Selling Sex Toys Shopify & Merchant Processing

Romemp2018
Tourist
4 0 8

I have set up a store selling sex toys, condoms, and lingerie; we do not sell any pornographic materials.

 

I was forced to use an outside merchant processing gateway to process our credit card orders since Shopify has a policy of not allowing these product to be sold through their credit card processing system.

 

I wish that Shopify would review and revise this policy as now Amazon, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and many other chains sell these very same products on their websites with no hesitation.

 

It is very unfair that we have to bear additional costs of using outside processors for an outdated policy.  

Replies 34 (34)
Rae
Shopify Staff (Retired)
Shopify Staff (Retired)
1166 95 322

Hi, @Romemp2018!

 

My name is Rae and I work for Shopify. 

 

Thank you for sharing this feedback with us. I understand your disappointment with not being able to use Shopify Payments to sell your products, and the frustration caused by the fees associated with using a third party gateway instead. 

 

There are some products that our gateway isn’t able to support at the moment, but we are always looking to expand our gateway eligibility. With this in mind, I would really like to pass your suggestions over to our teams so that they are aware of how this is impacting your business. Our teams look over all the comments and suggestions we receive as they work to build and improve our platform, so hopefully they can consider expanding the types of products supported by Shopify Payments soon.  

 

If these products are able to be sold on Shopify Payments in the future, we will share this news on our changelog and also on our Announcements page to keep our merchants informed. 

 

Thank you again for sharing this feedback. Any suggestions or insight we receive is always helpful, so we really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. 

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know and I’ll be glad to help further.

Rae | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Oceanbeat
New Member
1 0 0

Hi Rae,

 

have your policy changed? I'm based in Canada and I've seen a few shops selling sex toys popping up using express check out "Shop Pay" which I understand to enable is mandatory to use Shopify Payments.

 

One example here: https://shopnox.com/

 

thanks for clarifying!!!

Rae
Shopify Staff (Retired)
Shopify Staff (Retired)
1166 95 322

Hi, @Oceanbeat!

 

Thank you for reaching out and following up on this thread. 

 

The eligibility for using Shopify Payments depends on the region where the business using this gateway is based, as well as the specific product being sold by the business. That said, the Terms of Service for using Shopify Payments differs between each region where the gateway is available. You can view all the different Terms of Service policies here, the US Terms of Service here, or the Canadian Terms of Service here. 

 

When using Shopify Payments, it's important to ensure that your specific products are in line with the Shopify Payments Terms of Service in the region where your business is based. If your products don't meet the terms and guidelines for using Shopify Payments, then we recommend looking into using a third party gateway for your business instead. 

 

Please let me know if you have any further questions about this, or if there's anything else I can assist with. I'm happy to help out! 

Rae | Social Care @ Shopify 
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kitcheniche
New Member
1 0 0

Hi, and thank you for bringing this subject up. I too would like to sell these products but I'm currently only selling lingerie. Has there been an update since this dialogue? I notice there are sex toys on Aliexpress which is what I'm currently using, but I haven't put them in my store yet. Curious to know what the protocol is, since I'm just getting started. 

Rae
Shopify Staff (Retired)
Shopify Staff (Retired)
1166 95 322

Hi, @kitcheniche

 

Thanks for jumping in with this question. Congratulations on starting your new business, and welcome to Shopify! 

 

Are you thinking of using Shopify Payments to sell these products? If so, I recommend checking out the Shopify Payments Terms of Service for your location to confirm if these products are able to be sold on the gateway. These policies differ based on the location of the business in question, so it's important to check the Terms of Service that relates to your location. You can find all of these documents here

 

You may also wish to use a third-party payment gateway on your site instead. We have more details on this here. If you'd like to investigate this option further, I recommend using this link to find the country where your business is based, and the available payment gateway options will be displayed. 

 

I hope this helps! If you need any additional clarity on this, please let me know. 

Rae | Social Care @ Shopify 
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adamdenver
New Member
2 0 0

Hi Romemp2018

May I ask what prosecuting gateway are you using, thanks

Adam

Veronica14
New Member
2 0 1

Hi Rae, I've had a shopify account for four years and I've been using Moneris as my payment gateway for my shop in Canada. I want to switch to shopify payments because I'm tired of paying two fees every time I process a credit card.

 

I know stripe changed their terms of service and is now allowing Canadian retailers to sell sex toys (I have an account approved with them directly), so I assumed shopify payments would now as well since the payments are processed through stripe in Canada. I've been reaching out to the risk assessment team with no luck. They just keep telling me that sex toys are in violation of the terms of service, but there's nothing in the Canadian terms of service that mention sex toys or bondage products being forbidden - the only things that are mentioned are sexual services like escorts. Can you help clarify why the shopify payments team is applying restrictions that aren't listed in your terms of service?

 

It seems to me like the US restrictions (Adult content and services: Pornography and other obscene materials (including literature, imagery and other media) depicting nudity or explicitly sexual acts; sites offering any sexually-related services such as prostitution, escorts, pay-per view, adult live chat features; sexually oriented items (e.g., adult toys); adult video stores and sexually oriented massage parlors; gentleman’s clubs, topless bars, and strip clubs; sexually oriented dating service) are being mistakenly applied to a Canadian business (Adult content and services: Pornography and other obscene materials (including literature, imagery and other media); sites offering any sexually-related services such as prostitution, escorts, pay-per-view, adult live chat features). 

 

Thank you. 

 

Rae
Shopify Staff (Retired)
Shopify Staff (Retired)
1166 95 322

Hi, @Veronica14

I appreciate you reaching out with these details, and I'm glad to hear that you've already been in contact with our team about this.

