VIDEO: Getting Started (6/9): Setting Up Tax and Shipping

Disclaimer: We recently redesigned our Admin Area. Your store may look different than the one shown in this video, but most click paths were not affected.

 

Transcript

Hey there! This is Christine with Volusion. And this here is Roxie. Its take-your-dog-to-work day here at the office, so she’s gonna help me show you how to set up tax and shipping. Take it away, Roxie! She's a little camera-shy, so I'm gonna help her out.

In our last episode, we covered how to get your store ready to take credit card payments. Once you’ve done that, there’s actually not much stopping you from taking orders. But you don’t want to do that quite yet, because you’ll be losing money until you account for all of those extra little tax and shipping charges. But not to worry, we're going to cover that in today's episode.

First, let’s take care of shipping. In your Admin Area, go to Settings > Shipping, fill out your Ship From Location, and save. Then fill out the Ship To Location, or the countries, states, and provinces you want customers to be able to choose during checkout. Since my store is in the US and I don’t want to process international orders until I’m more established, I’ll start typing in the Include field, and select United States from the list when it shows up. I’m also not going to ship to Alaska and Hawaii right away, so I’ll do the same thing with those states in the Exclude field. When you’re making these choices, keep in mind that your store shares the same Ships To and Bills To list. So in my case, since I don’t ship to Hawaii, I can’t bill customers in Hawaii, either.

Now I have to decide which methods I want to offer. Live rates may seem like the simplest way to go, but it can be surprisingly difficult to set up your products to pull accurate rates for all shipments. And shoppers tend to hate unexpected price jumps at the last moment anyway. That's why we recommend offering free shipping across the board, and factoring your costs into your product pricing like any other business expense. It may seem like a bit of a hassle to figure out, but it can actually be much easier than accounting for weight and dimensional factors for every product in your store, and every multi-item shipment combination possibility. Besides, your shoppers will thank you with more sales and fewer abandoned carts.

To set up free shipping, locate the Free Shipping section, click Add Rate, and type what you want shoppers to see in the Label field. I'll call it "Free FedEx Ground Shipping". By default, the Qualifying Locations section inherits your settings from the general shipping page. If you want to offer the method to a different set of locations, select the Change Ship To locations for this method check box, and either delete included areas, or add excluded areas. Be aware that you can’t override inclusions and exclusions from your general settings. And keep in mind that you'll need to come up with at least one alternative offering for any excluded locations. If you'd like to offer flat rates or live rates in certain cases, or restrict free shipping to only orders that meet certain price or quantity requirements, we'll provide resources at the end of the episode with more information. When you’re finished, click Save. And that's it for shipping!

The last thing we’ll do is set up tax. When you go to Settings > Tax, the first thing you’ll see is a dialog box asking you to verify your company location and its tax rate. If you’re located in the US like Volusion Vintage, and you’re only required to charge taxes in your own state, just click Yes, Looks Good, and you’re set. If the wrong state shows up, or if you’re required to file taxes in more than one state, click No, I’ll add a new rate, and select your state.

Because different states charge taxes in different ways, what you see next depends on your location. Some states, like Texas, charge tax based on your zip code. If you select one of these states, you’ll enter your zip code, and then you’ll see the appropriate rate. Other states, like California, charge tax based on the shopper’s location, so you’ll see a range of rates that may apply once shoppers specify their locations on your checkout page. When you’re through, click Add. You can add another location by clicking Add at the top, but keep in mind that you only need to add tax for the locations you’re required to file taxes for.

And if you’re not based in the US, you can specify that by clicking Settings. We’ll have additional information for you at the end of the episode.

So my shipping and tax rates are set up, and I’m getting really close to my launch date. Roxie, why don’t you tell them our next episode?

No, no, no. It’s about adding information to our site to let our customers know about our company. Didn't you even read the script?