General CSV Troubleshooting Tips

General guidelines you should be aware of when performing a CSV import of any kind into ShipStation.

Even though ShipStation handles each import process a little differently, there are some general troubleshooting steps you can take if you encounter issues with any CSV import.

  • If you need to open a file to review or edit the contents, import the file into the spreadsheet program you are using so the data is preserved. Using double-click to open a file can cause fields to be automatically formatted in incorrect ways. For example, long order numbers, SKUs, or UPC numbers may convert into scientific notation.

  • CSV imports replace existing data in ShipStation with the data from the CSV. Therefore, when importing a CSV to update existing records (order, product, inventory, or customer records) always include all of the data you need for those items.

    If you upload a CSV with blank cells, and the corresponding field in ShipStation contains data, the CSV import will replace that field with a null value, meaning the data previously held in that field will be deleted from the database. This cannot be undone.

  • ShipStation does not support .xlsx or .numbers files for CSV imports. Those files can typically be converted to a CSV via a spreadsheet program like Excel or Google Sheets.

  • Product, Inventory, and Customer CSV imports require a specific template. For these types of CSV imports, do not modify the column headers in the template in any way.

  • Any numerical value field - like weight, item unit price, and length - require a numerical value and may cause failures if you include other characters. Similarly, date fields will only function if the value is formatted like a date.

    • Examples:

      '$10.00' is invalid for item unit price because of the $ symbol. The correct values would be '10' or '10.00'.

      '16 oz' is invalid for weight because of the ' oz' portion of the value. The correct value would be '16'.

      'Banana' is invalid for order date because it is not a date. A correct value would be '3/15/2018'.

  • If an error message for a CSV import includes a specific row in the error message, the problem row is actually 1 higher than stated in the error message. This is because ShipStation will skip the column headers when processing the data, causing the error exception message to reflect a row 1 less than the actual file.

    • Example:

      ERROR - Row 6: Invalid product import status.” indicates an issue with Row 7 of the product CSV file (Row 6 from error + 1 row for Column Headers = Row 7).

  • If a CSV is importing most of the data without any errors, but certain fields are not updated in ShipStation, review the file to ensure there are no additional spaces or special characters - like question marks, dashes, parenthesis, and periods - in the column headers.

    A column header such as 'Shipping Paid ' (space after Paid) would cause the Shipping Paid field to not populate in ShipStation.

    An easy way to check for this is to open the file in a text editor instead of a spreadsheet program. The space will be visible before the next comma, as shown in the image below:

    CSV file in a text editor with an arrow pointing to an extra space before a comma.
  • ShipStation does not have a specific file size limit for CSV imports, but particularly large CSV files may run into issues when importing into ShipStation. If you're having trouble importing a large CSV file, we recommend you break the file into several smaller files of about 5 MB each.