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Shipping by UK Postcode

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# 1
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Hi there, we are using a Magento extension by WebShopApps called 'Product Matrix'. This extension allows us to specify custom delivery prices depending on the product in the user's basket and the requested delivery postcode.


We use this because we deliver bathroom products, mainly by pallet, and whilst a standard pallet charge is £34.99, to some postcodes (Highlands etc) the charge can increase to as much as £90. We've tried to absorb the cost but it is not possible, we cannot put all of our delivery prices up either as we become uncompetitive.


Because of this, we've had our feed suspended. Google has checked the items on the website against our feed and used random postcodes, and discovered that our standard charge of £34.99 does not always apply.


The extension for Magento cannot output the delivery cost to the merchant centre feed, since the cost relates directly to the postcode the user enters. But likewise, I cannot enter postcodes into the merchant centre shipping setup, since postcodes are not supported in the UK version.


Can anybody please suggest a way round this issue as at present, we don't have any live products!

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Shipping by UK Postcode

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# 2
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Hi Kris,
I'll ping @Celebird on this as he's our resident expert on this. However, I'll offer a solution that we've had to implement for something similar.

In the US, we have clients who have to charge TAX (it's not shipping, I know) for different states, While merchant center supports this, we went the manual route and set up a completely separate feed that targets the different states in question. You *may* have to set up a different feed (with the correct shipping info) targeting these locations. Is this possible in the UK version?

Re: Shipping by UK Postcode

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# 3
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Thanks Dave, hopefully @Celebird can help!

Re: Shipping by UK Postcode

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

shipping for an item must be either exactly accurate or an overestimate for
users within the (registered feed's) target-country -- geographic location.

shipping is for only one, single, item-offer --
generally, the one, single, physical inventory
item that is submitted to google.

only the lowest shipping rate that is configured,
submitted, or calculated, is ever used by google,

for the single item-offer.

postal-codes in submitted shipping, or destination-rule settings, are
supported only for u.s., j.a., or a.u. (registered feed) target-countries --
location-based shipping is not supported in any u.k. based data and
location is not calculated by google in any way for u.k. users, with

respect to product-listing-ads, only local-shopping, at least currently.

a rule-based table may be configured within the merchant-center-account --
if account-based shipping is used then, shipping cannot be submitted since
any shipping submitted for an item will override any and all account-level
shipping settings for that specific item.

some plug-ins allow a shipping overestimate to be sent in the submitted data.

in this particular case, the best likely course would be to simply configure
an overestimate within the account -- possibly made more accurate by
utilizing a rate-table, based on weight or a label, and then submitting a
shipping_label or an accurate and valid shipping_weight value, per item.

a rate-table may be configured as part of a shipping setting or separately
as part of a shared-table in the merchant-center-account's shared-library --

that must then be linked to a shipping-setting.

either a shipping_label or shipping attribute may
also be submitted, to override specific outliers.


always verify product-listing-ad shipping -- by clicking on an item's title,

within the products-tab of the merchant-center-account, after data has

been submitted and fully processed.

that said, only direct-to-consumer shipping rates are allowed --
rates for other methods of shipping, violate current policies.


related, separating items into separate shopping-campaigns,

may also allow for more accurate location-based-targeting --

however, that would not affect any shipping details, policies,

or requirements and would be regardless of feed separation,

since all submitted data is funneled into the same linked account.

some products are simply not a good fit for product-listing-ads --
but there are other campaign-types and ad-formats available,
that may be a better fit for advertising certain types of physical
items or item-offers.

see also

Shipping by UK Postcode

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# 5
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Hi Celebird,


My apologies, I never came back to you on this to thank you for your answer.


I have tried and tried but simply cannot seem to overcome the issue.


We have still got product feeds disapproved due to this, and I can see our competitors are doing the same with no issue, how are they doing this?


For example, this toilet is advertised at £34.95 delivery, but if I were to go and place the order on their website, if I chose a London postcode I can order for the advertised price, however if I choose a highlands postcode, such as KW1 4AW, the only delivery available is £58.95.


Surely they are also flouting the rules by doing this? Or is there in fact a way to 'legally' do this through Google Shopping that I have overlooked?


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Re: Shipping by UK Postcode

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# 6
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Shipping by UK Postcode

[ Edited ]
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# 7
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Celebird will likely reply with a comprehensive answer to your question; his Google Shopping knowledge level is unsurpassed. In the interim, i can share that in my experience, Google has so many eCommerce sites to scan that it is impossible for them to keep all competing Google Shopping eCommerce sites coherent with regard to pricing and other possible violations of terms of service.  


In many cases an account will run into trouble with Google, then see their competitor is doing the same thing.  This is an artifact of the Google shopping universe being so immense.  Google checks for violations constantly but it is not something which can be done on a predictable schedule, constantly, or by comparing one site to another.  


But if other sites are not in compliance with terms of service, it will eventually catch up to them too.  The thing to do is focus on any issue that's been identified within your campaign, then you will literally be "a step ahead of your competition". 


hth and best of luck!

Shipping by UK Postcode

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# 8
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Hi Steve,


Thanks for your reply. I suspected this might be the case, but I'm unsure if they have found a way round the issue and are indeed 'one step ahead' of me! Smiley Happy


I'm intrigued as to why Google has not yet released (and maybe never will) the postcode filtering in Google Merchant Centre for the UK, especially considering the Royal Mail invented postcodes!


Hopefully someone will have found a legitimate workaround for this!

Shipping by UK Postcode

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# 9
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I can state with confidence they are not "one step ahead" of you.  Google will not allow them to violate that pricing policy, in the end. 


Regarding the postcode feature, Google is a very large scale multinational corporation, so engineering priorities number in the thousands. Sometimes even things which scream out for implementation just don't make it high enough on the list, soon enough. This happens in all large organizations engaged in software development and deployment. Sometimes 3rd party vendors can fill the gaps, sometimes not.

Shipping by UK Postcode

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# 10
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Thanks Steve, I do appreciate the size of Google, it's just another example of how sellers end up having to adjust their business model and normally risk margins in order to adapt to online selling interfaces that simply don't fit a real world situation.


The only other option we have is to keep trying to negotiate with our couriers to ship to the affected postcodes at a lower cost which we can put in one universal price band. But then i'm the one being hypocritical asking the courier to adjust their pricing, when I fully understand that it costs a lot more to deliver to a remote location than one locally where there are more depots and multiple customers in the vicinity.