Hack 34 Override Shipping and Handling Preferences

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Modify purchase buttons to override your Profile settings, allowing you to set shipping and handling fees to zero for digital goods.

Certain goods, such as software or other downloadable products, should not incur any shipping charges. By default, PayPal calculates the applicable shipping fees and applies them to every order. To configure your shipping calculation preferences, log into PayPal, click Profile, and then click Shipping Calculations.

The problem is that PayPal applies your shipping preferences to all purchases placed through your PayPal buttons. If you sell both tangible and digital products, you might need to charge different shipping amounts for different products.

To override your shipping and handling preferences, turn on the "Allow transaction-based shipping values to override the profile shipping settings" options in your Shipping Calculations profile page. Then, add two additional variables to applicable buttons and set each of them to zero (or any values you wish) for digital goods purchases, like this:

<input type="hidden" name="shipping" value="0.00">

<input type="hidden" name="handling" value="0.00">

If you were to omit these two new variables, the shipping fees applied to that product would default to the values in your PayPal profile. You can add these two new form variables anywhere in your button code, as long as they appear between the opening <form> and closing </form> tags.

When you override your Profile's Shipping Preferences for a single item in your PayPal Shopping Cart, the override applies only to that item. All other items are charged shipping according to your Profile's Shipping Preferences.