What Products Can’t You Sell on Shopify?

Shopify has one of the longest lists of prohibited and restricted items out of any eCommerce platform. From financial services to regulated products, there are hundreds of them. If your business deals with any of these (even if they’re legal where you live), Shopify won’t let you sell them.

1. Alcohol

The US alone is home to 8,386 breweries, 8,275 of which (that’s 98.67%) are craft breweries. If you’re one of these businesses, know that you can’t sell your products on Shopify. It’s one of the (many) age-restricted items included in the list of Shopify prohibited items.

2. Tobacco and E-Cigarettes

If your business sells anything that has to do with smoking, Shopify won’t accept you as a merchant. The company prohibits the sale of tobacco, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, e-juices, and smoking accessories. Pipes, bongs, and vaporizers can’t go on sale via this eCommerce platform either.

3. CBD

Market experts say that the cannabidiol (CBD) market will become a $2.5 billion+ industry come 2022. In both the US and Canada, it’s legal to sell CBD products, so long as they have a THC content of 0.3% or less. THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the cannabinoid that has psychoactive effects.

The thing is, Shopify has quite the restrictions on the sales of CBD-related products. For starters, there’s the “Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products.” It’s a form that all US-based CBD sellers must need to complete before they can sell their items on the platform.

Note that this is only for US merchants. If you’re a Canadian merchant, you have to have a cannabis license to sell your stuff on Shopify. You must also sign up with the platform’s “Shopify Plus” plan.

What if you’re in Europe, where CBD is now legal almost everywhere (except Italy and Slovakia)? Well, Shopify doesn’t have a detailed page about it. Instead, its information on selling CBD products is specific to US merchants.

That said, you’ll likely have issues selling CBD items on Shopify if you live outside of the US (or Canada). In fact, some US merchants even reported having had their hard-earned money placed on hold.

4. Fireworks

Certain types of consumer fireworks are legal in 46 states as well as Washington, DC. The only state where it’s completely illegal (as in all forms of it) is Massachusetts. Illinois, Ohio, and Vermont impose stringent laws on these products’ usage.

Unfortunately, these products are one of the many generalized Shopify prohibited items. So, even if fireworks are legal in your area, you won’t be able to use Shopify’s Payments Services.

5. Firearms and Weapons

Shopify prohibits firearms and anything else that can classify as a weapon, even knives. Neither does it allow the sales of munition, gunpowder, similar substances, and explosives. You can’t sell crossbows, air guns, pellets, or targets either.

Now, a lot of these restrictions are understandable, since there are extensive state laws restricting them. However, Shopify imposes them not just on specific locations, but for every user.

6. Solvents

There are at least 350 common solvents used in the US, such as alcohol, benzene, gasoline, and kerosene. Lighter fluid and portable camping stoves also use solvents in the form of butane.

Sounds like your online store? If so, then your store classifies as one of Shopify’s prohibited businesses.

7. Pharmaceuticals

Online pharmacies can’t do business on Shopify, even if they’re a legal entity in their country. It also prohibits the sales of nutraceuticals, peptides, research chemicals, and pseudo-pharmaceuticals. The same goes for any product claiming to have health or therapeutic benefits.

8. Gaming Restrictions

Shopify prohibits internet gaming, video game currency, and online game credits. The only ones allowed to sell gaming currency are the actual operators of the game itself. Depending on your location, you may also not be able to sell games with age restrictions.

9. Certain High-Demand Items

Shopify’s prohibited items recently grew to include specific personal protective gear. This includes masks, sanitizers, isopropyl alcohol, and disinfecting sprays just to name a few. Because of this move, the eCommerce platform ended up suspending thousands of stores.

Unfortunately, this move affected even legitimate merchants. Some users also reported that Shopify closed their store even if they didn’t sell masks. Worse, many shop owners experienced not only a few hours of downtime, but days of it.

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