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How to sell cigars on Shopify: a payment gateway spotlight

Website owners who want to process payments for cigars or loose tobacco on Shopify usually hit a major roadblock when they realize they need an alternative to Shopify Payments. The need for a tobacco-friendly payment gateway that works with Shopify is due to tobacco being prohibited by Shopify’s in-house, “Powered by Stripe” payment gateway.


  • Please check out our Shopify AuthorizeNet compatibility updates page for the most current information on using Authorize.Net to connect to Shopify.
  • Terms and conditions change regularly, as do laws and regulations. You should carefully read the terms and conditions of all your providers. We have written about, and linked to Shopify Payment’s allowed use policies on our Declined by Shopify Payments – What to do next page.
  • We strongly suggest that you consult a qualified attorney before engaging in any regulated e-commerce like the online sale of premium cigars.
  • You may contact Tasker Payment Gateways LLC at any time for free friendly e-commerce advice. We are here to help.

Processing credit card payments for a product that is prohibited by Shopify Payments, PayPal, or Stripe often results in a business’s deposits being held, or their payment processing being shut down completely.

The good news is that if you have a properly set up cigar-friendly merchant account that is not provided by Shopify Payments and we connect it to your online Shopify store using a high-risk friendly payment gateway, you will likely have no issues selling premium cigars on Shopify. Reach out to us anytime for help or with questions.

Why is selling cigars on Shopify different?

Before we get into the how – let’s go over the why. Why do high-risk merchants have a hard time on Shopify? Often these horror stories you hear are from people who signed up with Shopify’s merchant account as well. Shopify Payments has guidelines as to which products are ok and which are not, but often the full review or “underwriting” isn’t finished for the first days or weeks of payment processing, sometimes giving merchants a window to sell unimpeded. After the underwriting or risk review finishes, however, they may find their accounts closed or frozen, leaving them unable to operate their business for the immediate future.

If you need a merchant account, we can quickly recommend one that fits your exact needs and integrates perfectly with the payment gateway you’ll need to use for Shopify. Not only is it the best option for merchants who want to sell high-risk products on Shopify, but also it’s one of our preferred payment gateways in general for this industry. Fill in the form below to get started in finding a perfect merchant account for you.

sell cigars on Shopify – Tasker Payment Gateway quote image

Cigars and tobacco accessories on Shopify

Shopify is the granddaddy of drag and drop site builders, meaning it’s easy and quick to create a beautiful and functional web store for your business. Not only is it easy, but the marketing and SEO options along with the boost in visibility helps cigar shops and other high-risk merchants attract new customers and keep them coming back. With Shopify, you also have complete control of your branding and themes. Your web store will be a shining representation of your brand and business, not just another cookie-cutter cigar shop with generic products.

There are also a substantial number of third-party themes you can add including cigar and tobacco themes to make setting up your website look even more straightforward. Additionally, you can take advantage of the blog feature and other content creation tactics to grow your audience and simultaneously your customer base. Don’t worry about adjusting settings or installing extensions to know your e-store is mobile-ready and functioning for any new devices out there. Your customers can shop wherever they are, and you can manage the backend of your store wherever you are with the Shopify mobile app.

Favored Shopify tools for cigar sales

Many cigar shop owners are particularly keen on specific features like abandoned cart recovery, age verification, automated taxes based on customer location, and shipping options to squeeze the most profits out of your business as you can.

Another favorite function is product variation; many cigar buyers like to buy in small packs, like 3 or 5 packs with some variety in each package. Shopify’s advanced product management system creates product listings that attract more customers is easy and simple.

It should come as no surprise that Shopify has some of the best marketing and SEO tools for e-commerce merchants. You can easily create an email newsletter or marketing list, invite your customers to leave secure and SEO-friendly reviews, and of course, connect to your social media pages. Though you cannot usually advertise tobacco products or even accessories on social media, there are ways you can engage and grow your customer base on them, using content management and sharing stories within the interests of your customers can go a long way to make them come back sooner and spend more.

Merchant account and payment gateway help for Shopify

Finding a merchant account for a high-risk e-commerce business is not complicated, but finding one that will give you the best possible deal is. Fortunately, we can usually offer most high-risk merchants better rates with our associates than you will find out there on your own. Your dedicated independent agent will also guide you step by step and hold your hand the whole way through setting up and testing your payment gateway. We do this with no cost or obligation to you, we receive an incentive from service providers and offer free and honest advice to any e-commerce merchant who needs it. Read more about us here, and please check out our A+ BBB rating and accreditation. 

Ready to start accepting credit cards on your high-risk Shopify site?