Support » Plugins » wp e-Commerce Checkout problem

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    WP ver: 3.3.1
    WP e-Commerce Ver:

    I have posted this comment in the support forums. There has been no response, and I notice that others have similar problems.

    I have been trying to get the WP e-Commerce plug in working, as advertised, since early January 2012. I am new to the world of WordPress, html, xml, php, javascript, jQuery… But I am learning as fast as I can and in some respects it has been rewarding.

    I looked at many other e-commerce plug-ins and found that WP e-Commerce represents itself as having some base functionality that is important to me. For the most part, I have found the conceptual design of the plug-in to be good from a commercial perspective.

    From a commercial perspective, a basic e-commerce plug-in, has to be able to do a few things very well, and very simply from the perspective of the customer and the store administrator. It must be easy to enter, present and display products. Customers must be able to get the information they need about each product easily and simply.
    Once a customer decides to purchase an item or a number of items, they must be able to move to checkout or their shopping cart easily. Once there, they must be able to see the details of what they bought, how many of each item and how much they have spent. They should be able to simply choose how they would like to receive their shipment. Then they must be able to enter their billing and shipping information simply and completely, agree terms and conditions, see a total for their purchase, and then purchase in a safe and secure way.

    WP e-commerce does much of this very well. Until you get to issues like taxes, shipping, integration with payment providers, checkout, lets say the boring and non sexy part of what makes a store successful. This comment is not about the overall design, which is very good. This comment is about basic functionality, underlying code and user support. Here things are not as represented. Let me give you two examples.

    We all want to generate lots of sales. But to make a sale, the entrepreneur must find a way to deliver what the customer has purchased. So a critical functionality of any e-commerce platform must be its shipping module. Further, this functionality must interface with third party vendors such as UPS, FedEx, USPS and others, who have well documented and robust systems for processing shipping transactions and managing logistics.

    By using WP e-Commerce of the box, the intrepid entrepreneur is told they can choose to set up their own shipping rate schedule or choose the option to use UPS and USPS. Given that I have a fair amount of experience with shipping small items in large volume, I chose to use a third party like UPS and USPS.

    As the initial setup and integration with UPS and USPS is highly standardized, one would think that there would be detained and well documented instructions about how to get these services working. Not true.

    First I tried USP. I opened an account on the UPS website, that was easy. I then went to their developer web-tools and selected the service I wanted (shipping rates) and requested the API information. I then went back to the shipping module in WP e-commerce and entered all the information as instructed. I checked everything and updated the module. Then I checked that the update had everything as entered. It did. Now UPS requires that you “test” your transactions with their servers before going into “production”. When you select UPS in the shipping module, you have to enter the information UPS provided, including your account#, UPS user name, password, and API key. There is also a check box called “Use Testing Environment” which should be checked along with the details of what kind of service you want from UPS.

    In theory, when a test order is transacted and shipping is calculated in Checkout, you should be able to see accurate pricing from UPS based on your base zip code, which you enter in the shipping module. UPS calculates shipping on a weight by zone basis and is dependent on the zip code of the shipper to calculate the rates for each level of service. A delivery address in San Francisco, California would be a zone 8 for someone living in New York, but a zone 2 or 3 for someone living in Los Angeles.

    I made sure all my individual products contained both weights and size measurements (HxWxL). It turns out that this is important. I ran a test transaction. I bought 3 items from my store, weighing just under one pound, and shipped to my zip code. The UPS rate sheet gives a rate of $8.01 for this shipment.

    When I went to check out, I saw the items. I entered the delivery country, state and zip code in the shipping calculator and clicked calculate. The result for a 12 oz package was $11.35! It turns out that this rate is the shipping rate for 4 Lbs shipped to Zone 5. I tried changing the number of items and deleted one item, still wrong. However, I got an error message that shipping is not available to that destination. So I reentered the state and zip code and clicked calculate again; same message. So I then deleted the remaining items in my cart and intended to pretend to want to go back to shopping and try again. When I deleted the last item in the cart, it refreshed the checkout page and displayed, unencrypted, all my UPS account information; including name, password, account number, and API key, in a big error message at the top of the page. There is something about this that makes me fee this event is not good.

