Are you wondering how you can get ungated in toys on Amazon?
Well, you are in the right place.
In this article, we will give you the requirements plus more tips for getting this done much faster and boosting your profitability this holiday season.
Why Are Toys Gated On Amazon?
Amazon imposes restrictions on the toys and games category in the fourth quarter of the year regardless of toy brand or for new sellers. It is one of the only Amazon restricted categories during the holiday season in November and December. This application applies only if you want merchant fulfillment (MF) and don’t meet the holiday season selling guidelines in toys category.
There are also brand restrictions whereby sellers are restricted from selling toys and games from certain brands. These holiday selling guidelines are usually aimed at limiting the sale of counterfeit items.
Generally, Amazon gates toys & games to ensure quality and timely delivery of the products. Besides, it also aims at protecting its reputation by ensuring only legitimate and capable suppliers can sell in these restricted categories.
How To Know If You Are Gated With Toys On Amazon
To check for a brand gating and if able to sell toys, you can simply try and add the product you are trying to list in your Amazon seller account. There will be an indication that the product is gated as it tells you you need approval to list it in a ‘New’ condition.
For those looking to MF toy products, Amazon sends an email historically in August each year. These yearly emails are usually different as the rules keep on being changed and updated. You should take note of this email if you are interested in being a merchant fulfill seller.
As a merchant fulfill seller, Amazon requires you to have a proven track record of being the best Amazon seller. This is aimed at ensuring that you are genuine regarding the product’s quality and delivery.
If you are an Amazon FBA seller and not interested in merchant fulfillment, you can ignore the email since the guidelines are targeted to merchant fulfilled sellers. However, including merchant fulfillment in your amazon strategy is a good idea.
It can help sell items in the late holiday season when shipping items into Amazon’s warehouses becomes problematic.
Getting Approved In Gated Toys On Amazon
The basic reason Amazon restricts some products or categories is to ensure the quality of the goods offered to customers. As such, you’ll need to ensure that your seller account is in good standing by selling a high-quality product.
The first step towards getting ungated in the gated categories is to request approval. But first, you’ll need to ensure that your account is in good standing for higher chances of getting approved by Amazon.
To request approval:
- Go to your Seller Central account and click on inventory
- Select ‘’ Add a Product’
- Search for the product you intend to sell
- If it appears as restricted, click ‘Listing Limitations Apply.’
- Click on the ‘Request approval’ button
At times, you can request and receive automatic approval to sell in a restricted category. This is referred to as ‘’ Automatic Approvals’’. You can even do this as you are doing some Retail Arbitrage or online arbitrage. This occurs randomly and without warning. Amazon doesn’t specify the specific brands or categories to which the automatic approval process applies.
This happens mostly if you have been an Amazon seller for some time and you’ve built a good reputation rather than being a total newbie. Your success in automatic approval will depend on factors such as your seller data and the age of your account.
You will receive an immediate reply stating that your request has been approved upon successful application.
Generally, to get approval to sell in the gated toys & games category you need to provide some documentation.
Meet the Required Performance Targets
To promote your chances of getting approved to sell in the toys segment during the holidays, you’ll need to meet the performance targets below:
- An order defect rate of below 1%
- Pre Fulfillment cancel rate of below 1.75%
- Late shipment rate below 4%
Ship the required number of products
Amazon will require you to have shipped a certain quantity of products leading up to November to MF toys. However, these products do not necessarily have to be in the Toys & Games category. This is usually to show that you are capable of meeting order requirements without fail.
Other additional requirements include:
- Company name
- Business license
- seller/ vendor ID
- Email address
- Phone number
- Product listings
- A list of ASINS for the toy products you are applying to sell
- Compliant product images and manuals. The images should include all necessary safety information, compliance markings, small parts, and choking hazard warnings.
- Test reports from a CPSC-accepted testing laboratory
Amazon Product Compliance and Safety Regulation
Amazon requires all sellers to comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding product safety. They have put in place several policies and guidelines to ensure that all the products listed on their platform meet those regulations.
