Amazon has a wide range of products with over 25,000 sub-categories.
As an Amazon seller, you may have done some research to find out the best product to sell on Amazon only to discover that it falls under Amazon-restricted categories.
Amazon prioritizes its customers and to protect them from harmful or fake products, it places restrictions on some categories, sub-categories, and products. These categories are called Restricted or Gated categories.
Selling on Amazon gated categories is possible. However, you will need to put in some extra work.
In this article, we will go through what Amazon category restrictions are and the process of getting ungated on Amazon.
To sell products that have an Amazon FBA restriction, you need to go through the Amazon gated category approval process. Why does Amazon do this?
As we mentioned earlier, Amazon prioritizes its customers. While Amazon wants to make it easy for businesses to grow and scale their business on the world's largest online marketplace, its top priority is to ensure that customers can access a safe and credible platform.
Also, there is a need for a large platform like Amazon to have some legal restrictions.
Consequently, these restrictions protect both buyers and sellers from legal and safety risks.
Some product categories are restricted or gated. This means that to sell in them, you will need to go through Amazon's approval process for restricted categories.
Here's a list of restricted product categories on Amazon:
The following products require Amazon's approval for restricted items:
Both the restricted categories and restricted products are updated periodically. You want to ensure you keep an eye on restricted categories and products through your Amazon seller central.
Some products are restricted based on certain product conditions across various categories. These products are restricted for used item sales. These include:
Amazon also places restrictions on some brands. If you want to sell products from a well-known brand, you will need to get Amazon's approval.
Examples of restricted brands include Nike, Gucci, Adidas, etc.
If you want to sell restricted products, you will need to get approval from Amazon. This may require you to submit additional documents, pay additional fees, go through performance checks, and any other action that Amazon requires.
The process of getting ungated differs depending on the category. Some processes may be more straightforward than others.
Here's how to sell in some of Amazon's gated categories and products:
This category includes jewelry pieces approved and following Amazon’s Quality Assurance Standard.
Amazon says that:
If you're not a well-established brand, it may be difficult to sell in the Jewelry category as barriers to entry are many.
The Toys and Games include toys for children 14 and younger. The category also includes collectibles, drones, board games, etc. Amazon places restrictions on this category during the holidays.
For this category, Amazon requires that:
If you want to sell in this category, it is important to meet the holiday requirements before the holiday starts.
Entertainment collectibles are products associated with television or film. These products are either a special edition, signed, or possess some unique and valuable quality.
To sell in this category, Amazon says:
While different categories and products have different Amazon category approval requirements, here are a few things you need to have before seeking approval:
To get approval to sell restricted products, your performance metrics should be in good shape. Your Order Defect Rate (ODR) should be less than 1%, the pre-fulfillment cancel rate should be less than 2.5% and the late shipment rate should be less than 4%.
Before starting the Amazon ungating process, you will need a professional seller account, as most categories require one.
The professional seller account goes at a monthly subscription cost of $39.99.
However, note that there are some exceptions. Items like Collectible Books, Collectible Coins, and Gift Cards do not require a professional seller account.
You want to gather copies of invoices for your inventory. These invoices should be legitimate and should match the company information on your Amazon Seller Central. These copies should also be high resolution.
Amazon places restrictions to ensure the safety of its customers. To get ungated, you will need to establish your product's authenticity by proving that your support is a licensed dealer or manufacturer.
Once you have all the necessary documents, follow these steps to apply for restricted categories on Amazon:
Amazon takes its policies and regulations very seriously and non-compliance can come with severe consequences:
If Amazon takes disciplinary actions and your account is suspended or banned, it may be difficult to get reinstated. To be on the safe side, it's best to comply with Amazon's policies.
Amazon is home to millions of sellers across various categories. With this comes fierce competition on the platform.
Selling in Amazon-restricted categories could work to your advantage. These categories have few sellers meaning you have to deal with much less competition making it easier to stand out and increase sales on Amazon.
Some categories may have a more tedious process than others. Overall, we recommend that you weigh your options. If you can get all the necessary documents for approval, you may just be one step away from succeeding on the Amazon marketplace.
Selling in restricted categories can be a difficult process. However, if you can cross the hurdle, you can unlock massive sales opportunities. These categories typically have less competition and give you the opportunity to gain market share and increase sales and revenue.
To increase your chances of getting approved in restricted categories, you need to be on top of your game. Build a good seller performance and reputation.