    It turns out this module was developed by ECSQuest and support issues must be sent to Greg. It also turns out that other have had the same problem. I sent a detailed email to Greg at ECSQuest and have heard nothing. I have posted this problem in the GetShopped forum, no response or acknowledgement. Ok, so we know something about the UPS module does not work.

    I have registered with USPS and have received all my necessary account and API information. I do about a days worth of research and find out that to get the USPS function to work, I have to get UPSP to switch me from “test” to “production” mode. I call USPS technical support, ask to be switched over from test to production, no problem. I then run a test transaction to see if USPS choices come up along with UPS, and they do. But the order gets stuck at shipping. So I go back to the shipping module and turn off UPS, and update.

    I create another test transaction and go to checkout. I see the item I added to cart. The cost is $8.50. Just below that is the Calculate Shipping. I then enter the US Zip code to calculate shipping and I get the two USPS rates. I click the radio button on the least expensive. Shipping is $2.15.

    Then below shipping is the tax and tax $0.63.

    I enter my email address. My order shipping and billing information is entered. I then check the accept terms and conditions.

    At the bottom of the page it shows
    Total Shipping: $0.00
    Total Purchase: $9.13 PURCHASE ($8.50+$0.63)

    When I click the purchase button, the page is refreshed and I am taken back to checkout. I go through the entire process again. Then I click Purchase and the page refreshes and I am back at checkout.

    I go through the entire process again. This time I enter the same zip code and click calculate and I get the message that shipping is not available to that country or region. So I click Calculate again and I get my shipping pricing again. I select the lower price and below that is the tax. I click the accept terms& conditions again and at the bottom of the page is:

    Total Shipping: $0.00
    Total Purchase: $9.13 PURCHASE

    I click purchase and I am taken back to check out. And so it goes, where it ends nobody knows.

    Because the shipping amount does not appear in the total, I have no idea if the rate selected is in effect or being processed correctly. I know the rate was right because I went to the USPS site and checked. Since I am stuck in a loop I cannot get to paypal to see what is being sent to them. This is not good.

    In addition, in another post on the forum, it was suggested that I go back to permalinks and click save twice. I did that. Still no change. Then it occurred to me that perhaps I should get a pot from the kitchen and run around naked, banging it until the neighbors call the police. My dog thought that was a bad idea and licked me.

    I am quite frustrated and starting to feel angry about how difficult this plug-in is to use and how many of its components do not function correctly. This frustration is about promoted features that are basic core functional components of the plug-in. It is not about customized add-ons or modifications.

    I bore the WP community with this because, getting this plug-in to work correctly opens a huge market place for those of you who are developers and designers. I really need help getting the shipping module working correctly, the Checkout or Shopping Cart function to work correctly.

    Please reply as soon as possible – I cannot open for business until this critical functionality is fixed. My dog also want you to help me as I have not paid attention to him in a few days.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • Hi I am having the exact same problem w/ the USPS module, but it looks like you got this to work, and was wondering how? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Wow!! what a nightmare. I have similar problems with the Fedex plug in. I cannot enter weight for my products nor am I allowed to enter the number of units in stock. I can’t seem to get any support either. I also cannot sell until I get the shipping to work.


    Ryan & Karasam

    First, I posted my problem on the GetShopped.Org forum as well as here on WP. Second, I sent an email to ECSQuest via their website. Third, I went to Google Code and found the WP e-Commerce section. Once there, I posted an issue as a user with very specific details about the versions of everything, including my browsers, and the exact steps I was taking that create the problem.

    With regard to my checkout, I had two issues. The first was the loop I mentioned above. The second was getting the right totals for my cart at the top and the summary at the bottom. The second problem was partially due to my using the wrong functions.

