Getting Started Center

Using the PayPal Shipping Calculator

This guide will show you how to use the PayPal Shipping Calculator, a powerful tool for charging customers the right shipping price.

This guide explains how to create rules within the Calculator to charge your customers based on the currency, shipping destination and shipping method available.

In this example, we will cover the steps for setting up Ground Shipping for the continental United States (which excludes Alaska and Hawaii).

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.

  2. On the navigation menu at the top of the page, click "Profile."

  3. On the “Profile” page, click on "My Selling Tools" on the left side of the page.

  4. Scroll down to the “Shipping my items” section and find "Shipping calculations". Click on "Update" for that row.

  5. In this example, we are setting up shipping rates for Ground delivery within the continental U.S., so click "Start" under "Set Up Domestic Shipping Methods."

  6. Make sure the correct currency is selected. Usually this will just be USD, but if you accept multiple currencies, you will need to set up separate shipping rules for each currency.

    The shipping methods you create for a currency will only show up at checkout if the transaction uses that currency. For example, you can set up multiple ways to ship if a customer uses one currency, and only one way to ship if they are using a different currency.

    IMPORTANT: The shipping amount defaults to $0.00 if you receive a transaction in a currency you accept for which you did not create a shipping method, or if your customer's shipping address does not match any of your shipping regions. Make sure you create shipping rules for each currency you accept, and all regions that you ship to, otherwise your customers will not be charged for shipping.

  7. The box on the left side of the page contains all the states and territories that are considered "Domestic." To set up Ground shipping for the continental United States, you will need to select only the 48 states in the continental U.S.. Hold down the control (Ctrl) button (use the command button if you are on a Mac computer) and left click on each state to select multiple options at once.

  8. When you have selected all of the states you want to ship to via Ground for a particular rate, click the
    "Add >>" button. This will copy all of the states you have selected into the box on the right side.

  9. When you have all of the states you need, click the yellow "Continue" button.

    (If you need to remove a state or territory, simply click its name in the box on the right side and click
    "<< Remove" to take it off the list.)

  10. Choose a "Shipping Method Name" from the dropdown. Note that it doesn’t matter what name you pick – the names do not bind you to using one specific courier – they just need to make sense to your customers. For this example, we’ll choose “Ground” for shipping by Ground to the continental U.S.

  11. Under "Select Delivery Time" choose an estimate for when your customer can expect their item to arrive. For example, if it takes you one day to package the item and get it to the post office, and the post office estimates it will take 3 days for them to deliver it, you would want to choose "1 – 5 business days" for your delivery time estimate (4 days total for you and the post office together).

  12. To answer "What are shipping rates based on?"" you will need to figure out what makes the most sense for your items.

    Total order amount: This is based on the monetary value of the order, and can be based on either fixed amounts (e.g. for orders costing between $0.01 and $50.00, shipping will be $5.00, for orders over $50.00 shipping is free) OR percentages (e.g. for orders costing between $0.01 and $50.00, shipping will be 2% of the order value, for orders over $50.00 shipping is 5%). The percentage is based on the item total only and does not include handling or tax.

    Total order weight: Charges shipping based on item weight (e.g. items under 50 lbs are $10 for shipping, 50 – 100 lbs are $15, and items over 100 lbs are $20). Weight can be calculated in either pounds (Lbs) or kilograms (Kgs). You must assign a weight to each of your items to use this, and make sure that your item is listed in the same unit of measurement (lbs or kgs) used by the shipping rule. PayPal does not convert between kilograms and pounds so if your item is listed in one unit, and the shipping rule is based on the other, that shipping method will not be displayed as an option for your customers.

    Total item quantity: Shipping is based on the number of items ordered (e.g. orders with less than 10 items are charged $5, orders with more than 10 items are $10).

  13. Once you have chosen what your shipping rates will be based on (order amount, order weight, or item quantity), you will need to fill out what your rates actually are in the grid table. Before you begin, there are several guidelines for filling out the table.

    For all options:

    • You are allowed a maximum of five rates per table
    • The first entry in the "From" column of the table must be 0.01 if based on order amount or order weight, and must be 1 if based on item quantity
    • The last entry in the "To" column of the table must always end with "and up".

