After intensive research, you have finally settled on a product you want to sell on Amazon. Exciting, right?
There’s one problem; however, your product falls under the Amazon gated categories. Quite frustrating.
So, what next?
We tell more about this and give you tips for getting approved whether you are an online arbitrage seller or a private label brand owner.
Why Does Amazon Gate Certain Categories?
There are various reasons for Amazon restricted categories. Amazon’s gated categories include:
Amazon Gates To Protect Their Rep
Amazon has built a name as a reputable and trustworthy brand. As a result, they impose restrictions & listing limitations to ensure this good reputation is not destroyed by selling low-quality or fraudulent products.
Amazon cares about customers’ safety and imposes restrictions to avoid having sub-standard products land in their customers hands. You wouldn’t want a baby stroller from a non-trusted source.
Ward Off Counterfeit Products
Amazon gates some product categories to ensure that unscrupulous traders don’t sell fake products or imitations. These counterfeit goods pose safety concerns to customers.
Imagine how you would feel to get a fake knock off Gucci.
Gating Helps To Control Fraud
Some markets are more vulnerable to fraud than others and hence present a higher risk. Amazon, therefore, gates product categories that are prone to fraud to block the selling of fraudulent goods.
In sports memorabilia, for instance, fraud is very prevalent, with between 50-80% of items sold being fake. Reputable sellers go through an application process.
Who wants a fake David “Big Papi” Ortiz signed baseball? No member of the Red Soxs fan club would.
What Categories Are Gated on Amazon?
For Amazon sellers to sell in gated categories, you’ll need to request approval on Seller Central and pass some requirements. These requirements differ from category to category but generally include proof of authenticity, having a website, and a recognized UPC.
Amazon gated categories like travel accessories, consumer electronics, grocery items are usually high-priced, safety-related, sensitive in nature, rare, or collectibles.
The Amazon gated categories include the following.
Categories That Require Approval
To sell products in these categories, you will need to obtain permission from Amazon & an approval process:
- Fashion jewelry
- Fine art
- Automotive and Powersports
- Collectible coins
- Fine jewelry
- Video, DVD, & Blu Ray
- Sports collectibles
- Made in Italy
- Personal safety and household products
- Professional services
- Industrial and scientific
- Streaming media players
- Toys and games category (Holiday selling requirements)
- Music and DVD
- Grocery and gourmet foods
- Business products (B2B)
- Sexual Wellness
Gating Based On Product Condition
These categories restrict the selling of used products, including:
- Toys & Games
- Grocery and Gourmet Food
- Baby Products
- Clothing, Luggage, Travel Accessories
- Health and personal care
- Shoes, handbags, and sunglasses
Product Restrictions Based On Sub category
This consists of a subcategories of products in the open category that needs approval, such as:
Restricted Health and Personal Care Subcategories
- Sports nutrition
- Feminine hygiene
- Over the counter medicines
- Medical devices
- Dietary supplements
- Hair care and beauty appliances
Restricted Baby Subcategory Restrictions
- Baby strollers and carriers
- Baby feeding
- Baby topicals
- Baby car seats
- Baby activity gear
- Baby diapering
- Baby food and formula
Restricted Brands (Not all Inclusive)
- Christian Dior
- Made in Italy
- Subscription boxes
- Amazon handmade
- Amazon Launchpad
How To Know If a Category Is Gated or Restricted?
The best way to identify restricted or gated categories is to scan the products with the Amazon Seller App. This will help you check your eligibility to sell the product.
You can scan the product’s barcode or simply type the product’s name. There are several 3rd party scanning apps available to download for your phone if you are doing some retail arbitrage.
Profit Bandit or Scoutify are 2 apps that come to mind that may be helpful to look up any products you are interested in selling. You can scan and easily see if the product is restricted when you scan the barcode or ASIN of any gated product you search.
You can also open a case in your Amazon seller account and check whether or not the product is in the gated or restricted category.
Tactical Arbitrage’s Restrictions Detective
You can also use Tactical Arbitrage’s Restrictions Detective to check for restrictions. You can check each product in Tactical Arbitrage. The extensions checks your Amazon seller account to see which products have Seller or Hazmat restrictions.