    I do know that there is an issue with the USPS component of the shipping module. I also know that others have had this problem. What I did not know was that my problem was happening in FireFox but not with IE. You should check that.

    Lastly, I am working from a child theme (twenty eleven) which made it easier to check if there were differences between the downloaded plugin files and my working files.

    I have sent an email to ECSQuest about Ryan’s comment, but have not heard back. I do know that they are very busy, but good. ECSQuest was able to fix my problem, but it required their having access to my server.

    I am not experienced enough to give you specific advice about what to do or change in your files. However, if you go to Google Code/wp e-commerce, you may be able to look in the code for the shipping module and compare that to your files.

    Do send ECSQuest an email via their website, and I will reach out to them again on your behalf. No promises about response, but I will try.

    Lastly, this plugin is branded through WordPress. I feel the WordPress community should be making a lot more noise about the level and quality of the documentation and support. It does not reflect well on WP and the WP community.

    Let me know how things go.

    @fgoldwyn, Thanks for the help, I will definitely follow your recommendations. Am really hoping to get this working without relying on the developer hacking up the plugin, but will let you know how it goes.


    Here is my comment about WP e-Commerce. I acknowledge that they do a terrible job of providing accurate, detailed and timely documentation. I also acknowledge that they significantly under-perform on providing online support. However, think about the complexity of an e-commerce platform and the number of ways it needs to integrate with third party platforms (USPS, FedEx, UPS, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard…..) that are highly robust and sophisticated as well as subject to Federal and State regulation. In addition, think about all the different kinds of products, shops, and services that the platform has to accommodate.

    If you go to the Google Code section, I think you will see a sincere effort to address issues and problems in an organized and thoughtful way. In my experience, most business people find software for their company that provides them with 80% of what they want and probably 95% of their critical needs. Rather than accepting this and working with the platform, they want to change the platform to get the remaining 20% of what they want and the 5% of what they think they need, at great expense.

    Considering my own frustrations with WP e-Commerce, I guess I would advise them to do three things. First, stop trying to expand and enhance the platform and focus on resolving all the existing issues. This will require real discipline on their part. Second, they need to develop a program to enlist the help of the WP and WP e-commerce community to assist them with online support and documentation. Third, they need to change their “tone” with their “customers”. Just because the general WP community is code savvy, that does not mean that they can be treated or spoken to in a dismissive or condescending way. They need to remember three powerful phrases:”how can I help”, It’s my fault and I’m very sorry”, “thank you”.

    Let me know how things go.

    I have a similar problem. I have installed the “wp e-commerce” version and the “gold cart for wp e-commerce” version 2.9.7. and the issue is this, I add a product to the cart, and then go to the checkout page, in there I choose the country, the estate (I use it just for USA) and the zip code and click on calculate. then appears the usps options and the usp options, by default is set the ground option and the shipping rate is calculated with the total price, if a choose other usp option, the cart is automatically updated with the shipping rate, but when I choose an usps option, the cart doesn’t calculate the shipping rate and only show the total price calculated with the price of the product and tax.

    I have revised the code, and I found that the problem should be in the file cart.class.php, and I found 2 function where the problem is probably generated, the function “update_shipping” around line 733 and function “get_shipping_option”, there you can find how it works the shipping calculation, but when it’s choosen an usps option, the reference to this shipping option is lost.

    thanks for your help


    Sounds like you solved your problem. Congratulations!

    Nafees BM


    My website and shopping cart is already setup. Which you can see here:

    The shopping cart’s shipping function needs to be setup to work with UPS and USPS, shipping must be calculated depending on weight, and some shipping variations must be created, for example: 6 jars, or 1 case, 2 case, etc.
    can anyone tell me how i set shipping options???


    I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I believe you have a few options. You can set up a table yourself or you can use UPS and/or USPS tables.

