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Amazon Business Growth
Amazon Restricted Product Categories: What You Need to Know
This article will show you how to both avoid the disappointment about restricted categories and work your way around it.
It's a scenario that happens too often, to newbies and experienced sellers: they perform Amazon product research and come up with a shortlist of viable, profitable items, negotiate good deals with suppliers… and learn what they want to sell falls under Amazon's list of restricted products.

Amazon Restricted Categories: What's New

Depending on where you're selling from and what marketplaces you're selling on, the list of restricted products may be. For example, Amazon has this list of restricted products if selling in the United States and it also has a sub-list of categories and products requiring approval to sell.

However, if you sell in the Amazon's UK marketplace, you'll see a shorter list of category, product and content restrictions. Always make sure to check the list of what's restricted in your specific country and marketplace.

Why Amazon Has Restricted Certain Products

Amazon wants its buyers to "buy with confidence", so they either restrict certain products entirely or limit the number of new sellers until they've built up history and credibility.

Another reason for product restriction is that Amazon wants to avoid the issues with selling illegal, unsafe, dangerous or otherwise restricted products. Selling such products can result in a huge legal and liability issue. That's why Amazon decided to avoid dealing with them altogether.

Why Sellers Must Take Care

As a seller, it's critically importance that you take restricted product list very seriously. If you ignore Amazon's list of restrictions, you could face consequences like listing cancellation, listing privilege limitations, suspension or even outright removal of your listing privileges.

It's a lot easier to learn the restricted product rules than try to get your account reinstated or product restored.

If it's your first violation, Amazon will send you a notification with the required action you must take. It can be frustrating if you've been able to sell that item in the past but can no longer do so, but the smartest course of action is to not argue and do as they say.

What Are the Restricted Categories on Amazon?

Amazon applies restrictions to broader categories and restricts entry to sub-category niches. Here's the latest list of the restricted categories on Amazon:

  • Automotive & Powersports
  • Collectible Coins
  • Entertainment Collectibles
  • Fine Art
  • Holiday Selling Requirements in Toys & Games
  • Jewelry
  • Join Amazon Handmade
  • Join Amazon Subscription Boxes
  • Made in Italy
  • Music & DVD
  • Personal Safety and Household products
  • Services
  • Sports Collectibles
  • Streaming Media Players
  • Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
  • Watches
How You Can Sell in Restricted Categories

Selling in an Amazon restricted category requires getting "ungated", which means obtaining special permission to sell in a restricted category. What each category requires in terms of getting ungated differs, but this is the general sequence of steps you should follow.

Step 1: Have a Professional Seller Account

To get ungated in most categories, you'll need a professional seller account instead of a personal one. There are some exceptions:

Collectible Books (easy to get ungated in)
Collectible Coins (much harder)
Fine Jewelry (very expensive)
Gift Cards (limited)
Kindle Accessories ( expensive)
Major Appliances (high shipping costs), and more.

Step 2. Create a Wholesaler Account

When you create your wholesale account, make sure its address matches the one on your regular account. One thing to remember is that if your LLC name and Amazon name differ, include both.

Step 3. Start a Short Order History

You'll need to purchase about 10 products from three different categories that you want to get ungated in, e.g. 10 collectible books, 10 grocery items and 10 watches. You could keep these items for yourself or sell them on your own listings, but don't expect to turn a profit. Your goal here is to get through the ungating process.

Step 4. Scan the Invoices
When you get the invoices, make copies of them and put the originals aside for safekeeping. You can make marks or additions on the copies, but not the originals. And when making copies, make sure you've got the following:

  • Your seller name is at the top.
  • Each product on the invoice has its ASIN, UPC and item model number beside it.
  • Images, if you're trying to get ungated in Shoes, Clothing and Accessories, Luggage and Travel, or Handbags and Sunglasses.
  • The copies are high-resolution

How to Apply to Amazon for Selling Approval

For the particular category you want to get ungated in, Amazon will have a link on it where you can apply for selling privileges. Email the application during normal business hours so you can get a faster response, which can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

If you get permission, you can start creating listings and selling items in that particular category. If you don't, Amazon will give you an explanation why, which should help you modify your application and send it back in to try and get approved next time.

Conclusion

Selling in gated, or restricted, categories can be tough because the landscape is comprised of experienced sellers with healthy account metrics. You'll need to be on top of your game to compete with other sellers in competitive restricted categories.
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