17 things to avoid while selling on Facebook Marketplace

Thousands of users got banned recently from Facebook Marketplace due to violations of commerce and community standards policies. Well, not so many read long pages of policies. Sometimes, we fall victim to simple rules, just because we didn’t know.

To avoid getting locked out of the platform, you need to know what items and actions are allowed as well as prohibited ones.

Related Topic: Become Facebook Marketplace Partner

For instance, Facebook doesn’t allow the sale of counterfeit, illegal, or stolen items. For the full list of what you can and can’t sell, continue reading this article.

Products and services sold on Facebook and Instagram’s commerce must comply with the Community Standards as well as the Commerce Policies.

The Commerce Policies apply to all posts on Marketplace, buy-and-sell groups, shop sections on Pages, and Instagram Shopping product posts.

Facebook provides guidance on what types of products and services can be offered for sale on Facebook and Instagram.

Failure to comply may result in a variety of consequences, including the removal of posted content. If you repeatedly post content that violates Facebook’s policies, Facebook may prevent your account to access the marketplace.

A list of 17 prohibited content/items on Facebook Marketplace

1. Illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs: Posts may not promote the sale of illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs.
  • Drugs: including marijuana and marijuana products
  • Drug paraphernalia, including pipes and bongs

No exceptions.

2. Tobacco products and related paraphernalia: Posts may not promote the sale of tobacco products or tobacco paraphernalia.
  • Cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco
  • Tobacco pipes and paraphernalia
  • Tobacco rolling machines
  • Hookahs and hookah lounges
  • Bongs
  • Rolling papers
  • Electronic cigarettes

Exception: Apparel featuring a tobacco brand logo.

3. Unsafe supplements: Posts may not promote the sale of unsafe supplements, as determined by Facebook in its sole discretion.
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Chitosan
  • Comfrey
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Ephedra
  • Human growth hormones

No exception.

4. Ammunition, explosives, and weapons: Posts may not promote the sale or use of weapons, ammunition, or explosives. Such as:
  • Firearms and firearm parts
  • Paintball guns
  • BB guns
  • Fireworks
  • Pepper spray
  • Tasers
  • Gun ranges
  • Gun shows

Exception: promoting safety training or licenses for legal weapons are accepted.

5. Animals: Posts may not promote the sale of any animals, such as:
  • Live animals
  • Pets
  • Livestock
  • Any part, pelt, or skin from an animal, including fur

Exception: animal posts that promote the sale of animal cages, products for animals (toys, collars, etc.), veterinary services, grooming services, or boarding services.

6. No commercial intent: Posts may not promote news, humor, or other content that has no intention to buy or sell products or services. Such as:
  • News and awareness posts
  • Jokes and memes
  • Lost and found posts
7. Adult products or services: Posts may not promote the sale or use of adult products or services.
  • Sex toys
  • Videos or live shows for adult entertainment
  • Sexual enhancement products
  • Sexually suggestive services (“texts to send her to get her in bed”)

Exception: Products promoting family planning and contraception, which focus on the contraceptive features of the product and not on sexual pleasure or sexual enhancement.

8. Alcohol: Posts may not promote the sale of alcohol.
  • Sale of alcoholic beverages
  • Kits for making alcohol

Exception: 

  • Books or DVDs about alcohol
  • Alcohol-related items, including glasses, coolers, and wine bottle holders
9. Healthcare products: Posts may not promote certain healthcare products and services, including medical devices, smoking cessation products containing nicotine, body parts or fluids, or posts that contain “before and after” images.
  • Medical devices: Posts may not promote the sale of medical devices.
    • Contact lenses
    • Bandages and braces for physical injuries
    • Thermometers
    • Testing kits for medical conditions or diseases
    • First-aid kits

Exception: Lifestyle and fitness accessories, including watches.

