beware: shopify stopped our payouts

12 0 1

Heads up that Shopify notified us that they don't support selling hemp-related products, and we had 1 local honey made from flowers that included hemp flowers. Their notification said we had one week to delete the honey or switch payment processors, but they stopped our payouts within 24 hours of sending us this notification. We deleted the honey from our store and notified Shopify of this within a few days of their notification and well before the week deadline they gave us. Shopify is still not making our payouts some 9+ days later. What's more, we have had zero response from Shopify about any of this. We can't get anyone at Shopify to even reply to our emails, and chatting with Shopify "support" only confirms they have no actual information and no power to do anything to help -- seems they are merely the gatekeepers between customers and the folks at Shopify who have been holding back our payouts for 9 days and counting.

If anyone has a way to get through to someone at Shopify who will actually respond and, ideally, has some power to do something to help, we would be grateful. Otherwise, just sharing a cautionary tale that Shopify can stop your payouts at seemingly any time and for any length of time regardless of doing everything they ask of you or how you try to reach out to them. 

Replies 2 (2)
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1039 162 213

Hi @SGM411 

Thank you for sharing your feedback on this process with us and other merchants in the forums. I can recognize how difficult this situation is and the urgency surrounding having your payouts released. 

Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, and to have an accurate accounting of decisions or actions taken with your account, only our Risk Operations team is able to review and respond to these situations and they do so through email. No one from our standard support team will be able to act on this matter for you as they do not have access or permission to do so. 

That being said I want to ensure that yourself, and any other merchants in our forums, have all the information available on selling CBD and hemp derived products on Shopify. 

The most important things to consider when selling products of this nature are:

  • You must use a gateway that supports the sale of high risk items, like CBD and hemp derived products. Shopify Payments does not support the sale of these products. Please review our Shopify Payments Terms of Service - United States for more information on this. 
  • Merchants whose business is located in the USA must fill and submit their attestation form before selling a product in this category. 
  • Merchants in Canada must be registered to sell cannabis at the federal level and be approved for Shopify Plus.
  • Merchants outside of the USA and Canada must follow all their local regulations.

You can find out more information on this topic in our Help Center here: Help Center - Hemp and hemp-derived products 

Please rest assured that once our Risk team has finished their review of your account they will follow up with you to ensure the situation is fully resolved. 

Shay | Social Care @ Shopify 
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12 0 1

Unfortunately, Shay, your response seems like a cut 'n paste reply and doesn't really address our issues at all: that Shopify has been withholding our payouts for 9 days and counting, despite the fact that we did everything you asked and notified you of it well before the deadline you gave us. What's more, you write "only our Risk Operations team is able to review and respond to these situations and they do so through email," except they don't...they do not respond to these situations through email. We have received zero email response, not one. Our payouts were suspended with 24 hours of the one and only email we got from the Risk team: the one notifying us we had a week to delete a single product, a jar of local honey made with hemp flowers.

Based on our experience and your note, it seems Shopify's standard operating procedures are
1) imposing deadlines for customers but penalizing customers before those deadlines are reached
2) withholding payouts even after customers do everything you ask before your deadline and notify you of it before your deadline
3) keeping customers completely in the dark by not responding even once regarding this issue

No offence--we get that you have to reply the way Shopify tells you to reply. But if we could share some feedback, your note does not give us any faith that anything is happening to resolve this issue. No one--even within Shopify--can reach the mysterious Risk team. And the Risk team has ghosted us completely, too--zero replies. Also, Chat support and your note only suggest that we wait silently while Shopify continues to withhold our money, which they started doing before their own deadline and have continued to do even after we've done everything they asked of us before that deadline. If someone was wrongly withholding your paycheck for 9 days and counting and not responding to your inquiries for help or even an update, how long would you wait silently?