In order to get further clarity on this situation, I recommend following up with our team directly via email in your existing ticket number. This team is fully equipped to assist you, so they're your best point of contact for these additional questions. 

Thanks! 

Rae | Social Care @ Shopify 
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bookofenoch1
New Member
1 0 0

Hi Rae,

I've look at the UK Terms. Specifically:

Adult content and servicesPornography and other obscene materials (including literature, imagery and other media); sites offering any sexually-related services such as prostitution, escorts, pay-per-view, adult live chat features

Am I right in thinking that this doesn't cover sex toys?

Am I clear to sell sex toys using UK Shopify Payments gateway?

Thanks in advance.

Rae
Shopify Staff (Retired)
Shopify Staff (Retired)
1166 95 322

Hi, @bookofenoch1

Thank you for reaching out with these questions. I appreciate you taking the time to review our policies. 

If you're based in the UK, and hoping to use Shopify Payments to sell your items, then your business must comply with the UK Shopify Payments Terms of Service.

To confirm if your business meets these guidelines, I suggest reaching out to a legal professional in your area for further advice and information. They will be able to discuss more details about your business' compliance, as well as the legality of selling these products in your jurisdiction, and your customers' jurisdiction(s). 

Thanks! 

Rae | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Davor70
New Member
1 0 0

Hi, Rea.

I am curious did Shopify change policy towards adult toys online stores and processing payment? I am opening store in UK and checking possibilities. I hope that you have changed that.

If not, I have seen that you are partnering with Authorize.net. As much as I read, Authorize.net is supporting high-risk payments. Is this then solution for adult store, if you did not change your policy?

Thank you.

Davor

Luxylovestore
New Member
1 0 1

Sadly Shopify still hasn’t changed it’s policy regarding adult products. Had anyone found a good gateway payment company? 

SteveOZ
New Member
1 0 1

Hello Romemp,

Can you tell me if this issue was resolved? Do you still need to use an external merchant to process sales of adult goods with Shopify, or is it now possible to do it through Shopify? 

Rae
Shopify Staff (Retired)
Shopify Staff (Retired)
1166 95 322

Hi, @Davor70

I appreciate you posting these questions. 

The current terms for using Shopify Payments UK can be found here. I recommend looking this over to confirm if your business meets the requirements. Equally, seeking independent legal advice on this may be helpful. 

Authorize.net and eMerchantBroker (EMB) are also both good options for third party payment gateways in the UK. To learn more about their offerings, I recommend reaching out to their individual support teams directly.

Best, 

Rae | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Shhh1
New Member
1 0 0

Hello Rae, 

with regard to your answer to Davor, would you be so kind as to suggest what alternative payment gateways I can use in Australia? Shortly after uploading sone adult products to my new Australian based Shopify store, I noted that the mainstream credit cards option had disappeared and I only have PayPal showing. I am assuming from this that there is a similar conflict for Australia as the UK. I appreciate your suggestion of checking the legality of making such items for sale in Australia, but would confirmation that it is legal convince Shopify to re-enable the Visa cards option? Thanking you in advance, Steve

Rae
Shopify Staff (Retired)
Shopify Staff (Retired)
1166 95 322

Hi, @Shhh1

Thanks for joining this thread, and welcome to the Shopify Community. 

Merchants in Australia also have access to Authorize.net and eMerchantBroker (EMB), so I do suggest checking out those options. If you'd like to look over the other available gateways in Australia though, here's a complete list

In terms of your second question, if you're hoping to use Shopify Payments, then your products do need to meet the guidelines outlined on the Shopify Payments Terms of Service for Australia. If you'd like to use a third-party payment option instead, you can set this up in your Shopify admin under 'Settings > Payments > Choose third-party provider'  by following these steps

Let me know if you don't see this option and I can certainly help further! 

Rae | Social Care @ Shopify 
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lexluxhor
New Member
1 0 0

Hello @Rae,

 

I am contacting you because I was working on my shopify business website  which was not online yet and which has been closed by your team. I am based in France and I wished to sell sextoys but unfortunately the Shopify team denied my business without any explanations...Means that all my work on my website is lost... and apparently I can not use Shopify because my business "presents a level of risk that Shopify will be unablle to support"

I really dont understand why ? Is there anything linked with the products ? I am really suprised because I was just creating the website, nothing online yet, so why would you denied it ?
I can read that some shopify websites are selling sextoys so it shouldnt be because of the products ?

I would really appreciate if you could help me to understand and to find a solution...

Here is the email sent from shopify :

This email is to inform you that after reviewing your information and website we believe your business presents a level of risk that we will be unable to support with Shopify. I know this is not ideal, however we won't be able to help with your business.

At this time since Shopify has been deemed not a good fit for your business you will need to research other e-commerce platforms to find one that will be suitable. Regrettably we are not able to make recommendations to merchants.

Please note that for security and privacy reasons we are unable to divulge the results of our reviews and investigations. Once an account has been declined the decision is final.

 

 

Rae
Shopify Staff (Retired)
Shopify Staff (Retired)
1166 95 322

Hi, @lexluxhor

I appreciate you reaching out about this and sharing these details. I understand the confusion and frustration this has caused. 

For more details on this situation, I recommend replying directly to the email you received from our team, as they're the best people to help out with the questions you have. 

Thanks, 

Rae | Social Care @ Shopify 
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doomep
New Member
1 0 0

Hi Rae, I am currently in the process of creating my 3 online stores, and one of them is with the interest of selling toys for adults, just toys for adults.

I have read all the questions and answers on the subject here, however I have a very specific question: Can I create a shopify store to only sell adult toys? and use the payment method paypal?