Amazon Restricted Categories

Amazon Restricted Categories: Your 2018 Guide to Getting Ungated

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Maybe this situation sounds familiar. You’ve sourced an awesome product on Amazon (using Jungle Scout, of course), know that it’d be totally killer and make you a ton of sales and super-duper rich, but lo-and-behold you can’t sell it because of Amazon restricted categories. Sad trombone!

Of course, there’s plenty of sellers who operate in Amazon restricted categories. They’re selling thousands of dollars worth of of protein powders, wedding rings, watches, and fine art monthly.

“How’d those turkeys get to sell that stuff?” you curse, shaking your fist at your Amazon seller central screen. Sighing, you go back to looking at kitchen products, toys, sports and outdoors and the other “ungated” categories.

What Are the Amazon Restricted Categories?

As of this writing, there are 18(ish) Amazon restricted categories in the US market. They are:

  • Automotive and Powersports
  • Clothing, Accessories, Shoes, and Luggage
  • Collectible Books
  • Collectible Coins
  • Entertainment Collectibles
  • Fine Art
  • Fine Jewelry
  • Gift Cards
  • Grocery and Gourmet Foods
  • Kindle Accessories
  • Major Appliances
  • Sexual Wellness
  • Sports Collectibles
  • Textbook Rentals
  • Toys & Games (Holiday Guidelines)
  • Video, DVD, and Blu-ray
  • Watches
  • Wine

Why Do Amazon Restricted Categories Exist?

Understand Amazon’s Point-of-View

Every single requirements page for the Amazon restricted categories reads the same:

“Amazon limits the addition of new sellers in [this] category to ensure that customers can buy with confidence from all sellers on Amazon.com.””

Amazon’s chief focus is customer service. Not only is the “customer always right” with Amazon, they’re pretty much the only thing that matters. After all, Amazon spent the first 20 years of its existence sans profit, essentially giving away goods and services to build their monstrous rep. Market trust was all that mattered.

Now, in 2018, Amazon’s brand is impeccable. And they plan to keep it that way, especially when it comes to third-party sellers like you and I. Naturally, the terms-of-service, performance metrics, reviews, and feedback services help guard Amazon’s reputation from sellers who don’t care. But another way Amazon protects itself is through the Amazon restricted categories.

Collectible, Dangerous, High Quality, and Regulated Goods

The Amazon restricted categories break down into three basic types: collectibles that have specific condition requirements, high quality expert items, and goods that are regulated by state and/or federal law.

Amazon wants its customers to know that if they order a piece of sports memorabilia, for example, that it’s not some knockoff. Or if they order a bottle of wine, it’s not some illegal bathtub hooch. Therefore, the Amazon restricted categories are in place to protect Amazon’s three billion monthly shoppers.

Selling Products in Amazon Restricted Categories

No two Amazon restricted categories have the same method of getting “ungated”. And some are much easier to sell in than others. Here is a short how-to guide on each of the product categories according to Amazon, sources around the web, and my own experience.

Why three sources? Well, Amazon has conflicting information in its own database. For example, the requirements under toys and games for the holidays still lists 2015’s rules. Also, a few of the links to the requirements pages come up dead or as “an error.” Guess we can’t blame them for being super busy.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Automotive

Automotive and Powersports

Automotive and Powersports (Automotive Accessories, etc.) cover products that can be used with cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles. Products include replacement parts, performance parts, tires and wheels, tools and equipment, interior/exterior accessories, fluids, and more.

Amazon says:

  • You must be on the professional selling plan.
  • You must have compliant product images that can be reviewed on either an independent website or an image hosting site.
  • All major brands must be listed with universal product codes (UPCs).
  • All certified refurbished Automotive & Powersports products must be warranted by the manufacturer or remanufacturer.
  • You must have reviewed the Automotive & Powersports Part Finder and Fitment Data page in its entirety if you plan on selling fitment-specific products (products that only fit certain vehicles).

Other sellers say:

  • Additionally, you need to have a website set up. For most private label sellers, this isn’t a big deal. However, resellers tend to run into issues.

Dave says:

  • I’ve had access to sell on Amazon’s automotive category since 2015 (when I was still in the car business). Back then, all it took was a clean selling record and filling out a short application. If I remember correctly, the application went through almost immediately (robo-approver).

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Fashion

Clothing, Accessories, and Luggage (Fashion)

Clothing, accessories, luggage, shoes (all of these kinda fall under the blanket “fashion” category) is Amazon’s diverse wearable department. This includes clothing and other wearables for men, women, children, and babies. There’s shoes, non-Fine jewelry, purses, coats, hats, and more.

