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Taring Shipping Calculations - Zen-cart/oscommerce

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I'm not sure if anyone's asked about this before...but I didn't really find anything on this particular topic on taring. Anyway, so I was wondering for those of you using zen and osc, which shipping module do you use? Just lookin at it it seems like zone rate would be the best way for shipping to mulitiple regions and countries. Do you guys use the tare weight function to calculate packaging weight? It seems a lil difficult to tare each item with packaging if people buy multiple items, cuz then you're counting almost double the packaging weight, no? And also is it easier to list the net weight and then tare it or just include the packaging weight in the net weight and not use the tare function at all?


How hard is it to integrate USPS into the shipping module? I looked at it briefly and it looked quite complicated. Would an avg person be able to do it? I do'nt know any programming or scripts or anything...I am barely starting out on my first website...so basically is it easier to try to integrate USPS or just calculate everything manually?



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We use the zone system, and add a tare to each item. The tare includes the weight of the box for a single item, so if the customer buys several (all our items weigh the same) he/she pays a little more than the actual shipping cost.


It's not that bad, though, because most of the shipping charge, at least with UPS, is the up-front package charge. Small changes in weight (or distance) don't make that much difference.



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I use Zencart and I use the USPS shipping module, which pulls the shipping info right from the USPS site, even for international. I played around with tare a little and, because of my huge difference in types of items I sell, I don't use it. I sell little stuff (like loose beads) up to much heavier items, like vases and the percentage of increased packaging materials varied too much from item to item. I just build the packaging weight into the product item weight. It has been working very well. At first, I had a couple of customers pay way too much postage, while I was tweaking my weights, and I just refunded the excess back to them, which always make happy customer.


I'm not sure about this, but I don't think OSC modules are exactly like Zen. I tried to start with OSC, but found Zen more intuitive for myself, personally. It would be good if you could specify exactly which cart you are setting up.


Good luck to you!

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