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Guns, drugs, and timeshares: 14 things PayPal won’t let you buy

PayPal-won't-let-you-buy-header-2Earlier this week, PayPal came under fire for blocking the sale of a photojournalism book entitled Iranian Living Room, which depicts every-day people from Tehran, in their homes doing every-day things. The reason: the book has “Iranian” in the title, which triggered PayPal’s “blacklist” against items that may be in violation of United States sanctions against the contentious Middle Eastern country. After Dan Hill, one of the book’s creators, complained to PayPal, the online payment giant realized that, whoops, books aren’t part of any sanction. The company has since apologized, and let Iranian Living Room through. But there are a surprising number of things that PayPal won’t allow you to buy. Check out the list below.

1. Internet porn

All “sexually oriented” digital goods are prohibited, but you can buy adult DVDs, magazines, or other, uh, me-time physical goods. 

PayPal won't let you buy internet porn
Image used with permission by copyright holder

2. Money orders

Traveler’s checks are banned, too. Do traveler’s checks still exist?

PayPal won't let you buy money orders
Image used with permission by copyright holder

3. Gems

Only federally approved merchants can accept PayPal as payment for any precious metals, jewels, or stones due to money laundering laws. 

PayPal won't let you buy gems
Image used with permission by copyright holder

4. Prescription drugs

Sorry, but you’re going to have to get your Viagra some other way.

PayPal won't let you buy prescription drugs
Image used with permission by copyright holder

5. Drug drugs

Duh.

PayPal won't let you buy illegal drugs
Image used with permission by copyright holder

6. Bongs

The “But it’s for tobacco!” excuse isn’t going to get you anywhere with the PayPal police.

PayPal won't let you buy bongs
Image used with permission by copyright holder

7. Guns

This includes collectable firearms, ammunition, and certain gun parts.

PayPal won't let you buy guns
Image used with permission by copyright holder

8. E-cigarettes

This is because e-cigarettes are considered tobacco products under federal guidelines, so don’t try buying any cigars, cigarettes, or pipe tobacco either.

PayPal won't let you buy e_cigarette
Image used with permission by copyright holder

9. Nazi collectables

PayPal bans the purchase of anything that promotes or glorifies “hate, violence, or intolerance.” And we’re ok with that.

PayPal won't let you buy nazi collectables
Image used with permission by copyright holder

10. Buildings or land

 Unless you’re this guy, PayPal’s ban on land, buildings, or anything of the sort probably isn’t such a big deal.

PayPal won't let you buy Real Estate
Image used with permission by copyright holder

11. Bitcoins

PayPal doesn’t allow anything to do with currency exchanges, which means Bitcoin is off-limits.

PayPal won't let you buy Bitcoins
Image used with permission by copyright holder

12. Wikileaks support

Actually, the only mainstream way to donate to Wikileaks is MasterCard.

PayPal won't let you buy Wikileaks support
Image used with permission by copyright holder

13. Lottery tickets

Basically, anything to do with gambling is banned by PayPal. You’ll just have to fuel your gambling addiction with cash, check, credit card, or loan shark.

PayPal won't let you buy lottery ticket
Image used with permission by copyright holder

14. Timeshares

Good. Timeshares are a stupid investment anyway.

PayPal won't let you buy timeshares
Image used with permission by copyright holder

(Images © Shutterstock, National Post and Daily Herald. All Rights Reserved.) 

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Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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