Amazon says:

  • You must be a professional seller.
  • You must fill out the approval form.

Other sellers say:

  • Supposedly, you need to have a traditional retail business selling clothes to meet the requirements for selling clothing, accessories, and luggage.

Dave says:

  • This is another category I got into early on. Approval was quick. I’m not so sure about the requirements these days (please share if you have any inside insights in the comments below).

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Collectible Books

Collectible Books

Amazon got its start with used books and in 2018 books are still a big part of Amazon’s library. Most books have an option for collectible books. Collectible books are different than used books in that they cover signed, limited first edition, or have other desirable qualities that can reasonably be assumed to increase a book’s value for a collector.

Amazon says:

  • Collectible books must be listed using the publisher’s ISBN-10 or ISBN-13, where available.
  • For pre-ISBN books or books published without ISBNs where no existing page is found in the Amazon.com catalog, sellers must create new product pages using the following information: author, title, publisher, date of publication, and place of publication.
  • Sellers must have low order defect rates and high seller performance ratings on Amazon.com or an Amazon site to be considered for approval to list in the Collectible Books category.
  • Sellers must provide a full refund for all items returned within 30 days.
  • For product quality, all books listed in “Collectible” condition must be signed, limited first editions, or have other desirable qualities that could reasonably be assumed to increase the book’s value to a collector.
  • All products must be authentic. We do not allow any counterfeit, replica or knock-off products.
  • All products must meet North America product safety standards.
  • All listing data and images must be suitable for all ages and appropriate for our global community.

Other sellers say:

  • This is one of the easier Amazon restricted categories to ungate and requires a short application and good account health.

Dave says:

  • I ungated this category a few years ago. Like other sellers say, I don’t think there was too much trouble getting access here.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Catgories - Collectible Coins

Collectible Coins

Collectible coins are rare and special edition minted coins targeted at collectors.

Amazon says:

  • Unless 100% of the seller’s products are from a legally recognized government mint and comply with the additional product requirements, or 100% of the seller’s items are graded by the approved graders and comply with the additional product requirements then the seller must maintain membership in one of the following organizations:
    • PNG – Professional Numismatist Guild
    • ICTA – Industry Council for Tangible Assets
    • PCGS – Professional Coin Grading Service
    • NGC/PMG – Numismatic Grading Corporation/Paper Money Guarantee
  • 70% or more of seller’s inventory must be graded by NGC or PCGS, or be from a legally recognized government mint.
  • If seller qualifies as a dealer of precious metals, precious stones, or jewels under 31 C.F.R. Part 1027, seller has implemented an anti-money laundering program in compliance with Federal Regulation 31 C.F.R. § 1027.210, and will, upon Amazon’s request, provide copies of seller’s anti-money laundering program to Amazon.
  • Professionally graded / authenticated coins are only acceptable from NGC or PCGS.
  • All coins listed at or above $1,500 must be graded by PCGS or NGC, or they will not be allowed in the store.
  • Ungraded coins must be listed as Graded by seller unless they are in original government packaging and can be listed accordingly.
  • “Unsearched” bags, rolls, tubes, jars, or any other unknown bulk coins sales are not allowed. The detail page must clearly identify to the customer the specific coins they are purchasing.
  • Sellers should also provide a link to their company website where we can view the products which they wish to sell.

Other sellers say:

  • There does not appear to be a whole lot of sellers trying to break into this category. However, Amazon’s information is pretty thorough.

Dave says:

  • I have never sold collectible coins on Amazon. Reading Amazon’s requirements, it’s obvious that it’s a pretty tough category to get into.
  • For products like novelty Bitcoins and fake cash, sellers list those products under Clothing, Shoes, and Jewelry or Toys and Games.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Entertainment Collectibles

Entertainment Collectibles

Like other collectibles, entertainment collectibles are products related to film or television that are signed, special edition, or possess some other quality that would raise the value of the product for collectors.

Amazon says:

  • Sellers must remain on the Professional Seller plan.
  • Sellers must maintain Customer Metrics at or below required levels.
  • Sellers must comply with all listing requirements for items sold in the Entertainment Collectibles category.
  • Customers must be able to complete all aspects of ordering and purchasing a product using only the Amazon website.

Other sellers say:

  • Reading the forums, it seems like entertainment collectibles is one of the easier-to-get-into Amazon restricted categories.

