ECommerce Tips for Selling Restricted Items Online

Thinking about selling your wine or guns through online sales channels – think again! There are a lot of restricted items online, make sure your Ecommerce store is following the best practices.

Tips for Selling Restricted Items Online

For some time now, you have dreamed of setting up shop online and making money on established websites like eBay or Amazon, or launching your own E-commerce website. While this can be a great way to make some extra cash, there are actually a number of restricted items that, when not sold properly, can get sellers into trouble. To help get your new E-commerce biz off to a good (and legal!) start, let’s look at what items are usually restricted and, if you have some of these products to sell, how to do it correctly:

Goods that are Typically Restricted

Items that are often restricted to sell online include liquor, weapons, medicine and even some types of food. For example, E-commerce businesses are not allowed to sell packages of food that are not designed for individual sale and certain types of foods may not be allowed into different states. If you have any of these items to sell, be sure you check into the specific rules for those products before posting them for sale.

Frequently Check the Rules on E-commerce Sites

If you want to sell on an online giant like Amazon, Google or eBay, regularly check each site’s list of restricted and prohibited items. In the case of Amazon, what they restrict can change from season to season and even from day to day. As the seller, it is up to you to keep tabs on the different sites’ policies and local and national laws. If you have items to sell that are on the restricted list, check each online site for information on how to get approval to list those products and then follow the instructions carefully. In the case of Amazon, they have a “Categories and Products Requiring Approval” page that lists the restricted goods along with instructions for becoming approved to sell them in your online Amazon store. This same advice applies to eBay; while it may seem like the world’s largest garage sale, eBay’s policy section includes a link to a list of prohibited and restricted items. In addition, if you plan on selling items on eBay to international sellers, you should check their international trading policy on the site to be sure it is legal to sell your stuff overseas. Like Amazon, the list of restricted items on eBay includes products that you can sell under certain conditions — for instance, while eBay does not allow people to post contact lenses for sale, they do allow other types of “medical instruments.”

Emulate Companies that Sell Restricted Items Well

Many major brands sell restricted products all of the time — for instance, Cabela’s sells guns and ammo to their customers. If you have been approved to sell restricted products like guns in your online store, you may wish to check out their site to see how they handle selling these items. For example, they have a Gun Library section that not only includes a comprehensive list of what they currently have available, they also feature a number of educational articles about the different types of guns, hunting tips and more. Total Wine & More is another example of an online merchant doing a great job selling restricted products; they also have an in-depth guide on the different types of wine and offer advice on party planning and more.

Setting up an online store can be exciting and profitable. By checking the rules and regulations on what you can sell before making new posts, taking the steps to be authorized to sell any restricted goods and looking to established retailers for ideas and inspiration, you will have a successful online shop in no time.