Can we setup shopify payments for a liquor store in the United States

VenkatK
Shopify Partner
1 0 0

We want to setup an online liquor store in Shopify in United States.  Does alcohol fall under prohibited business for shopify payments in United States?

Can we use for Shopify Payments for our store? Or should we go with a third party payment provider only?

Please confirm.

 

Replies 12 (12)

Ted
Shopify Staff (Retired)
1255 115 138

Hi @VenkatK,

Ted here from Shopify, thanks for posting your query! 

Selling Alcohol while using Shopify Payments is allowed and is not considered to be a prohibited product. That said, every application for Shopify Payments is manually reviewed and approved so you will need to make sure that your store complies with some standard online requirements if you want to sell alcohol. 

For example, you will need to prove that you have a liquor license, an age verification feature on the store and more than likely you will need to add a disclaimer to your store. There's no exact guideline to follow as of yet, however, after you apply to join the gateway our Support Advisors or the Shopify Payments team can take a closer look into this with you. They'll be able to list the exact requirements you need to follow or submit as every location and store is different. 

If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know, I'm happy to help!

Many thanks,

Ted | Social Care @ Shopify 
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winedrop
Tourist
4 0 2

Hi Ted,

We're currently setting up a Shopify store to sell wine, and also had a similar question. We saw some Shopify forums in the past that stated that alcohol sales are not permitted through Shopify Payments, and that liquor stores would have to use other means of receiving payments. (https://community.shopify.com/c/Payments-Shipping-Fulfillment/Anyone-paying-extra-2-2-9-on-Shopify-f...)

Has this changed? Are wine products now okay to sell through Shopify Payments? If so, how does the application process work for selling alcohol via Shopify Payments?

Thank you!

Ted
Shopify Staff (Retired)
1255 115 138

Hi @winedrop,

Thanks for that! The post you linked is an old post from 2016 and the info shared no longer applies so I've removed the post. 

You are welcome to sell alcohol on both Shopify and Shopify Payments. Every Shopify Payments application is manually reviewed and approved by that team so I'd recommend making sure to follow the steps in the example I mentioned above and then wait for their reply. Every store and location is different which is why they'll need to review everything first and still have the right to reject an application as per their Terms of Service.

If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know, I'm happy to help!

Many thanks,

Ted | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Mezcalero
Visitor
1 0 0

Hello, I want to open an online liquor store in Mexico. Is that possible? Do I need to provide a Mexican liquor-selling license?

Summer
Shopify Staff
1332 319 228

Hey, @Mezcalero!

This is Summer from the Social Care team at Shopify. Welcome to Shopify Community!

Shopify Payments is not available in Mexico at this time, so the information that Ted has previously provided in this post doesn't apply to your situation. You may sell anything on Shopify that does not go against our Terms and Conditions and Acceptable Use Policy; however, you will need to use a third-party payment gateway that supports the sale of liquor.

I recommend looking at the available payment gateways in Mexico and contacting your preferred gateway's support team to check if they can support liquor stores. They will be able to advise if this is possible and if they require any documentation. Once you find a gateway that you can use, you may open an account with them. You will be given credentials which you will use to activate the gateway in your Shopify store. Feel free to follow the steps below to add your chosen payment gateway:

  1. In your Shopify admin, go to Settings.
  2. Select Payments.
  3. Go to the Third-party providers or Alternative payment methods section and click Choose third-party provider or Choose alternative payment.
  4. Select the payment gateway you want to use in your store.
  5. Enter the credentials and click Save.

We have a free tutorial on selling alcohol online that I think you may benefit from: Selling alcohol online | Shopify Compass. Feel free to get some tips from it as the tutorial discusses legal compliance and logistics. It's not official legal advice, so we still recommend reaching out to a legal expert in your area, however, you may gain some ideas about what questions to ask and what information to look for in legally setting up your liquor store.

Also, if you're new to Shopify and need a guide in building your online store, you can refer to this one: How to Start an Online Store with Shopify. It's a guide that will take you through the setup step-by-step so you'll be able to familiarize the platform easily with it.

I hope these help! If you have further questions, don't hesitate to respond to this post.

Summer | Social Care @ Shopify 
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genki_96
Visitor
1 0 0

Hi we've been using authorize.net for our alcohol sales. If we move to Shopify payments, is it the 0.15% additional fee for Authorize.net only that we can save? any other benefits?

Maz
Shopify Staff
1224 130 184

Hey @genki_96!

 

Thanks for your question! 

 

There are a host of benefits to using Shopify Payments as your payment's provider. It is the simplest way to accept payments and optimize your checkout. Shopify Payments is fully integrated with your store, so you can manage your business and financials in one place. Shopify provides access to over 100 payment gateways around the world. If you decide to enable one of these 100+ external payment gateways as your primary payment gateway, a 0.15% transaction fee will be applied to all monthly eligible transactions. This fee is waived if you’re using Shopify Payments as your primary payment gateway. For any additional payment gateways you add (such as PayPal Express), there will be no transaction fees charged. Explore more about setting up Shopify Payments here at this link.

