Shopify Markets Pro Prohibited Products: A Comprehensive Guide for Merchants

Posted on 2023-10-29
10 min
author-imagePolo Themes

In the dynamic landscape of e-commerce, understanding the intricacies of product policies is paramount for businesses leveraging platforms like Shopify. The platform's guidelines, particularly regarding prohibited products, are essential for merchants to grasp to ensure seamless and compliant operations. This blog post delves into the specifics of Shopify's prohibited products in Shopify Markets Pro, offering a clear and concise overview of what items and services are off-limits on this popular e-commerce platform.

Shopify, known for its robust support to online businesses, sets clear boundaries on what merchants can sell across the country. The policies encompass a broad range of categories, from digital products to health-related items. This article aims to demystify these restrictions, providing valuable insights into the restricted products, services, and content. It is crucial for businesses utilizing Shopify to understand these limitations to navigate the platform successfully and maintain their sales without encountering policy breaches.

Prohibited and Restricted Items on Shopify Markets Pro

1. Online Pharmacies and Pharmaceuticals

Shopify restricts the sale of certain health-related products. This includes prescription medicines, which are only to be sold by licensed pharmacists. Additionally, unlicensed medicines making health claims are prohibited. Shopify's policies align with legal and health regulations to ensure the safety and compliance of products sold in health and drugs. This approach is essential for online pharmacies, where regulation is crucial to prevent the distribution of unapproved or potentially harmful pharmaceuticals.

2. Medical Devices

The sale of specific medical devices on Shopify is subject to strict regulation. This category encompasses medical tests, hearing aids, medical alarms, and beauty devices regulated by the FDA. These items are often critical to health and well-being, necessitating careful oversight. Shopify's policies align with broader medical device regulations to ensure that only compliant and safe products are available to consumers.

3. Digital Products

Shopify regulates the sale of digital products, particularly those without physical counterparts. Digital items in draft orders also fall under this scrutiny. This policy ensures that digital sales on Shopify adhere to standards that prevent the proliferation of unlicensed or illegal digital content. It's a balance between fostering innovative digital product sales and maintaining the products' integrity.

4. Credit Cards and Related Services

The platform restricts the sale of credit cards and services related to credit card processing. This includes activities related to the issuance of credit cards and the facilitation of credit card transactions. Shopify's stance is likely a measure to prevent fraudulent activities and to ensure that financial transactions on the platform remain secure and legitimate.

5. Adult Content

Shopify maintains a strict policy against the sale of sexually explicit materials and items related to sexual activities. This prohibition is in place to align with broader societal standards and legal constraints regarding adult content. Shopify's approach to adult content reflects a commitment to creating a safe and inclusive environment for many customers and merchants.

6. Alcoholic Beverages and Products

Shopify has specific policies regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages and related products. These include wine, spirits, hard liquor, wine-making, and bottling kits. The regulation of these items is likely due to the varying legal restrictions on alcohol sales across different regions. Merchants must be aware of these limitations to comply with Shopify's policies and regional alcohol sales laws.

7. Animal and Pet Supplies

The sale of certain animal and pet supplies is restricted on Shopify. This includes live or deceased animals, pet food, treats, vitamins, and supplements. These restrictions may be in place to ensure ethical treatment of animals and compliance with health and safety standards. Merchants in this category must understand the guidelines to avoid inadvertently listing prohibited items.

8. Artwork

Shopify prohibits artwork that infringes on copyrights or trademarks. This includes certain digital artworks and high-value art pieces. The aim here is to uphold intellectual property rights and prevent the sale of unauthorized reproductions. Merchants dealing with art products should ensure their items do not violate these important legal protections.

9. Automotive and Powersports

Shopify requires pre-approval for the sale of various automotive and power sports products. This likely reflects an effort to ensure safety and compliance with industry standards for products that could be deemed hazardous. Merchants in this sector should seek clarification on the specific items that require pre-approval before listing them in their shop.

