPS Shipping Module for Zen Cart is one of the more popular and versatile of the available shipping modules. It’s popular because the USPS offers many economical ways to ship with options from over night to media mail. It’s written by the Zen Developers so compatibility and updates are very consistent.
Within the module are a number of helpful configuration settings. Since the USPS ships both domestic and international, some apply to both while some can be set for either. For example, a ‘handling fee’ can be assigned separately for domestic and international shipments. See image to the left, click to enlarge. This is handy to help cover any packaging or processing time associated with preparing your shipments.
Other settings that are separate for domestic and international are the shipping methods you want to offer. Some methods, like Priority Mail, are available for both but some methods are specific to domestic and some specific to international. In the module, the checked options are the ones that will be available to your shoppers.
The real time shipping modules, like this one, are very useful because they will calculate the actual shipping cost for your customers order based upon order weight and shipping locations. This avoids one of the drawbacks of offering free or flat rate shipping when your shipping cost is significantly higher than what you collect from the customer. They ensure you never get stuck holding the bag.
Usage of the USPS Shipping Module does require a WebTools ID from the USPS. Fortunately, it is free and easy to set-up.
It is also dependent on accurate products weights for all of your products. Zen Cart adds the weight of all products in the shopping cart which the module then sends, along with to and from zip codes, to the USPS website to get the rate. If your weight are wrong, the shipping rate will be wrong. Of course, this will be true for any of the real time shipping modules, so is important for those as well.
If you’re using this module but not getting the rates you’d like to see, we can help with the configuration of both the module and Zen Cart shipping options in general to help you out. Please contact us for details.
The USPS Shipping Module is one of the most popular shipping modules we see used. It’s flexible with various configuration settings, offers both domestic and international options, is an economical shipping method and is highly compatible.
If you need the USPS Shipping Module installed, configured or updated, please see our Zen Cart Services page.