As brand owners become more aggressive in protecting their brands, brand restrictions are becoming increasingly common. Since Amazon has not released an official list of restricted brands, brand restrictions confuse the sellers. Sometimes the whole brand is restricted, and sometimes it may be restricted by category or product-line within the brand or just a certain ASIN.
What Is the Amazon Gated Category?
Amazon has started restricting many brands and categories in 2016. If a brand is gated, it means you need to go through an approval process to be qualified, and then you are allowed to sell.
We will explain how to pass the approval process for selling the Amazon restricted brands or Amazon gated categories.
Why Has Amazon Restricted Certain Products?
Restricting brands or a specific product within a brand can have many different reasons. From protecting the customers from counterfeit activity and products to maintaining the unparallel customer service of Amazon, we will discuss all the reasons.
- Some products and categories are more likely to be counterfeited. Luxury cosmetic products, bags, and clothes can be heavily counterfeited than others. This is a crime in many countries and distribution, and selling of counterfeit products also have criminal penalties.
The brand owners have this right to protect their reputation and not allow third-party sellers to put their brand at risk.
- Some companies have policies to keep the perceived value of the brand high. They protect the distribution method and do not sell their products to third-party sellers. In this way, they sell their products exclusively.
- Some products and brands exclusively belong to network marketing companies, and their distributors are not allowed to sell these products on Amazon.
- Some products are more sensitive, like medicine or baby products. They have more safety concerns and product recall due to the defects that compromise the safety of the consumer.
- Amazon is famous for its consumer service, and the company is very aggressive about it. Amazon tries to maintain a good buying experience by gating some products. You need to meet some requirements to ungate these products.
- Some products like perfume samples are utterly restricted.
What Are Amazon Restricted Products And Brands?
Amazon has a high standard and unique customer service and expects the sellers to meet this standard. So before allowing the seller to participate in some categories, she/he needs to achieve certain performances and meet the requirements. Becoming ungated in these categories means lower competition and higher profit.
But becoming ungated in a category doesn’t mean that you can sell all the brands of the category. You can be ungated in the beauty products category, but still, you cannot sell luxury cosmetic brands. These brands are more likely to be counterfeited.
Here are the categories presently gated on Amazon:
- Collectible Coins
- Personal Safety and Household products
- Entertainment Collectibles
- Fine Art
- Holiday Selling Requirements in Toys & Games
- Join Amazon Handmade
- Join Amazon Subscription Boxes
- Made in Italy
- Music & DVD
- Automotive & Powersports
- Sports Collectibles
- Streaming Media Players
- Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
These restrictions, which are mostly the result of manufacturers demanding, exclude the sellers from listing the products on Amazon. There is an exception: when the seller has the documentation that shows he/she is an authorized seller. Getting this documentation isn’t possible without having a direct account with the brand owner. Sometimes the whole brand isn’t gated, and the specific products are restricted.
If you are a beginner, you need products that are in ungated categories so that you can sell them easily. We offer our beginner sourcing lists that are designed for newbies, and all the leads are ungated.
Please note that this sourcing list is great to start with, but if you want to become a professional, you need to scale your business and sell gated products too.
How Do You Find Out If A Product Is Gated?
Since Amazon never officially released a list of restricted brands, it is hard to publish a certain list. Leave alone all the lists and extensions to find out if a product is gated or ungated. The easiest and most straight forward way to find out if a product is gated is to check the product on your Amazon seller account.
As you go forward in your Amazon business and sell more items, you will get ungated in some categories. So every seller account has its own gated and ungated list. Thus, if you want to be sure that you can sell in a category or a brand, try to add some ASINs of that category or brand in your seller account (Catalog-Add Product).
If you see this button (Apply to sell), It means this product is gated. If this repeat for other ASINs of that brand or category, that brand or category is gated for you.
How to Ungate Amazon Restricted Products, Categories, And Brands?
Before explaining the different ways of ungating a product, let’s emphasize a few points.
- If you have a product in a gated category and you are not ungated in that category, don’t list the product in the “Everything Else” category or another category to circumvent restrictions.
- Sometimes you can sell a used product of a brand, but you cannot sell it in a new condition. Don’t use the condition description to state the item is new. Because if Amazon realizes, your account can be suspended to attempt to way around the listing restrictions.
- Don’t make any fake documentation to represent yourself as an authorized seller. It’s a crime and can suspend your account as well as criminal penalties.
Now let’s talk about different methods of ungating a brand.
The general way for getting ungated in Amazon Restricted brands or products is getting the authorization documentation from the brand owner that is not very available for all the sellers.
Your Amazon Health Standard should be good. It means:
- Order Defect Rate should be less than 1%
- The pre-Fulfillment Cancellation rate should be less than 2.5.
- Late Shipment Rate should be less than 4%
After ensuring that you have met Amazon Health Standard, you need to begin the Amazon category approval process.
You can do the ungating by yourself to save time and use Amazon ungating service. This process doesn’t have any bad effect on your account, and just in 24 hours, you can ungate any brand, category, or a single product. This service doesn’t only belong to professionals, but also the beginners are more than welcome.
Although Amazon restrictions on brands, categories, or products seem frustrating for the sellers, it’s understandable, and such restrictions will become more common in the future because both brand owners and Amazon want to protect their reputations and protect their customers and eventually their business.
So, if you’ve not already started the ungating process, you need to begin it as soon as possible if you want to take your sales to the next level.