Dave says:

  • I haven’t sold products in entertainment collectibles.
  • Amazon’s page doesn’t give a traditional online application, but requires that you contact [email protected]
  • Judging by the requirements, an experienced seller shouldn’t have too much trouble getting approved.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Fine Art

Fine Art

Fine art are art pieces that are one-of-a-kind and not mass produced. Some of these pieces go for as much as $10,000 or more.

Amazon says:

  • Sellers must be in [the business of selling fine art] for a minimum of 3 years
  • Sellers must have “significant online presence through a proprietary or third-party site.”
  • Sellers must have “application of a curatorial element to your gallery selection through yearly exhibition schedules, published essays, or exhibition catalogs.”

Other sellers say:

  • Self-represented artists may not sell on Amazon.
  • For mass-produced art, there are sub-categories for selling those products in Home & Kitchen.
  • Etsy or Ebay are far easier to sell original art than Amazon.

Dave says:

  • Amazon’s fine art section is for the big time stuff and for gallery owners/art agents only.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Jewelry

Fine Jewelry

Fine jewelry are jewelry products authenticated and meet Amazon’s Jewelry Quality Assurance Standards. Like Fine Art, fine jewelry pieces go for much higher prices.

Amazon says:

  • All products must be sold as listed and as characterized in the descriptions, images, and specifications shown on the detail page.
  • All products must meet Amazon’s Jewelry Quality Assurance Standards.
  • All items must be properly set up according to Amazon’s Categorization of Fine vs. Fashion Jewelryguidelines.
  • All products must be authentic, ie no knock-offs.
  • Listing of items priced over $300,000 is not allowed in the Jewelry category.
  • Must have the professional seller plan.
  • Sellers applying to list Fine Jewelry must be existing Amazon.com sellers.
  • Sellers must have at least 12 months of prior selling experience on Amazon, with annual revenue of at least $50,000 on Amazon.
  • Sellers applying to list Fine Jewelry must have an existing business with at least one brick-and-mortar store and annual revenue of at least $50,000.
  • Sellers must meet these performance criteria to be eligible to apply to sell in the Jewelry category:
    • Order-Defect Rate of 1% or less
    • Cancellation Rate of 2.5% or less
    • Late Shipment Rate of 4% or less

Other sellers say:

  • The Fine Jewelry category comes with a $5,000 entry fee to ungate the category (due after quality testing).
  • You must submit a spreadsheet of products with at least 10 products for quality testing purposes.
  • Amazon may test you once every six-to-twelve months.
  • Fine jewelry is the strictest of all the Amazon restricted categories.
  • If you’re interested in selling non-fine jewelry, the fashion category is the best place to go. It’s 100x easier to get into.

Dave says:

  • Like Fine Art and Wine, this is a category only for experts. Unless you already own your own jewelry store and have the logistics in place, ignore this category as the barriers to entry are massive.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Gift Cards

Gift Cards

A gift card is a prepaid stored-value money card usually issued by a retailer or bank to be used as an alternative to cash for purchases within a particular store or related businesses. On Amazon, you can buy Amazon gift cards as well as gift cards to restaurant chains, Starbucks, and more.

Amazon says:

  • Amazon does not offer much for getting pre-approved with gift cards beyond “make sure that it has the advertised amount on the card.”

Other sellers say:

  • Supposedly, unless you are the actual company that sells the gift card, you are unable to sell gift cards on Amazon.

Dave says:

  • This is mostly a category for resellers and arb folks. Unless you’re a massive company with a huge product line and a demanding customer-base, you probably won’t need to get into this Amazon restricted category.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Food

Grocery and Gourmet Food

The grocery and gourmet food department’s products are all consumable products available for purchase on Amazon. This category includes hot and cold beverages, snacks, breakfast foods, cooking staples, baby food, and even flowers and plants.

Amazon says:

  • You must be registered as a seller on the Professional Selling plan.
  • You must meet the following seller performance targets:
    • Order defect rate: < 1%
    • Pre-fulfillment cancel rate: < 2.5%
    • Late shipment rate: < 4%
  • You must provide us with acceptable documentation (such as product invoices) and other information we request about the products you intend to sell. After you request approval to sell in the Grocery & Gourmet Food category, we will contact you with additional information.
  • You are not required to have your own company website, but if you have one it will be helpful to us to review it during the application process.

Other sellers say:

  • This is one of the trickier Amazon restricted categories. You must have detailed invoices showing the origin of the goods. And if you aren’t a legitimate supplier or wholesaler (ie, you’re just flipping cheap stuff off Wal-mart shelves), it’s a tough category to get into.

