How to Enable Flat Rate & Free Shipping in Magento

In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to enable flat rate and/or free shipping. Of course, once you get an understanding of how all of this works, you can also enable other shipping modules.

For example, if you need to charge different shipping rates based on the customer’s location, you can do it with table rate shipping.

I personally use flat rate or free shipping because most of the items that I sell are light in weight, but there were times when I needed to use a separate shipping rate for customers on the west coast.


Can’t view the video? Watch it on YouTube

To start, simply go to “System > Configuration”.

Then look in the left column for the sales section. In this section you will see a link for “Shipping Methods” which is where you need to go.

Note that if you haven’t setup your ‘shipping settings’, you may want to do that first.

Enable flat rate shipping

To enable flat rate rate shipping, simply click on the ‘flat rate’ heading and make sure that ‘Yes’ is selected in the dropdown menu next to ‘enabled’.

As for title and method name, you can change that to what ever you’d like. In the video, I changed it to “Priority Mail” because this is the service that I wanted to use to ship the items but of course, this can be anything you’d like it to be.

As for ‘type’, this is where you decide how shipping is calculated. For example, if you choose ‘per item’ and if your price is set to 5.00, a $5.00 fee will be charged on each item. So if your customer buys 3 items, they will pay $15.00 in shipping fees.

If you choose ‘per order’, the customer would pay 1 flat rate. So if they buy 3 items, they would pay $5.00 — that is, if you enter 5.00 in the ‘price’ field.

As for ‘calculate handling fee’, you can choose between ‘fixed’ or ‘percent’. If you choose fixed, the amount that you enter in the ‘handling fee’ field, will be added to the order. So if you enter 1.00, a $1.00 handling fee will be charged plus shipping. If you choose percent, you will need to enter the rate in the handling fee field and it will be added to the order in addition to the shipping rate.

Note that the rate is calculated based on the shipping price. So if you enter 10.00 and if your shipping price is 5.00, a 10% fee will be charged and that fee would be $0.50.

As for ‘ship to applicable countries’, you can choose between ‘all allowed countries’ or ‘specific countries’. If you choose specific countries, you will need to select the countries that you wish to offer this shipping method to using the select menu which is located by ‘ship to specific countries’.

For ‘show method if not applicable’, you would select ‘Yes’ only if you want this method to show when the shipping method cannot be used by the customer.

As for ‘sort order’, this field is used to specify in which position this shipping method will show when other shipping methods are enabled. For example, if you have flat rate & free shipping enabled and want the free shipping to show first. You would enter 0 in the sort order box for free shipping and 1 in the sort order box for fixed shipping.

When done, click on the “Save Config” button.

Enable free shipping

To enable free shipping, you simply follow the same steps that you would follow for flat rate shipping with the exception of ‘minimum order amount’. In the minimum order amount field you enter the amount that you would like a customer to purchase in order to qualify for free shipping.

For example, if you enter 10.00, the customer must purchase $10.00 worth of items to qualify for free shipping. Of course, if you leave this box empty, the customer will qualify for free shipping regardless of their order size.

Keep in mind that you can have free shipping as the only enabled shipping method, but if you do, you should not have a minimum order amount set.