Tactical Arbitrage users can use this extension to check an Amazon product for any user specific product, category, or brand sale restrictions, and Hazmat status and apply for approvals.
How Long to Get Ungated In A Category?
How long it will take you to be ungated in a category depends on several factors.
First, the type of product you are dealing with. It is easy to get approvals for some categories, with some having automatic approvals while others involve complicated procedures.
Your level of understanding of Amazon’s requirements and expectations from you as a seller and your ability to meet them also plays a significant role. Amazon lists the requirements for different categories, which you have to fulfill before getting ungated fully.
However, generally, this can take anywhere from a few hours to several months, depending on these factors.
What Happens If A Listing I Sell On Becomes Gated?
If an item in your store suddenly becomes gated, Amazon will let you know by sending a notification on email together with a set of possible options.
Amazon Gated Category Approvals Tips & Hacks
Selling in the gated categories comes with some perks for those lucky enough to be in this exclusive club. There is less competition owing to the strict safety standards and regulations by Amazon. This implies better sales and profits for the sellers in these categories.
For every gated category, there are set rules and require different steps before getting approval to sell. However, in general, these tips can help you get consent:
1. Be A Professional Seller
All Amazon gated categories require you to have a professional seller account before you can be approved. The professional account comes with a monthly subscription of around $40 plus other additional selling fees.
Being a professional seller comes with numerous perks that can help you in your seller journey. First, you’ll be able to access specific selling categories that are unavailable to the other sellers.
By upgrading to the pro status, you will have the opportunity to participate in these restricted categories and enjoy limited competition.
2. Prove to Amazon That You Are a Trustworthy Seller
Amazon has built a reputable name for being a trustworthy platform and customer focused. They impose restrictions aimed at ensuring that this good name is maintained. Only reliable sellers can get approval to sell in the gated categories.
You need to assure Amazon of your trustworthiness by maintaining a healthy account. Strictly adhering to Amazon’s A-Z guarantee policy and making timely shipments will go a long way in showing your commitment to remaining a trustworthy seller.
Positive customer feedback on your account will further prove your trustworthiness. Make certain you get positive feedback from your customers by delivering high-quality products on time.
3. Have Good Performance Metrics
Before you apply for approval, you need to ensure that your performance metrics are superb. Good performance metrics are essential in ensuring your success on Amazon.
To qualify to sell in the restricted categories, make sure that your defect rate is less than 1%, the pre-fulfillment cancellation rate is less than 2.5%, and the late shipment rate should be less than 4%.
Applying while your metrics are below the standard will only get you an outright rejection. Therefore, make sure you meet this set of requirements for higher chances of getting approval.
4. Maintain Acceptable Invoices For Your Products
One of the requirements for getting approved in specific gated categories is the submission of invoices. It’s crucial to understand that the invoices you submit can influence whether or not you will get approved.
It is, in fact, one of the top reasons for most rejections.
An invoice essentially contains the order information that the product supplier sends to you. This will assist Amazon in determining whether or not your products are genuine.
It becomes necessary to make certain that your invoices are legit and that the company information on the invoices matches the one in your Amazon Seller Account.
Also, note that only actual printed invoices and not proforma invoices or receipts can do the trick.
5. Have A Good Company Website
The importance of a great company website can’t be under-emphasized. A website is not just a tool to get your approval but a necessity if you want to build a lasting brand and direct communication with customers.
A well-done website is not only a show of your business’s professionalism but a valuable tool in attracting customers. Increased customers consequently translate to higher sales and more profitability for you.
It is vitally essential to have a visually appealing website presence to increase your chances of approval. A well-designed company will not only give you an online presence but also signals to Amazon that you are a reliable seller.
6. Build A Good Seller Reputation
Your reputation as a seller is critical for ensuring success in your Amazon business. The approval of your application form to sell products from the restricted categories is also contingent on your reputation and track record.
You are likely to get a rejection for applying for approval as a new seller. Since it can take time to establish trust on Amazon, it’s best to start with unrestricted categories and work your way up.
To achieve this, you’ll need to strictly follow Amazon’s guidelines, practice good customer service, offer genuine and high-quality products, swiftly respond to and tackle customer issues efficiently, etc.
Supplying substandard goods, poor handling of customer complaints, and failure to make timely deliveries are some of the things that can ruin your reputation as a seller and impact negatively on your account.
