Where Do I Apply for Brand Ungating Amazon?
Amazon’s success is probably built on customer trust and satisfaction. Something that has seen many sellers limited from selling in certain categories and brands.
While the streamlined process has allowed buyers to have a convenient shopping environment and trustworthy results, it has also placed some sellers in higher profit margins due to less competition and access to more profitable niches.
That means new sellers looking to join the bandwagon should also be ready to face the strict verification process, and that is where Amazon brand ungating comes in.
So, what is brand ungating and how can one start selling restricted brands on Amazon?
This article explains how to unlock popular brands and sell them on Amazon.
What Is Amazon Brand Ungating?
Amazon brand gating or restrictions can trace back to 2016 when Birkenstock, the famous shoe producer, stopped selling through Amazon due to increased cases of counterfeit products. As a result, Amazon introduced a brand restriction policy on August 30, 2016, that required sellers to seek approval from brands and Amazon itself before they could sell certain branded products.
According to Amazon, selling counterfeit products can affect the brand through profit leaks and brand erosion. It can also lead to a damaged reputation and a drop in the Buy Box percentage which can potentially reduce the brand’s monthly sales.
Therefore, to protect the brand’s image, Amazon works jointly with popular companies to implement strict measures that allow only authorized resellers to list branded products.
Amazon brand ungating, therefore, is a set of criteria or requirements that third-party sellers must fulfill before Amazon allows them to sell certain branded items. The process acts as an extra of Amazon’s seller-oriented instruments that protects brands from misuse.
The ungating procedure can differ from brand to brand, based on individual manufacturers’ verification requirements and selling modules. However, to start reselling branded products, Amazon resellers must fulfill the following general requirements:
- Have authorization letters from the manufacturer, which state that they are allowed to sell their products.
- Submit copies of at least three different purchase invoices for products from the said manufacturer or authorized distributor.
- Pay a non-refundable fee. The non-refundable fee varies as some gated brands can ask for up to $1,500.
- Fill out the brand ungating application form.
How To Ungate Popular Brands on Amazon
The Amazon brand ungating process varies from one manufacturer to another due to some reasonable factors. These include the brand’s selling practices, products’ sensitivity, and the category in which the brand falls on Amazon.
For example, while brands that fall under the food and healthcare categories may only ask for the Food and Drug Administration certificate, others that fall under children’s toys and games will go further to request for Child Product Certificate before approving sellers.Therefore, to understand how the process works here is a brief explanation of Amazon brand ungating for each company:
LEGO® Brand Ungating
With over 88 years of operation, LEGO has become a reputable toy brand with millions of customers worldwide.
The company is known for its unique interlocking bricks with tubes at the bottom, which offer unlimited building possibilities for both children and adults.
Since it falls under the Toys and Games category, LEGO is a very profitable brand that most sellers would fight to get ungated in. For instance, the company has stopped production of certain sets, which has led to an increased demand for such retired LEGO sets.
Therefore, sellers listing retired LEGO items can make huge profits, based on their popularity. However, this opportunity is only limited to approved third-party sellers with authorization letters and legit purchase invoices from the LEGO company.
It is also worth noting that Amazon may not allow the listing of retired LEGO sets as New, and most sellers may be required to list them as Used.
Also, the Amazon brand ungating requirements for the LEGO brands can become sterner during the Amazon Q4, which sees only a few sellers getting ungated.
Nike Brand Ungating
Nike is a well-established company with a revenue estimated to be around $17 billion. Selling such a big-name brand on Amazon comes with numerous benefits, ranging from easy procurements and ready markets to unending demand for high-end footwear, apparel, and sports accessories.
However, Nike seems to be one of the complicated brands to unlock; hence, only a few third-party sellers succeed with the Amazon brand ungating process.
First, Nike does not accept approval requests from Amazon sellers. The move was set after Nike claimed it felt harsh competition from third-party resellers during its partnership with Amazon.
As a result, the competition started hurting Nike’s market coverage; hence, it decided to block all resellers from Amazon and eBay.
The move, however, does not mean that authorized resellers cannot list Nike-branded products on Amazon. Sellers who want to sell Nike footwear and apparel need to produce one purchase invoice from the manufacturer or authorized distributor for Amazon to allow them.
They should also be keen on the purchase invoice requirements, which include clear seller and distributor information and the purchase made within the last 180 days.
Starbucks Brand Ungating
Starbucks manufactures some of the most sought-after collectible cups with a higher demand on Amazon. It is also known for its premium coffees and handcrafted beverages available in more than 30 flavors.
Being under the Grocery and Gourmet Food category, most sellers would probably strive to sell Starbucks on Amazon. The Amazon brand ungating process for Starbucks is quite straightforward.
For instance, sellers only need to show authorization letters from Starbucks and legit purchase invoices from the brand or authorized distributor which indicate purchase for at least 10 Starbuck products.
With these two vital documents, sellers can proceed to submit approval requests. The problem, however, comes in when trying to sell Starbucks collectible cups. In this case, Starbucks does not allow third-party sellers to list its collectible cups as New.
Instead, sellers are only allowed to sell them under the Used Category.
Under Armour® Brand Ungating
Under Armour started out with good quality mens underwear. They were comfortable to wear for work, fitness, sport, and any daily actvity.
They then evolved and also deal with game-changing footwear, athletic shirts, and other sports accessories. However, unlike Nike, Under Armour accepts approval applications from Amazon sellers.
Sellers who wish to list Under Armour products on Amazon will first need to get permission from the brand through the authorization letter.
After that, they can proceed to complete at least 10 purchases of Under Armour products that fall under restricted categories before moving to the Amazon brand ungating stage.
Another thing to note is that Under Armour does not approve of small sellers becoming their third-party sellers. That means aspiring sellers should have established businesses on Amazon with a huge customer base.
Funko POP! Brand Ungating
Funko POP! is a well-known brand on Amazon, famous for its big-headed and large-eyed plastic replicas of popular characters in pop culture.
The company also makes plush toys, stationery, home décor, board games, and clothing. That means, besides completing the Funko POP! ungating process, sellers also need to check specific category unlocking requirements to sell Funko POP! on Amazon.
Generally, sellers who want to list Funko POP-branded products need to complete five steps.
These include identifying a reputable Funko supplier, finding a suitable Funko-branded product, placing the Funko POP! order, securing the ungating invoice, and submitting the Amazon brand ungating application.
Hasbro® Brand Ungating
Hasbro’s popularity and market coverage are two things to admire. The company has created an engaging experience through its globally-recognized games, consumer products, and entertainment.
It also has a long list of iconic brands, including Nerf, Transformers, Play-Doh, and Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons, and Dragons.
Due to strict third-party selling practices in place, selling Hasbro on Amazon is not easy for most sellers. That is because the company requires sellers to complete all three ungating levels before they can list Hasbro-branded products on Amazon.
Sellers also need to have valid Employer Identification Numbers (EIN) as well as clean and healthy seller accounts. With these factors in place, sellers can proceed to get authorization letters from Hasbro before embarking on the Amazon brand ungating journey.
Conclusion for Amazon Brand Ungating
Amazon is an established eCommerce platform that values customer satisfaction more than anything else. For this reason alone, the giant marketplace is not ready to damage its reputation and relationship with other brands by allowing the circulation of counterfeit products.
That is why it updates its selling restrictions regularly to enhance manufacturers’ integrity and buyers’ safety. Therefore, sellers looking to list branded products on the platform will have to authenticate the quality of their products.
They should also complete the Amazon brand ungating process before they can reach their customers.