Dave says:

  • Edibles are tough to sell. They require extra regulation and steps to sell and import. And you will answer a whole lot of questions in FAQs.
  • On the other hand, edibles (and consumables in general) lend themselves well to subscription-services which can create monthly revenue (life-hacker Tim Ferriss built his fortune selling supplements).
  • Remember: if it’s tough for you to sell, then it’s tough for others. The more barriers of entries you cross, the more success you’ll find.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Kindle

Kindle Accessories

Kindle (and other Amazon) accessories are products tied directly to Amazon’s own products like the Kindle, Fire, and Echo.

Amazon says:

  • Products sold with Amazon copyright names (Kindle, Echo, etc.) must comply with the Amazon Device Accessories Fair Use and Compatibility Guidelines.

Other sellers say:

  • Amazon device fees are pretty big: 45% (yikes).

Dave says:

  • A lot of people scoff at the 45% fees levied on Amazon-specific products. While the rate does mean less gross profits, it also means less competition.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Major Appliances

Major Appliances

Major appliances are typically large, electric machines for the household or business. These products include refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, and vacuum cleaners.

Amazon says:

  • Amazon does not explicitly state their requirements beyond the application for approval.

Other sellers say:

  • Major appliances come with a lot regulatory issues.
  • You may need to prove your product’s legitimacy with documents, invoices, etc.

Dave says:

  • Major appliances are tough for starting sellers due to the extreme shipping costs.
  • Make sure you’ve got awesome insurance and legal help on your side, as you may be responsible for any issues that appliances can cause.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Sexual Wellness

Sexual Wellness

Sexual wellness products are products such as toys, lubricants, and other products for bedroom activity.

Amazon says:

  • Like many Amazon restricted categories, there is an application for sexual awareness products.

Other sellers say:

  • Sexual awareness is not a tough category to get an approval for.

Dave says:

  • I can’t remember if I ungated this category or not. Regardless, I tested a product listing and had no trouble.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Sports Collectibles

Sports Collectibles

Sports collectibles are products with signatures, limited editions, and other features that increase the value of the product for collectors.

Amazon says:

  • Maintain an order defect rate lower than 0.75%.
  • Remain on the Professional selling plan.
  • Authenticate or grade a majority of the products listed by one or more of the entities listed below:
    • Ace Authentic
    • Beckett Grading Services
    • Fanatics Authentic
    • Frameworth
    • Grey Flannel
    • Highland Mint
    • Icon Sports Memorabilia
    • James Spence Authentication (JSA)
    • Major League Baseball (MLB Authenticated)
    • MeiGray Group
    • Mounted Memories
    • NFL Players Inc.
    • Panini Authentic
    • Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA)
    • PSA/DNA Authentication Services
    • Steiner Sports
    • Topps Collectibles
    • Tristar Authentic
    • Upper Deck Authenticated (UDA)
    • Beckett Collectors Club Grading (BCCG)
    • Becket Grading Services (BGS)
    • Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA)
    • Sportscard Guaranty (SGC)

Other sellers say:

  • Amazon does not require UPCs for sports collectibles.
  • Sports collectibles (like other collectibles) are best sold on platforms like Ebay or niche hobby sites.

Dave says:

  • This is another category for arb sellers and experts and, like many other sellers say, doesn’t lend itself well to private label sellers.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Textbook Rentals

Textbook Rentals

Textbook rentals allow shoppers to temporarily borrow a textbook at a deep discount from its usual price.

Amazon says:

  • We are currently not accepting new seller applications to list products in the Textbook Rentals category.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Holiday Toys

Toys & Games (During the Holidays)

Amazon limits sales of toys and games to experienced sellers during the holidays. While the toys and games category includes toys for children fourteen and younger, the category also extends to strategy board games, collectibles, drones, and other products of interest to adults.

Amazon says:

  • You must have processed and shipped a certain number of orders in the months leading up to the start of the holiday season (typically, September 1 through October 31). The orders do not need to be specific to the Toys store.
  • Your pre-fulfillment cancel rate must be no greater than 1.75% in the month leading up to the holiday season (typically October).
  • Your late shipment rate must be no greater than 4% in the month leading up to the holiday season (typically October).
  • Your order defect rate must be no greater than 1% short term as of the first day of the holiday season (typically November 1st).

Other sellers say:

  • A lot of sellers, especially new ones, go nuts on the forums when Amazon sends out their holiday requirements, mostly because they don’t meet those reqs.

