Amazon has always been valuing flawless customer service and making every single effort to reach excellent quality and reputation. This appreciation has led to the appearance of the ‘gated categories notion. As long as dissatisfied customers often accuse Amazon instead of the actual seller, the first strives to prohibit dubious product categories and untrustworthy activities.
What are Amazon Gated Categories?
As a seller on Amazon, in most cases, you will not face any challenges if you sell typical products with high competition. You may sell a lion share of different products without facing any difficulty and without any need to verify your products. But, some product categories are not available for all the sellers. Instead, only specific people can trade such categories, which are also known as Amazon gated categories. Some of the gated products on Amazon are
- Art objects
- Specific collectibles
Basically, to sell Amazon gated products , you will need to undergo a verification process and convince the e-tailer that you meet all their criteria. This way, Amazon can deem you as a trustworthy merchant and put you in charge of selling specific merchandise.
Why are the Restricted Categories by Amazon?
As it becomes apparent after having looked at the Amazon gated categories list, all the gated goods require high quality and strict regulation. If we compare wine and gourmet foods with home decor products and iPhone cases, the responsibility for the quality in the first category is comparatively higher. And, of course, when it comes to selling costly jewels, Amazon might even face the risk of trading counterfeited goods.
Obviously, customer dissatisfaction with gated products may lead to more significant losses and even fines. So to protect themselves from challenges and prevent risks, the marketplace has come up with Amazon gated categories.
Which Categories are Ungated?
The number of ungated categories is significantly higher than the number of Amazon restricted categories. However, they are just formally ungated - you cannot find totally unrestricted products. Even if a specific group appears as ungated, it still implies particular restrictions. As a result, you will always need to pay attention to notions like gated brands, gated subcategories, and gated products.
Even though looking for Amazon FBA restricted categories is not a very common case, you will anyway find restricted subcategories. This means that you can freely sell products of a particular category, but this freedom does not apply to specific subcategories. For instance, beauty and healthcare is an open, ungated category, but you’ll need to get approval to sell, for example, creams and serums. Therefore, even though the category might be ungated, you still need to ascertain that the subcategory does not require approval as well. Otherwise, it might take a lot of time and finances to obtain permission.
It might be the case that you become a third-party seller and decide to sell specific brand’s products on Amazon. However, you need to be aware of the fact that some Amazon gated brands do exist. Practically speaking, gated brands are those that are not available in the mass market and that charge higher prices for their merchandise. Such brands include Apple, MAC cosmetics, and Nike. Apparently, by claiming these brands as Amazon gated categories, the platform secures itself and its customers against fakes.
Gated products are those that might have a negative influence and potentially bring harm, or those associated with some quality issues. Such goods require Amazon’s restricted categories approval to be placed and sold. Some of the restricted products are:
- laser products
- alcoholic beverages
- surveillance equipment
- theft devices
- animal-related goods
Condition restrictions imply selling products only in new, flawless condition, or already used ones. Specific products, such as clothes, baby care products, accessories, healthcare goods should be strictly sold as new items only.
Some items are allowed to be sold not in a completely new condition though (these can be already used goods of very good quality, or of acceptable one). Amazon does not accept dirty, old, or damaged goods.
Which Categories are Gated?
Timely discovery of what categories are considered as Amazon gated ones can be especially beneficial for a seller. It allows one to make better business decisions and adequately estimate their own capabilities and resources before approaching a particular category. Below are the main gated product categories, all of them having different ungating procedures.
Watches that have a premium price, such as Rolex, are put on the list of Amazon gated categories. The general requirements for becoming an ungated seller imply a professional account, third-party requirements, and alignment with seller performance criteria. Also, a seller should have a proficiency to test watches and check the accuracy of their satisfactory condition.
Most household appliances are large electronic devices, such as vacuum cleaners, microwaves, washing machines, and so on. Amazon gates such appliances since application issues might occur. Sellers are asked to prove the quality of goods by showing documents and licenses to access Amazon gated categories like this one.
When it comes to selling gift cards on such a large e-commerce platform, it’s vital to check the legitimacy of the seller’s products. Via Amazon, you can easily purchase a gift card to a clothing store, grocery store, or any other. One, and probably the primary way to get approved with one of these Amazon gated categories is to confirm that the card holds exactly the same value as promised to the customer. Anyway, this product category is not very popular on Amazon.
Accessories and Clothing
Hats, coats, sweaters, shoes - all of these subcategories fall under the clothing category. To trade ‘fashion’ items, you will need to fill in the approval form as well as confirm that you are a professional seller. Obviously, beginners cannot start off by selling clothes and accessories. Most probably, you may be accepted if clothes manufacturing or selling is your dominant retail activity.
