There are many different ways to manipulate the shipping charges to vary what your customers get charged based on which items they are purchasing. With coreFORCE Basic or Standard (previously Lite) you can create as many shipping charges as you want to differentiate these settings and charge you customers how you want.
Here is what the setup page looks like:
You have the ability to create shipping charges for either standard shipping or pickup. Generally, customers don't charge for pickup but you do need to include your local state and consider whether you want it to show as an option for out of state customers.
The first fields, Minimum Order Amount and Maximum Order Amount, allow you to set the range of this shipping charge, so if you want this to be user for orders within a range of cost these are the fields you would set. For example, in this screen shot the shipping charge will only be used if the order is over $100 but less than $500
The next field, Minimum Shipping Charge, is a way to set an absolute minimum to be charged for shipping. If for some reason the shipping charge is calculated as less than this field, this is the amount that will be charged for shipping.
The fields Percentage, Flat Rate, and Additional Item Charge go hand in hand as they all can effect the base shipping cost collectively.
The Percentage field adds a percentage of the cart to the shipping cost, so if the cart total is $200 and the Percentage field is set to 10, $20 dollars will be added to the Flat Rate.
Flat Rate is simply a base charge for 1 item, with this field set, this is the base amount that will be charged for any order.
Additional Item Charge is the amount that will be added per additional item, this will be added to the Flat Rate if more than one item is being purchased by the customer.
Maximum Charge Per Item allows you to set a limit of the charge on a per item basis, for example if this is set to 10, and the cart has 2 items, the customer will not be charged more than $20 for shipping.
The Locations table is required when setting up a Shipping Charge, this designates the locations that the charge can and cannot be used. Generally it is a good idea to set your Standard Shipping charge to exclude Alaska and Hawaii as shipping to those states would be much more expensive. You can always set up a secondary Standard Shipping charge to include those states at a higher rate.
The next section encompasses the surcharges that can be added to your flat rate based on a number of factors. These include Weight, Categories, Departments, Distributors, and Product Types. These charges are in addition to the Flat Rate charge.
The first table, Rates, allows you to set shipping costs based on total weight of the items. You can also set charges based on total dimensions using this table.
The table Additional Charges for Product Categories, says it all in the title. These are typically used for categories that include HAZMAT for example.
Again self explanatory, Additional Charges for Product Departments provides the ability to add charges based on the department. This is typically used with a low or 0 Flat Rate so these charges are added on top of the lower number.
Additional Charges for Distributors allows you to cover extra handling expenses that may arise when items are only available from a distributor that does not dropship, forcing you to need to handle the products and reship them to the customer.
Another good way to cover your basis on shipping is to use Additional Charges for Product Types, if you have those set up for something like HAZMAT and have all HAZMAT items you carry set as this product type, you can ensure that your extra costs will be covered when a customer orders one of these items.