Last updated on November 3rd, 2023
Written by Himanshi Raj
Amazon’s customer-centric approach gives sellers like you the freedom to sell almost all types of products. While the Amazon world is your oyster, some restrictions, such as gated product categories, still accompany selling on the platform. Learning how to get ungated on Amazon can unlock many doors for your business and expand your selling potential.
What does ungating on Amazon mean, and how do you sell products in restricted categories? Let’s unlock the answers to these questions and discover the requirements and steps to ungating product categories successfully.
To begin, let’s give a bit of background on the matter: what are Amazon’s gated categories, and why are they restricted in the first place?
You must be eager to immediately add and list the products you want to sell on your catalog as soon as your Amazon Seller Central account is set up. However, you may notice that some products and categories have limitations and restrictions.
Amazon divides its product categories into gated and ungated groups. Ungated categories are those with open access, where you can list and sell products without restrictions.
On the other hand, a gated or restricted category means that you cannot sell products belonging to such groups unless you have the marketplace’s permission and approval. You may also need to meet certain criteria before selling such items on the platform.
Amazon has four primary product restrictions or gates within its system:
In line with these discussions on Amazon’s gating policies, to be ungated means to request approval from Amazon and gain access to sell such products on the marketplace.
Gaining approval to sell products from restricted categories and subcategories opens doors for your business to previously inaccessible market segments. This allows you to diversify your store's offers further to reach new audiences and ultimately increase your sales and profit.
Amazon has set selling restrictions on the product categories listed below, from the Fine Arts category to products from the Grocery and Gourmet Foods category. Let’s delve further into Amazon’s gating policies by learning what categories, subcategories, and products have restrictions on the platform.
Some categories also have special restrictions. For instance, the Toys and Games category has holiday selling guidelines and restrictions that sellers must follow during specific seasons.
On the other hand, sellers must follow certain requirements to sell certain products under the Beauty category and the Automotive and Powersports category. Lastly, some games in the Video Games category have Sony Playstation requirements that sellers must meet before selling such items.
With the number of product categories in the list above, many newbies and even established Amazon sellers may wonder why the e-commerce giant is that much of a gatekeeper. What is Amazon’s purpose and reasoning behind making these groups gated or restricted categories?
Amazon restricts these categories because of customer’s safety and well-being. Known for its customer-centric approach, it’s no surprise that Amazon would restrict specific product categories (like Grocery and Gourmet Foods).
Restrictions require sellers to adhere to specific quality standards or certifications. By gating these categories, Amazon ensures that only sellers who meet these standards can list products, maintaining a certain level of product quality and effectively safeguarding their customers’ safety.
Additionally, Amazon has gated categories to lessen the cases of fraud and counterfeiting and prevent unauthorized selling in the marketplace. Amazon reportedly removed almost 6 million items on its platform and spent more than 1 billion USD in 2022 alone to battle counterfeiting.
By restricting certain categories and products, Amazon can ensure that only authentic and legitimate items are displayed and available on its platform. Through these restrictions, Amazon can also preserve the reputation of several known brands.
Before you can essentially unlock categories, you must meet several requirements Amazon sets. Because most requirements will vary depending on the category or product, thorough research on Amazon’s restriction policies on these product categories is crucial. The requirements will depend on the category you are applying to be ungated.
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Ungating your listings and product categories can be done through three stages: application process, submission of invoices, and brand and category approval.
Request for Amazon’s permission to sell your desired product. To get approval, you must do these:
You must submit invoices to prove the legitimacy of your supply chain and products. Ensure you have legitimate invoices from recognized suppliers or manufacturers when applying for ungating.
Amazon may also ask for additional information, such as product images, refund policies, and information about your suppliers. Sometimes, Amazon may request that you provide three different 30-180 days invoices, so it’s best to prepare these.
Ensure your invoices meet Amazon's requirements, such as clearly stating your company name, the supplier's name, and the invoice's issue date. Submitting well-organized and easy-to-understand documents is crucial to increase your chances of getting approval.
After submitting all required documentation and invoices, Amazon will review your application. During this stage, they'll assess your business' ability to provide high-quality products and services that align with their policies.
If your application is successful, Amazon will grant you access to sell within the restricted brand or category, allowing you to expand your product range and increase profits. On the other hand, you will receive a notification if your application is rejected. In this case, you can make adjustments accordingly and reapply.
Of course, victory can’t be sweet without any struggles. You may encounter several challenges when they try to get ungated on Amazon, such as rejected applications.
Rejections can be disheartening but not uncommon when getting ungated for Amazon. Rather than feeling discouraged, understanding the reasons behind these rejections is crucial as it can teach you how to overcome them.
Check whether or not you’ve sufficiently met Amazon’s requirements for approval. You can do so by reviewing the information you’ve placed in the application form, double-checking if your invoices are accurate and well-documented. Verify if you’ve submitted all required documents to support your application.
If your application continues to be rejected, consult seller forums and Amazon's resources, or consider enlisting the help of an experienced ungating service provider.
The process of unrestricting product categories on the Amazon marketplace may be challenging to some. Luckily, you can let the pros handle these sticky situations.
Unlock your online business' unlimited selling opportunities and potential with our full account managers here at Seller Interactive. Our Amazon selling account experts will oversee all essential account management tasks, including inventory management services and unlocking Amazon gated categories. Book a call now with our professionals and bring your Amazon business to boundless success today!
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