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When I list an item using calculated shipping, the shipping calculator works only up to a certain quantity.
When a purchase exceeds the certain quantity, the shipping calculator shows the message "'please contact seller"
What is going on here?
For multiple quantity purchases, the shipping calculator will generally treat the "package" as a single package with the total weight of the single package as the quantity purchased multiplied by the Weight specified in the listing.
If this total weight exceeds the maximum allowed for a single package for the shipping service to be used, then the buyer will see the message "please contact seller" when attempting to use the shipping calculator.
Let's look at a concrete example of the behavior noted in the Summary..
We start with a multiple quantity listing that offers calculated shipping for the UPS Ground shipping service, and that has a weight of 55 lbs.
If a buyer purchases a quantity of 1, then the shipping calculator will work just fine.
If a buyer purchases a quantity of 2, then the shipping calculator will work just fine.
If a buyer purchases a quantity of 3 or more, the shipping calculator will not be able to calculate the shipping cost, and will show the message "Shipping cannot be calculated for your area. You can contact the seller for additional shipping costs and services."
The reason for this behavior is as follows:
For multiple quantity purchases, the shipping calculator for UPS Groud is queried as 1 package with the total weight as the quantity purchased multiplied by the Weight specified in the listing.
For a purchase with a quantity of 2, the total weight is 110 lbs, which is still under the UPS Ground maximum value.
For a purchase with a quantity of 3, the total weight becomes 165 lbs, which is over the 150 lb maximum value for UPS Ground, and thus no calculated cost is available.
The UPS website documents the 150 lb limitation for UPS Ground here:
This help window on the ups website is linked to from several places, most notably from here:
http://wwwapps.ups.com/calTimeCost?loc=en_US (see the "Package/Letter" link under the "Shipment Type:" selection)
Whenever you see a behavior such as this, please check the shipping service provider for limitations that may be causing the shipping calculator to exhibit what appears to be "unexpected" behavior.