As evidence of compliance processes, Amazon may require you to produce the following:
- Test reports from an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory
- Proof of compliance markings including copies of labels
- Safety data sheets
Since Amazon may be held responsible for third-party product safety, they are very strict with this and require total compliance from their sellers.
Failure to comply and produce the necessary documentation can cause your product to be restricted, debarred, or recalled. Amazon may even suspend your seller account for non-compliance.
How To Get Approval To Sell A Toy Brand
You may need to submit a selling application for a brand and may need to provide the following:
A Purchase Invoice
You will need to obtain an invoice from the manufacturer or wholesaler of the product. This qualifying invoice must be authentic and must include all the information that Amazon needs.
To get an invoice, you will need to place an order for your desired goods. Anytime you order from reputable suppliers, you will get an invoice that meets Amazon’s requirements for approval provided they meet the set criteria.
This includes the minimum order and set period requirements.
In the event, you were not supplied with an invoice automatically after placing an order, all you need to do is contact the supplier and request one.
Only actual and not proforma invoice or receipt is acceptable for ungating. The invoice must clearly indicate the following:
- Your full names and address
- The transaction dates which, must be between 90- 180 days from the date of purchase
- Quantity of products ordered
- Name and address of the manufacturer or distributor.
Authorization From The Toy Brand
You may also need to obtain a letter from the brand whose products you intend to sell giving their consent for you to sell the products.
A Children Product Certificate
For some toys & games you wish to sell, you may need a Children’s Product Certificate. This certificate is extremely crucial to Amazon. It serves as proof that your products comply with all relevant local product safety rules.
In order to get this certification, your products will need to pass laboratory tests carried out by a third-party testing laboratory that’s approved by the consumer product safety commission (CPSC).
The toy subcategory is an important segment as it contains well-known popular brands that are of interest to most sellers.
4 Tips To Improve Your Chances of Approval
For higher chances of getting approved, these tips can be helpful:
- Include all your business information such as name, business address, email address, and phone number as they appear on your seller account in your order.
- Ensure you order a minimum of 10 units of toys that are already listed on Amazon from legitimate sellers. You can go for low to medium value products since your focus will be to meet the minimum order requirement in order to get approval and not make a profit.
- Include all the necessary information required by Amazon including the name of the distributor or manufacturer from whom you purchased your products. The products’ ASIN, UPC, and item model number are also important.
- Ensure you are well equipped in terms of cash investment since ungating for a brand will need you to be able to source frequently and easily. Check out for brands that appear in clearance sales.
What To Do If You Don’t Get Approved For Toys Or Brands
It’s not unusual for your application to get rejected by Amazon. As a matter of fact, Amazon rejects most sellers’ first applications. Not very many new applicants get approved on their first application for ungating.
If this happens to you, don’t give up yet. The best thing to do is to contact Amazon’s Seller Central immediately to find out the exact reason for the rejection.
After you’ve clearly understood the reason, you should address these issues accordingly before attempting to reapply. When you are convinced you have done all that’s required, you can reapply.
You should ensure that you have met all the requirements and guidelines pertaining to toy ungating.
You can also make use of the Amazon ungating service if you are unwilling to repeat the application process yourself. However, these services are not free and can be costly. Plus there are no guarantees with approval and can produce mixed results.
Selling in the gated categories comes with its own benefits. You will enjoy limited competition which in turn translates to more sales and revenue. Although it may not be easy to meet all the requirements to get approval directly, it’s undoubtedly worth trying.
Getting to fully understand the requirements for ungating the toys category and ensuring you meet them before filling an application form can boost your chances of getting approval faster.
Well, there’s everything you need to know about the requirements for getting through the ungated category of toys and games. Try these out and remain profitable in sales of toys in the next fourth quarter.
There are plenty of toys that don’t require approval and Tactical Arbitrage can help you find them. Check out a free trial here.