Flat rate refers to a pricing structure that charges a single fixed fee for shipping.  Many online stores have an array of products of all different sizes and weights, and they ship them nationally or even globally.  Others may still be growing or may not offer the same kind of variety across their products and may not have a relatively local customer base.  In cases such as these there is an option to set up fixed shipping payments, rather than adding a third party shipping solution to your site.  Adding other options will provide more flexibility, such as next day air etc., but Flat Rate shipping is a simple alternative.  In this instance you can figure out an exact figure for shipping fees that will not add any operational costs to your store, while still remaining at a reasonable rate for customers to pay.  From there you can choose whether you would like the charge to be assessed per product or per order.

For field descriptions, see Configuration: Shipping Methods - Flat Rate.

To set up Flat Rate shipping:

  1. From the Admin panel, select System > Configuration.
  2. In the Configuration panel on the left, under Sales, select the Shipping Methods tab.
  3. Click to expand the Flat Rate section. Then, do the following:
    1. Set Enabled to Yes. The flat rate method will now appear as an option in the shopping cart, and in the shipping section during checkout.
    2. In the Title field, type a name to identify this method during checkout. By default, the Title is “Flat Rate.”
    3. In the Method Name field, type a descriptive label for the flat rate shipping charge. The default value is “Fixed.” However, if you are going to charge an additional handling fee, you might set the Method Name to “Plus Handling.”
    4. Set the Type field to one of the following:
      • None: To not charge an additional handling fee.
      • Per Order: To charge a single flat handling fee per order.
      • Per Item: To multiply the handling fee by the number of items in the cart.
    5. In the Price field, type the fee you want to charge for the flat rate.
    6. Set Calculate Handling Fee to one of the following methods:
      • Fixed
      • Percent
    7. in the Handling Fee field, type a descriptive label for the amount that the customer will see during checkout.
    8. In the Displayed Error Message box, type the message that appears if the Flat Fee method is unavailable during checkout.
    9. Set Ship to Applicable Countries to one of the following:
      • All Allowed Countries
      • Specific Countries
        If shipping to specific countries, select each country from the Ship to Specific Countries list. (Hold the Ctrl key down to select multiple countries.)

        Then, select one of the following when the Show Method If Not Applicable option appears:
        • Yes: Shows the “Displayed Error Message” when Flat Rate is not available.
        • No: Shows only the methods which are currently available.
    10. In the Sort Order field, type a number to specify the position of this shipping method in relation to the other shipping methods offered to the customer.
  4. When complete, click the Save Config button to save your changes.