  • Smoking cessation products: Posts may not promote the sale of smoking cessation products containing nicotine.
    • Nicotine patches
    • Nicotine gum
  • Body parts and fluids: Posts may not promote the sale of human body parts or fluids.
    • Blood
    • Urine
    • Body parts
    • Organs
    • Human tissue

Exception: Hair extensions and wigs

  • Personal health: Posts must not contain “before and after” images or images that contain unexpected or unlikely results. Posts must not imply or attempt to generate negative self-perception in order to promote diet, weight loss, or other health-related products.
    • A person showing how loose-fitting his or her clothes are
    • A person with clothes that are too tight
    • A medical diagram or infographic with pain points or focal points on the human body
10. Real money gambling services: Posts may not promote or facilitate online gambling, games of skill, or lotteries, including online casinos, sportsbooks, bingo, or poker if it costs money.
11. Fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, or offensive: Posts may not contain deceptive, false, misleading, or offensive offers or products.
  • “Get rich quick” schemes
  • “Before and after” photos showing the effects of weight-loss products, surgeries, health products, or anti-wrinkle products
  • Posts that are shocking, sensational, disrespectful, or portray excessive violence
12. Products with overtly sexualized positioning: Posts may not position products or services in a sexually suggestive manner.
  • Zoomed in sexual images
  • Implied nudity
  • Implied sexual acts
13. Subscriptions or digital products: Posts may not promote the sale of downloadable digital content, digital subscriptions, or digital accounts.
  • Posts with downloadable content, including PDFs, music, games, films, etc.
  • Digital accounts, including Netflix accounts or games accounts
  • Digital subscriptions and Internet streaming services, including TV, mobile, Netflix, Spotify, etc.
  • Digital coupons

Exceptions:

  • Authentic audio or video CDs, DVDs, and Blu Ray
  • Digital devices, including smartphones, video game consoles, and TVs
14. Digital media and electronic devices: Posts may not promote the sale of devices that facilitate or encourage streaming digital content in an unauthorized manner or interfering with the functionality of electronic devices.
  • Sale of streaming devices loaded with software that facilitates unauthorized access to content
  • Jailbroken or loaded devices
  • Jamming or descrambling devices
  • Wiretapping devices

Exception: Add-on equipment for streaming devices such as keyboards and remotes.

15. Real, virtual, or fake currency: Posts may not promote the sale of real, virtual, or fake currency.
  • Real money (cash or cash equivalent instruments and coins)
  • Replica or prop money
  • Digital or cryptocurrency
  • Active bank credit or debit cards
  • Store credit cards or coupons
  • Pre-paid credit or debit cards
  • Cheques or checkbooks
  • Equipment to create counterfeit currency or financial instruments
16. Third-party infringement: Posts may not contain content that infringes upon or violates the intellectual property rights of any third party, including copyright or trademark. This includes, but is not limited to, the promotion or sale of counterfeits, such as goods that copy the trademark (name or logo) and/or distinctive features of another company’s products to imitate a genuine product.
  • Counterfeits, knockoffs or replicas of branded goods, or posts offering goods that are likely to confuse consumers about the source, sponsorship, or affiliation of those goods.
  • Unauthorized or pirated copies of copyrighted works, such as videos, films, TV shows and broadcasts, video games, CDs or other musical works, books, etc.
17. Discrimination: Posts must not wrongfully discriminate or suggest a preference for or against people because of a personal characteristic, including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, color, national origin, citizenship, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, marital status, disability, or medical or genetic condition. Posts must comply with all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination. This includes but is not limited to discrimination for housing posts.
  • “Only looking for Christian renters”
  • “Must be under age 35 to purchase”
  • “No Hispanic tenants welcome”

Now you can decide on what to sell or not to risk selling on the Facebook marketplace to avoid getting banned.

If you lost access to Facebook Marketplace and you think you didn’t violate any of the above policies, submit this appeal form.

Happy trading!

Pro Tip: If your Facebook Marketplace is not loading:

Make sure you’re using the most updated version of the app or browser; Restart your computer or phone; Uninstall and reinstall the app, if you’re using a phone; Log into Facebook and try again.

See More