 

Have a look at some key benefits below

 

  • Increase conversion: See higher conversion rates by accepting all major credit cards and adding accelerated payment methods like Shop Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
  • Access Shop Pay: Over 40M+ buyers already use Shop Pay across all Shopify online stores, and stores that enable Shop Pay have seen up to an 18% lift in conversion for returning buyers.
  • Simple pricing: Pricing is transparent, competitive, and all-inclusive. There are no additional monthly fees, hidden fees, or setup fees; and you won't pay the 0.15% transaction fee when using a third-party payment gateway.
  • Fraud prevention: Make informed fulfillment decisions with world-class fraud prevention and risk analysis.
  • Integrated into Shopify: Track orders and payouts with an automated and accurate reconciliation system.
  • Global capabilities: Sell in over 130 currencies and get paid in your local currency on one Shopify store, and offer popular local payment methods tailored to specific markets.
  • Built-in security: Shopify Payments is PCI-compliant, supports 3D Secure checkouts, and provides the tools you need to be compliant with GDPR.

 

 

If you're interested in learning more, why not check out this amazing blog here: Shopify Payments Makes You Money Through Higher Conversion Rates and Fewer Chargebacks for some more information!

 

What type of business are you running? I'd love to hear some more about your business and goals!

Maz | Social Care @ Shopify 
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RudyRender
Visitor
2 0 1

I'm so confused on this. We sell wine gift baskets in the US to all 50 states. Today, our store got turned down from Shop Pay Payments because we sell wine gift baskets.  Shop Pay was disabled from our store, so then it completely caused a chain reaction to where all of our sales stopped because it was our official payment processor.

 

In addition to the frustration, it also removed us from the Shop app store with no chance to appeal it. Meanwhile, I can easily search stores selling Wine on the shop app.

 

We even have shipping restriction filters to prevent certain sales to shipping to a specific state and everything, wine shipping policies, adult signature required mentioned in each product description etc.

 

After speaking to Amelie L on Shopify Support's Live Chat, we were told we cannot be reinstated. 

 

Meanwhile, we've been selling wine products through PayPal for over 22 years (on our old website with 3DCart/Shift4Shop). 

 

Please help me make sense of this lol

Maz
Shopify Staff
1224 130 184

Hey, @RudyRender!

 

Thanks for joining this thread! 

 

I completely understand the confusion you're experiencing due to the recent issue with Shop Pay and its impact on your business. I don't have direct access to individual accounts/tickets or the specific information and reasoning behind these actions. Each store's situation is unique, and the decision-making process can involve various factors and policies, so I wouldn't be able to comment on why you have been turned down.

 

As you mentioned, you already had a ticket conversation with Amelie. Were you given any insight as to why this has happened as they would have the information for you? If not, I'd recommend replying to that ticket asking for some clarity as they will have access to your account details and can provide more specific insights and guidance tailored to your store's circumstances.

 

Let me know if there is anything else you need!

 

 

Maz | Social Care @ Shopify 
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nils01
Visitor
1 0 0

Hey Rudy, did you find out why they shut down your store in Shop Pay? It sounds like it didn't stop your business but it just stopped the ability to use Shop Pay is that correct? Your post caught my attention because I've been looking at opening a project on Shopify, but I'm getting second thoughts if they can shut something down that they don't like and don't communicate why. Terms and Conditions seem to be open to interpretation, (and not yours). Would love to know what happened and if you found any more info. I'm also guessing that you've moved on to a different payment processor that is a little more reliable and less likely to shut you down. (just a guess)

-Nils

RudyRender
Visitor
2 0 1

As of 2023, Shop Pay only lets you sell wine/alcohol/wine baskets etc with a liquor license. For 23 years we've old wine baskets online through another platform with no issues. In 2022 we sold wine on Shop Pay with no issues, but at the turn of 2023 now liquor license must be uploaded to get approved, even if you use dropshippers. If you do use dropshippers, it becomes a headache. 

 

I have yet to find any laws or help in this matter. I even contacted the state of Florida and I've been getting the runaround by legislators, Food and Beverage association etc and nobody knows a definite answer.  Shop Pay isn't the only one that has done this though, Stripe was another one that flagged us.  

 

The only way around it I found was signing up for Authorize.net as the payment processor, and they don't ask to upload any liquor license.  It's actually unusual for payment processors to get involved in asking for liquor licenses because back then, all you had to do was add well-defined policies to your wine shop online, add age verification and filters --- and that was it. 

 

Again, I can't find any laws on why payment processors are requesting liquor licenses and so far I've gotten no clear response from higher-up authorities within my state either.

Maz
Shopify Staff
1224 130 184

Hey, @RudyRender!

 

Thanks for sharing your experience with this.

 

As I had mentioned previously on this thread, I cannot say for certain why this has happened specifically for you as I wouldn't have access to your account or internal tickets.

 

In addition to that, we are not able to provide legal advice, and it is best to seek legal counsel in your local area to discuss this further, it seems like you have attempted that already so I hope you do get the answers you need.  It might be beneficial to seek advice from legal experts who specialize in liquor licensing or reach out to industry-specific associations for further guidance. 

 

It appears that using Authorize.net has proven to be a successful workaround for you, so I'm happy to hear that. Let me know if there is anything else you need, take care!

Maz | Social Care @ Shopify 
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