Before you begin

Save a copy of your existing rates 

Go to Settings > Shipping > Shipping Rates and click on Export Rates, located in the top right - this will download all of your existing rates. Save a copy of these to your computer. This is an important step because whatever you upload will *replace* the rates that currently exist. It's a good idea to keep a copy in case you need to re-upload the existing rates for any reason.

Make changes to your rates

Open the existing rates, previously downloaded and saved to your computer.

Make edits directly on this spreadsheet. Note: Leave any rates that are *not* being edited, untouched. 

If you are adding any new Plans, Methods or Zones, you must add these directly to VineSpring prior to uploading the spreadsheet. Note that Plans and Methods must match exactly what you have entered in VineSpring. (Example: If you create a new Method called, 'Fedex2Day', be sure your spreadsheet says 'Fedex2Day' and not 'Fedx2day'. These must match exactly or the upload will fail).

Once your spreadsheet is complete, save as 'New' and then go back to Settings > Shipping > Shipping Rates.

Click on Import Rates, located in the top right and upload the file.

NOTE: Whatever you upload will replace all rates that are currently in the system.

More Detail

VineSpring has four different configuration screens that are used to establish shipping rates for your customers. They are located under Settings > Shipping. Each is summarized below:

SHIPPING RATES

Clicking on “Shipping Rates” brings up a form that lets you set a combination of shipping plan, shipping method, and shipping zone to select a particular table of values. Make a selection and then click on the “Go” button. You will see a table of the values that are currently in place. These can be edited as you wish.

The Shipping Rates screen also has links in the upper RH corner that allow you to download all the rates into an Excel CSV file, and to upload rates if necessary. Note that the “Import Rates” link is a REPLACE action. That means whatever data you upload will replace your existing data. This makes it very important that you download your rates and save them in a convenient folder before you make any changes. That way you can import the saved spreadsheet and set your tables back the way they were in case any errors were made.

It is also worthwhile to download your VineSpring rates to see the format of the data. You can sort the data first by Shipping Plan, then Shipping Method, then Shipping Zone and finally by the Lower Bound of the shipping range. That will show how your shipping is organized.

Shipping Plans

The Shipping Plan is typically used to designate a grouping by bottle format (1.5L, 750ml, 375ml, etc.) but it is also used to segment products for which you want to provide very specific shipping options to customers who purchase those products. A product can be given a shipping plan that allows a flat rate, free shipping, or rates that are offered just to specific areas of the country.

Two points to note are that you can set a shipping plan to be based on weight, which requires you to set the weight on a product SKU to a non-zero value. If you leave the weight field blank the shipping charge will always end up being zero. On the other hand, there is an “Overage Rate” field that should be left at zero or blank. If you put a value there, that will become the additional amount charged when extrapolation occurs. This can be surprising when each additional bottle on an order is charged $1.00 for shipping!

Shipping Methods

The Shipping Method is where you set the particular shipping that is offered to your customers. A fulfillment house may allow Ground, 2-Day, 3-Day and Priority Overnight shipping, but you may only wish to offer your customers Ground and 2-Day. The shipping method is where you set this up.

You can have several shipping methods in place, but may wish to only display certain methods to your customers. This is done by removing the checkmark from the “Allow customers to select this method during checkout” box for the particular method. This is used when you have set up a method such as “Cold Chain” shipping, and don’t want to delete it during the winter because you will need it next summer. You simply uncheck the box and customer will not be able to see it.

Zone Tables

This is where you find the state codes for the states to which you allow your Internet customers to ship products. VineSpring controls for shipping so that if a state code is not listed in a particular zone, your Internet customers will not be able to ship there and VineSpring will ask them to choose a new shipping destination.

Zone Tables are also used to define the groupings of state codes designated by different shippers. General Logistics Systems (GLS) has a definition for its Zones 2, 3, 4, and 5 that is different from the same zones for UPS and FedEx. If you are trying to match the rates you are charged by your shipper and pass those rates along to your customers, you will need to have the correct state codes in the appropriate zones within the zone table.

FAQs

Can zip codes be used to separate shipping charges?

VineSpring allows zip code ranges to be designated using the first three digits of the zip code. For example, the city and county of San Francisco can be designated as 941-941 in VineSpring. That allows you to segregate San Francisco zip codes from 94100 to 94199 for separate treatment.

How do you set up shipping for orders that are picked up at the winery?

This is done by setting up a Zone Table named “Pickup.” That table will have a single zone file in it with an asterisk used to designate all of the allowed state codes. This means that a customer can have a billing address anywhere in the country and choose the “Pickup at Winery” method. It’s important to use this designation, as putting a state code in the zone file will restrict this method to only be available to people from that particular state (and cause your out-of-state customers to wonder why they cannot pick up from the winery!)

An additional step to perform is to set the shipping method for “Pickup at Winery” to collect sales tax based on the winery location. This is done by checking the box in the pickup method under the Tax area that is labeled “Use a fixed address for tax and shipping.” When this box is checked, you must also set the “Alternate Tax Address” to be the address of the winery. When that is done, VineSpring will calculate the sales tax based on the winery address.

