You’ve got your social media profiles, you’ve got your eCommerce website, you’ve even set up all your payment systems. Now if only you could sell your stuff directly on the two biggest social networks. 

Some people like to sell on eBay. Others prefer Amazon. And then there’s always Etsy. But if you’re not too keen to be giving away a chunk of your takings to a marketplace, you’re probably selling your products on your own eCommerce website. 

But you can have your own shop on Facebook and Instagram as well. Facebook and Instagram Shops are run through Facebook’s Commerce Manager. It’s a way of linking your own online store with Facebook’s platform. And while there are super simple integrations between the bigger shopping platforms like Shopify, Big Commerce and WooCommerce on WordPress, it’s also possible to connect almost any shopping site you already have to it. 

Before you do go ahead and create your Facebook and Instagram Shops, there are a few rules you should know about. 

Woman smiling as she buys something online.

If you can ship it, you can sell it

First, this feature is only made for stores selling physical items. Think, essential oils, clothing, homewares, gifts, electronics and stuff you can hold in your hand. Actually, even better, think of it as things you need to send to people by mail or courier. If you’re selling virtual items like downloads, consultation time, gift vouchers, subscriptions, etc, you may not be approved when your Shop goes in for review.

It’s not a free-market free-for-all

Image of ecommerce boxes with rejection crosses on them.

Second, there some things you simply can’t sell. CBD oils, drugs, some kinds of supplements and the obvious things like live animals, firearms, fireworks, etc. While you may be legally allowed to sell those things on your website or from your shop in the town or state you’re in, you won’t be allowed to sell them on Facebook or Instagram. 

You might get rejected even if you do comply

Third, there are some categories of products that may be automatically rejected, but which could also then be appealed against so that you may be able to sell them. Common things that get rejected at the first pass are products like pet foods that have photos of animals on them, health and dietary supplements that make very big claims about their effects, and some food items that are fresh and perishable. While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with the products, sometimes the seller makes some pretty wild and unprovable claims about them, so you may need to adjust your titles and descriptions a little, not just in Facebook, but on your website as well. 

Woman smiling as she accesses something online on a laptop computer.

It makes sense to be able to sell your stuff where people are spending most of their online times. With a little planning, thought and good read of Facebook’s Community Standards, Advertising Policies and Commerce Policies, you’ll be on the way in no time. 

Dante St James is the founder of Clickstarter, a Facebook Blueprint Certified Lead Trainer, a Community Trainer with Facebook Australia, a digital advisor with Treeti Business Consulting, an accredited ASBAS Digital Solutions advisor and presenter, and the editor at The Small Marketer. You can watch free 1-hour webinars and grow your digital skills at Dante’s YouTube Channel.