When a product or category is restricted by Amazon, it means you have to apply to be able to sell that type of product. In other words, those product types are gated.
Today, I'm going to answer your top 5 questions about how to sell in restricted product categories on Amazon FBA and get ungated.
1. What is the difference between gated and ungated products?
You may require permission to sell either sell within entire product categories, subcategories, or specific products. When you require permission from Amazon to sell products or in product categories, those products are gated.
Imagine there are several category "clubs" for sellers. Some of them have bouncers named "Amazon" at the door, and other don't.
Unguarded clubs like Appliances are ungated. You don't have to ask permission to sell products there. You can waltz right in and sell right away.
Guarded clubs like CDs & Vinyl are gated. At gated clubs, Amazon is going to hold you up in line. After you say, "Hey, I'm cool. Let me in," Amazon will consider it. Maybe you get in; maybe you don't.
However, you may not be able to sell a certain type of product within ungated product categories. In some ungated categories, there are gated products where you have to apply sell that product.
For example, let's say you wanted to sell in Automotive. It's an ungated club, so you walk in without Amazon stopping you. However, you can't sell all types of automotive products in the open-access part of the club. You could sell a loading ramp, but you're not allowed to sell cupholders. (Yes, really.)
In order to sell cupholders, you need a pass to enter the VIP room. You have to apply to get in.
Once you have permission to sell a gated product, you, the seller, are now "ungated".
2. Why would you want to sell gated products when you can sell ungated products right away?
Your product research may lead you to an opportunity within a gated Amazon category. Getting ungated is not too complicated nowadays thanks to changes at Amazon. It's absolutely worth the minor hassle of getting ungated in order to seize an opportunity you found during product research.
Also, the competition in gated product categories tends to be smaller since there is a higher barrier to entry. Sticking with our club analogy, if you get in to a gated club, there's generally more room on the dance floor.
3. What are the most common requirements for getting permission to sell gated products?
The requirements to sell a gated product will vary from category to category. Certain categories may have a lower or higher barrier to entry than others.
As a general guideline, in order to be authorized to sell many gated products, you must:
- Have or upgrade to a professional seller account rather than an individual seller account.
- Use compliant product images.
- Provide GTIN barcode identifiers such as a UPCs or EANs.
- Meet product safety standards and laws for your region.
- Have an inventory of more than one product in the category.
- Have a return delivery address in the local country and/or provide free delivery.
- Be able to provide customer service support in the language(s) dominant in your marketplace.
- Provide a commercial invoice for the products from a manufacturer or distributor (not to be confused with a proforma invoice).
- Provide photos of the product and/or its packaging.
New sellers may need to fill out the new listing creation form for the category and have an independent ecommerce site.
Existing sellers must have an account in good standing.
4. What products and categories are gated on Amazon?
Of the 26 main product categories for sellers, only one of them has a blanket policy where all products under that category are restricted:
- CDs & Vinyl
However, for the two main categories listed below, the majority of the products within the categories are restricted:
- Collectibles & Fine Art
(exceptions: wall art, sports balls, hats, & golf clubs)
- Handmade Products
Among categories, subcategories, and product niches, the following are gated. Each have their own specific set of requirements, which are linked below:
- Postage stamps
- Collectible Coins
- Personal Safety and Household
- Entertainment Collectibles
- Fine Art
- Toys & Games in Q4 sold FBM
- Amazon Subscription Boxes
- Made in Italy
- Music & DVD
- Automotive & Powersports
- Sports Collectibles
- Streaming Media Players
- Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
- Laser products
5. How do you apply to sell gated products?
Follow these steps to apply for approval in Amazon Seller Central:
Under Inventory, select Add a Product.
Click I'm adding a product not sold on Amazon.
Search for your restricted category/product. Click the 🔒 Learn More button.
That will take you to this page. Click on the product category that you want to get ungated to sell in.
Click the Request Approval link on the next webpage.
This will begin the application process.
At this point, you may:
- Instantly be approved to sell this product or in this category
- Need to provide further documentation
- Not be approved to sell the product type
For example, here is the Category Approval Request form for selling certain automotive parts and accessories:
Which product category do you want to sell in? Let me know in the comments!