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One of the challenges of selling on Amazon, especially to new sellers, are gated categories. Basically, Amazon gates categories so it can verify sellers more easily, and reduce the risk of problematic products like counterfeits proliferating in its marketplace.
We know this can be frustrating, but keep in mind that Amazon has the interest of BOTH the customers and the sellers, as these restrictions help create a healthy marketplace that protects the customers and gives the seller access to a huge customer base that allows them to thrive and profit.
For sellers, having knowledge of Amazon’s product categories is very important. For new sellers, it allows them to know what they can sell and profit off immediately. For more seasoned ones, gated categories present opportunities to sell products in an unsaturated market resulting in more profit.
Now, on to the good stuff….
First things, first. We answer the question:
What can I sell on Amazon without approval in 2021?
Here’s an official list of Amazon ungated categories:
Ungated Amazon Categories List 2021
- Amazon Device Accessories
- Amazon Kindle
- Business Products (B2B)
- Beauty Tools and Accessories
- Camera & Photo
- Cell Phones
- Clothing & Accessories
- Electronics Accessories
- Fashion Jewelry
- Grocery & Gourmet Food
- Home & Garden
- Luggage & Travel Accessories
- Musical Instruments
- Office Products
- Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses
- Software & Computer Games
- Tools & Home Improvement
- Toys & Games
- Video Games & Video Game Consoles
Important: The category may be listed here, but take note that it’s still possible that some restrictions still apply. Some categories may only allow brand new items to be listed, while for others, some brands, products, or subcategories may be restricted. Make sure to do additional research.
The question most probably in your head right now is “what categories are gated on Amazon?”
Here’s a full list of gated categories, brands and other restrictions that may apply to your selling account:
Amazon Gated Categories List 2021
Here is a current list of gated Amazon categories:
- Automotive and Powersports
- Collectible Coins
- Entertainment Collectibles
- Fine Art
- Gift Cards
- Music & DVD
- Major Appliances
- Sports Collectibles
- Streaming Media Players
- Video, DVD & Blu Ray
Amazon Restricted Items
There are products in particular categories like Covid 19 Supplies, Weapons and Explosives and Tobacco and Tobacco-Related products which are prohibited for sale on Amazon.
Log in to Seller Central, and view the complete list of restricted items on Amazon here.
Amazon Gated Brands
Brands may have a variety of reasons for opting to be restricted on Amazon. Some of these include:
- Their products are heavily counterfeited
- They’re concerned about the possible depreciation of their brand value
- The brand has exclusive sellers
- Their products are often shoplifted at retail stores
Ungating specific brands on Amazon can be quite challenging, and most often will require you to have a direct relationship with the brand, or to pay a hefty fee to have the right to sell their products on Amazon. On some occasions, however, it can be as simple as asking permission from Amazon.
Free Info Sheet! Download our huge list of gated brands on Amazon!
Important: Just because a brand appears on this list of Amazon restricted brands, it doesn’t mean you can’t sell any of their products. Sometimes, the restriction is just for a particular product, or a product line, so make sure to do your research!
If you know a brand that’s not on the list, let us know!
Other Types of Product and Category Restrictions
As mentioned in the previous section, some categories may be open, but subcategories under it may be gated. An example of this would be the subcategory Topicals under Beauty and Health. Other categories with gated subcategories include Health and Personal Care and Toys.
This is something that has happened to some of the products we have sold in the past. There are instances in which Amazon will block specific ASINS and prohibit the sale of these products on its marketplace. Some reasons may include concerns regarding Intellectual Property infringement or issues with product quality and safety.
During the holiday rush, Amazon will impose restrictions, particularly in the Toys and Games category. This usually applies to FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) sellers and newer sellers who do not meet Amazon’s holiday selling requirements.
If you want to learn more about holiday restrictions in the Toys and Games category, check out our previous blog post.
Product Condition Restrictions
Some categories in Amazon do not allow the sale of “Used” or “Refurbished” items. These include:
- Baby Products
- Beauty, Clothing, Accessories & Luggage
- Grocery & Gourmet Food
- Health and Personal Care
- Jewelry, Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses
- Toys & Games (“Collectible” condition is allowed)
For more information, log in to Seller Central and click here.
How to Get Ungated on Amazon
Author’s Note: As of writing, Amazon is not accepting applications for Textbook Rentals and Gift Cards (unless the gift card is for your company).
Getting ungated on Amazon is a straightforward process; all you have to do is to take the following steps:
- 1. Log in to Seller Central and Hover over “inventory” and select “Add a Product.”
2. In the Search Box, type in the product in the category you want to sell.
3. Request approval to initiate the application process.
- For FBM Sellers: Amazon will most definitely take a look at your metrics, and see if you are hitting their required targets. Performance metrics targets include: a defect rate below 1%, a pref-fulfillment cancel rate of below 2.5%, and a late shipment rate of below 4%. Take note also that some categories may have different performance metrics requirements.
- Amazon may also request documentation in the form of an invoice from your supplier. Guidelines dictate that you place a minimum order of at least 10 units of the product in the category you want ungated. Also, additional documents and information may be requested such as your LLC, Tax ID, business address, letter of approval to sell from the brand owner or manufacturer, etc…
Several categories may have special requirements:
- Fine Art – at least three years experience as an art dealer, professional website
- Fine Jewelry – must be making at least 50k annually, payment of $5,000 entry fee, products must pass Quality Assurance Testing
- Wine – registration as a domestic winery, importer or wholesaler with retail sales privileges
- Watches – watches must be listed with manufacturer’s UPC code, pre-owned watches must be tested for accuracy and water-resistance
- Kindle Accessories – payment of 45% of Kindle accessories sale to Amazon
- Collectible Coins – must be a member of PNG, ICTA, PCGS, or NCC/PMG, professional website, 70% of coins, especially those valued above $1,500 must be graded, Anti-Money Laundering program must be set up.
- Automotive and Power Sports – website, Amazon-compliant product images, products listed must have proper UPC codes, manufacturer’s warranty on refurbished products, review of Part finder and Fitment Data page.
Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get approved the first time around. You can always reapply after three to six months.
If for some reason you don’t want to go through this process, you may hire an Amazon ungating service to do it for you. FULL DISCLOSURE: we tried one a couple of years back, and we had mixed results.
The Good News: Why You Should Take Care of Your Amazon Seller Account
Don’t fret if you find yourself unable to sell products in these gated categories immediately. It gets better. Make sure you are always compliant with Amazon’s policies, monitoring your performance metrics and account health, and addressing any negative feedback you might receive from your customers.
As you “season” and “age” your account, Amazon’s faith in you as a seller increases. As a result of this, you’ll be granted auto approval status for many brands and categories. For most sellers, this usually occurs after about six months and/or after having generated $100,000 in sales. Some categories which you could be easily auto-approved for include Sexual Wellness, Collectible Books, and Clothes, Accessories and Luggage.
We’ve also seen an Amazon auto approval list before (a list of brands that will auto approve you when your account gets seasoned), and this can be a very helpful tool in increasing your product line on Amazon. There are several lists available, and prices range from $30 to $60, depending on the contents of the list.
We hope that this blog post has been informative, and you learned a great deal about gated categories on Amazon. If you have more questions, or would like to share your experience on Amazon FBA gated categories, light up the comment section!
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