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Verify Business Address

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  • Verify Business Address

    Is there an app that can verify whether an address is commercial or residential? I have never allowed customers to have a choice because I fear that many will choose Commercial because it's cheaper and they are not really a business and then I'm out the difference (unless I up the percentage for Ground shipping calculations). Right now I verify using ShipStation but I am evaluating other shipping module providers that don't verify whether an address is a business or not.

    Joe Arbogast

  • #2
    Worldship can, as well as USPS shipping platforms like Endicia, but I don't know of anything for stores like ours.

    3dcart sells an address verification add-on that queries USPS for addresses and offers corrections. Why it can't also silently check that box in the background at the same time is... not something I know.
    - Dean P. e-commerce and small business consulting


    • #3
      Thanks Dean -- still searching for an answer. ShipStation is a good method for verifying, but I'm not happy with them for a couple of reasons and evaluating other options.
      Joe Arbogast


      • #4
        DeanP please be aware that Worldship does not verify addresses down to the street level (ie apt. or suite number). I've spent many hours testing programs and most platforms will state they validate down to street level when in fact they do not! They validate street address is fine and will tell you ok to ship. They however do not catch that there needs to be an apt. number or suite number also attached to that address. You will get your ups bill and bam they hit you for an address correction fee which is what $15.00 now!

        So when testing platforms test an address you know has an apt. number and if that software tell you address is fine you know that software is not testing down to apt. or suite number, just to street name level.

        Hey we use ups and I went round and round with them as many years ago they did and I would say about 8 years ago the platform stopped alerting to apt. numbers missing. Now perhaps in the past year they have started doing it again but with what they charge on address correction fees, I would doubt it.

        We also use shipstation and will not move from it as they do validate down to apt. number and suite number level - tested most online shipping sites out there about 1 year ago so if someone finds another site that actually validates down to apt. or suite number level, I would like to test it out.

        As far as allowing customers to select a box at checkout stating if they are a business or not - remove it!!! They see it, click it and show a lower rate of course, folks will select it. Plus they think since they have a home business that this is a business is dead wrong. No one can being living in a structure for it to be classified as a business. So for now, we're sticking with shipstation since I would say we may get 1-2 address corrections per year on thousands of packages shipped. $15.00 per address correction would add up quickly using most other platforms out there as it's amazing how many folks forget to put their apt. number or suite number on their order, shipstation catches these and we are able to email customers to get it prior to shipping.


        • #5
          ebeegirl Well, a suite or apartment number is beyond the street level by definition, so I wouldn't say that the programs you were testing are incorrect in stating that they validate to the street level. I don't know that there's much of a need to go beyond the street level anyway though. For example, if 115 Main St. Suite 5A is a commercial address, then 115 Main St. Suite 7B is very likely also a commercial address. There are exceptions of course but they're rare. Why do you need to verify an address as residential or commercial down to the unit level?
          - Dean P. e-commerce and small business consulting


          • #6
            If you ship to 115 Main St. and do not put an apt. number or suite number on the package the shippers UPS and Fedex will ding you $15.00 per package for not having an apt. number of suite number when the address you shipped to does. That would add up to thousands of dollars per year in address correction fees. It's automatically done by the shippers now - their software will correct the address but will charge you the $15.00 for not having it. Huge cost and one we will not tolerate so we use shipstation.

            So it is extremely important that shipping software catches any addresses that do not have a suite or apt. number attached to them when there is one. Not saying that the software knows if the persons lives at Apt. 1 or Apt. 2, but the software better catch that there should be an apt. number on an addresses with multiple units.


            • #7
              Oh, I see where you're coming from now. In your experience do your customers frequently forget to add their unit number?
              - Dean P. e-commerce and small business consulting


              • #8
                We rarely see someone that forgets to enter an apt/suite number. Seems like and odd problem... Not sure the volume you do, but 1 of our stores had shipped 15,000+ packages last year and only had 116 address correction. 98% of the address corrections were do to a misspelled street or a mix up in the house/business #. Handful were no apt/suite #

                Our store uses the 3dCart address verification and I think it works well.

                2-3 years ago I went back and forth with 3dCart regarding the residential/commercial address classification. All they need to do is add the addressline1 node to have the response come back as residential or commercial. The shipto address element is in the request, but they just don't include the address.

                For the delivery area surcharges they would need to add the element<Subversion>1607</subversion> to the request.

                So simple...


                • #9
                  JoeBTI we ship close to 10k per year - had 2 address corrections last year (both very rural addresses) - so you paid roughly $1500 in address correction fees? We do have folks who think if they simply place their business name with no suite number it's not an issue. Don't ask me why but folks have no idea that the shippers today have their software programs that zing shippers for an address correction fee if the suite or apt. number is not on the label. Now the customer still gets the package - but we absolutely hate these address correction fees. Shipstation is the only software we have found that is the best at catching them.

                  You are using 3dcart address verification so I am assuming this is a type of pop up box that customers can select their address or an altered address suggested by the 3dcart system?? We would still have to use shipstation to create labels and such and so we have no need for 3dcarts system. Does 3dcart offer this as a free app?? My guess is there is a charge.

                  I'll attach a screen shot of what we see in shipstation as I'll make an address invalid to show you.