10. Batteries and Electronics

Shopify closely monitors all batteries and electronics containing batteries for safety concerns and the need for proper disposal and recycling methods, which may lead to restrictions on their sale. Merchants selling electronics need to be aware of these restrictions to ensure they comply with Shopify's policies and environmental and safety regulations.

11. Beauty and Cosmetics

Shopify enforces specific restrictions on the sale of beauty and cosmetic products. These restrictions include perfumes and colognes containing alcohol, nail polish, hair bleach products, aerosols, and hand sanitizers. Please note that international standards and regulations may restrict the availability of certain beauty products in certain regions.. Merchants selling beauty products need to be especially vigilant about the composition of their items and the areas they are shipping to, ensuring compliance with Shopify's policies and safety standards.

12. Business and Industrial

The sale of certain business and industrial products, such as dental tools and heavy machinery, is regulated on Shopify. This likely reflects concerns over safety and the need for specialized knowledge and handling. Merchants dealing in these products should ensure they meet all relevant safety standards and legal requirements, as Shopify aims to maintain a safe and reliable marketplace for sellers and buyers.

13. CBD Products

CBD products, including edibles, capsules, tablets, e-liquids, and oils, are subject to specific restrictions on Shopify. While the CBD market has seen significant growth, the sale of these products on Shopify must align with legal regulations, particularly those concerning THC content. Merchants selling CBD products must ensure their items comply with Shopify's policies and the legal standards in their operating regions.

14. Charities and Nonprofits

Shopify places restrictions on direct donations to charities and nonprofits. This is likely due to the complex legal landscape surrounding charitable contributions and the need to prevent fraudulent activities. Merchants looking to support charitable causes through their Shopify store must be aware of these limitations and explore alternative ways to engage in philanthropic activities.

15. Consumer Safety Items

Regulated safety equipment, such as car seats and helmets, is closely monitored on Shopify. The sale of these items is subject to stringent safety standards and regulations. Merchants dealing in consumer safety items must ensure that their products comply with safety certifications and regulations to be sold on Shopify, reflecting the platform's commitment to the safety and well-being of end consumers.

16. Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia

Shopify strictly prohibits the sale of drugs and drug paraphernalia. This includes items like drug-related apparel, books on drug use or cultivation, equipment for drug use, and any regulated substances. The platform's firm stance against these products aligns with legal regulations and public health concerns, ensuring that Shopify remains a safe and compliant marketplace for all users.

17. Explosives, Weapons, and Related Items

Shopify heavily restricts the sale of explosives, weapons, and related items such as guns, gun parts, knives, and tactical gear. This policy reflects a commitment to safety and compliance with legal regulations surrounding the sale of potentially dangerous items. Merchants dealing in weaponry must be aware of and comply with these stringent restrictions to avoid policy violations.

18. Export Controlled Items

Shopify restricts items under Export Administration Regulations (EAR) or International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). These include dual-use items with both civilian and military applications and defense articles. Shopify's adherence to these regulations ensures compliance with international laws and helps prevent the unauthorized distribution of sensitive materials.

19. Farming Equipment and Products

Various farming tools and machinery are also subject to restrictions on Shopify. This includes tractor parts, heavy farming machinery, and certain agricultural products. These restrictions are likely in place to ensure the safety and proper use of such equipment and compliance with agricultural regulations.

20. Flammable and Pressurized Goods

Shopify restricts the sale of flammable and pressurized goods, including adhesives and aerosols. These restrictions are vital for ensuring the safety of both the merchants selling these products and the customers purchasing them, given the potential risks associated with the shipping and handling such items.

21. Food and Beverage

Shopify imposes restrictions on the sale of perishable food and beverages. These restrictions are crucial due to the complexities associated with storing, handling, and shipping perishable items, ensuring food safety and quality. Merchants looking to sell food and beverage products must be aware of these limitations and consider the logistical challenges they present.

22. Home and Garden Products

The sale of certain home and garden products like candles, essential oils, incense, knives, organic materials, and plants is subject to specific guidelines on Shopify. These products, while popular, may have safety or regulatory concerns, such as the safe transport of knives or the compliance of organic materials with agricultural regulations. Merchants should ensure their products adhere to Shopify's policies and are safe for consumers.