    Shipping rates can be very complex – talk to your shipping provider or post office to find out how much it will cost you to ship your items in various combinations and to find the best rates.

  14. In this example, we have defined the rates for Ground shipping to the continental U.S. – but we also want customers to be able to choose a faster, more expensive rate, or a slower, cheaper rate.

    Once you have finished filling in the table you can create another set of rates for a different shipping method and the same geographic area by clicking "Create Another" - this will allow you to set the rates for "Express" and "Economy" shipping for the continental U.S. as well.

    Remember, you can choose whatever names you would like. They don’t require you to use a particular carrier or service – just make sure they will make sense to your customers!

  15. When you have finished configuring all your rates for each shipping method for a particular area click "Continue." You will see a review page where you can double-check all of your settings before saving. If you need to change anything, click the grey "Back" button at the bottom of the page.

    IMPORTANT: There is a checkbox under “Shipping Region” that says “Use the shipping fee in the transaction instead of my calculator’s settings.” This is checked by default, and simply means that if you set a shipping price on an individual item, that price will override the calculator. This is useful if you have a few items that cost significantly more to ship than the rest of your stock, so you can set a unique shipping price for them.

  16. Once you have reviewed your settings, click "Save Shipping Methods" at the bottom of the page. They will be available immediately in your checkout for your customers to use.

  17. Your Shipping Calculations page will now show the shipping methods you have configured. You can add other regions or set up International shipping methods by clicking "Add New Shipping Method".

    Note: You can only view or edit one shipping method at a time, but you can delete multiple methods at once.

Additional Info and Frequently Asked Questions

IMPORTANT: If you don't define a shipping rule for a particular area, PayPal will not charge shipping for orders to that area. To prevent this, make sure that you set up shipping rules for both Domestic and International orders.

The Shipping Calculator applies its prices to the entire order, so it's not possible to have different rules for different items. If you need to charge a special price for a certain item, set a specific shipping price in that item’s button. See "Flat-Rate Shipping" or "Incremental Shipping Rates" for more information.

If I am creating a domestic shipping method, why should I configure other currencies?

The shipping amount defaults to $0.00 if you receive a transaction in a currency for which you did not create a shipping method or if your customer's shipping address does not match any of your shipping regions. Be sure to create shipping profiles for each of the currencies you accept and the regions you ship to, just in case.

Can I charge shipping rates in multiple currencies?

You must create a new shipping method for every currency that you want to accept.

For example, if you process transactions in U.S.Dollars and Euros you must create one shipping method for U.S.Dollars and a separate shipping method for Euros.

How do I set up free shipping?

You can set up free shipping based on total order amount, total order weight, and total item quantity. (See step 10).

Free shipping based on total order amount:
  1. Select Total order amount.
  2. Select your shipping method name (i.e. Standard Shipping ).
  3. Enter your item price ranges
  4. Enter shipping rates as 0.00.
Free shipping based on total order weight:
  1. Select Total order weight.
  2. Select your shipping method name.
  3. In the lower limit field, enter the minimum weight of the order.
  4. In the upper limit field, enter the maximum weight of the order or "up" for anything greater than the minimum weight.
  5. Enter 0.00 in the rate field.
Free shipping based on total item quantity:
  1. Select Total item quantity.
  2. Select your shipping method name.
  3. In the lower limit field, enter the minimum number of items.
  4. In the upper limit field, enter the maximum number of items or "up" for anything greater than the minimum number.
  5. Enter 0.00 in the rate field.
When will my shipping method be available on my checkout?

Your shipping methods are available on your checkout after you review the settings you configured and click "Save Shipping Methods" on the Review page.

How are the shipping rates applied to my customers' orders?

The shipping rate for the more expensive item will apply to the entire order.

For example, you set shipping rates for items that cost $1.00 to $20.00 to be $2.00 and items that cost $20.01 to $50.00 to be $5.00. If your customers purchase a $10.00 item and a $26.00 item, they are charged $5.00 for shipping.

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