3-step strategy for getting ungated to sell in a product category

Seth's secrets into ungating the most difficult categories! 🙊
Seth Kniep
Sep 25, 2017
Grow your Amazon store
No matter where you are in your journey on Amazon, focus on your goals, take steps to reach them, and do the hardest things first every day. If you keep the right mentality, stay teachable and humble, and work hard, you’ll beat your competition. We’re here to help you succeed.

Today I’m going to show you the top tips I have on getting ungated in any category on Amazon. These are not guarantees you’ll get ungated, but they do increase your chances greatly. I’ve had very strong success with both myself and my clients when using these.

Before you start - Sell as much as you possibly can on Amazon first.

Your chances of getting ungated will increase by 90%. Sometimes, if you have a lot of sales, you’ll get ungated automatically, but it depends on the category. Personal healthcare, DVDs and CDs are very difficult categories to get approved in. To up your chances, start off by getting a ton of sales. You can even buy a bunch of cheap items and sell them off quickly to friends and family if you want. Getting a bunch of sales and keeping your account healthy will help a ton. Prove to Amazon you can make money, you know how to treat customers like royalty, and you’ll succeed. Focus on what’s important to Amazon.

Step #1 - Create a new business identity when you apply for ungating.

First, create a manufacturer name. It’s just a name, as if it was a business, there is no need to incorporate it. If you’re selling tea, it might be called “The English Tea Store.” Get a separate mailing address and email. Build a website and get a phone number (like a Google Voice phone number). You need to create a new identity as the manufacturer you are going to buy from. You will be the retailer selling it Amazon and also the manufacturer you’re buying from. This is a very standard procedure in the US.

This increases your chances. If Amazon realizes they’re dealing with a Chinese supplier, they get really picky. They’re much more likely to shut you down. So after you create a new business identity, you build a manufacturer website. Here’s an example of what one may look like.

Notice how at the bottom of the page it has the name of the store, their address, and their phone number. They don’t have their email, but you should include one for your manufacturer website. 

This site is a little more complicated than I would prefer for a manufacturer website, but the point is to show your manufacturer identity. It doesn’t have to have your name on it, or the same email you use on Seller Central. You’re going to use this to show Amazon you have a legitimate manufacturer. This gives you control over the whole process.

Make sure none of the contact information points back to you, keep it clean and simple, and make sure the information is on the main page of the website.

If you need help building a website, I encourage you to reach out to our team. We have people who can help you do just that for extremely reasonable rates. If you’d rather do it yourself, you can use Shopify. They have a great platform and it’s not hard to do. Don’t overcomplicate it: just show the products you’re going to sell, relevant to the category you’re getting ungated in. You don’t need a thousand pages of special photos: all Amazon cares about is if it is a legit manufacturer.

Step #2 - Create your own commercial invoice.

You’ll create this with the new manufacturer identity you just created as the manufacturer. It is different than a PI (proforma invoice): this is a commercial invoice. Here’s an example of what one looks like.

There’s the name and contact information of the manufacturer on the top, and on the Bill To section, it has your contact information. Make sure you include an invoice number and a date, these are very important. PIA means paid in advance: there are different payment terms you can use; this one just means you paid for it before they shipped to you.

You’ll fill out the quantity, price per piece, and any shipping or tax rates, and it’ll show the total. Since you already paid it, the amount paid should equal the total, and the balance due will be 0. 

How do you create this? Use invoicegenerator.com. You can fill it all out very simply and download it, then send several to Amazon as they request.

Step #3 - Write out your brand’s mission

When you submit your application, Amazon will ask for several things. They’ll ask for you to expound on your company’s mission an purpose. Make sure you include these three things:

A - Your brand’s mission. Why do you exist? What makes you different?

B - Your commitment to your customers. How are you going to go above and beyond to get them second-to-none royalty treatment? That’s very important to Amazon.

C - Thank Amazon for the opportunity. Be respectful, this isn’t a fight or war. They care about the experience for the customer, so prove to them you can bring that and you’re thankful, because they don’t have to let you sell.

The founder of Amazon wasn’t profitable for years. They sacrificed so much to get to where they are today, and for a very long time they earned nothing. You’re sacrificing right now to get to where you want. They did this before you, so they have the right to set up those rules. Focus on what is valuable to Amazon.

These steps will not guarantee you get approved, only Amazon has that power. But the process has worked effectively many times over and I hope it works again for you. Have an awesome day.

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Seth Kniep

Married a pearl. Fathered 4 miracles. Fired his boss. Turned a single dime into $104,857. Today, a self-made millionaire, Seth and his team of 8 badass coaches teach entrepreneurs how to build passive income on Amazon.

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