23. Human Hair Products

Shopify restricts the sale of human hair products, including wigs and extensions, in certain regions. This regional restriction likely reflects diverse legal and ethical standards regarding the sourcing and selling of human hair. Merchants in this category must stay informed about regional regulations to ensure compliance.

24. Inactive Products

Shopify prohibits the listing of archived, draft, or inactive items. This policy ensures that the Shopify platform offers only current and active products to shoppers, enhancing the user experience and maintaining an up-to-date product catalog. Merchants should regularly review their listings to ensure all products are vibrant and available.

25. Jewelry and Precious Gems

Shopify closely monitors the sale of jewelry and precious gems, incredibly loose stones, and high-value jewelry. This includes considerations for the sourcing of these materials, as well as compliance with international trade laws. High-value transactions and items like precious gems often require additional scrutiny to prevent fraud and ensure ethical sourcing.

26. Knives

The sale of various knives on Shopify is subject to regional restrictions. This includes culinary, tactical, and collectible knives. The regulations vary significantly based on local laws and safety concerns. Merchants must ensure compliance with these regional laws, as Shopify aims to align its platform with local safety standards and legal requirements regarding the sale and distribution of knives.

27. Materials Depicting Illegal Acts

Shopify prohibits the sale of materials that endorse or depict illegal activities or violence. This includes books, artwork, videos, and other media that may glorify or instruct unlawful acts. This policy underscores Shopify's commitment to maintaining a safe and lawful environment on its platform and aligns with broader societal standards against promoting illegal or violent behaviors.

28. Money or Monetary Items

Shopify restricts the sale of actual currency, cash equivalents, gift cards, and lottery tickets. These items often present complex legal and regulatory challenges, including the potential for fraud. As a result, Shopify's policies aim to mitigate these risks by restricting the sale of these items, thereby ensuring the security and integrity of financial transactions on the platform.

29. Mystery Items or Poorly-Described Products

Shopify enforces policies against selling mystery items or products with vague descriptions. This includes products where the customer only knows what they purchased once delivered. Such policies are in place to ensure transparency and customer trust and prevent deceptive sales practices on the platform.

30. Pawn Shops

Shopify restricts the operations of pawn shops. This policy likely stems from the unique regulatory environment surrounding pawn shops, including issues related to selling second-hand goods, the potential for stolen goods, and complex licensing requirements. Shopify's stance on pawn shops ensures that all sales meet their legitimacy and legal compliance standards.

31. Plant, Wood, and Seed Products

Shopify regulates the sale of items made from natural or plant fibers, wood, bamboo, and cork. These materials are often subject to international trade regulations and environmental conservation laws. Merchants must ensure their products comply with these laws, particularly when they involve materials sourced from protected or endangered plant species. This policy reflects Shopify's commitment to environmental sustainability and legal trade practices.

32. Sex and Sensuality Products

Shopify restricts items with sexually suggestive content or materials. This includes products that could be considered adult content or that promote sexual activities. Shopify's policy aligns with a broader goal to maintain a safe and appropriate marketplace for a broad audience, including minors. Merchants must be cautious to avoid listing items that could infringe upon these guidelines.

33. Specialty Apparel

Shopify restricts the sale of specialty apparel, particularly products made from endangered species and military uniforms. This includes items such as fur from endangered animals or authentic military gear. Such restrictions are in place to support wildlife conservation efforts and to prevent the misuse or misrepresentation of military uniforms, which could have severe legal and ethical implications.

34. Subscription Products

Products sold exclusively by subscription are subject to specific limitations on Shopify. This policy ensures that subscription-based sales are transparent and comply with consumer protection standards. Merchants offering subscription products must clearly communicate the terms and ensure that their business model aligns with Shopify’s recurring payment and service guidelines.

35. Tobacco and Tobacco-Related Products

The sale of tobacco and tobacco-related products, including cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and nicotine products, is heavily regulated on Shopify. These restrictions are in place due to health concerns associated with tobacco use and the complex legal landscape surrounding the sale of tobacco products. Merchants must navigate these regulations carefully to ensure compliance with Shopify's policies and the law.

36. Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, Guarantees

Shopify restricts the sale of non-tangible goods such as warranties, service plans, contracts, and guarantees. These intangible items often present challenges in terms of verification and fulfillment. Shopify's policy in this area aims to prevent potential misunderstandings or disputes over such non-physical products, ensuring clarity and trust in transactions on the platform.

37. Shopify Acceptable Use Policy Violations

Shopify's Acceptable Use Policy strictly prohibits content and activities that violate ethical and legal standards. This includes child exploitation, harassment, hateful content, illegal activities, intellectual property violations, malicious practices, misuse of personal and confidential information, self-harm promotion, spam, and support for terrorist organizations. These guidelines are critical to maintaining a safe, respectful, and lawful environment for all platform users.

38. Miscellaneous Restricted Items

Shopify also restricts miscellaneous items such as fireworks and solvents. Strict regulations often govern the sale of fireworks due to safety concerns, while solvents can pose health and safety risks due to their chemical properties. Shopify's restrictions on these items align with safety considerations and legal compliance, reflecting the platform's commitment to ensuring the well-being of its community.


Shopify maintains a strict list of prohibited and restricted items to ensure the safety of consumers, compliance with legal regulations, and the integrity of its e-commerce platform. Merchants on Shopify must avoid selling items such as flammable goods, particular food and beverages, alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes, CBD products, fireworks, firearms, weapons, solvents, pharmaceuticals, and items related to gambling. Additionally, products that contain tobacco or nicotine, adult products without discreet packaging, and COVID-19-related products are regulated. Intellectual property violations, malicious and deceptive practices, hate speech, discrimination, and any activities related to illegal actions are also prohibited on Shopify.

Staying informed about these restrictions is crucial for sellers, as they can vary by region and may be updated over time. Non-compliance can lead to the removal of products, suspension, or termination of accounts. Sellers should regularly review Shopify's policies and the laws of the jurisdictions in which they operate to ensure they remain in good standing on the platform. If a seller does violate any of these restrictions, they may have the opportunity to appeal or correct the issue by demonstrating compliance or resolving the problem promptly. Understanding and adhering to these guidelines is essential for any business looking to thrive on the Shopify platform.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What products and businesses are prohibited on Shopify?

Shopify prohibits various products and business types to ensure compliance with legal and ethical standards. Prohibited items include:

  • Drugs and drug paraphernalia.
  • Certain medical devices.
  • Adult content.
  • Restricted digital products.~
  • Services related to credit card processing.

Additionally, businesses involved in activities like child exploitation, illegal drugs, and the sale of tobacco and firearms are prohibited. Browse more details above.

2. What You Need to Know About Shopify Payments Prohibited Items

Shopify Payments, the platform's payment processing service, has its own set of restrictions. Items that are prohibited include illegal products, adult content, counterfeit goods, and certain high-risk businesses like online pharmacies and credit services. Violating these restrictions can lead to suspending Shopify Payments services for the merchant.

3. What products are prohibited on Shopify?

Prohibited products on Shopify span various categories, including but not limited to hazardous materials, explicit material, products promoting illegal activities, and unlicensed medical drugs. Shopify also restricts the sale of virtual currency, items depicting violence, and products from endangered species.

4. What happens if you sell prohibited products and services with Shopify Payments?

Selling prohibited products or services using Shopify Payments can result in severe consequences. Shopify may freeze the merchant's account, withhold funds, and potentially terminate the merchant's account. Additionally, merchants may face legal consequences depending on the nature of the prohibited sales.

5. What Kind of Business Is Prohibited by Shopify?

Shopify prohibits businesses from engaging in illegal activities or selling prohibited items. This includes firms selling firearms, certain medical devices without proper licensing, drug paraphernalia, and items that infringe on intellectual property rights. High-risk businesses, such as those offering psychic or debt reduction services, may also face restrictions or additional scrutiny.

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