Dave says:

  • If you plan to sell in Toys and Games make sure you know the holiday requirements, and definitely make sure you have all your ducks in a row before November hits. Obviously, it’s a huge moneymaking category during the holidays.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - DVDs

Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray

Any type of video media (DVDs and Blu-rays especially) falls under the Video umbrella.

Amazon says:

  • If you do not have a Professional seller account, you must agree to upgrade to a Professional selling plan within 30 days after your application is approved
  • Order-Defect Rate (ODR) of 1% or less
  • Cancellation Rate of 2.5% or less
  • Late Shipment Rate of 4% or less
  • Amazon also requires the following information:
    • Your primary source(s) of inventory
    • An estimate of the quantity of units you plan to sell
    • A minimum of 3 invoices or purchase orders from your largest inventory source(s) that are representative of the types of items you plan to sell

Other sellers say:

  • Amazon hates fakes. In recent years, they cracked down hard on the DVD/Blu-ray counterfeit market.
  • Selling used DVDs on Amazon is very difficult.
  • You must supply invoices showing only new DVDs.

Dave says:

  • Again, this is one of the Amazon restricted categories that mostly affects arb sellers, but it looks to be very hard to get into.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Watches

Watches

Watches include high end jewelry pieces and brands like Rolex and Tag Heuer.

Amazon says:

  • For certified pre-owned watches, sellers must have the ability to test water resistance and timekeeping accuracy.
  • For certified pre-owned watches, sellers must have a professional selling account in good standing.
  • For certified pre-owned watches, sellers must meet all requirements established by a third-party watch certification organization, as determined by Amazon.
  • Seller must meet minimum Seller Performance metrics:
    • Pre-fulfill cancel rate of 2.5% or less
    • ODR 1% or less
    • Late ship 4% or less
  • Seller must have a Professional selling account in good standing.
  • Watches and watch products must be listed using the manufacturer’s UPC code. 

Other sellers say:

  • Pretty much what Amazon says goes.

Dave says:

  • I got an approval to sell watches from Amazon early on. I’ve never used it, but I remember that it was pretty simple to get ungated. In my experience, high end products are targets for 1-star product reviews.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories - Wine

Wine

Wine is a limited category for areas that allow over-the-internet wine sales. This category does not normally include wine specific accessories.

Amazon says:

  • The seller must be licensed as one of the following:
    • A domestic winery; or
    • A California winery and importer; or
    • A California importer and wholesaler with retail sales privileges; or
      A California wholesaler with retail sales privileges and ownership of the wine brand that you intend to sell on Amazon.com
    • Ship to at least one of the states that Amazon supports
    • Comply with all state and federal regulations

Other sellers say:

  • Alcohol is a (mostly) prohibited category on Amazon.
  • Amazon accepts wine sellers on a very limited basis.

Dave says:

  • Like fine art, coins, etc. wine is a category reserved for experts that already have the infrastructure in place.

. . .

Amazon Restricted Categories Application

When you are ready to request approval to one of the Amazon restricted categories, you will fill out the Category Approval Request form. This short form asks the following:

  • Category
  • Number of Authenticated Products You Sell from authentication companies or official licensees (this is for collectible categories).
  • Estimated annual online revenue or revenue for the respective category you expect in a year.
  • Number of products you plan to sell in the category.
  • Condition of your products (new, used, or refurbished).
  • Company website where Amazon can view your products.
  • Company description including any important information Amazon should know regarding your application.
  • Name.
  • Email.
  • Phone.
  • Company name.

Some Amazon restricted categories may require more information.

. . .

Conclusion So Why Go Through the Trouble of Selling in Amazon Restricted Categories?

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t”

Jerry Rice

Granted, there’s some pretty extreme requirements for some of the Amazon restricted categories. But some of the categories like sexual wellness, gourmet, and automotive possess huge opportunities for sellers who are willing to go that “extra mile.” The key to success on Amazon (and any business, really) is finding pockets where others dare not look.

Sure, sex toys might make you giggle or turn up your nose, but consider all of the other competitors out there who do the same and don’t want to “go through the trouble” of getting ungated.

Use the Jungle Scout Web App to research product ideas, and select only the categories you’re interested in!

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52 Comments on “Amazon Restricted Categories: Your 2018 Guide to Getting Ungated”

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the insight.
    I am trying to list a product on the Toys and Games category, and it looks like I need approval to sell in the category. Amazon asks for an Invoice and a CPC (Children’s Product Certification), both of which I have obtained but they keep being rejected by Amazon, even after following the instructions to the letter.

    Any idea what I should do to get approval?

