Reseller Guide to Facebook Marketplace Prohibited Items

Marketplaces 101
Reseller Guide to Facebook Marketplace Prohibited Items

Facebook Marketplace seems to have some unique rules and requirements. In this guide, we’ll discuss what you can’t sell on Facebook Marketplace.


Facebook Marketplace can be fairly strict, and staying within the platform's guidelines is essential. To help you maximize your Marketplace experience, here's a detailed breakdown of key prohibited item categories. Plus, extra tips and tricks to make more sales on Facebook Marketplace:


Want to learn more about Facebook Marketplace? Check out A Reseller’s Guide: How to Post, Ship & Start Selling on Facebook Marketplace


Here is a comprehensive list of prohibited items on Facebook Marketplace. 


Safety and Legality:

Of course, you can’t sell anything illegal, unsafe, or dangerous on Facebook Marketplace. 


  • Dangerous Products:
    • Weapons and ammunition: Guns, knives, explosives, fireworks, and even pepper spray present an obvious danger and are strictly off-limits.
    • Hazardous materials: Items like flammable liquids, toxic chemicals, and radioactive materials pose serious health risks and are prohibited.


💡Tip: Facebook Marketplaces uses AI and bots to scan listings for compliance, and sometimes the bots get it wrong. If you’re selling children’s toys or video games, be extra careful to avoid words such as “gun,” because your listing will be flagged and removed.


  • Illegal Goods:
    • Stolen property: Selling stolen goods goes against the law and Facebook's policies. Ensure all items you list are legitimately acquired.
    • Endangered species: Trading in wildlife products obtained through poaching or unethical practices is detrimental to conservation efforts and illegal.
    • Age-restricted products: Tobacco, alcohol, and fireworks have legal age restrictions and cannot be sold on the platform.

💡Tip: Be careful selling furs! Each state has unique laws, and there are some Federal policies as well. 


  • Controlled Substances:
    • Drugs: All illegal drugs, prescription drugs without proper authorization, and drug paraphernalia are strictly prohibited. Remember, promoting drug use is also against Facebook's rules.

  • Alcohol and Tobacco:
    • Beverages and products: Selling alcoholic drinks, tobacco products, and related accessories like pipes, bongs, and rolling papers is not allowed.
    • Production kits: Offering home brewing or tobacco-growing kits is also prohibited.


Intellectual Property:

Intellectual property laws can be tricky, and they’re applicable on all peer-to-peer reselling marketplaces.


  • Counterfeit Goods:
    • Fake designer brands: Selling replicas or imitations of designer clothing, handbags, or any other items violates intellectual property rights and harms legitimate brands.
    • Copyrighted materials: Unauthorized reproductions of music, movies, software, or any copyrighted work are not allowed. This includes stock images. Don’t use them on Facebook Marketplace. 
    • Trademarked products: Items bearing infringing logos or trademarks cannot be listed on Facebook Marketplace.


💡Tip: Facebook Marketplace quickly removes designer items, even occasionally when they’re authentic. Ensure you have proof of authenticity for the items you’re selling so you can provide it and request a review and reinstatement of your listing. 


  • Digital Goods and Subscriptions:
    • Downloads and subscriptions: Selling ebooks, music files, software licenses, or subscriptions to streaming services is not permitted.
    • Online services: Advertising digital services like website design or social media management is also prohibited.


💡Tip: A quick way to remember this is that you can’t sell most intangibles. If you can’t touch it, you probably cannot sell it on Facebook Marketplace.




Health and Well-being:

Most of the marketplaces place prohibitions on selling categories to promote health and wellness. Facebook is no exception. 


  • Medical Claims and Devices:
    • Unsubstantiated claims: Making exaggerated or unproven medical claims about any product is prohibited.
    • Unauthorized devices: Selling medical devices that require licenses or certifications is not allowed.


💡Tip: For obvious reasons, you can’t sell anything medical. You might consider donating those old crutches instead!


  • Live Animals:
      • Pets and livestock: Due to the complex logistics and potential welfare concerns, selling live animals is not allowed.
      • Animal products: Certain animal products like ivory or fur may be restricted or even prohibited depending on their origin and trade regulations.

  • Food and Perishables:
    • Fresh and pre-cooked food: The platform's design and regulations make it unsuitable for selling food items due to spoilage risks and health regulations.
    • Supplements and medications: Selling food supplements or any over-the-counter or prescription medications is prohibited.

💡Tip: Facebook Marketplaces uses AI and bots to scan listings for compliance, and sometimes the bots get it wrong. Be careful not to use “food words.” For example, I called a sweater “mocha brown,” and it was flagged due to my use of the word mocha, triggering Facebook to think it was a food product.


  • Used Cosmetics:
    • Opened makeup and skin care: For hygiene and safety reasons, selling used cosmetics like makeup brushes, lipsticks, or razors is not allowed.


💡Tip: This is true everywhere; no used or opened skincare products. Note that even opened and “swatched” is used and prohibited. 


  • Recalled Products:
    • Safety hazards: Promoting or selling any item subject to a safety recall due to potential health or safety risks is strictly prohibited.


💡Tip: This usually arises in baby and children’s items. You can check the status of compliance online. Also, don’t forget to check the expiration date on car seats!



Here are a few more things that you can’t sell on Facebook Marketplace. Note that this list is not entirely exhaustive because Facebook Marketplace reserves the right to remove your listings for any reason (or for no reason at all). 


  • Services & Lessons
    • Professional services: Offering services like home repairs, childcare, or personal training is not allowed on Facebook Marketplace.
    • Job postings: Advertising job openings or seeking employment through Marketplace listings are discouraged.


  • Intangible Items:
    • Virtual currency: Selling or trading cryptocurrency, gift cards, or any other non-physical goods is not permitted.
    • Lottery tickets and raffle entries: Gambling-related items cannot be listed on Facebook Marketplace.


Why was my listing removed from Facebook Marketplace? 

It happens. If you sell on Facebook, you have probably experienced that. Review the list of prohibited items above and note that the artificial intelligence (AI) that reviews Marketplace listings may have erroneously removed your listing. 


You can request a formal review from the notification screen if your listing is removed.


💡Tip: Be careful! Too many removals will result in the permanent ban of your marketplace selling privileges. Facebook Marketplace is strict for the safety of the community


How Do I Contact Facebook Marketplace Customer Service? 

Facebook Marketplace customer service can be difficult, if not impossible, to reach. However, you can mitigate the risk with complying to the terms of service.


By familiarizing yourself with these categories and exploring Facebook's detailed Community Standards, you can confidently navigate the exciting world of Facebook Marketplace while ensuring a safe and compliant experience for yourself and others. Remember, clarity and compliance are key to thriving in this vibrant online marketplace!


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