7. Be Aware Of Quantities
Some restricted categories require you to have achieved a set minimum order quantity before applying for approval. Amazon imposes this restriction to ensure that approved sellers can deliver orders.
Therefore, it is essential to find out the minimum order quantity for the product you intend to sell and make sure you can meet it. Carry out thorough research on your interested product and find out if there is any existing order quantity requirement.
Also, be sure to double-check your application requirements and ensure you meet them. Failure to satisfy the minimum order quantity requirement will only cause you to get an outright rejection from Amazon.
8. Apply Using Brand Products
Using products from well-known companies will give you a better chance of succeeding in your application. This is because the brand products are associated with high quality that customers tend to trust.
Besides, Amazon has more trust for those well-known brands than the unknown brands or private labels.
Amazon imposes restrictions on some products with the aim of not only protecting the interests of customers but also reducing the sale of defective or counterfeit goods.
Strive to include brand items in your application to improve your chances of being approved by Amazon.
Private label users need to be aware that it may require more hoops to jump through to get approved for an unknown brand.
9. Thoroughly Research Your Product
It is of utmost importance to have adequate information on the product you are interested in before applying. Ensure you find out everything you need to know about the product, including all the requirements for approval.
Failure to carry out adequate investigation on the product may lead to a violation of Amazon’s policies and restrictions, resulting in dire consequences on your account. Before coming up with a product listing, make certain you have the approval to sell the product.
Keep in mind that some subcategories and products may still be restricted even when you have received approval in the category. You should undertake thorough research on your products before applying for the license.
10. Gain Excellent Product Ratings
Although gaining entry to a previously restricted Amazon category can be an exciting experience and a massive opportunity for your business, things can quickly change for the worse if you cannot maintain the high standards that got you approved from the start.
As an Amazon seller, you need positive reviews from your customers to build your brand. As proof of your reliability to Amazon. Unfortunately, negative product reviews are an avoidable aspect of conducting business on Amazon.
However, they also present an opportunity for you to showcase your excellent customer service.
It would be best if you therefore aimed at maintaining excellent product ratings at all times for better chances of getting approved.
Additional Tips on Special Requirements by Category
11. Automotive and Powersports
This category generally covers automotive & powersport parts. Parts like automotive batteries, new tires, certified catalytic converters, among other products.
It is among the most specific categories you can get into if you have an existing online store for your automotive products or you have the willingness to come up with one.
To get approval to sell in this category, you’ll need a Professional Seller account that is in good standing. New sellers may need to have an independent e-commerce website that Amazon can review.
You’ll also need to offer products with existing universal product codes (UPCs) except for permitted private label brands.
Additionally, you will need to clearly state any refurbished automotive parts in the description, and the manufacturer must have a warranty for them.
12. Collectible Coins
Unless all your products are legally recognized by the government mint or graded by Amazon’s approved graders, you’ll need to be a member of one of the coin collecting organizations. These include:
- Professional Coin Grading Service (PGCS)
- Professional Numismatist Guild (PNG)
- Numismatic Grading Corporation/Paper Money Guarantee (NGC/PMG)
- Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA)
You must have at least 70% of your coins or any cash with a $1500 or more value must be graded. You will also need to set up an Anti-Money Laundering Program and have a website.
This category prohibits the selling of used, counterfeit, replica, or knock-off watches. Besides having a professional seller’s account and a website, you will need to submit an invoice containing your name and address, the name and address of the manufacturer, combined purchase of at least ten units.
It would be best to date the invoice on or after August 4, 2019 (within 180 days).
You should make sure that your product images adhere to Amazon’s best practices with a white background and no display of contrasting products.
You will also be required to include the manufacturer’s UPC for any major brands of watches in your listing. This must also be in the manufacturer’s warranty.
14. Fine Jewelry and Precious Gems
Under this category, you will only be allowed to sell brand new, authentic jewelry; no second-hand, vintage, or knock-offs are permitted.
You’ll need to give details on any unbranded jewelry on your seller account and include manufacturers’ UPCs for branded ones on your listing.
You should ensure that your products meet Amazon Jewelry Quality Assurance Standards, plus FTC jewelry guidelines and other regulations.
