Amazon is like the universe of shopping, offering a little bit of everything. However, not everything is up for grabs for sellers. To keep its shopping environment safe and trustworthy, Amazon has put up a gate around certain categories, calling them ‘Restricted Categories’ or ‘Ungated Categories’.

Let’s dive into what these are and how you can get the golden ticket to sell within them.

The “Why” Behind Restricted Categories

Restricted categories are Amazon’s way of keeping its shopping haven safe. These categories require a special nod from Amazon before you can start selling. This includes everything from toys and games during the holiday season to more niche items like collectible coins and medical supplies. The list varies by country due to different laws and marketplaces, but our focus here will be on Amazon US.

Restricted Categories on Amazon US

Amazon restricts certain categories to safeguard consumers, requiring seller approval. This guide focuses on Amazon US, though approval processes are similar worldwide. The restricted categories on Amazon US are as follows –

– Holiday Selling Needs in Toys & Games

– Amazon Watch Warranty FAQs

– Made in Italy

– Video, DVD, & Blu-ray

– Collectible Coins

– Streaming Media Players

– Personal Safety and Household Products

– Grocery & Gourmet Foods

– Music Category

– Lighting Category

– Beauty Topical

– Sports & Nutrition

– Watches

– Gardening & Watering

– Automotive

– OTC Medication

– Haircare & Beauty Appliances

– Baby Topicals

– Toys

– Pet supplies

– Medical Supplies & Equipment

– Pet Care

– Pet Food

– Candles & Aroma Therapy

– Power Tools

– Home Environment Electronics

– Wireless Accessories

– Baby Feeding

– Female Hygiene

– Baby Activity Gear

– Baby Strollers and Carriers

– Audio-Visual

– Personal Safety & Household

Not Just Categories, But Products Too

Beyond categories, some products also need a thumbs-up before you can list them for the Amazon US marketplace. This includes a wide array of items, such as the following –

– Alcohol

– Animals & Animal-Related Products

– Art – Fine Art

– Art – Home Decor

– Automotive and Powersports

– Composite Wood Products

– Cosmetics & Skin/Hair Care

– COVID-19 Supplies

– Cash Alternatives, Currency, Coins, and Gift Cards

– Dietary Supplements

– Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia

– Electronics

– Explosives, Weapons, and Related Items

– Export Controls

– Food & Beverages

– Gambling & Lotteries

– Hazardous and Dangerous Items

– Human Parts & Burial Artifacts

– Jewelry & Precious Gems

– Laser products

– Lighting

– Lock Picking & Theft Devices

– Medical devices & Accessories

– Offensive and Controversial Materials

– Pesticides and Pesticide Devices

– Plant and Seed Products

– Postage Meters & Stamps

– Recalled Products

– Recycling Electronics

– Subscriptions and Periodicals

– Surveillance Equipment

– Tobacco & Tobacco-Related Products

– Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, and Guarantees

– Other Restricted Products

– Refrigerants: Ozone-Depleting Substances and Substitutes

– Upholstered Furniture, Bedding, & Other Quilted Products

– CPAP Cleaning and Disinfecting Devices

Amazon keeps updating the list on a regular basis. You can stay informed via Seller Central.

Is Jumping Through These Hoops Worth It?

Absolutely! With Amazon’s vast customer base, getting into these less crowded categories can mean less competition and more visibility for your listings. But, navigating the approval process can seem daunting at first.

 

Your First Steps to Approval

To kickstart your journey into Amazon’s exclusive clubs, you need to:

Be a Professional Seller: This comes with a monthly fee but offers perks that assist in your seller journey.

Maintain Stellar Performance Metrics: Amazon loves sellers who keep customers happy. Make sure your performance metrics shine.

Prove Product Authenticity: Amazon’s all about keeping it real. Show that your products are legit and safe.

Keep Your Paperwork in Check: Invoices and supplier information should be up-to-date and match what’s on your Seller Central account.

How to Get the Green Light to Sell Restricted Products?

  1. Dive into Seller Central: Log in and look for the ‘Add a Product’ option under the Inventory menu.
  2. Seek Approval: Find the product you wish to sell and click the ‘Request Approval’ button.

Remember, the approval maze varies by category and product, and there’s always a chance of hitting a dead end with a rejection.

Can’t Crack the Code? There’s Help!

Feeling stuck? There are ungating services that can guide you through, though going DIY is often more rewarding and less risky.

Boosting Your Approval Odds

Build a Solid Reputation: Start with ungated categories to build your selling history.

Leverage Brand Power: Applying known brand items can sometimes smooth the path.

Mind Your Quantities and Sources: Adhere to minimum quantity requirements and prefer local or direct manufacturer purchases for credibility.

Extra Tips for Restricted Category Success

Research is Key: Before listing, ensure you’re cleared to sell. Amazon has strict policies, and stepping out of line can lead to severe consequences.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Sellers Beware: FBA comes with its own set of rules, especially around hazardous materials.

The Bottom Line: Why Bother?

While it might seem like a tall order to get into these gated communities, the payoff is big. Less competition, a broader market share, and the chance to build a strong brand in niche categories are just a few perks waiting on the other side. With some diligence, patience, and the right strategy, you can unlock new opportunities on Amazon and take your selling game to the next level.

A leading Full Service Amazon Agency like SalesDuo can be a one-stop solution to manage all aspects of the Amazon and eCommerce business. This makes it easy for retail brands of all sizes to focus on what matters most while we help them set up, manage, and grow their business on multiple marketplaces across various markets. For more information, visit salesduo.com