how can shopify legally hold on to funds for 117 days?

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Evening everyone,

Having searched online, a fair few businesses have had similar problems to mine.


I sell, buy and trade luxury watches and in September 2020 opened a shopify store, mainly to reassure customers and give credibility to my businesses. It also allowed them another safer method of payment. September to January, absolute no issues, no email from Shopify, no warnings etc. 

Come an order last friday, payment taken, product delivered, happy days....unfortunately this is where my positive experience with shopify has ended. Kem from the 'risk operations team' kindly emailed me to tell me that i am selling branded goods and that he has to make me an "authorised reseller'. unless i provide documentation from none other than Rolex, or receipts from shopify payments would be removed. Just note here that as a watch trader, most purchases i make are from individual members of the public and therefore they do not provide me with receipts. duh.

I reminded 'Kem' that i am selling pre-owned watches, and that there is no such thing as authorised resellers of Rolex watches. At this point, i might note that my website clearly state that i am not affiliated with any watch brand and that they hold their trademark etc blah blah blah.

This did not seem to get through to the clever clogs at the risk operations team. And after their weekend off (yes they don't turn up on saturday and sunday) i received another email stating as i hadn't given the 'neccessary' documents, my shopify payments were blocked and that shopify would only withdraw my payment after 117 days..yes thats right 117 DAYS. No reasoning for the time line, just apologising for the if they were holding a few quid. nope. my sale of £11,000 is being held until June. Bear in mind i'm not a multi national corp and i don't have Jeff Bezos funds in my account, these funds are incredibly important to my trading. As a sole trader, having circa £11,000 just sitting with shopify for 117 days is just ridiculous and surely criminal.

My main issue is, that I am not selling fake or dangerous goods...I am not pretending to be an authorised dealer of new branded goods, I am a sole trader selling used goods, that do NOT require authorisation from the Brands and that shopify have waited until a payment was made to flag me on what they thought was an issue. Surely this isn't right.

Rant nearly over, stopping short of flying to the USA to try and locate this risk operations team, who by the way have no phone number (shock) I'm looking for the answer on how for them to release MY MONEY that i legally earned and that should be in my business account. any help would be grately appreciated...and a direct line to Kem even more so