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How to Override Shopify’s Shipping Rates and Use Printful’s

By Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you use Shopify as your ecommerce platform and Printful as your fulfillment service, you have the option to override Shopify’s shipping rates and use Printful’s instead. You can set it up automatically if you have a Shopify Advanced account (link to video instructions here).

If you do not have the Shopify Advanced account, you can do this manually by setting up your shipping rates based on weights that mimic our standard shipping costs. It’s a time-consuming process, but we’ll walk you through it step by step.

What you essentially need to do is assign each of your products an arbitrary weight, and then assign a shipping cost for each weight. For example, our domestic flat shipping rate for t-shirts is $5.50. In Shopify, you could set the weight for each t-shirt at 0.1 lb. Then go to Settings>Shipping>Add Shipping Rate and set it up so that each product that weighs 0-0.1 lb costs $5.50 to ship.


However, it gets more complicated if you have multiple products and weights. Below is a step-by-step guide that explains how to calculate shipping prices based on the weight of your products and possible product combinations.

Step 1.

First, sort all the items from Printful’s product lineup into product classes based on their shipping cost (this should be done according to products you will offer). Then calculate the average domestic shipping cost for the first product, and each additional product. Click here for more info on Printful’s shipping prices and international rates.
Class A products
Class B products

Class C products

The idea is to come up with all possible product variations a customer can order and configure shipping costs so that when a customer orders products from different classes, shipping is calculated properly. In this example, we will limit the customer’s cart to 3 items, which will still lead us to 19 possible order variations.

Step 2.

Here are the possible product variations for when a customer’s cart is limited to 3 items.

  • If a customer orders one product: A; B; C
    There are 3 variations; the customer can only have either a product from Class A, Class B, or Class C
  • If a customer orders 2 products: AA; BA; CA; BB; CB; CC
    It doesn’t matter if it’s CA or AC – it’s the same thing.
  • If a customer orders 3 products: AAA; BAA; BBA; CAA; CCA; CBA; BBB; CBB; CCB; CCC

Since there are 19 possible order combinations, you have to figure out how much shipping costs for each possibility.

Step 3.

Assign an arbitrary weight for each product class.

Class A= 0.5 lbs; Class B= 2 lbs; Class C= 8 lbs

The weight range you select is entirely up to you; these weights listed are just examples.

Step 4.

Now it’s time to calculate amounts for combined shipping (ordering different products from each class). If you order one embroidery item and a pillow (Class A and Class B), the total weight you get is 2.5 lbs (0.5 lbs + 2 lbs) and the cost for shipping is adjusted accordingly. In this example, there are 19 possible variations.

Once you have calculated the weight ranges and their price, add them to Shopify. Go to Settings>Shipping>Add Shipping rate.

Note: This only works if every item you have listed on your store is fulfilled through Printful. If you have products that are fulfilled elsewhere, we suggest checking out the
Advanced Shipping Rules App on Shopify. It’s a paid app that’ll let you use real-time shipping rates for both your Printful and non-Printful products.

For info on how to set this up on Shopify, click here for their manual and instructions.

We’ve covered all possible order variations under the assumption that a customer’s cart can only contain up to 3 items. You can create a similar setup for more items – all it takes is some time and calculations. To ensure that this approach works, test it!

Finally, keep in mind that this method isn’t won’t always guarantee a profit from shipping. For example, if a customer orders 2 tote bags and one canvas print, it’ll fall into the variation CAA. On Shopify you would collect $24.85, while Printful would charge you $20.25 (more profit). But, if the customer orders 2 sweatshirts (variation AA), you would collect $7.87 on Shopify, while Printful would charge you $10 (less profit).

The easiest possible solution to avoid all of this manual work is to use live rates, which you automatically get with the Advanced Shopify plan. Or if you don’t have an Advanced Shopify plan, you can pay for carrier calculated rates a la carte (contact Shopify support to set this up).

If you have more questions, contact us at We also highly recommend you check out Shopify’s manual.

Nora covers all things ecommerce for the Printful blog. She appreciates good dad jokes, new books, freshly baked cookies, and evening jogs.

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  1. Jacob Dubnowski

    hi so I was trying to set up my shopify store to use printful for the shipping and I am just confused by the whole process.
    1. when I get into the shipping part of the admin I see shipping from. do I need to put printful’s address there or my own?
    2. next I get to the zones and rates section and I have it set to ship to the domestic USA and it looks like the USPS will ship this at a flat rate of $5.50. Is that going to interfere with printful’s shipping? Should I change this if I want printful to hadle all my fulfillment and shipping?
    3.Next when I get to the bottom I see the Additional shipping methods
    section and see the add dropshipping service button and was wondering If I should use that since I want to let printful handle all my shipping, If so how do I do this?
    lastly thanks for your help

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      Hi Jacob! First, your easiest course of action is using Printul’s live rates. You can get this with the Shopify Advanced plan, or a la carte for $20/month. Configuring shipping rates manually is tricky, but I’ll try to help!

      1. Yes, you can add our address as your own if you want to!
      2. Setting USPS’s rates will interfere with Printful shipping – the information won’t transfer when orders are submitted. Instead, you should set up your rates manually. You can read Shopify’s resource on that here.
      3. I don’t believe that activating a fulfillment service in your settings configures shipping; you can take a look at what it does here.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Doug Evans

    Hi, I’m setting up a store in Squarespace. I have a couple of questions:

    1. Do I have to set the shipping cost for my items myself in Squarespace?
    If so, is there an easy way for me to calculate the shipping cost?

    2. Do I have to set up different shipping rates for each item?
    Or can I just set it once? Meaning I set my “flat rates” using the weight of a T-shirt (0.5), will that work for shipping rate of a mug?

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