    Thanks,

    Eve.

    1. Eve,

      That’s a new one by me, but I’m not surprised. Amazon’s been cracking down on certain categories and brands over the last year or two. Have you spoken to a rep directly, or have you been emailing the certifications?

      1. I have not spoken to a rep. I have been submitting the required documentation from my account. When I asked why the documents are not being accepted so I can fix them, they said that they cannot divulge that information because of their policies.

          1. I’m having the same trouble as Eve. Amazon allowed me to create the listing (and get the FNSKU etc, so I went ahead and ordered my private label toy from alibaba).

            But later when I tried to access I got the error message that it is restricted (I believe sub category toy building blocks is gated). And I’ve given endless documents to amazon to no avail – always seem to get the same robotic answer from them that my application is rejected because it does not fulfil all the requirements (despite clearly sending them everything they requested, marked and colour coded so that they don’t miss it). It was quite a frustrating experience until we decided to quit it, recalled our products to a local warehouse and are now selling them on ebay

            1. Interestingly, I ran into the same issue trying to list a toy product. Another one of us also tried listing her toy products and met similar issues–apparently, they’ve gotten very tough on CPCs. Fortunately, my product could also double as an office product, so I relisted (had to buy a new UPC though). I’ve tried reaching out to account execs that I know to see what’s up and no word. I’ll keep digging and see what I find out.

    1. David,

      Great question! I should have appended at the end of the article that there’s probably a few stray categories out there that I missed. Most of Amazon’s lists and requirements are pretty outdated (some as far back as 2015!). Looking at Topicals, it seems like this is something they started cracking down on in the last three months.

      Amazon says (found from a site that deals with Beauty products):

      You will need to produce the following.

      1. A recent invoice with all details matching your Amazon acc (if you’re a distributor).
      2. Packaging design with manufacturer name.
      3. GMP certificates OR proof of FDA registration for each product.

      There’s also a $3000 ungating fee upon successful application, and rumor has it no overseas manufacturers are approved. Even people with all the paperwork in place are having problems, and old time sellers have their sales go to 0 as they spend months trying to get ungated for products they were already selling and now can’t restock.

      Other sellers say:

      People are kind of losing their mind over this, especially the arb folks. Looks like Amazon whipped this one out last November and is answering every inquiry with a shrug and a “that’s just how it is.”

      Dave says:

      I’ve never sold topicals (as a rule, I stay away from anything that requires FDA). But it looks like they want you to have all of your ducks in a row to even get close, meaning you either need to be an official distributor or if you’re the manufacturer, you need to have all your paperwork. Topicals, moreso than a lot of things, probably come with a ton of liability issues.

      As I learn more on this topic, I’ll try to keep the community informed.

  2. Thank you for sharing your knowledge in restricted categories. I have a question for you. I have a private label brand that I have been selling on Ebay for a couple of years. The product is replacement hair fibers, which is all natural, made from the cotton plant. I have tried twice to get approved to sell in beauty, and was denied both times due to Amazon could not verify my supplier’s address. My supplier is located in China. Have you ever dealt with this before? Wondering if I create a website, and just list myself as the manufacturer if this will solve the problem. When I started selling the product 3 years ago it would have been huge on Amazon, but now the niche is saturated. Nonetheless, as I already have the product I would still love to get it on Amazon. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks again for the great post.

    1. Hey Billy,

      Your plan of listing yourself as the supplier might definitely work out. Sometimes, it might also help just to keep submitting it. Each time you submit any sort of documentation, it gets put into the hands of a different rep. Some reps are more friendly than others (sounds weird, but it’s true). If that doesn’t work, try that other method. And keep asking questions about how you can get it in. Every product is treated differently by seller support.

      I hope that’s helpful!

  3. Hey Dave,

    You mention there is a $3,000 “ungating fee” upon application approval of topicals. Is there a similar fee for Food and Beverage? I am getting ready to sell my private label on Amazon, and will deal with the hurdles ahead, but cannot afford an extra fee.

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Jean,

      Not that I’ve heard of. Doing a little reading in the forums (which, usually is a funky place to find information), it looks like most of the fees are for those who are selling branded items.

      Have you tried creating a listing for your product yet? Sometimes, that’s the easiest way to figure out exactly what AMZ is looking for.

    1. Hey Greg,

      Typically, food and any sort of edible product will be gated since Amazon wants to make sure it’s “legit.” You’ll also need FDA certs to get it through customs. Supplements can be a tough tough category. But hey… the harder it is, the less competition (well, in theory at least haha). Remember, supps is how Tim Ferriss made all his money early on.

