Troubleshooting | Shipping Errors

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If you are seeing any of the symptoms below, there may be a problem with how your shipping methods are set up.

  • You or your customer receive "Unfortunately one or more items in your cart can't be shipped to your location. Please choose a different delivery address." when checking out
  • Your customer does not see a shipping quote that should show up (e.g. no USPS quotes show up)
  • Trying "Get a quote" when testing a shipping method does not do anything

These symptoms occur when the shopping cart cannot find a working shipping method for the combination of products and shipping address the customer has entered. Read through the sections below to determine what is causing the error and how to resolve it.

Shipping Quotes Process

When producing the list of shipping options for the customer, the BigCommerce shipping manager runs the following process:

1. The shipping manager looks at the customer's shipping country, state/province, and zip code, and finds the shipping zone that most closely matches.

  • If no zones match, it gives the "Unfortunately we can't ship to your location. Please choose a different delivery address." error.
  • If a shipping zone does match, it goes onto the following step:

2. Looks at flat-rate shipping methods inside that zone. It weeds out flat rate methods that do not apply due to weight or cost restrictions (such as non-applicable Ship by Weight ranges, Ship by Order Total ranges, or free shipping over $X methods)

  • If there are no shipping methods with usable services left, it gives the "Unfortunately we can't ship to your location. Please choose a different delivery address." error.
  • If it finds services that match, it goes onto the following step:

3. Sends the product weights, dimensions, and your user information to the real-time quote provider (if you have real-time quotes set up for that zone). The real-time quote system will process these and return shipping quotes. If the real-time quote system has trouble processing the product weights or dimensions (e.g. they are out of range or not entered) or the user information, it will send an error back to BigCommerce.

User-added image

  • If BigCommerce does not receive ANY viable quotes from ANY of the real-time quote systems, it gives the "Unfortunately we can't ship to your location. Please choose a different delivery address." error.
  • If BigCommerce received any errors, it will display them in the Store Logs.
  • If it is given any quotes that match, it goes onto the following step:

4. The checkout page displays all viable flat rate services and/or real-time quotes.

To troubleshoot, you will need to identify which of the first three steps the error is stemming from. Use the following process of elimination.

Check if 'Preview Advanced Shipping' is Enabled

By enabling Preview Advanced Shipping, the shipping rates and quotes generated by ShipperHQ at checkout can be previewed by store users logged into the control panel before enabling them live for your shoppers. This includes clients and BC staff.

This can prove useful for confirming the client's settings at ShipperHQ have been configured correctly before publicly surfacing them to their shoppers.

Check Your Shipping Zones and Address

1. Go to Store SetupShipping.

In some versions of the control panel, this is located under Setup & ToolsSet up your storeShipping.

2. Check the Shipping from address. Make sure you have the correct country, state/province, and zip/post code. If it is not correct, real-time quotes cannot be processed. It often helps to make sure the city, state, and zip code match by putting your address into Google Maps.

3. Look at the shipping zones listed under Shipping Settings Options. If you do not see any countries or custom zones that appear to contain your customer's address, that is why they are receiving the error. Verify you have all the countries set up that you want to do business with.

If you do see your customer's country, proceed to step 4.

4. If your customer's country is listed, click Edit next to it.

Edit button highlighted next to a shipping zone in Shipping Manager

5. On the zone page, click Edit zone in the top right corner.

Edit button highlighted in the top right of the shipping zone details page

6. Depending on the zone's type, do the following:

  • Selection of countries - If the customer's country is in the list of Countries, skip to the next section. If not, you have found the problem.
  • Selection of states or provinces - Check the country and the list of states/provinces. If you see your customer's state/province, skip to the next section. If not, you have found the problem.
  • Advanced selection - Check the Country and the list of zip/post codes. If you see your customer's post code exactly as they have entered it, skip to the next section. If not, you have found the problem.

Sometimes customers will provide their zip/post code in a format other than you have entered it (such as entering a 9-digit zip code or leaving out a space in the postal code). If this appears to be the problem, try using wild cards in your zip/postal codes. This will account for any variations in format.

Check the Flat-Rate Methods

If you do not have any fixed rate methods (Free Shipping, Ship by Weight, Ship by Order Total, Flat Rate) set up, skip to the next section.

1. Click the Edit button next to each fixed rate you have set up.

2. Make sure that your customer's order falls inside one of the ranges you have specified. If it does not, make sure that you have included a default shipping cost. The default cost is what the customer will be charged if their order's weight falls outside the specified ranges. If the order falls outside the ranges and there is no default shipping cost, this method will not be used by the system in step 2 above.

3. If none of your flat-rate methods contain an applicable weight range or a default shipping cost, the system will rely only upon working real-time quotes. If you have not enabled real-time quotes, you must edit your flat-rate methods to allow your customer's order.

Checking the Real Time Shipping Quote Systems

Check the store logs to see what errors were returned by the real-time quote systems.

1. Go to Server SettingsStore Logs.

In some versions of the control panel, this is located under Setup & ToolsAdvanced toolsStore Logs.

2. You will see the errors from the real-time quote system. Clicking the + next to it for further details may give a more specific error message. Common errors include products not having dimensions, being over the weight limits, or incorrect user information.

Use this information to determine whether there is a problem with your product weights and dimensions, your user information, or the API connection.

Common Real-Time Shipping Quote Errors

Package exceeds weight limit

Each shipping quote provider has weight limits for their different types of packaging. Check the individual packaging limits in the "Additional Information" section of each shipping article to see if your customer's combination of products exceeds it.

A workaround for potential product combinations that will exceed the weight limit is to create a weight table for all orders that might exceed the weight limit. For example, if you are using UPS (weight-limit 150 lbs), you would create a weight table for 150-1000 lbs, and assign it a flat rate. This way, any potential orders that exceed 150 lbs will be charged that flat rate instead of receiving an error.

Invalid Weight

Orders receiving an invalid weight limit may contain products that don't have weights or don't have dimensions. Dimensions are now required for most real-time shipping quote providers.

Weights and dimensions can be added by editing a product manually or exporting your products in bulk, adding the information to the Weight, Height, Width, and Depth fields, then re-importing your products.

Origin postal code must be specified

This error results from having incorrect information in the Shipping from address in the shipping manager. See the steps above.

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