I'm setting up an Ecommerce record store site with ExpressionEngine & CartThrob, but my biggest challenge has come in that of how to calculate shipping costs. The client is now so confused that it has rubbed off on me and I don't know who am or what my name is any more. Here are my issues / variables:

  • We need a different shipping cost based on territory (the UK, Europe and Rest of the World)
  • Royal Mail shipping is based on weight AND dimensions
  • Client wants each product to have base shipping price (per territory), and secondary price if item is an additional item (six prices per item). (see Norman Records UK: shipping policy and prices. for this complex and unweildy table)
  • He also wants "special" premium shipping cost (i.e. that would mean nine prices per unique item)
  • CartThrob is not infinitely flexible and I'm not even sure of its limitations, at the point that I'm going to pay someone else to do it, I'm so pissed off with setting it up (note: I'm building this site for free as a favour)

The type of things I'm being asked:

Still a bit confused as to what happens when people buy two different formats though. Would the primary cost just be the more expensive one + "ea" be the cheaper? e.g.: the postage for an lp + cd would cost the price of 1lp + 1ea cd as an lp costs way more to send than a cd.
He has indicated that he should just negotiate shipping prices via email with the customer on a case by case basis, which he does now in his Ebay store. This seems total insanity to me, and a fundamentally limiting factor.

Please... help. I'm in over my head.