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Large, heavy items shipped with a truck from different locations - no way to estimate shipping?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

We sell architectural decorations. Our products that can be very large (up to 38 feet long) and heavy (a single shipment can be a few hundred pounds). These items are frequently send LTL (less that a truckload) with freight carriers such as ABF or FedEx Freight. In addition, the items can be sent from different locations across the country.

 

To estimate the cost of a shipment on the site, we send freight carrier all details of the shipment, including weight and dimensions, destination and shipper location (which can be different), get an automatic quote and show it to the customer. We request the data from the carrier every time a customer is estimating shipping.

 

The problem is that Google Shopping requires seller to provide accurate estimates of the shipping cost on the feed itself. However, it doesn't support any of LTL carriers, just the standard UPS/USPS/Fedex. For that reason, we cannot use automatic shipping quote feature in Merchant center. It's possible to provide estimates in the feed itself based on state, but they will be very inacurate (every case is specific, the cost can differ based on many factors, such as whether customer's address is residential or commercial, whether customer asked for a liftgate delivery, the warehouse location, or even how far away is customer from carrier's shipping center.

 

We used to provide rough estimates based on customer state, but that was very inaccurate, and a few days ago Google banned us for too much descrepancy. We weren't trying to violate their policies, we were just trying to follow the rules.

 

Is there a solution to our situation? Or, if you sell products that are very large and cannot be quoted via regular package carriers, you cannot be on Google shopping?

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Large, heavy items shipped with a truck from different locations - no way to estimate shipping?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

shipping per item-offer may be either exactly accurate or an overestimate.

for shopping-ads, google requires direct-to-consumer
shipping rates -- items that require delivery based on

other shipping methods are generally not allowed.

however, there are other campaign-types
and ad-formats that may be a better fit for
advertising certain types of product-offers --
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2567043
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1722124

Re: Large, heavy items shipped with a truck from different locations - no way to estimate shipping?

Badged Google Partner
# 3
Badged Google Partner
I would agree that shopping campaigns are not likely the best way to go about marketing your products.

Have you tried any campaign types other than shopping?
Tom

Re: Large, heavy items shipped with a truck from different locations - no way to estimate shipping?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you for your reply.

We use all types of advertising campaigns Google offers, but it would be bad if we have to drop product ads, as they drive a decent percentage of sales.

Just to mention, we sell directly to consumers, and our items fit perfectly into Google’s “building materials” category, which is allowed. Many smaller products we sell are being send via UPS. However, wood beams, which are one of the main products, can usually only go LTL.

If shipping cost is an overestimate, wouldn’t that also constitute a violation? Or it’s considered a severe violation only if shipping on the site is more expensive than in the product listings?

Re: Large, heavy items shipped with a truck from different locations - no way to estimate shipping?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

first, you're welcome.

 

if accurate shipping is used then, the shipping-cost provided must match
the shipping cost on the landing-page and that an individual must actually

pay via the website during the e-commerce checkout-flow.

if an overestimate is used then, the shipping-cost provided must
be based on the average delivery cost that individuals visiting the
site's landing-page from the product-listing-ad would actually pay.

 

individuals, are from the perspective of the (registered feed's) target-country;
depending on the country, regions may be excluded if all polices cannot be met.


google will only ever use the lowest shipping-cost that is provided --
set in the account, calculated, or submitted as a per-item override --
for the item-offer.

only direct-to-consumer shipping rates are allowed.

always verify shipping-cost for the item-offer -- by clicking on the
item's title under the products-tab of the merchant-center-account.

 

simply because an item falls under a google-defined-category does not
necessarily mean that the specific physical item-offer will be allowed --
there are many other policies that must be met with respect to an item,
supply-chain, and website, google's category list does not always keep
pace with google's policies, and the list may be used for other purposes,

such as local-shopping.

google is the final arbiter of all policies.