  4. Hello,

    I have a similar issue in regards to getting approval in the Toys sub category. I was selling just fine until one day I got an error and amazon decided to gate it and require documentation. Since I ordered from Alibaba from China, I know my invoice won’t be accepted, although I will keep trying. I was wondering if there was any way around it? I was thinking of buying similar products from another distributor and submitting those documentations or maybe asking to change the category? Please I would appreciate any advice.

    Thanks,
    Muhammad

    1. Hey Muhammad,

      Unfortunately, there’s no way around or hack to get into Toys these days.

      Within the last couple years, Amazon’s gotten a ton of fines regarding the Toys category. So they’ve really tightened up on requiring certifications.

      The best way to get ungated in the category is just provide them with the certifications that they want to see. It takes a few submissions and some patience, but those who’ve worked at it eventually got through.

  5. I’m not new to selling on Amazon but started a new seller account as we licensed a product and had to start a new company. We’ve been approved to sell in OTC subcategory, but keep getting denied to sell in the Topical subcategory. All the information I’ve provided is the same for both OTC and Topicals. What am I missing? Is there a way to step above all of the minions that are denying our applications and speak to somebody with more authority?

    1. Hey Christian,

      I don’t have any particular experience with this category. Soemtimes speaking with Seller Support (more than once) can prove useful. I have tried using different methods in the past like email and their call back feature until I have got in touch with someone who could help 😉

      Other than that, I’d strongly recommend directing your questions to our Facebook Community, there are thousands of sellers on there and someone might have more specific advice.

      Good luck 🙂
      Kym

  6. I’m ungated for Automotive & Powersports, and also for tires, but have never listed or tried to sell anything in those categories; really wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to go about it. I’m 100% FBA. I’m just a thrift store guy; never had a website of my own.

    1. Hey Phil,

      This is a tough one because it will require FDA certifications, approvals and a ton of documentation to get through customs. It’s not impossible, but the experienced sellers here at Jungle Scout aren’t very familiar with this specific category and have not ungated this one. It might be worth checking in with our Facebook Community to see if someone can shed some light on supplements.

      Let us know if you have any success!
      Melissa

  7. I am new to Amazon and will be starting as an FBA in the toys category in the UK. Are the gated categories the same as the US market or is there different rules. I don’t want to go through all the hoops to order my products and end up stocking it at home with a loss.

    Many thank

  8. We’ve had a pet probiotic listed on Amazon for about a year. Today the product is inactive due to the category restriction of dietary supplements. On top of that, they are not accepting applications for dietary supplements for the “Home and Garden (including Pet Supplies)” category. Pet supplements are not required to obtain FDA approval, however our product is manufactured in an FDA approved facility. But, I can’t even apply for approval since Amazon is not accepting applications. This seems highly unfair. Is there a workaround you know of or a way to get amazon to review our product anyway?

    1. Hey Bridget,

      Sorry to hear about the situation!

      You might try reaching out to one of the ungating specialists on Jungle Market. Amazon’s been pretty twitchy about restricted categories in the last year or so (rumor has it that they got hit with a ton of fines last year, so they hired someone new to come in and “clean house”).

      Are they doing this with just FBA or FBM, too?

  9. Yes. We were able to sell CD’s on Amazon and now they restricted us. We would like to start selling CD’s on Amazon again.

    1. Hey Morris,

      Over the years, selling CDs on Amazon has become harder and harder. This is due mostly to a lot of counterfeit goods on there. So unless you’ve got invoices directly from accredited suppliers, Amazon’s not going to ungate you for CDs or DVDs.

  10. The restrictiions in music require an invoice to ungate. What is a seller who has a record collection dating from 1970 to 2000 supposed to do. Are these items unsellable on Amazon now?

    1. Hey Ben,

      I’m sorry to hear that! I know Amazon’s been cracking down on media over the last few years due to counterfeit goods. Have you tried contacting seller support?

  11. Dear Sir

    thanks for the article… would like to ask if this restriction only on the US Amazon Market. Could i make it on UK market. also are those restrictions regarding the plastic in the toys???

    best regards

  12. Hi Dave,
    I found an athletic shirt for @ $5 that usually goes for $80 both on Amazon. Amazon let me list it but I am not authorized for clothing? It also cancelled my listing because I put in 75$ and they said the price would cause a problem.

    Any insight appreciated,
    Mike

    1. Hi Mike,

      Good question. Yes, clothing is a gated category, but in my experience relatively easy to get into.

