Amazon Restricted Products: How to Get Ungated on Amazon in 2021
Ungated your Amazon Seller Central Account and unlock restricted products to grow your inventory, Amazon business, and profits!
You've started selling on Amazon and you're trying to add a product to your Amazon Seller Central account. Then, you encounter a message warning you that the product you are trying to add needs additional approval from Amazon to sell. You probably did not know before, but that product is one of many on Amazon's restricted products that require verification before you can sell anything! Don't worry, the process to get ungated to sell these products isn't too hard.
In this guide, we'll be discussing why these restrictions are in place and how to get ungated to sell any of Amazon's restricted categories, sub-categories, and brands.
Amazon Approval Needed
Amazon has a long list of various products and categories that they intentionally restrict to add safety guidelines and authentication processes, To sell a restricted product, sellers have to undergo an approval process which involves providing documents, invoices, checks, and other qualification forms to ensure all products are handled correctly and authenticated by Amazon. Amazon also looks for sellers who have good performance metrics such as low cancel rates (less than 3%), low defect rates (less than 2%), and low late shipment rates (less than 5%). Sellers with good metrics and solid proof of the product's authenticity and safety guidelines can easily get ungated to sell restricted products. If you are a seller that does not meet these metrics or does not have the required documentation, your process for approval is still possible but may take longer to be approved.
Sellers who are unsure if their products are restricted can do a simple test to check for any qualifications. On your Amazon Seller Central Account, try to add the item in question into your inventory with the ASIN or product identifier. Once you locate the item, click "Show limitations" and scan for any additional requirements. If there are none, then the product is already approved and is good to go. But, restricted products will have a button to "Apply to sell," these are the products that need to be ungated. If this is the case, then you will need to submit documentation to authenticate the product before you can add it to your inventory.
Why Sell Gated Products on Amazon?
Why would sellers even want to sell restricted products? The answer is quite simple: less competition and higher sales potential. Not all sellers will go through the approval process to get ungated to sell restricted products. As a result, these products provide less competition, which translates to more buy box wins, more sales, and better return on investment. Essentially, restricted categories and products provide sellers with a greener field of high earning potentials that would be otherwise unavailable without these restrictions.
If you have the opportunity to sell a profitable product that happens to be restricted, you might want to seriously consider going through Amazon's approval process to take advantage of this winning product.
Amazon Gated Categories
The first product restrictions all sellers should consider are Amazon's gated categories. Amazon has 5 primary product categories that require approval before you can start selling. These include:
It makes a lot of sense for these categories to be restricted and required for approval to sell. Food and other consumable goods can lead to injury or illness if not properly handled and shipped. Expensive goods like jewelry and watches must be authenticated to prevent any Amazon shopper from being scammed with fake goods. And categories like music or DVDs are often bootlegged and have a high risk of illegitimate goods.
We included links to Amazon's requirements for each of these categories that you can use if they apply to your potential products. Each of these gated categories has Seller requirements such as the seller’s performance metrics, along with product requirements and additional documentation (primary source of inventory, amount of units, and any receipts or invoices to confirm the authenticity). If you are selling any of these categories, make sure to click on the links and look over what you will need to get approved.
For the product's information and the handling procedures (specifically for food and consumable products), you will need to work closely with your supplier to obtain this information and ensure they are following all necessary protocols. Especially if you are sourcing with wholesale and private labels, you want to prevent any potential risks since it will negatively impact your business. The last thing you want is to have a lot of food products that make your customers sick or expensive goods that end up being fake. If poorly managed, these categories can ruin your business and reputation or even lead to potential legal action.
Amazon Gated Subcategories and Amazon Gated Products
Other than restricted product categories, Amazon also has restrictions for specific products and sub-categories. These are particular products that have special requirements due to safety, authentication, and collectible status but do not apply to an overall category. These gated sub-categories and products include:
As we mentioned above, these sub-categories and products all have guidelines tailored to ensure safety and authenticity to protect both sellers and buyers from fraudulent or hazardous goods. For more valuable goods such as collectible coins and sports collectibles, sellers will need to provide additional documentation to confirm the credibility and validity of the seller and product. As with restricted categories, if you are purchasing these gated sub-categories and products from a supplier or manufacturer, coordinate and communicate with them to obtain this information.
We have included the links to Amazon's approval process and requirements for each respective sub-category and product if you need it for your products! Alternatively, you can check out all the restricted categories here.
Amazon Restricted Brands
There are some branded products that Amazon restricts to prevent potentially bootleg or inauthentic products from being sold on Amazon. Amazon does not have an explicit list of restricted brands, but when sellers try to add it to their inventory, they'll receive an approval warning to request to be ungated.
During the approval process, Amazon will request documentation to validate that the seller is buying branded products from an authorized manufacturer. Since brands have plenty of doppelgangers and bootleg products, it is vital to confirm that the manufacturer is licensed to produce that brand's products, Amazon will also request an invoice to confirm that you paid for the products and the amount/quantity.
If you are unsure if your branded products are legitimate, contact your supplier and request verification for a manufacturing license that proves they are authorized to produce goods for that brand. If they are unable to provide any proof or licensing for that brand, you may want to find a new seller and request a refund if you have purchased branded products from them. If no action is taken, it may be possible that the supplier sold you fake products that could potentially penalize your Amazon business and seller account.
Sellers can also check if their brands need approval by trying to add the product's ASIN to your inventory. Brands requiring the approval process will have an option to "Apply to sell."
Leveraging Ungated Amazon and Amazon Restricted Categories
Congratulations, your products are now ungated on Amazon. While the process can require a couple more steps, it is not too difficult to get ungated and it provides plenty of benefits in return. Restricted categories and products can be very profitable and tend to have a lot less competition, providing sellers with a greener field of products that can leverage to increase their catalogs, increase potential earnings, and grow their businesses.
For help to find restricted or unrestricted products that you can add to your Amazon FBA business, visit our website at Sellgo.com and our FBA tools!