Collectible items are different from their analogs, and they are famous for the exceptional value they grant to specific customers. Collectible products may be one-of-a-kind goods, owned previously by some famous person, or antique. The value of such Amazon gated categories increases with the span of time due to the unique characteristics they possess. In general, Amazon distinguishes three categories of collectible goods:
- Collectible coins. Typically, these are rare coins that are no longer in circulation. To get approved, the seller usually needs to be a member of a numismatist guild or other relevant group.
- Collectible books. Such books are in demand among collectors. The signature, a limited or the first edition - all these points contribute to the book’s value.
- Entertainment collectibles. As a rule, entertainment collectibles imply signed movies.
Amazon is represented by many car lovers who seek new automotive accessories every day. The automotive category covers everything from interior accessories to car replacement parts, meaning that the demand for the category is high. To get approved, you will likely need to create a website, place product images, and have all the products certified by the manufacturer.
The significant difference between art and fine art products is that the first category is produced on a large scale. Fine art pieces, in their turn, are limited or even one of a kind. Another distinguishing point is the price, which may go up to tens of thousands of dollars. To get approved, one needs to be in the art business for at least three years, have an online presence, and be active in exhibitions. Yet currently, Amazon is not the top popular place for selling works of fine art.
Wine collectors are, just like book and coin collectors, ready to pay top dollar to obtain goods of limited edition. If a seller has a domestic winery and a license for it, he or she can start selling wine on Amazon. Otherwise, he or she should officially be a wholesaler and importer.
The video category usually covers Blu-ray and DVD media. You need to demonstrate the newness of your video by showing invoices and state your sources of inventory.
Accessories for Kindle
Kindle is a series of ebooks developed by Amazon. Kindle enables customers to buy a portable ebook reader and shop for various electronic books. So, Kindle accessories are created strictly for the Amazon brand. To get ungated, make sure to align all of your products with Amazon’s compatibility guidelines.
Amazon sells games for kids, as well as board games and drones. The most impressive and yet surprising fact about this category is that Amazon limits its sales during the holiday period. As the evidence shows, selling toys and games during holidays leads to extremely high spendings for the company.
Intimate wellness products
Products such as lubricants, massage oil, and adult toys also fall into the gated category. As sellers admit, there are no special prerequisites needed to ungate such products.
How to Start Selling in Gated Categories? - Basic Requirements
If you have an intention to sell a product that falls into one of the Amazon gated categories listed above, you will need to follow some steps to become an approved seller. The basic requirement implies filling in the application for getting approval from Amazon.
Other general requirements are the following:
- you need to have a personal website
- you should be an experienced, professional seller
- you need to sell original, authentic products
- Amazon’s decision will be based on your performance, so you’ll have to improve performance metrics. The latter often implies low cancellation rates, the minimum percentage of late shipments, and low defect rates.
How to Request Gated Category Approval?
First things first, you will need to find an application form for approval and fill in all the essential details to access Amazon gated categories. Here are a couple of steps you need to take to ensure the correct application procedure:
- Select ‘Add products’ from the inventory
- Find the goods you want to sell on Amazon
- Find a ‘Listing limitations apply’ button near the product you have searched for
- After clicking it, click the ‘Request approval’ link
Depending on your seller history and other category requirements, Amazon will further make a decision. After some time, you will get a notification regarding your application status and see whether you have been approved. Although basic requirements are the same and quite transparent, other requirements will vary according to Amazon gated categories you operate with.
What are Amazon Ungating Services?
Particular companies exist to assist Amazon sellers in finding niches that are not yet taken. Also known as an Amazon ungating service, such a company makes every effort to help you unlock a product category easier. Working as consulting companies, such vendors provide sellers with guidance on how to get a product category ungated. They might significantly help you with collecting and organizing all the necessary documents needed to get approved for a category.
Although Amazon appears to be the top platform for sellers, it is still not accessible to every single individual. Provided that you deal with a gated product category, you need to be pretty sure that you have all the necessary documents, invoices, and a product’s website.
Getting approved as a specific category seller is not an instantly achievable task since it requires much analysis and time. Nonetheless, what you get after approval is worth it.You can get a chance to boost profits and make your products stand below comparison. And you can better advance your goods on top of that, as you may freely create a unique brand name. More significant risks involved, but more fruitful results at the end!
What are the Best Selling Categories on Amazon?
According to statistics, Games and Toys are the top-selling categories. Mainly, these items are extremely hot during the holidays. Gadgets and electronic accessories are also on demand, regardless of the season. Beauty, jewelry, and clothes have never been short of customers’ attention as well.
How to Know which Categories got Approved?
In case you find your product category on the list of gated categories, you will need to send an application for approval. Depending on the type of your product and Amazon’s workload, you will get a response as soon as possible. Once the category is officially approved, you will instantly get a notification via email.
Is it Worth Going Through the Process of Ungating Categories?
is up to the seller to decide whether the process of undergoing ungating is worth the time, effort, and money. If you are pretty serious about selling products from a gated category and want to put every single effort to see the results - feel free to go for it.