    As I understand your product, you have jars that can be shipped in units up to 6 jars, or full cases. I assume your shipping is to the United States only.

    What you may want to do is go to your products page and see if you can set up quantity variables, such as quantity by jar or quantity by case. Be sure to but the jar weights and sizes as well as the case weight and size. I have not used variables on my site, but if you search the forums, you should find the information you need.

    I noted that your product prices do not include shipping (shipping $0.00), which is fine as you can add that at checkout.

    If you have not configured shipping, you are in for a treat, that assumes you enjoy migraines, root canals, slamming your small toe into hard objects, and other forms of enhanced interrogation techniques.

    That warning said, what you need to do is go to USPS and UPS and get yourself set up with an account, and an authorization. Both their websites provide a fair amount of opaque information on how to do that. Once you have read their information, come back to and and go through all the forums. You will find a lot of information about how to configure the shipping modules for each of these services.

    Basically, what you will do is get an access code and an account number that needs to be validated by their servers. They may want you to test a few transactions to make sure the data is transferring correctly. I use the shipping calculator for each of these. I then take my packages to the post office or ups and ship them. However, with the calculator on, the customer can choose the shipping method they want and the price. It may be that your product is heavy in which UPS may be the only service you need. if not, then there is a cross over based on weight and distance when UPS is cheeper than USPS.

    I hope this helps. If you get stuck let me know. But please review the forums, the UPS and USPS website, the documentation first. This way your next set of questions my get answers from others who know much more than I.

    Nafees BM


    Thanks for your replay

    I have the problem that the transaction result shows the total as $0.00. This is generated in core functions of the plugin, with messy variables every which way, and uses the variable $total which is set to zero a few lines before it gets displayed, and never modified in between.

    How in the world can it ever give an accurate total? What wre they thinking when they coded that?


    I am not sure which transaction total you refer to.

    On my checkout page, there are two. The first is the total in the shopping cart at the top of the page. This total includes the $ value of the merchandise, the $ value of the sales tax = $ value of transaction total.

    At the bottom of my checkout page, there is a second transaction total. This includes both the merchandise and the sales tax, then it includes the $ value of the selected shipping option.

    When the customer clicks the Purchase Button, all this data is transferred to Pay Pal and is displayed by Pay Pal, prior to payment by the customer.

    In the interest of full disclosure, please understand that I am relatively new to the world of Word Press, HTML, PHP, CSS, Java, C+, ABC, XYZ or any other form of “code”. My suggestion to you is to take a look at the elements you are interested in and try to find out where each “Transaction Total” pulls its data from. Also, if you go to Google Code and find the WP-eCommerce page, you may be able to wander through each of the sections until you find if others have had the same problem and how they addressed it.

    Lastly, in my case, I had made some changes to the “transaction totals” in order to attempt to get each one to present and calculate correctly. It turned out, that I pulled in the wrong elements. So I agree that it can be very very frustrating. But, it is do-able.

    I hope this is some help. At least please try to view this comment as moral support!

    I’m referring to the transaction result, as I said above.

    On my site we don’t collect money on the site – we deliver the products in person and collect the money at that time.

    In the checkout there’s the screen for people to confirm the items and quantities and agree to the terms and conditions. When they hit ‘deliver’ they’re taken to the transaction result screen, which says much the same as the confirmation email that’s sent to the customer… except the email contains the valid total, whereas the transaction result screen shows “Total: $0.00”

    Also, I stated in my post above that I tracked where it pulls that result from and assembles it into $message_html. What I’m wondering is a) why they use a separate variable for transaction result total and the total listed in the confirmation email, and how I can correct the code for transaction result without doing so in the plugin core which will be overwritten at the next update.


    Have you set up a child theme for your site? It is my understanding that you can the copy core modules you need to modify to the child theme, modify them and they will not be overwritten with each update.

    yes – but again, as I said in my original post, those variables are populated in the core files.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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