General Information on Shipping
In order to ship anything, you have to have a box to put the items in. It’s important to understand some rudimentary stuff about boxes since that is what the USPS WooCommerce shipping plugin uses to determine shipping costs. The length is the longest side of the package or box, and the girth is W + W + H + H or the perimeter of the shorter sides. If your package is 108″ x 14.25″ x 14.25″, that means your length is 108″, and your girth is 57″ or (2 x 14.25″) + (2 x 14.25″). Don’t forget that the girth is not the circumference (L x W x H x 2) or outside area of the box. The girth is the measurements of the package all the way around on the shorter sides.
Getting the USPS woocommerce shipping plugin set up is very simple. You don’t have to sign up for an account (like you have to with FedEx), and you won’t need any API keys. It also does not slow down your cart as much as the FedEx WooCommerce Shipping plugin does. On the down side, it doesn’t seem to be as reliable.
All you need to do is purchase it, install it, and configure it.
USPS WooCommerce Shipping Plugin Configuration
Realtime Rates: You need to check this option in order for the plugin to work.
Method Title: You can enter whatever you want in here.
Available to: Choose which country or countries
Origin Postcode: Enter the zipcode of the city you’re shipping from
Show Rates: I chose “When destination zip is available”
Shipping Rates: Use OFFLINE rates.
Label API Settings
Rates API Settings
Standard API Services: This is the equivalent of the FedEx Standard Rate. If you disable the flat rate boxes, you have to enable this to allow USPS to check for regional rate (standard rate) boxes. If you enable this, you can also add your own boxes.
Rates Preference: Retail Rates. I don’t think you will need to use Commercial Rates.
Keep in mind that, if you enable flat rate, USPS will most likely choose a flat rate box instead of your box or a regional rate box, and you cannot print out shipping labels if a flat rate box is used.
Boxes & envelopes: Yes, enable flat rate services
Flat Rate Boxes: Choose all the flat rate boxes you’d like. This is the equivalent of FedEx One Rate.
Services, Rates and Packing
Parcel Packing: Pack into boxes with weight and dimensions.
Box Dimensions: It is confusing that they should put this right below the parcel packing option. These boxes actually fit into the grand scheme of the plugin. If no regional rate boxes are found and if not flat rate boxes are found (if flat rate boxes are enabled), then these boxes are used.
Offer Rates: Offer the customer the cheapest rate only.
Services: I enabled the following services.
First-Class Mail® Parcel
First-Class™ Package Service
First-Class™ Package Service Hold For Pickup
Priority Mail Express™ Hold for Pickup
Priority Mail Express™
Priority Mail Express™ Sunday/Holiday
Priority Mail® Hold For Pickup
Priority Mail® Regional Rate Box A
Priority Mail® Regional Rate Box B
Priority Mail 2-Day®
Priority Mail 2-Day® Large Flat Rate Box
Priority Mail 2-Day® Medium Flat Rate Box
Priority Mail 2-Day® Flat Rate Envelope
Priority Mail 2-Day® Legal Flat Rate Envelope
Don’t ask me why they’re mixing flat rate box choices and regional rate box choices in with the services. The USPS plugin doesn’t make as much sense as the FedEx one.
Here is a picture which should be easier to follow. Any personal information has been blotted out.
That’s pretty much all there is to setting up the USPS WooCommerce shipping plugin. The USPS WooCommerce shipping plugin is easy to set up, but, unfortunately, it’s not as easy to understand. I found that there was too much “magic” going on in the background, and, to tell the truth, I never did fully understand it. I ended up uninstalling the FedEx and USPS plugins and using the Table Rate plugin. If this plugin clearly told me which box it picked (and why) and which rate it picked (and why), I would definitely use. But it doesn’t, and neither does the FedEx plugin. My advice? Use the Table Rate plugin!