It is important to NOT check the box under General Options in the shipping method that is labeled “Require a shipping address when used on an order.” This will require a customer to enter shipping information when he or she is simply trying to pick up at the winery. That can be irritating to Internet customers who simply want to order some wine for pickup and feel it is unnecessary to provide a shipping address.

A typical way to configure the values for a winery pickup option is to set the lower bound for the pickup method to be “1” and the upper bound to be “1000.” You then set the rate to be “0” so that a customer picking up anywhere from 1 to 1000 bottles at the winery is not assessed a shipping charge. On the other hand, if you wish to assign a handling fee, then set the rate to be “5,” or whatever amount you wish to charge.

What if I want to change fulfillment companies or redo my shipping rates?

The best way to do this is using the Shipping Rate “Download” and “Upload” system. This allows you to use a spreadsheet to make the necessary changes. Here are the steps:

Save a copy of your existing rates

Go to Settings > Shipping > Shipping Rates and click on Export Rates, located in the top right - this will download all of your existing rates. Save a copy of these to your computer. This is an important step because whatever you upload will *replace* the rates that currently exist. It's a good idea to keep a copy in case you need to re-upload the existing rates for any reason.

Make changes to your rates

Open the existing rates, previously downloaded and saved to your computer.

Make edits directly on this spreadsheet. Note: Leave any rates that are *not* being edited, untouched.

If you are adding any new Plans, Methods or Zones, you must add these directly to VineSpring prior to uploading the spreadsheet. Note that Plans and Methods must match exactly what you have entered in VineSpring. (Example: If you create a new Method called, 'Fedex2Day', be sure your spreadsheet says 'Fedex2Day' and not 'Fedx2day'. These must match exactly or the upload will fail).

Once your spreadsheet is complete, save as 'New' and then go back to Settings > Shipping > Shipping Rates. Click on Import Rates, located in the top right, and upload the file.

NOTE: Whatever you upload will replace all rates that are currently in the system.

If your update is fairly extensive, you can contract with VineSpring Support to do the work for you. Their billing rate is $200/hour, and an update rarely takes longer than an hour. If the update is fairly simple and VineSpring Support can do it in less than 15 minutes, there is no charge.

What if I want to add a new shipping method?

This is a two-step process. First you must enter the new shipping method in Settings > Shipping > Shipping Methods > Add Method and then you must download your shipping rates (Settings > Shipping > Shipping Rates > Download) and add the necessary values. If a shipping method has no values associated with it, it will not be available as a choice for your Internet customers.

A good technique is to save your downloaded rates to a convenient folder, and then download the rates again and rename them to something like “Uploaded Rates.” That way you’ve got a copy of your current data and can upload it if you need to return your tables to the way they were.

Next, you modify the renamed file data so that the appropriate rates for the new method are in place. It’s a good idea to start by sorting the data by Plan then Method then Zone and Lower Bound so that the data is organized. You can then copy and paste the appropriate structure to the bottom of your spreadsheet and modify it with the new values.

Keep in mind that accuracy in labeling the various items is important. A zone file of “Zone 2” is not the same as a zone file labeled “zone 2.” (The names are case-sensitive.) Also, a method of “2-Day” is not the same as a method labeled “2 Day.” You will receive an error message when you try to upload the data to VineSpring.

What if I want to sell non-alcoholic products on VineSpring?

This is normally done by setting up a Shipping Plan labeled something like “Merchandise.” Each of the product items would then have its associated SKU use “Merchandise” as the Shipping Plan. In the setup of the Shipping Plan, you would have the Type for the plan set as “Weight.” This allows you to set an appropriate Weight value in the SKU for the product.

You can use the same shipping methods and zone tables or set up something new. You probably will have new values for the shipping charge, and will have these assigned to your Weight values. The Weight can be a proxy; it does not have to conform to an actual weight. For example, you can assign your products weighing less than 8 ounces a weight of “1” and your products weighing 8 to 16 ounces a weight of “2.” You can assign a shipping cost that is set high enough so that you do not lose money on shipping your merchandise.

Troubleshooting

Why doesn't my new method show up online as a shipping option? This is due to one of two things:

Reason 1: Check your Display options
Go to Settings > Shipping > Methods
Click on the Method in question.
Confirm that the "Allow customers to select this method during checkout" option is checked.

Reason 2: Check that your Method has rates

Ship methods with no rates will not show up on your website. This includes free shipping options like Pickup. For free shipping options, enter a Lower Bound of '1' and an Upper Bound of '1000' and a rate of '0'.


Why do I get an error message when I attempt to upload my rates?

Did you add any extra columns to the upload template? If so, you will need to delete those prior to upload.

Check that any new Methods or Plans match exactly what you have entered in VineSpring. (Example: If you create a new Method called, 'FedEx 2 Day', be sure your spreadsheet says 'FedEx 2 Day' and not 'Fedex2day'. These must match exactly or the upload will fail).

Confirm that you do not have any blank cells in your spreadsheet. 

We understand that the Shipping Rates section can be a little overwhelming. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to contact Support. We are here to help!

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