To apply for ungating, go to your Seller Central’s “Add a Product” area and look for an established fine jewelry product. They will ask you to request approval there.
You’ll also need to pass the Amazon Jewelry Quality Assurance test and ensure that your account is healthy for higher chances of approval.
15. Holiday Selling Requirements in Toys and Games
Although toys and games fall under the ungated category, you must fulfill specific requirements to get approval to sell in the holiday selling requirements for toys and games in November and December.
These requirements include:
- Your pre-fulfillment cancel rate must be less than 1.75% from the months between August & October. This can vary each year, so check with Amazon seller support.
- You must have shipped at least 25 seller-fulfilled orders from August through October
- Your order defect rate must be less than 1% as of the October cut date
- Your first sale on Amazon must be before September. This does not need to be specifically toys and games.
16. Industrial and Scientific
Products in this category include Lab Equipment & supplies, sanitation, janitorial, industrial materials, Electronic Components, and power transmission. You should contact Amazon for specific details on private label products in these categories.
This category is limited, implying that Amazon may fail to approve some new sellers even if they meet all the requirements.
This ensures that customers purchase authentic, high-quality products. Nevertheless, if you are interested in being on the waiting list, you must have an active Amazon professional seller account.
You must also carry out proper research to ensure that all your industrial & scientific product listings abide by applicable regulations, including local, state, federal, and international laws.
17. Luggage and Travel Accessories
The luggage and travel accessories category is also the easiest to ungate as it does not have many requirements.
It is permitted to professional sellers only and does not allow the selling of used or inauthentic products. To get approval to sell in this category, you will need to ensure that all your products are new and that your product listing is in adherence to the set clothing image guidelines.
You also need to use the manufacturer’s UPCs for any luggage or traveling accessories made by major brands. Ensure you list them on your page as well.
It’s crucial to ensure that your products are authentic and new, as no knock-off products are allowed in this category.
18. Entertainment Collectibles
Getting approval to sell in this category will be easier if you are an existing Amazon seller than new because you require performance history.
Amazon’s entertainment collectible is uniquely picky concerning adding new sellers. Also, there’s minimal information on Amazon’s help page on the particular requirements.
The majority of the information available focuses on the kind of products that you can sell under this.
If you are interested in this category, you’ll need to email Amazon’s collectible team explaining why you should be allowed to sell entertainment collectibles. Having prior experience outside Amazon will give you a better chance of being considered for approval.
19. Fine Art
This category requires Amazon’s permission on a case-by-case basis. This covers items such as paintings, lithographs, unique pictures, or any other works of art.
To get approved in this category, you must have three years of experience in this business, have a substantial online presence via a third-party site, and apply a curatorial element to your gallery selection through annual exhibition programs, published essays, or published essays.
Although it may not be specified, you should be ready to provide any certifications as proof of authenticity for any parts you didn’t develop as well.
Being a member of a recognized art organization and your involvement in an international vetted art fair will boost your chances for approval.
20. Made in Italy
According to current standards, Amazon describes the Made in Italy storefront as a section dedicated to Italian products, designated as “Made in Italy.”
The store aims to promote the style and tradition of Made in Italy as a trademark synonymous with quality materials, attention to detail, and originality worldwide.
To be approved in this category, you must ensure that your products are wholly created in Italy or meet Amazon’s requirements for transformation or processing in Italy. You can request approval on a per-request basis instead of the whole category.
Selling in the gated categories is undoubtedly perks-packed. The strict regulations and requirements make it difficult for many traders to get in. This keeps competition low, implying higher sales and profits for those privileged to sell in these categories.
To improve your chances of getting approval, you’ll need to have a good track record which can be challenging if you are a new seller. It’s, therefore, best to start selling in the ungated categories to gain experience.
It’s also crucial to ensure that you can meet all the requirements for ungating any category before applying.
Well, that’s all you need to know about getting approval for the Amazon gated categories.
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Are books a gated category on Amazon?
No, books are not a gated category on Amazon. It is among the ungated categories. However, there is a gated subcategory of collectible books you need approval before you can sell.
How many types of restricted categories are there on Amazon?
Amazon classifies restrictions into four categories: categories restrictions, subcategories restrictions, condition-based restrictions and brand restrictions.