      Did you create your own listing? Or did you put it on another listing?

  13. Comb, Facial Brush, Makeup Brush, Body Brush, etc..

    Do I need to get approved to sell private label for products above?

    Thank you!!!

  14. please help I’m stuck in a grey area. What about toiletry bag, camping bag, diaper bag, basketball gloves, sunglasses bag, baby bibs, cleaning cloth, umbella etc

    1. Hey Susan,

      We actually sell camping bags on Amazon. And I don’t believe we’ve had too much trouble getting in that category. All the other items sound fine, too, so long as you’re not putting them in difficult categories such as beauty or cosmetics, etc.

  15. Hey Dave,

    I’m currently trying to sell in the toys and games category and when I go in to list a product, it’s asking me to submit my invoice and CPC docs (I have both). I also need approval to sell the brands (the brands are Fisher-Price and Mega Bloks). Will they hit me with an ungating fee assuming they accept the documents? Thanks!

    1. Hey Ameer,

      I’m not sure if T/G has a gating fee. However, I do know that the submittal process can be difficult and may require you to send it in a few times. Also, the CPC has to be from the US. They will not accept overseas issued CPCs. Hope that’s helpful!

  16. Hey Dave,

    Quick question. Once you get ungated in the beauty category if you have all the documents, do you think they will ask for invoices/documents everytime I add a new product?

    My current manufaturer is completely certified (but I have created my own brand), however in the future if I am to change manufaturers( brand will remain the same though), will it cause an issue?

    Thanks and Regards,
    Zubair

    1. Probably. Since you’re adding a new product, they want to make sure you’re not trying to sneak anything past ’em.

      It’s unfortunate that they have to be so tough, but you know how it goes. One bad apple spoils the bunch.

      And yes, it probably will cause an issue, although Amazon may never notice.

  17. Hello
    I’m have a very hard time understanding how to get unrated in medical Device category, class I.
    Can you please help!
    Thank you.

    1. Livean,

      Interesting category! I’m not sure. You probably need to speak with Amazon directly to figure out what they need or do a little research in seller forums. I might do some investigating myself.

  18. Hi Dave, I am considering selling a clutch purse for teen girls in a specific niche (private label). Unless I am missing something, I don’t see purses/wallets (clothing/accessories/luggage) on the gated list anymore. Is it possible that the list has changed since this article was written, and this category is open now? Seems unlikely, but I am not sure what to make of it.

    Any help would be appreciated, love your articles!

    Shannon

  19. Hi Dave, I would like to bundle essential oils with other products that are not in a gated category. I was approved by the manufacturer to sell their essential oil. Essential oil is in the health and beauty category. Do I need to get approval from Amazon to list my bundle?

    1. Cindy,

      Hmm… good question. My thought would be yes, simply because Amazon wants to make sure that any liquids going through them are safe for their customers. Be sure you have all the proper paperwork from your vendor and be sure to get qualified before making your purchase just in case Amazon won’t let you through.

  20. how to sell used windows 10 pro license keys on amazon france ? how to provide invoices for used items
    any suggestions

    1. Hi Z Masood,

      I’m not entirely sure. More than likely, Microsoft is brand protected by Amazon, therefore you won’t be able to.

      You might try Ebay to sell reused codes.

  21. Hi Dave

    I have been trying to follow some sex toys since I’m interested in the niche. A few days after I was analyzing sales, Junglescout went “dark” on all of those items (just sex toys) showing “N/A” even on the ones where I had a previous history.
    I open a case in customer service without response or solution.
    I’m I missing something?
    Thanks.

    1. Hey Francisco,

      Amazon is weird about sex toys. It’s listed as “banned” in their restricted items list, yet the term “dildo” is the #1 most searched for keyword on Amazon (no joke).

      As far as I know it’s possible to sell sex toys on Amazon, however the sellers tend to use euphemisms to get around Amazon’s algo/TOS.

      TLDR: err on the side of caution with that category until you hear directly from Amazon that it’s cool to sell.

  22. Hi Dave
    So I read all these comments and wonder which category do not have any restrictions. I would like to sell: hair ornaments, combs and hair brushes for children. Are there any restrictions when it comes to this category?

  23. So I read all these comments and wonder which category do not have any restrictions. I would like to sell: hair ornaments, combs and hair brushes for children. Are there any restrictions when it comes to this category?

    1. Hey Peter,

      That’s probably health and beauty which I believe is gated, but not restricted. I think with H/B you need to have invoices from the manufacturer to get ungated.

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