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We write to expose the unexposed. If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must. Otherwise, you're just be rearranging the furniture in rooms you've already been in. Most human beings are dedicated to keeping that one door shut. But the writer's job is to see what's behind it, too see the bleak unspeakable stuff, and to turn the unspeakable into words - not just any words, but if we can, into rhythm and blues.
-- Anne Lamott


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Here's a story problem: let's say that you have to devise a formula for shipping orders in such a way that several factors are considered, such as the printing of shipping labels, the cost of the shipping materials, the cost of each shipment for the order if there are multiple shipment dates, and the weight of each item as it adds to the cost of shipment. You need to do this in such a way that you don't lose money on orders taken, you include payment for the expense of time that it takes to prepare and ship the order, and you don't turn away the customer for the cost of shipping.

I don't know what the right answer is, but mine is this:

Base Shipping Rate per Order$2.00
Base Shipping Rate per Shipment Date$1.00
Base Shipping Rate for Frames$2.00
Shipping Rate per Frame$0.25
Shipping Rate per Card$0.15

How does that translate?

If you buy one card from me with a single shipment date, then shipping would be $3.15.

If you buy eight cards from me with a single shipment date, then shipping would be $4.20.

If you buy two cards from me, each with its own shipment date, then shipping would be $4.30.

If you buy one card from me with a frame and a single shipment date, then shipping would be $5.40.

Does that work? Seems like it fits my criteria. I'll find out, I guess. Interesting stuff, business.

ETC: The calculation of shipping is now built into the shopping cart.

Next, order processing. Then, the ability for customers to view their order status and duplicate previous orders. Then, the pages to manage order fulfillment.


by Brett Rogers, 1/24/2006 11:22:47 PM


But if one shipment of cards leaves the post office in Chicago, and the other leaves from Baltimore travelling at 30 miles per hour, when do they both arrive in Omaha? :-P

This is why I'm glad there are people like you who find this stuff interesting, rather than crazy making, and keep capitalism alive. :-)

By the way--nice rack, dude.



Posted by Bella, 1/25/2006 12:06:08 AM

Gah Bella! That's impossible to answer. No amount of algebra, calculus or statistics could produce a formula capable of answeing the complex workings of the US Poastal Service... AND, you're assuming BOTH would actually arrive?! Oh my! ;)



Posted by Kelly, 1/25/2006 7:30:00 PM

lmao - you two are hysterical :)



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 1/25/2006 8:50:10 PM

Oh my darlings...the great X factor of the post office! How terrifying! And I thought the simple algebra was scary---but then, I work in Human Services...we can't do math. :-)



Posted by Bella, 1/25/2006 11:22:36 PM

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